A TOWN council’s proposal to make all road speed limits 20mph, has been met with mixed views from cyclists who feel it is a cheaper alternative to “proper infrastructure”.

Wantage Town Council is taking advantage of a recent campaign “20 is Plenty” and is making an application to Oxfordshire County Council, the highway authority, for the introduction of a 20 mph traffic speed limit across the town.

The scheme aims to reduce incidents on the roads and promote active travel, such as cycling and walking.

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Speed limits will be reduced to 20 mph outside all schools within Wantage, in all residential areas and in the Town Centre. It also aims to maintain an east to west link via Mably Way that is 30 mph, apart from where the road passes schools.

The town council said: “It is hoped by reducing the speed limit on roads that the traffic will flow more steadily, there will be less accidents and it will give more people confidence to cycle and walk. It is also hoped that this will help make the town safer, easier to navigate and as a result more attractive and friendly.”

The chair of Cycling UK Wantage John Tranter regularly cycles across the county and would like to see the 20 mph limit introduced to keep cyclists and pedestrians safe. Even though he does feel that other additional measures could be proposed, he sees the new speed limit proposal at a good “starting point”.

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He said: “Any experienced regular cyclist such as myself will tell you that you see near misses pretty much every day. Many motorists are polite and courteous, and some are impatient and careless, but unfortunately sometimes that kills people.”

He would like to see less painted cycle paths and more separate routes for pedestrians, cyclists and cars similar to the separated track between Wantage and Grove alongside the A338.

However, some cyclists in the town feel 20 mph signs are simply being suggested as a cheaper alternative.

Cyclist Tama Javorfi explained he cycles almost every day and does not think the 20 mph limit is good enough.

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He said: “If the authorities really cared about cyclists and pedestrians then they would have built the new roads wide enough to allow safe overtaking.”

He added: “It is cheaper this way and also putting out 20 mph signs is easier than building proper infrastructure that is safe and efficient for all.”

Wantage Town Council is seeking feedback on the proposal though a questionnaire which must be completed by March 21 via surveymonkey.co.uk/r/D7Z8FKC.

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