Saturday, 27 February 2021
A RESIDENT of Benson has claimed they were attacked for telling a speeding driver to slow down.
A meeting of the parish council heard about the incident after the villager sent an email complaining that the council was doing nothing to tackle the problem of speeding.
The resident, who wasn’t named, said: “I have just been verbally and physically attacked outside my house for asking someone doing 60mph to slow down as it is breaking the law and dangerous.
“The situation is getting worse and the flow of traffic along Littleworth Road is increasing despite supposed lockdown.
“Somebody is going to be injured or killed. This needs to be resolved as soon as possible as it a known problem with a solution but moves at a snail’s pace (unlike the traffic).
“Verbal and physical threats to residents are now becoming commonplace and, with an abject lack of police presence, I can’t see it improving.”
“This was raised at planning and multiple times with Benson Parish Council but it appears only resident involvement gets things done.
“The future desire of Benson Parish Council to restrict all of Benson to 20mph and sort key issues like the footpaths is now becoming completely aspirational and beyond a joke — nothing ever seems to get done, just spoken about, and without positive, demonstrable action will simply never improve.
“Benson Parish Council, sort it out and prove you can make a change.”
The council has considered a 20mph speed zone in the village but this would require a speed survey and the agreement of Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority. It has also bought a speed indicator device that will be used in areas where speeding is deemed to be a problem.
The council has also created a “risk register” which includes areas where speeding is an issue.
It has backed a series of traffic-calming measures, including a toucan crossing on the A4074, measures to prevent “obstructive” parking near the bus shelter on the same road and other parking restrictions.
Council chairman Bill Pattison told the meeting that the email was from “a perennial complainer” with a “perennial complaint” who wouldn’t be satisfied unless Littleworth Road was closed to traffic.
He said the resident should be told the issue of speeding was one for the county council and an assault should be reported to the police.
Vice-chairwoman Patricia Baylis said: “We need to get the message out that we are doing things.
“I understand this resident’s point of view because Littleworth Road is no fun at all but we can’t help. We don’t have any statutory duties to do so.”
Councillor Michael Winton said: “We have had a number of conversations with Oxfordshire County Council and had them down to look at the design of Littleworth Road.
“We have had audits by the ton — these are telling us there’s nothing wrong with it.”
Councillor Steve McCann said the council was doing everything it could but should publicise its risk register.
“We need to tell people what we’re doing,” he said.
Councillor Teresa McTeague said the council needed to make it clear to parishioners what it did and did not have the power to do.
Cllr Pattison suggested putting a flyer in the parish magazine explaining the responsibilities of the different tiers of local government as well as an article on what the parish council did.
08 February 2021
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