20mph – consultation – re South Leigh

Oxford County Council are, at the PC’s invitation, seeking to introduce in South Leigh a 20mph limit where currently there is a 30mph limit and one of the potential side benefits of that is, we think, that having a 20mph limit will allow us potentially to have traffic calming measures installed without having to have street lighting. 

The details are set out in the notices and details attached but in essence it is to introduce a 20mph speed limit throughout South Leigh, replacing the existing 30mph speed limit in its entirety, leading out of the village to the following points: 

1. Chapel Road – a point 938 metres northwest of its junction with Church End, 

2. Stanton Harcourt Road – a point 810 metres southeast of its junction with the unnamed road running north-eastwards to Barnard Gate, 

3. The unnamed road running north-eastwards to Barnard Gate – a point 10 metres northeast of its junction with Station Road/Stanton Harcourt Road. The Oxfordshire County Council (South Leigh Parish) 

 They give their reasons in a statement of reasons dated 15thDecember 2022 also attached but in essence it is to improve safety and promote alternative modes of transport.

 There is a consultation period until 20thJanuary 2023 and objections, proposals and representations can be made in writing to the address below by the 20 January 2023. The Council will consider objections and representations received.. They may be disseminated widely for these purposes and made available to the public. Traffic Regulation Team (Ref: CM/12.6.353) for the Director for Environment & Place, Oxfordshire County Council, County Hall, New Road, Oxford, OX1 1ND. (Email: Telephone: 0345 310 1111).

 Attached are various documents showing the details of the plans both in overall terms but also broken up into smaller areas – A-D together with draft orders and statements of reasons

South Leigh 20mph Speed Limit – PUBLIC NOTICE

South Leigh 20mph Speed Limit – STATEMENT OF REASONS

South Leigh 20mph-General Layout

South Leigh 20mph-Sheet A

South Leigh 20mph-Sheet B

South Leigh 20mph-Sheet C

South Leigh 20mph-Sheet D

South Leigh Speed Limits – DRAFT ORDER 2022

6 thoughts on “20mph – consultation – re South Leigh

  1. I support the scheme. MS

    1. I support the scheme, Martin Spurrier

  2. If the speed is reduced surely traffic calming measures shouldn’t be needed. Trafic calming can be dangerous even with street lights let alone without, humps introduce noise and are very harmful to old classic vehicles such as Morris Minors, Minis, Landrovers – humps are bone and chassis shakers and dangerous for cyclists as the edge of country roads are often full of potholes. It will even make walking along the road at night more dangerous, easy to trip over the humps.
    I do not support the scheme.
    Travelling at 20mph is rediculously slow, it is difficult to keep concentration and very difficult to drive at in anything other than 2nd gear in a modern car. This is not economical or good for the environment. 30mph is slow enough.

  3. Whilst we all have an interest in improving safety, particularly where there is risk is in our own environment, the benefit of this measure is unsubstantiated and the actual evidence, to date from installed systems, shows it to be ineffective as a safety measure.

    It would seem logical to start the process of considering a speed limit reduction with regard to the reason for doing so against the reasons for not.
    The stated reasons are:
    1. Increase in road safety
    2. Promotion of alternative forms of transport
    Other suggest reasons
    3. Reduction of harmful emissions
    4. Eligibility for traffic calming schemes
    Reasons to not reduce the speed limit
    5. Where safe to do so, motorists should be able to expect to make due progress without unnecessary constraints.

    1/ South Leigh has no existing problem with road safety. There is almost no record of road safety related incidents in South Leigh. The last record I have found (2018) was of 2-3 reported incidents in Church end and 1-2 incidents in High Cogges – neither of which fall on the main route through the village and are both dead-ends, and unlikely to be related to speed (supposition). It would appear that there is no need for a maximum speed adjustment.

    Extract: Oxfordshire County Council Road Traffic Accident Casualty Data Summary 2018 Map10.1. 2018 Accident locations by 1km hexagonal grid.
    2/ Promotion of alternative forms of transport through this mechanism would seem to be aimed at making driving conditions worse for motorists. As South Leigh has 1 bus a week and is sufficiently “off the beaten track” to make cycling an impractical choice for the majority of road users, it is hard to see how this is a benefit. The reduction in maximum speed limit reduces the ability to be able to overtake cyclists quickly and safely, as the overtaking speed differential is reduced. The provision of better cycle routes would be a much better incentive, rather that imposing the negative measures to penalise drivers.
    3/ It is unclear that reducing the maximum speed limit improves emissions – most cars are optimised for best performance at 57mph. Driving at lower speeds can only be achieved in lower gears and, whilst drag is reduced, efficiency is typically worsened.
    4/ Some traffic calming schemes are only permitted in “street lit” areas. South Leigh has a “Dark Skies” policy in its Neighbourhood Plan which excludes it from these schemes. It is suggested that imposing a lower limit may permit some schemes to be installed however this a poor cause, an undesirable objective and an unproven outcome. Most traffic calming schemes impede normal traffic flow and some deliberately introduce extra hazards. Most schemes cause extra noise and pollution and some cause damage to historic and emergency vehicles. We should not have ambitions to introduce traffic “calming” schemes nor impede traffic beyond causing them to comply with safe limits.
    5/ It is extremely hard to manage in rural areas without a car. Motorists should be able to expect to make reasonable progress on roads where it is safe to do so. Where a speed limit is imposed it is usually a maximum and all drivers are required to drive safely within that limit. Setting an arbitrary limit misses the point that every driver is required to drive at a speed that safe for the conditions, vehicle, traffic and the environment.

