Speed limits are one thing, drivers observing them is another. Lib Dem councillors and candidates are involved in two Community Speedwatch Groups in West Oxfordshire, one in Church Hanborough and one in the Bartons. If you're interested in setting up an official group in your village, you can apply here (it's with support and supervision from local police): https://communityspeedwatch.org/
"Many villages in my area really wanted to slow down speeds in the village"—Liz Leffman, Lib Dem councillor and Leader of Oxfordshire County Council
Villages can now request 20mph zones to slow traffic racing through streets where people may be walking or children playing. Some West Oxfordshire residents have long been concerned about speed limits on some roads. In the Bartons, for example, villagers were so concerned that local resident (and Lib Dem Councillor) Dave Jackson ended up making '20 is plenty' signs himself that people could put up in their gardens (see below).
You can now apply to Oxfordshire County Council to request a 20mph zone on your street. To do so, you'll need the approval of both your parish council and your own county councillor. You can then make the request here, on the Oxfordshire County Council website.
With Liberal Democrats now leading Oxfordshire County Council, Progress in Reducing Speed Limits on Dangerous Roads is Finally Being Made
Lidia Arciszewska, tireless campaigner for lower speeds in Hanborough, with Dan Levy, Oxfordshire County Councillor.
The Liberal Democrats are committed to promoting safer roads, to protect our children and people choosing to walk or cycle. The new Fair Deal Alliance administration at Oxfordshire County Council has made it possible for all parishes to have their streets restricted to 20 mph over the course of their term in office. This will make "20 the new 30".
On the ground, the Lib Dems are always at the front of action to support residents. Dr Lidia Arciszewska has been campaigning for years to cut speeds on Lower Road and in Hanborough and called for a return of bus services in Freeland and Church Hanborough. She says, "It is fantastic to see the County Council now supporting our campaigns and I look forward to the 20 mph zones being implemented as quickly as possible. It's also good to see our local Conservatives widely supporting the new traffic calming measures."
Contact Dan ([email protected]), or Lidia ([email protected]) for more information.
"We need to look at speed limits not just for the Bartons, but in surrounding areas. There are a number of places where there are windy roads, blind bends, and no speed limits"—Dave Jackson
Dave Jackson, West Oxfordshire District Councillor for the Bartons
Keeping our Villages Safe
It all started when Dave Jackson, now our District Councillor for the Bartons (and a retired headmaster) was worried about the safety of pupils at the local school. “Although there was a 30-mph speed limit near the school, further up it was crackers, cars were just racing around the corner. I thought a simple solution would be to move the speed limit a few hundred feet. So, I got in touch with Oxfordshire Country Council. The highways officer was very helpful, but I was told that the small move I was proposing would need a traffic order and incur thousands of pounds in legal fees.”
Dave couldn’t let it go, though. He did some research and found out about 20 is Plenty, a national charity founded in 2007 that is campaigning for a 20-mph speed limit on “streets where people and motor vehicles mix.” The charity offers 20-mph signs you can stick on your wheelie bin, and posters you could put up in front of your house. It’s not on public property, but motorists driving through your village can see it. Dave decided it was time to make his own.
The signs first went up in his own village, Middle Barton, but have now spread around Oxfordshire. Dave has delivered signs to Church Hanborough, Fawler, Chadlington, Finstock, Tackley and Wootton. “It seems to have taken off,” he says.
Now that the Liberal Democrats are leading Oxfordshire County Council, villages can apply to have speed limits lowered to 20mph, but if you still need a 20 is plenty sign, you can contact Dave at [email protected].
Councillor Liz Leffman helping villages install '20 is Plenty' signs in back in April 2021, before becoming Leader of Oxfordshire County Council.