50mph bypass limit 'to be enforced'
By Giles Sheldrick
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THE first speed enforcement on the Oxford Eastern Bypass is imminent.
Solar-powered signs have been installed warning drivers to slow down if they exceed the 50mph limit.
But road safety campaigners said they would be enforcing the speed limit with mobile cameras "within a fortnight" - the first checks in seven years.
The decision has come in the wake of a review after the crash in May 2005 in which teenagers Liam Hastings, Marshall Haynes, Josh Bartlett and 21-year-old Howard Hillsdon died.
Although speed was not a factor in the crash - for which driver Angela Dublin was jailed for two years - a motorway-style concrete crash barrier was built and the speed limit reduced from 70mph to 50mph.
Richard Owen, of the Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership which was set up in 2000, said: "I am hoping it will only be a couple of weeks (before enforcement starts).
"No enforcement has taken place, or will, until the partnership is happy the signs meet Department for Transport guidelines."
The four speed signs cost £19,500 and are mounted on concrete blocks that tap into a National Grid cable.
However, they only act as warnings and cannot be used to check a driver's speed.
Oxfordshire County Council road safety expert Andrew Greasley added: "The devices request drivers to slow down when triggered by vehicles exceeding 52mph."
Jane Barber, the mother of Josh Bartlett, said: "It's frustrating when you see people driving at more than 50mph.
"I hope this will make a difference, because I would not wish for anybody to go through what I have gone through."
7:35am Saturday 31st March 2007