Council urges Thames Valley Police to help improve road safety in Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire County Council has written to the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner (TVPCC) to call for more action to improve road safety.

Councillor Andrew Gant, the council’s Cabinet Member for Transport Management, told TVPCC Matthew Barber that more action was needed after the number of people killed or seriously injured on Oxfordshire’s roads rose in 2022 – the first increase for many years.

Cllr Gant wrote: “The number of incidents we are currently experiencing is appalling, but we should use them as a prompt to address road crime and danger reduction – to address the causes of 57 deaths and 934 serious injuries in the Thames Valley Police area in 2022.

“Oxfordshire County Council has made a commitment to Vision Zero – the elimination of road deaths and serious injuries by 2050 – and is currently progressing with a strategy and associated action plan setting out how we plan to deliver this ambition.

“Across Oxfordshire we have seen a general trend in the rise of killed and seriously injured incidences, and recently some particular incidences with cyclist deaths and serious injury, along with single and multiple vehicle collisions.

“Thames Valley Police’s action on road safety appears to be behind what we see from other forces and are hearing from other local authorities. I appreciate the size and scale of TVP is greater than most, but we need to ensure this doesn’t prevent working at a local level and focus on road safety within Oxfordshire.

“We appreciate that resources are tight, but no action is much more expensive than action. Please take action against this rising wave of dangerous driving before we find even worse casualty impacts in 2024.”

Cllr Gant called for TVP to become more involved in promoting national road safety initiatives such as:

  • Operation Snap, where the public can report and submit digital footage showing potential traffic offences via a secure online form.
  • More frequent use of Operation Close Pass, where action is taken against drivers who endanger cyclists and horse riders by passing them too closely.
  • Cycle and bus-based patrols to catch mobile phone use and illegal, fake or cloned number plates.

He also called on Mr Barber and TVP to recognise the benefits of 20mph limits around Oxfordshire, and to work with the council to implement average speed cameras, particularly on sections of the A34, A40, A420 and A4074.

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