Battle to slow cars takes step forward
5:30am Saturday 23rd August 2014 in By Beren Cross, @BerenCross
A 20MPH speed limit zone, which villager Colin McEwen has been pushing for for decades, is finally on the verge of becoming a reality in the centre of South Marston.
The 64-year-old has been a keen observer of developments in the village centre as traffic has increased and safety measures have largely stood still.
He said campaigning has gone on in support of protecting mothers and children using Pound Corner, a well-known T-junction in the village.
“It is a T-junction with no footpaths, which provides a daily challenge to mothers taking their children to school and when children set off for the recreation ground,” he said.
“Over the years we have been able to install road safety features, but it’s only recently that regulations now make a 20mph sign possible.
“The parish council have been working with Swindon Council’s highways department to produce a viable scheme and this has received overwhelming support at two public consultations.
“For decades, I have been pressing the parish council for action to make this area safer.”
With the change in regulations surrounding this kind of speed limit zone and an influx of cash from Eneco, the firm running Sevor Solar Farm in the parish, the scheme is nearly ready to go ahead.
Colin and his supporters are now waiting for Swindon Council to give final approval.
“The position was made worse with the increase in traffic through from Highworth to get to Sainsbury’s and the A419,” said Colin, a retired solicitor.
“Part of the community benefits arising from the Sevor Farm installation was money for road safety measures within the village.
“And this means we now have the capacity to install a speed limit scheme.
“The total benefit for this was £30,000. A part of this is available for the scheme when required.”
There have been changes in Government guidance as to what can constitute a 20mph zone.
Historically, Colin said, the schemes would only have been considered within purpose-built residential areas but as Highworth Road is a through road, it was never considered in the past.
“The regulations have a different emphasis. It doesn’t have a bad accident record, but if you walk through the centre, you will understand why people feel unsafe.”