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Drivers in Oxford warned to stick to new 20mph limits

New 20mph speed limits will be introduced in parts of Oxford from tomorrow as part of a scheme to improve road safety and encourage cycling and walking in the city.

Almost all residential roads and parts of the city’s arterial routes will have the new 20mph limits in a project that is thought to have cost Oxfordshire County Council around £300,000 to put together.

Rodney Rose, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for transport implementation, told the BBC: "We had received lots of calls from local people over a long period of time to consider 20mph speed limits in residential roads.

"The advice was that a reduction in speed would reduce the number and severity of accidents, encourage walking and cycling and generally improve the environment for pedestrians.”

New signs have been going up across the city for the last fortnight and roadshow events will be held this week for motorists to find out more information about the changes.

Thames Valley Police’s deputy head of roads policing, Chief Inspector Gill Wootton, has said that officers would enforce the 20mph zones just like any other speed limit but it would be up to residents to request enforcement in areas where they believe speed limits are regularly being broken.

Police will follow guidance issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers, which states that motorists caught driving between 25mph and 34mph in a 20mph zone will be issued with fines and get penalty points on licences.

As part of the scheme, 1,900 new 20mph signs have been put in place around Oxford and the council hopes the move will reduce the two fatal, 81 serious and 583 slight accidents which happened on roads in the new 20mph areas between 2006 and 2008.