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Kerbside flowers help persuade drivers to slow down
A STREET in Headington has been given a makeover to encourage drivers to keep to a 20mph speed limit.
Members of the Highfield Residents’ Association have set up two large raised flower beds and four square flower beds on Lime Walk.
They hope that the £800 planters will brighten up the road and cause drivers to slow down.
Committee member for Traffic Phil Gauron, said: “It is a general reminder that the road is a 20mph zone.
“There’s lots of grannies and kids and there’s speeding traffic. People are perfectly entitled to use our street, as long as they are driving at 20mph.
“We would like to see more restrictions on the street to reinforce that this is a residential community and not just any road that people drive through.”
The association applied for funding from county councillor Roz Smith’s community grant to pay for the raised beds.
The planters have been made and designed by the Pathway Workshop, which is a charity based in Blackbird Leys that makes raised beds and garden furniture. The charity works with disadvantaged adults aged between 16 and 80, with both physical disabilities and learning impairments.
Mr Gauron, a Lime Walk resident, said: “We had known about the Pathway Workshop for a long time and we wanted to support a positive venture, rather than just buy them from a company. The point is to raise awareness and hopefully drivers will drive more slowly through that junction.”
Youngsters have also designed special banners for the beds and there are also flags and plants. Organisers hope to plant more plants later this year.
Smaller pot plants lasted six to eight months on Lime Walk, but the organisers hope that these raised beds will last for years to come.
Frank McKenna worked with Mr Gauron to plan for the raised beds and the Lime Walk residents are pleased with the results.
Mr McKenna said: “The community has been working with Oxfordshire County Council to have traffic calming measures in the area for a number of years. It has proved popular with pedestrians and cyclists and not so popular with motorists, which suggests it has been successful.
“I think for something that has been done with a limited budget, they look quite acceptable.”
Community groups battled for 15 years to reduce the speed limit on the road and hope these new raised beds will encourage drivers to keep to the speed limit.
Oxfordshire county councillor for Headington and Quarry Mrs Smith said: “They applied for one of the councillors’ community grants. Originally they had come together to put pot plants out to show where the new chicane was. It was to make the road much more pedestrian friendly and to make cars and traffic aware that there was a heavily used pedestrian crossing point. The council decided that they weren’t really suitable.
“I’m always looking for other community ideas that people want to apply for. I think it was a street-friendly idea.”
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