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Yvonne Constance Update (6/21), County Councillor for Shrivenham (inc. Sparsholt)

on Fri, 25/06/2021 - 4:13pm

From County Cllr Yvonne Constance:-

Before the end of our Conservative administration at County Council, we did agree plans to reduce the main traffic frustrations.    I had some success in getting attention for the endless traffic issues, and after 4 years’ work ,  I;ve had real success in getting new powers, but they are not yet operating.   Its worth giving you an update now.

SPEEDING enforcement is solely a police power, whatever they claim!   However , Matt Barber, the new Police Commissioner has revived the Speedwatch programme to empower volunteers in the villages to record speeds on a speed ‘camera’ and refer the details to the police to enforce.  The plan is that  motorists who collect 3 ‘zaps’ in Oxfordshire or Hampshire will be prosecuted.   An earlier version of the scheme was quite well used in villages, until the police withdrew authority, but its  now coming back ( in response to village demand) and we await the start of the scheme.    I hope Parish Council will work to find volunteers to serve on Speedwatch days.  All villages are just waiting to get going again, esp. as we plan 20 mph speed limits in ALL villages now, if they want them.  

PARKING in villages has been enforceable only by police until now : I initiated a new scheme to bring Civil Parking Enforcement  (CPE) to the District Councils, and County Council has acted to install and enforce to ensure its done everywhere.  CPE is being set up ( the legals are complex, because the County has to delegate powers to the Districts and then enforce centrally for them ) and I was assured it will be up and running by November. Parish Councils will have to decide to use the powers, and apply to install ResPark or other restrictions , as OxCity has done for years.

INCREASED TRAFFIC is an issue everywhere, and currently worse around A420 because of the closures on A420 whilst Swindon re-develops 2 major roundabouts, which will go on for 18 months. I have requested OCC officers to agree a traffic diversion scheme with SBC to direct traffic  - esp. HGVs – to M4 and A34 which are the strategic routes and should be enforced.   Believe it or not, OCC is expecting to get powers of Part 6 of Traffic Act 2004 later this year, which will mean that OCC COULD enforce weight restrictions and I’m working to use those powers to keep A420 ‘local’.

Finally I will add a word about OCC’s consultation on the new Local Transport Strategy, which is promised for this autumn.   I am working to keep A420 ‘local’, by which I mean restricted only to local traffic : that is traffic with delivery business along the route, so it ceases to be Swindon’s link route to the M40 and the north.   Please look out for the consultation and support my proposal, which I will get considered in the regional study as well, when EEH does its roads connectivity study on A34 later this year.

So I have been hard at work on A420 and your interests, and hope to achieve some real improvements.   I do not think we have to accept that all life and living has to give way to motorists, and if a  journey is a little longer, or costs a little more because its longer, slower and safer, I think that’s a cost we must agree to bear.

Yvonne Constance

Provided by Yvonne Constance, 23/6/21

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