    • If there was a need to address a road safety issue would a twenty mile an hour be an effective method of producing an improvement?
    The only published study, from the University of Belfast (Investigating the impact of a 20 miles per hour speed limit intervention on road traffic collisions, casualties, speed and volume in Belfast, UK: 3 year follow-up outcomes of a natural experiment — Queen’s University Belfast (, on the effects of a reduction in speed limit from 30 to 20 concluded that there is no perceivable difference in accident rates or outcomes.
    • There is anecdotal evidence that drivers concentrate less and fail to assess hazards as well.
    • There is anecdotal evidence that pedestrians and cyclists fail to anticipate the risk from traffic, with an expectation that vehicles will be able to stop.
    • It is suggested that the wide spread adoption of the 20mph speed limit reduces the effectiveness of the safety that was formally afforded to specific high risk areas, such as at school entrances.
    • It is also recognised that imposition of “unnecessary” speed limits reduces the compliance with all speed limits. It is unlikely that the new speed limit will be adequately enforced (as with the existing limit)
    • Compliance with the existing speed limit would address most concerns over traffic through the village. It seems excessive reduce the speed limit for safe drivers because some drivers fail to observe the existing limits.

  4. These are my comments submitted as a resident. I am supporting the main roads through the village.

    Further to your request for comments for a reduction in speed limits in designated areas in South Leigh I am fully supportive.

    Having set up Speed Watch in South Leigh I have first hand knowledge of the flagrant disregard by a considerable number of motorists when it comes to speeding through the village.

    South Leigh is a close knit community that has key hubs, which all involve walking along the roads as residents. Whether going to the Church, the Village Hall, recreation pitch or indeed walking to the bus stop just off the A40 slip road speeding cars are not conducive to ensuring residents can do this safely. The village also attracts a large number of walkers, cyclists and horse riders and our roads need to have a speed limit that will assist in everyone doing this safely.

    Whilst I recognise the scheme will not not resolve the issue in its totality it will at least make motorists more aware and will also enable speed watch to reinforce awareness to those motorists that either don’t care about the speed they are doing or unconsciously speed.

    Having looked at speeding over the last three years it is really important that we try and educate drivers to respect the village and whilst I appreciate reducing the limit to 20mph won’t stop speeding entirely it will assist in reducing the speed of cars like it has already proven in Witney and it is another tool we can use to educate and more importantly ensure that everyone using the roads does so safely.

    When the A40 has been closed and accidents have happened the increased traffic through the village is considerable and the roads are not safe to be travelling at speed. (Closing the Barnard Gate Road junction into South Leigh would benefit the village greatly!)

    As I sit here writing this email I have observed 15 cars doing way and above the 30mph speed limit so I am totally supportive of the scheme as whilst I know of no pedestrian injuries plenty of household pets and wildlife have been killed and in my opinion it is only a matter of time before a pedestrian could be hurt especially along Chapel Road and Station Road where we have a higher population including children.

    With continuing developments in the wider area and the possibility of an Anaerobic Digester in the village, South Leigh will need to look at all solutions they can to stop rat running and speeding and this is a good starting point to reduce those dangers before perhaps needing to be more creative.

  5. Whilst I completely agree with increasing safety and for our roads to be a safe place to walk and to play, I do not agree to the extent of the 20mph zone being suggested.

    As a child I played on the streets of South Leigh, running up and down the roads, often including the “busy” Station Road and never encountered any issues with traffic coming through the village.
    The only incident I can remember in the past 30years was to somebody’s cat, or very icy conditions – and am sorry, but I dont see a 20mph changing animal’s behaviour near the roads.

    My issues with reducing the speed limit is that the “dangerous” drivers that come through the village do not adhere to the 30mph zones – what makes us think that they’d adhere to 20? 30 is slow enough.

    Having traffic calming bumps or chicanes in place is dangerous without street lighting and isn’t proven to be effective.

    The size of the area seems excessive – I can understand wanting to reduce the speed outside peoples homes, but not the rest of the route through the village.

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