At the meeting of the Policy, Governance & Finance Committee on 22 November it was resolved that the Town Council supported a town-wide 20mph speed restriction scheme with certain exemptions. The extent of the scheme and exemptions being delegated to the Climate, Biodiversity & Planning Committee.
The Committee welcomed Tim Shickle, Group Manager Traffic & Safety from Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) who provided an outline of the 20mph Zones scheme being implemented in the county.
It was noted that the matter had been considered by the Policy, Governance & Finance Committee who had agreed that a town-wide pilot scheme should be implemented and referred the matter to this committee to progress. There had also been discussion at the Witney Traffic Advisory Committee on the issue and County Councillor Andrew Coles, Chair of that Committee joined the discussion with the agreement of the Chair.
Members expressed support for the initiative and discussed where it may not be practicable to reduce speed to 20mph across Witney. Confirmation was given that any scheme would need to be fully mapped and surveyed to produce a comprehensive plan for consultation.
In respect of funding, it was noted that OCC would fund the scheme if approved. There was discussion regarding keeping the scheme as simple as possible, conveying the reasons for reducing speed, enforcement of any regulations and legislative requirements. Members considered it important that future development in the town should be part of any plans.
It was acknowledged that it needed to be a collaborative approach and it was suggested, and agreed, that a Working Party should be constituted to progress the project. In respect of timescales, it was noted that funding was available in the current financial year so the decision needed to be made at the earliest opportunity.
After further discussion it was:
1. That, the principle of a 20mph speed limit zone for Witney be supported;
2. That, a Working Party of members and officers be established to develop the project; and
3. That, Councillors Aitman, Ashby, Duncan, Prosser and Smith together with Councillor Andrew Coles (Chair of Witney TAC) be nominated to serve on the Working Party.