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Oswestry road safety plea to tackle ‘astonishing’ speeds

By Iain St | Oswestry | Transport | Published:

Calls have been made for safety improvements to tackle the “astonishing” speeds some people are driving at in Oswestry.

Oswestry Town and Shropshire Councillor Clare Aspinall has tabled a notice of motion calling for action on speeders.

She said: “The speed at which people drive along Cabin Lane is astonishing. It is a wide road which encourages drivers to go too fast. There are speed calming bumps at the Unicorn Road end of the road and I would like to see the continuation of them along its length.”

Councillor Aspinall has also called for a pedestrian crossing to be installed on the road close to the Meadows School and on Unicorn Road, as well as improvements on Middleton Road and Lime Grove.

Oswestry Town Councillors were due to discuss Councillor Aspinall’s request at a meeting last night.

The move comes as it emerged this week that a proposal to introduce a blanket 20mph speed limit in Oswestry town centre could take a step forward.

Saffron Rainey, a member of the town’s townscape and transport forum, is attending a Shropshire-wide conference on September 30 which will look into the benefits of reducing speed on all residential roads.

The former town councillor has been campaigning for a blanket speed reduction since he put forward a successful motion of notice in 2013. He said: “The benefits of a 20mph limit is you make the streets a better place to be,” he said. “If someone gets hit at 20mph it’s likely they will be okay from the accident but you will be seriously damaged or even killed if you get hit at 30mph.

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“If you want to revive the town centre the key thing we need to do is make it a safer environment which is much more accommodating of a 20mph limit.”

The event is being held in on September 30 is part of the national 20’s Plenty For Us campaign, which has branches in Oswestry, Shrewsbury, Church Stretton, Ludlow and Shifnal.

Rod King MBE, the campaign director of 20 is Plenty for Us, will speak at the conference along with Paul Butcher, director of public health at Calderdale Council in Lancashire, and Dr Adrian Davis who is involved in public health in relation to transport planning at Bristol City Council.

Mr Rainey added: “However, the issue with 20mph is if you put a sign up in the town, I don’t think people will take kindly to it. People do the speed they think they can do - not what they’re told.

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“If there was a 20mph limit by the Oswestry Leisure Centre, I think very few people would obey it because it seems faster, and I think that would be the same for parts of Salop Road and Church Street.”

The 20s Plenty Campaign has been discussed and supported by the Oswestry Townscape and Transport Forum, which is made up of councillors and residents, but the plans have gone quiet in recent years.

Mr Rainey added: “I’m all for it but I think that Oswestry needs to engineer the environment to make it a 20mph limit. A speed limit and the engineering of the road needs to go hand in hand which is what the townscape group looks at. I would like to see some money spent on that.”

Iain St

By Iain St
Associate Editor

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