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No 20mph plans a blow to schools
1:00pm Wednesday 2nd May 2012 in News
ROADS bosses have abandoned a move to make Abingdon town centre a 20mph zone despite approving the scheme two years ago.
And headteachers who want the low-speed zones outside their schools say the news is disappointing.
Oxfordshire County Council had wanted to create the speed limit on 24 roads to make them safer.
It approved plans, that were due to cost £7,000, in February 2010 but put them on hold that August amidst spending reviews.
But the council’s cabinet member for transport Rodney Rose has now confirmed there will be no 20mph zones branding them a “waste of money” because police will not enforcing them.
Schools united to launch a road safety campaign in 2008 after Larkmead pupil Sarah Waterhouse was killed in an accident with a coach while cycling to school.
In response, Larkmead, Fitzharrys, John Mason, and Abingdon and Witney College, all called for new measures including 20mph zones by schools, zebra crossings, and speed humps.
In 2009 another schoolgirl, 11-year-old Ty-Ree Partridge, died after an accident with a van.
And last Wednesday a Year Seven boy from Larkmead suffered minor injuries after he was struck by a car.
Jonathan Dennett, head at Fitzharrys School in Northcourt Road, said: “We are still asking for the same thing we were asking for a few years ago. A 20mph zone is a low cost option and I think it would make people think when driving outside schools.”
But Mr Rose said no more zones would be created unless police enforced them.
Ch Insp Henry Parsons, from the Joint Roads Policing Unit, said: “Thames Valley Police has always maintained that roads subject to a 20mph limit should be self-enforcing, with the design and road engineering needs in place to help motorists to appreciate that the road is subject to a lower limit, thereby helping motorists to comply with the lower limit.”