A ROAD safety initiative which has cut speed limits in Wallingford town centre has been welcomed as making the town safer for pedestrians.

This is part of an Oxfordshire wide scheme which aims to cut 30mph speed limits on roads to 20mph.

While many residential streets and central areas of Oxford already have 20mph limits, this is the first for Wallingford.

The new speed limit covers the town centre and some side roads, like Kinecroft, Crispin Place, New Road and St Peter’s Street.

Read more: Abingdon school boy has chosen the name of a new development

A sign has already gone up in St Martin’s Street.

The scheme will next be extended to the north of the town with a date to be confirmed.

In November last year, nearby Cuxham became the first area to trial the speed reductions. A similar scheme has been approved for Long Wittenham.

Wallingford Mayor Marcus Harris said: “The 20mph zones are new to Wallingford. I think it is a great privilege that we are one of the towns that has been chosen for the pilot scheme in Oxfordshire. Anything that protects the Wallingford residents, promotes the free flow of traffic, and minimises damage to property is a great thing for our town.”

Ali Jinks, owner of The Wallingford Bookshop welcomed slower speed limit on the road.

She said: “This is a very narrow road with lots of pedestrians. If cars go slower, it will be safer. I think it is a very good idea.”

At the same time, she believes that if drivers travel at a slower speed, then they would be more likely to notice her shop when driving through the town centre, which could attract more customers.

Felicity Howe at Branching Out Florist’s, said: “It will make the town centre safer for pedestrians. When the town is very busy, there are lots of people walking on the road. It will be safer for them if cars go slower.”

Michael Jelley, co-owner of Grape Minds, an independent wine shop in St Martin’s Street, was not convinced, however. He said: “I guess lowering the speed is a good thing. But also, I think this is an unnecessary sign as people in Wallingford are very sensible drivers.”

Oxfordshire county councillor Tim Bearder, cabinet member for highway management, said he was delighted that so many people had supported the scheme.

He said: “We have done surveys that say 72 per cent of people want a scheme like this.

“Everyone who is a motorist is also a resident, and they want to see safer and quieter streets, with less pollution.”

He said the scheme will be rolled out over three years. It will be free to all parishes and town councils that want to take part.

Mr Bearder added: “If people are travelling fast, others might not want to get on their bikes, they might not want to walk on the streets.

“But if you can bring the speed down, then all the natural things flow from that, and the pedestrianisation of Wallingford would be the next step.”

The 20mph pilot schemes for Wallingford Central and Wallingford North were approved last year, after a proposal by councillor Pete Sudbury.


Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok

Got a story for us? Send us your news and pictures here

List an event for free on our website here