Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Road safety improvements agreed by parish council

A SERIES of improvements to make roads in Benson safer have been backed by the parish council.

This will include traffic-calming measures, a toucan crossing on the A4074, measures to prevent “obstructive” parking near the bus shelter on the same road and other parking restrictions.

The crossing will cost an estimated £160,000 with the majority of the money coming from Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, and up to £20,000 from Benson Parish Council.

The rest of the funding will come from Community Infrastructure Levy money, which is paid by developers.

The neighbourhood plan delivery team’s infrastructure team wants a build-out adjacent to the bus shelter on the southbound carriageway of the main road so that cars will be prevented from parking there.

The shelter would be moved on to the build-out and extra cycle storage provided. Parking restrictions will also be put in place.

Two or three spaces will be retained for blue badge holders.

The path at the end of St Helen’s Avenue could also be extended to the north to enable safer crossing of Church Road.

The parish council also agreed to hire consultant Glanville Consultants, of Didcot, to draw up the final plans for the traffic-calming measures at a cost of £5,600 plus VAT.

These will include 20mph zones, although the locations of these have still to be decided.

Plans for a 20mph speed zone in the village were discussed by the council a year ago.

At the time Dave Rushton, the then leader of the infrastructure team, said the preferred option was for a zone which would encompass the village centre rather than a 20mph speed limit on only certain roads. He said a typical timescale from request to implementation would be about two years.

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 last year showed that vehicle speeds along High Street and Brook Street were close to 20mph.

Last month, the council agreed to buy a speed indicator device at a cost of about £1,800.

The device will be placed at different locations around the village, where speeding is deemed to be a problem.

The council has also backed a trial of parking restrictions in St Helen’s Avenue and on the road through nearby Preston Crowmarsh.

• A section of Churchfield Lane in Benson is currently closed. Part of the one-way lane, off Oxford Road, is shut for the installation of new drainage and site access works. These should be completed by November 23.

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