Monday, 29 November 2021

Safety measures for road with speeding problem

Safety measures for road with speeding problem

SAFETY improvements are to be made to a road in Watlington.

Speed bumps and chicanes will be installed on Pyrton Lane in order to make it safer for both pedestrians and drivers.

The work will cost £10,000, which has been approved by Oxfordshire County Council, and will now be put out to tender.

Watlington Parish Council agreed to go ahead, despite opposition from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s major projects group.

It was suggested that the plans be scrapped as the new Watlington bypass, or “edge road”, is likely to be built before 2023 and will alleviate the traffic on Pyrton Lane.

Pyrton Lane would become a cul-de-sac with new homes being built on both sides of the road.

But Matt Reid, chairman of the parish council, said there were no guarantees that the bypass would be built within two years.

Parish councillor Ian Hill added: “I think putting something in place is worth doing regardless of the edge road. The lane is not safe for pedestrians. It is very narrow and some residents have no choice but to use it to get in and out of their properties. What we want to do is make it safer for everyone.”

Resident Liz Harris, speaking from the public gallery, said: “I wish to support these improvements.

“The scheme should be given the go-ahead as the edge road is still uncertain. The matter could take years to be resolved and the volume of traffic is increasing dramatically.

“Every single traffic report has shown that the amount of traffic on Pyrton Lane is increasing: we get traffic from Chalgrove as well as villages nearby — it is effectively used as a ‘rat run’.

“It’s not only the amount of traffic we get, it’s also the speed of the vehicles.

“It’s a narrow country lane which was not built for this. Vehicles are being driven on the pavement all the time.

“Some residents have put signs on it saying ‘This is a pavement’ to prevent drivers going on it but they get knocked over all the time. Most of the lane doesn’t even have pavement and it is very unsafe.

“During lockdown, I went for lovely walks on Pyrton Lane as there were not many cars around but it’s just not safe to walk or cycle there in normal circumstances.

“Since the option of the edge road is looking even more remote, it’s essential that the lane is made safe for people who have to drive or walk on it.”

Councillor Keith Wolfson said: “I’ve walked along the lane many times and safety measures are needed. I think they will help to reduce the traffic as well.”

Councillor Rob Smith said he supported any measures that would control the traffic and that overgrown hedges on the lane were also an issue that the council should be addressing.

Councillor Margaret Noon said: “The residents deserve to be safe and by doing the hedge-cutting we can get the process going.”

Traffic on Pyrton Lane is likely to increase even more due to the new developments.

A total of 183 new homes are being built at the Red Kite View development by Bloor Homes between the B4009 Britwell Road and the B480 Cuxham Road.

Another 240 are to be built at two sites, one north of Watlington Road and The Sands and the other east of Hale Road.

Developer Providence Land also hopes to build up to 70 properties on land north-east of Cuxham Road and up to another 60 west of Pyrton Lane.

Residents have been fighting for safety improvements on Pyrton Lane since 2017.

In 2018, plans to widen the road for the Bloor Homes development were scrapped after dozens of residents and the parish council objected.

In 2019, residents backed the introduction of a 20mph speed limit along part of the lane, where there had been a number of accidents.

A survey was delivered to households in Pyrton Lane and St Leonard’s Close as well as those on the Marlbrook Estate that back on to the section affected.

The majority of respondents were also in favour of installing speed bumps and build-outs to discourage speeding.

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