By Tarvin Parish Council - 5th September 2015 6:00am
After a wait of some months the Parish Council finally received the Speed Limit Assessment report they had requested on Oscroft. A number of Oscroft residents attended the meeting on Monday evening (Aug 24th) to make their views known and to hear the Parish Council's response.
The Highways Department carried out a formal speed assessment on all three roads leading into Oscroft, namely Shay Lane, Cross Lanes and Willington Road. As well as measuring the mean (average) speed of traffic over a certain period, they also looked at property density along certain sections and reported accidents. The figures were then analysed against the appropriate guidelines set by the Department of Transport.
The initial recommendations were that the 5 sections of road leading into Oscroft ALL met the criteria for the existing speed limits. However two areas were looked at in greater detail:
Shay Lane from Brook House to the 30 mph limit — this section has a higher density of properties than the other roads. It is the danger from fast traffic on this section of road that has most concerned residents, who had asked that the 30 mph limit be extended back to Brook House. The report concluded however that, as the mean speed in this area was 42.1mph, compliance with a lower speed would be difficult so recommended that the existing speed limit remain as a buffer zone between the 50mph and 30mph areas.
Cross Lanes from Oscroft Bridge to Tarporley Road. — this section was recognised to have a different character due to the many bends and the fact it carried a higher proportion of access traffic. It was agreed that the speed limit on this road be reduced from 50mph to 40mph. It would join Tarporley Road where a new 40mph zone has now been created. The Highways Department had agreed previously to move the 30mph sign on this road to the Tarvin side of the Oscroft Bridge.
The residents of Oscroft express their concern that the report underestimated the effect of speeding traffic through the village and expressed dismay that the speed limit on Shay Lane was to remain unchanged. The site of the change of speed limit on Willington Road from 60mph to 30mph was also felt to be too close to the settlement. The Parish Council agreed with the residents that the report was unsatisfactory and did not fully meet residents' concerns. They agreed to write to the Highways Department to ask them to reconsider.
Though not specifically covered in the report the Parish Council also agreed to ask the appropriate section of Highways to consider certain passive traffic devices that can influence driver behaviour. These include flashing speed signs and 'repeater' mph signs on the road surface.
All these requests, however, have to be considered in light of the severe budget restrictions that the Borough Council was currently experiencing. Whatever the changes agreed, it was difficult to predict when the changes on the ground would occur, though some work was scheduled for this financial year.