A scheme to add a bus lane on the northbound carriageway of the A38 between Little Stoke and the Aztec West Roundabout has been amended after a public consultation.
The scheme, first announced by South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) in September, replaced an earlier proposal for a more comprehensive system of new bus and general traffic lanes on roads leading off the Aztec West Roundabout.
That earlier plan was abandoned after First Group changed the route of its 73 service so that it no longer entered the Aztec West Business Park.
The new scheme foresees the creation of a new bus lane (with no reduction in the number of general traffic lanes) on the A38 between the Little Stoke junction (near the Texaco filling station) and the Aztec West Roundabout.
The public consultation attracted 32 responses from individuals and business. The council says it also received two petitions opposing the scheme from residents and businesses in the Patchway and Bradley Stoke areas, containing a combined total of over 300 signatures.
Residents of properties along the A38 said they were concerned about the loss of the existing service lane, which they say helps them to merge into the traffic flow on the main road. They also complained about the loss of parking space and pointed out that customers of the Ambourne House Nursery would no longer be able to queue in the service lane whilst waiting to enter the premises.
The council says that it has now revised its plans following the public feedback:
- The bus lane will operate at peak hours only (7.30am – 9.30am and 4.00pm – 7.00pm)
- Residents will be allowed to pick up and set down passengers while the bus lane is in operation
- A bus lay-by made redundant by the scheme will converted to a limited waiting bay, primarily to serve as an overspill car park for the Ambourne House Nursery
The Journal Comments
While the proposed changes will undoubtedly speed bus journeys between Bristol and Aztec West (and beyond to Thornbury), they will bring little benefit for the residents of Bradley Stoke. It is therefore wrong for the council to present this scheme as a replacement for the earlier Aztec West bus lane scheme, which included two new general traffic lanes on Bradley Stoke Way between the Aztec West Roundabout and Woodlands Lane.
Those new general traffic lanes would have helped ease the notorious traffic congestion that occurs between Woodlands Lane and the Aztec West Roundabout.
SGC has failed to respond to The Journal’s request for an official statement on the status of the original Bradley Stoke Way plans, but a council representative manning the recent North Fringe Rapid Transit exhibition at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre inferred that the original scheme has indeed been superseded by the rapid transit plans.
The bus rapid transit system, which is subject to government funding and will not be built before 2013/2014, will see two dedicated bus lanes running between the Aztec West Business Park and Bristol city centre. Regrettably, there is currently no suggestion that this scheme will include any improvements for general traffic flow on Bradley Stoke Way.
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