A COMMUNITY is calling for a 20mph speed limit to be introduced on a busy Oxford road.

Residents in Donnington Bridge Road are worried there could be a fatality if speeds are not cut on the busy route which links South Oxford and East Oxford.

People living on the road – used by about 14,400 vehicles a day – and its side streets say motorists use it as a rat run to avoid taking the longer route round the Eastern bypass.

They claim motorists regularly break the existing 30mph limit outside rush hour.

William Edwards, 21, of Freelands Road, said Donnington Bridge Road needed the reduced limit or other traffic calming measures, such as a speed camera.

Mr Edwards, who has lived in the area all his life, said: “People just do not obey the speed limit here – they just rip along as fast as they can.

“It’s a matter of time before someone does get seriously hurt. People need to realise this is a residential area.”

The calls come five months after the county council spent £300,000 introducing 20mph limits on almost all of the city’s residential roads and some parts of the city’s arterial routes.

Abingdon has since followed suit and introduced 20mph speed limits on 24 roads. Across the county, slower limits on 49 stretches of 24 of Oxfordshire’s A and B roads have been introduced.

Iffley Fields councillor David Williams said the community had been galvanised to get a lower limit after a motorist crashed through a resident’s garden fence in September last year.

Mr Williams has written a letter to the county council’s highways department officially asking for the reduction, which has already been supported by the city council’s east area parliament.

He said: “If anyone had been in those gardens at the time there would have been a fatality without a doubt. Donnington Bridge Road has become the new ring road and people living in the area have concerns about the speed of traffic.”

Council accident records show over the last five years there have been no fatal accidents on the road, but there have been two serious traffic collisions and 10 accidents resulting in slight injuries.

Council spokesman Owen Morton said: “Donnington Bridge Road was not included in the 20mph limits introduced in Oxford in September 2009 as these were restricted to residential roads and A and B roads with higher levels of pedestrian and cycle traffic – such as the city centre and in suburban shopping areas.

“Lower speed limits can be very helpful in reducing the risk of accidents, but we are not currently proposing any further changes in Oxford.”

Sue Smith, who lives in Peel Place, said she was often woken late at night by cars speeding.

She said: “The speed people go at is just crazy.”

Last month 400 parents and pupils at Cherwell School signed a petition for a 20mph limit on Marston Ferry Road, the city’s other main east-west link route.