20MPH Limit Proposed For All of Henley

At the Transport & Strategy Group Town Council meeting County Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak gave a report on extending the 20mph zone to the whole of the Henley town.

Since the introduction of the 20mph zone, residents of the following roads have approached Councillor Gawrysiak to enquire about extending the zone to their roads – Harpsden Road, Valley Road, Reading Road, Deanfield Road, St Marks Road, Vicarage Road, St Andrews Road, Greys Road and Gravel Hill.

Oxfordshire County Council currently offers 100 percent funding for parishes wishing to implement 20mph speed limits.

There have been speed surveys carried out around the town in 11 locations between 24 January-1 February and Gravel Hill and St Marks resurveyed between 28 February-7 March.  The report showed that Gravel Hill which is part of the original 20mph zone showed that 85% of cars were driving at 30mph both up and downhill.  In the road surveys only Reading Road towards Mill Lane 85% of cars were doing 30.1mph in a 30mph zone.  No other roads went above the 30mph limit.  Does this therefore question the perception of residents that many cars are speeding in their roads?

The speed surveys have indicated that additional traffic calming devices may also be required and Councillor Gawrysiak will engage with OCC for advice on inclusion within an overall package.

Stefan said, “Traffic calming will now be discussed with residents as they could prove unpopular. A normal process of consultation will also be followed.”

Councillors of the Transport & Strategy Group supported the proposal, citing the benefits of Henley following a consistent approach across the county, as well as the positive impact on driver behaviour. A member raised concerns that OCC should also provide enforcement across the county.

Councillor Gawrysiak advised that Henley Town Council are in process of buying two Thames Valley Police-approved speed guns, and that the topic of clearer signage be explored further.

Henley Town Council are also planning to buy and install two Vehicle Activated Signs at a cost of around £5,000. Signs would be solar powered and are required to be moved every three or four weeks. Councillor Plant suggested HTC opt for a more permanent solution. Councillor Gawrysiak to discuss options with OCC. T&S Group members voiced their support but suggested a mains-wired solution be investigated.