Oswestry to press ahead with speeding signs despite grant rejection

A plea for police funding towards the installation of vehicle-activated speed signs in a county town has been unsuccessful.

The council will put in three speed activated signs in a bid to tackle speeding
The council will put in three speed activated signs in a bid to tackle speeding

Oswestry Town Council wanted to install six cameras at five locations across the town in an effort to improve road safety, at a total cost of £21,000.

Half of the money was to come from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) fund, and the council had asked West Mercia's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) John Campion to contribute the other 50 per cent.

But members heard at a meeting of the finance and general purposes committee on Monday evening that the application had been turned down.

A letter to the council from Claire Richardson, commissioning manager for the PCC, said: “I am sorry to advise that, on this occasion, your application was unsuccessful. Shropshire only receives £20,000 of funding for the Commissioner’s Community (Safer Roads) Fund (CCFSR) for the entire financial year and much of this funding has already been utilised.

“The match funding you have available should mean you are able to purchase two to three vehicle-activated signs and with additional poles have the capability to rotate the signs around the areas highlighted in your application.

“If the CCFSR funding becomes available in the next financial year then details of this will be posted on the PCC’s internet page and you will be welcome to apply again after April 2022.”

Councillor Duncan Kerr, chairman of the committee, said it was “disappointing” not to have been awarded any PCC funding.

He said: “I think we should push ahead with three and then try and bid again.”

Councillor John Price, who first put forward the idea earlier this year along with mayor Mark Jones and former town councillor Chris Schofield, said: “If we wait and save a few pounds it will probably cost somebody’s life, and there’s no value you can put on a life.

“So I propose that we go for the three and put in another application later on.”

This proposal was unanimously supported by the committee.

A final decision on where the three signs will be located will be delegated to clerk Arren Roberts with input from Councillor Kerr as finance committee chairman, Councillor Jones as mayor and Councillor Mike Isherwood as chairman of the planning committee.

Councillors agreed a list of five locations to prioritise at a meeting in May, with the first one being Gobowen Road, which has seen the most collisions in recent years and was proposed to have a sign facing each direction.

Other locations intended to have one sign each were Mount Road, Morda Road, Whittington Road and Trefonen Road.

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