Friday, 14 May 2021

Village may have 20mph limit to deter speeding

A 20MPH speed limit could be introduced in parts of Ewelme.

The parish council conducted a traffic survey over a week last month with the aim of gathering information on traffic densities, type, timing and speed.

The data will be used to inform proposals for traffic management within and around the village.

Seven traffic counters were placed around the village in Benson Road, Eyres Lane, Green Lane, Days Lane, Cat Lane, The Street and near the primary school.

All the sites were within the
30mph zone except Days Lane where the speed limit is 60mph.

Counts were taken using paired air tubes laid across the road and fixed exactly one metre apart.

The equipment measures the delay between vehicle wheels crossing the two tubes to give speed, the direction of movement and the delay between axles to identify the category of vehicle.  The total number of vehicles counted was 54,767.

In a report, Councillor David Solomon said: “The fastest vehicle recorded, at 68mph to 75mph, was southbound on Green Lane at 7pm on Sunday.

“The next four fastest, at 62mph to 68mph, were all southbound on Days Lane (i.e. travelling away from the village) at 11am on Monday, 9am on Wednesday, 8pm on Thursday and noon on Saturday. 

“The main aim of the exercise was to inform proposals for management of traffic in and around Ewelme.

“Availability and applicability of some of the options are dependent upon certain levels of traffic and average speeds. One of the most attractive options is adopting a
20 mph speed limit in parts of the village.

“The Department for Transport suggests that 20mph limits are only suitable for locations where the average speed is already no more than 24 mph, or where they are coupled with additional traffic-calming measures.”

Cllr Solomon said the sites by the school, in Cat Lane and in The Street satisfied this criteria but the others sites did not.

He added: “Additional traffic- calming measures may well be part of a future management plan which may mean that a 20mph limit could be considered more widely.

“One scheme for traffic management is ‘quiet lane’ designation. One of the requirements for this is a traffic flow of the order of 1,000 vehicles or less per day.

“The sites at Days Lane, the school, Cat Lane and The Street satisfy this criterion. At the sites at the school, Cat Lane and The Street, most traffic travels within the 30mph speed limit, with 85 percentiles below this limit.”

Cllr Solomon said Green Lane had a particular problem with speeding and at all the 30mph sites a small minority of drivers appeared to be travelling at “reckless” speeds.

One vehicle was recorded travelling at well over twice the legal limit.

The next stage in the process will be consultation with residents and talks with Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, to consider what aims are desirable and what potential measures are available, appropriate and realistic.

Ewelme Parish Council has agreed to commit £10,000 towards the traffic initiative in its draft budget for the year beginning on April 1.

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