Monday, 20 January 2020

20mph zone may be introduced in village

20mph zone may be introduced in village

A 20mph speed zone may be introduced in Benson.

The parish council is to discuss the idea with Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, but doesn’t yet know the likely cost.

Dave Rushton, who leads the Benson neighbourhood plan delivery team’s infrastructure group, says the prefered option is for a zone which would encompass the village centre rather than a 20mph speed limit on only certain roads.

In a report, Mr Rushton said: “A typical timescale from request to implementation would be about two years.

“The next step is to open a dialogue with the county council safety officer and to establish what is possible and what would be required.

“The use of vehicle activated signs should be discussed, along with other means of signage, and the team will shortly offer the [parish] council a list of potential sites.

“At this stage, it is impossible to know just what signage/street indicators might be required by Oxfordshire County Council, hence the cost is unknown. Costs would not be low, so agreeing funding would be a necessary prerequisite.”

A 20mph zone could only be introduced if speed surveys show the average speeds are close to 20mph or if it is in areas close to a school.

Surveys show that vehicle speeds along High Street and Brook Street are close to 20mph.

Other zones could be Watlington Road and Oxford Road/Castle Square.

The parish council will also ask the county council to paint double yellow lines along both sides of the road through Preston Crowmarsh from the western junction with the A4074 to the last house on the right before the lock.

This would discourage inappropriate parking.

Mr Rushton showed councillors photos of cars parked along Preston Crowmarsh Lane, blocking access to large vehicles. He said an informal survey of the 50-odd residents was carried out and of the 24 responses only one was against the idea.

The lines would cost from £7,000 to £8,000 and take six months to create.

The parish council has already backed the idea of a toucan crossing on the A4074 to improve safety for pedestrians.

There is currently an island on the road near the junction with Church Road but this is thought to be insufficient with the expected growth in traffic from new housing developments.

The infrastructure team hopes to meet the county council to discuss how to fund the crossing.

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