You will know from previous news that the Parish Council have strongly objected to the proposed new Traffic Calming installation for Great Bourton: this is the Parish Council’s submission:
The Bourtons Parish Council
Great & Little Bourton, Banbury, Oxfordshire
January 10 2018
Mr Christian Mauz,
Road Safety Area Operations
Oxfordshire County Council
Oxford OX1 1ND
Dear Mr Mauz
Re : CONSULTATION – Main Street (Great Bourton) – Proposed 30mph & 50mph Speed Limits & Traffic Calming Relocation
Your email dated December 7th regarding the proposed changes described in the above Consultation documents has been received and was considered by The Bourtons Parish Council at their January meeting last night.
My Council has instructed me to write to you expressing their strong objection to the proposals as described. The Council recognises the need for change in both the speed limit boundary and traffic calming but does not feel that the proposed changes take due account of the local situation, nor address the problems experienced by the village with speeding vehicles proceeding towards Cropredy from the Southam Road.
The Council feels most strongly that the changes required by the new housing development at Garners Field presents a clear opportunity to design a new scheme that will considerably improve the situation and improve safety for drivers and villagers alike.
The Council notes that you have received a considerable number of individual letters of objection from residents and these identify the problems with the proposed solution. These can be summarised as follows :
1. Relocating the existing traffic calming feature nearer to Southam Road will create a considerable traffic hazard, and seriously impact on driver and vehicle safety for those vehicles wishing to turn right into Main Street from the Southam Road. At peak traffic times there is frequently a significant queue of vehicles waiting at the traffic calming feature to proceed down Main Street.
Relocating the traffic calming feature nearer Southam Road will result in a number of these vehicles having to queue in the right turn area on the Southam Road, which is only capable of holding 2 or 3 vehicles, and is potentially very dangerous due to the high speed of traffic on the Southam Road. Many drivers have already experienced “near misses” while waiting to turn right! Increasing the number of vehicles waiting to turn right is “an accident waiting to happen” and must be avoided. With the volume of vehicles who undertake this turn the queue will inevitably exceed the available space in the right turn lane and effectively cause a complete blockage on the Southam Road. Further, if the queue extends as described, then vehicles will also start to queue on the Southam Road waiting to turn left into Main Street and there is the significant potential for a complete blockage of the Southam Road in both directions, causing a serious hazard to fast moving traffic. There are also frequently a number of longer vehicles included in the queue, including agricultural vehicles and HGV’s to exacerbate the problem.
2 By relocating the speed limit sign along with the traffic calming feature there will be a short distance where it is proposed to install a 50mph limit. While the Council accepts that this is better than the current national 60mph limit, it seems to defy logic, as it would be impossible for a normal vehicle, driven sensibly and safely, to reach anything like 50 mph in the available distance and brake in time to respect the traffic calming feature. The Council does not understand the logic and reasoning behind this proposal, when the simple solution is to start the village 30mph limit at the Southam Road junction.
3 Residents of Great Bourton, particularly those who live further down Main Street below the Church frequently complain about the speed of vehicles in this area, which is made worse by the very narrow nature of the road. A couple of years ago an on-site meeting was held with OCC Highways engineers to discuss possible measures to reduce speed in this area, but unfortunately nothing was achieved. The Council feels strongly that the changes now required by the Garners Field development are an opportunity to revisit and potentially resolve this problem.
The Council would like to assure OCC Highways that it is keen to be involved in the development of acceptable, practical and effective proposals and has a suggestion as to how progress towards a good solution could be made.
The Council proposes that the current Consultation period is extended to create time for an on-site meeting to take place between OCC Highways engineers and Councillors to review the issues and discuss alternative possibilities. Construction on the Garners Field site will continue for some time, so the Council believes there is time for such a meeting and further consideration about such alternative proposals to create revised traffic calming and speed limit changes that are safer, better suited to the area, can also assist in resolving the speeding issue further down Main Street. This approach could deliver a scheme that OCC Highways, the Council and local residents can be duly proud.
The Council hope that you will consider this offer and looks forward to hearing from you in this regard.
Stephen M Bowen
Clerk to the Council