Are highways officers, or their political bosses, at Swindon Borough Council reluctant to bring in 20mph zones?

Ken Harvey believes they may be - he’s been trying to get something done about the speed of traffic in his street in Rodbourne, Cheney Manor Road, for years.

Mr Harvey said: “A lot of traffic uses our street – as a short cut, or a rat-run, to avoid the roundabout on Akers Way and to get to Vicarage Road.

“It’s very busy, and there are bad bends, where visibility is poor, and parked cars and a lot of the traffic travels down the road at silly speeds.

“There have been no fatalities, but there have been a lot of very, very near misses in the road here.”

Mr Harvey, as the chairman of the Rodbourne Green Residents Association, says he and the group have been asking for something to slow the traffic for years.

He said the group had asked for 20mph zoning, speed humps or other traffic calming measures, but added: “People don’t really like the speed humps because they don’t do their cars very good. We’d prefer to have a 20mph zone, or even to have a road closure"

“We’ve been asking for about 20 years, but for some reason the council has never acted on our request. It says that there’s no point if it can’t be policed or enforced. But there are a lot of areas in the town that have 20mph zones, like Roman Crescent and Springfield Road, and Beech Avenue has traffic calming. I don’t see why this road shouldn’t have it.”

At Thursday’s full council meeting Labour councillor for Rodbourne Cheney, Jim Grant will put forward a motion on 20mph zones.

It says: “This council is concerned that it is existing council practice to not agree to any new 20mph speed limit requests on specific roads in the borough, which have clear demonstrable support from ward councillors and the local community.

“It believes that 20mph speed limits should be introduced in roads and neighbourhoods which would like this and where it has the support of ward councillors and recognises the benefits to areas with 20mph speed limits, including to public safety and encouraging more physical activity, such as walking and cycling.”

The council’s policy on introducing 20mph zones is: “For a 20mph limit to be effective existing average speeds must be 24mph or lower, or else the introduction of traffic calming measures will be required. A 20mph limit will only be considered where: existing average traffic speeds are 24mph or lower, pedestrian and cycle movements are high, there is evidenced community support.”

If residents want traffic calming measures, such as speed humps or chicanes, and a lowered speed limit, the council says: "The introduction of a 20mph zone with traffic calming will only be considered where existing average speeds are below 30mph, there is a history of personal injury accidents, pedestrian and cycle movements are high, there is evidenced community support and the area does not include routes on the strategic road network."

Thursday's meeting starts at 7pm at the civic offices in Euclid Street.