More areas urged to join the 20mph revolution

Latest pilot scheme unveiled in ‘Safer Pace Safer Place’ project

Towns, villages and parishes that want to reduce their speed limits from 30mph to 20mph are being urged to get their applications in to be included in the first tranche of changes.

Last week, Long Wittenham became the second 20mph pilot scheme to be completed by Oxfordshire County Council in its ambitious project to reduce the pace of cars and create a safer place in the county. It follows the successful installation of 20mph restrictions in Cuxham last month, while Wallingford central is set to become the third pilot site on 20 December.

In October, the council endorsed proposals to make it simpler, quicker and less cost prohibitive to lower speeds to 20mph on most urban areas and village streets in places where it is both suitable and supported by residents.

Councillor Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management, said: “Communities are now starting to see the real benefit of these measures coming in, with a safer pace creating a safer place. Now we want more areas to get involved by registering their interest in reducing the speed limit on their roads to improve the environment for pedestrians and cyclists and reducing noise and pollution.

“We’ve been delighted by the amount of interest so far with nearly 40 areas getting in touch, but our ambitions for this scheme are high and we want 20mph to be the new 30mph in Oxfordshire within a few years. We know that the introduction of 20mph restrictions in other areas has already cut speeds and accidents, and it is well-known that the survival rate for people involved in accidents increases as speeds are reduced.”

The scheme is free to town and parish councils as the county council will fund sign-only changes for councils wishing to be part of the changes. Locations must meet the prior agreed criteria, as approved by the council on 19 October 2021, for 20mph restrictions.

Town and parish councils will be expected to fund any extra engineered solutions such as build-outs or speed-activated signs that may be required to further reduce speeds in their local areas.

The applications need to be supported by the parish or town council and by the local county councillor.

More information, including details about how to apply, is available on Oxfordshire County Council’s website.

Click Sign up to hear from us and receive the latest news and updates thanks to our fortnightly newsletter, Your Oxfordshire.