Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Campaigners win fight for lower speed limit on hill

REMENHAM HILL is to become a 30mph zone following months of campaigning by residents.

REMENHAM HILL is to become a 30mph zone following months of campaigning by residents.

Wokingham Borough Council has agreed to a £40,000 traffic-calming scheme which will be implemented in three phases.

The first will cut the speed limit on the road from 40mph to 30mph. The second will involve extra planting to create a screen and reduce noise and the final phase will be to resurface the road with a more porous material to help reduce noise further.

John Halsall, chairman of Remenham Parish Council, said: “It has been a focus of this parish council for some time to make the lives of people in Remenham Hill a little bit more pleasant.

“I think that it is the most important thing we can do. The vast majority of our village live on Remenham Hill and as the world has progressed that road has become increasingly used, dangerous and fast. People accelerate up the hill and up White Hill so when they get to the plateau of the hill they are going quite fast.

“With all of these things it is perception of speed and the noise of acceleration which is the problem.

“The traffic-calming is the most important factor. The purpose is to improve the road safety by reducing the speed limit with the associated highway improvements.

“I think it will make an enormous difference to the lives of people who live on Remenham Hill.” Under the changes, central refuge islands for pedestrians will be installed, the bus stop will be moved and signs will be changed to say 30mph and “Welcome to Remenham”.

Cllr Halsall said: “At the moment, pedestrians wishing to use the bus stop must cross the road without any official crossing. Changing its location will also permit the traffic islands to be installed.

“It is a very detailed project but it is the culmination of lots of little things to slow down the traffic in the village.I think people who live on that road suffer a lot.”

Figures show that there have been 24 accidents on Remenham Hill in the past five years, six of them serious.

Keith Baker, executive member for transport at the borough council, said: “We rely on local residents or organisations to bring things to our attention.

“We then review the issue and look at the accident record. It does not matter what the speed limit is, it is the number of incidents that we have to do something about.”

Cllr Baker said that it was impossible to set a time limit for the work, adding: “Our officers have been working with Cllr Halsall and the residents to develop the scheme.

“Changing the speed limit means advertising through a traffic regulation order, which costs around £6,000. Then we will look at what people say and make the decision.

“It is now a question of going through the process, which should be rubber-stamping it, and then we will see when we can schedule it into our works programme.”

Remenham Hill Residents’ Association suggested a number of the measures.

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