A highways chief has said he is "proud" after approving new 20mph speed limits for various villages in Oxfordshire.

County council cabinet member for transport management Andrew Gant gave the green light to the new restrictions in Little Faringdon, Steeple Aston and the Shipton under Wychwood areas in the West Oxfordshire and Cherwell districts.

An A417 40mph limit was also approved for Lechlade Road in Eaton Hastings of the Vale of White Horse district area at the meeting held on Thursday, April 25.

READ MORE: Oxford: New traffic restrictions approved for Blackbird Leys

Mr Gant, a Liberal Democrat, said: "I can say with some confidence that I can already look back on the policies and achievements of the county with pride rather than guilt.

Oxford Mail: Andrew Gant.Andrew Gant. (Image: Oxfordshire County Council.)

"Meaningful benefit for the people of the county is what it's all about and we have delivered very significantly on that and we will continue to do so."

The comment came in response to a householder saying as part of the county council consultation on speed limits in Steeple Aston that they "live in hope that one day those responsible for this will look back and feel guilty that they missed their chance to effect meaningful benefit for the people of the county to push this agenda".

A council officer said in a meeting agenda report: "The main purpose of the scheme is to encourage greater use of active travel by reducing speeds; this is also expected to reduce accidents.

"The aim of reducing speed limits is to change driver’s mindsets to make speeding socially unacceptable and make more environmentally friendly modes of travel such as walking and cycling more attractive – and also reduce the county's carbon footprint."

Oxford Mail: 20mph speed limit sign.20mph speed limit sign. (Image: Ed Nix)

Thames Valley Police has raised concerns about the new 20mph speed limits and has objected to the 40mph speed limit in Eaton Hastings.

A TVP traffic management officer said: "If a speed limit is set too low and is ignored then this could result in the vulnerable road user being less safe.

"It can also cause a dis-proportionate number of drivers to criminalise themselves and could bring the system of speed limits into disrepute.

"Thames Valley Police have no policy to enforce based on arbitrary speed limits alone but will enforce based on threat of harm, risk and resourcing.

Oxford Mail: Lechlade Road.Lechlade Road. (Image: Google Maps.)

"There should be no expectation that the police would be able to provide regular enforcement if a speed limit is set too low as this could result in an unreasonable additional demand on police resources and there are no additional resources available to support extra enforcement."

Mr Gant said in the transport meeting that, regardless of the reservations, he was "delighted" there had been a "collaborative and constructive approach" with the force.