Council reveals road safety improvement plans

Bradley Stoke Way road signs near the Willow Brook Centre

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) has announced that a range of new measures are to be introduced to improve road safety on Bradley Stoke Way, in the vicinity of the Willow Brook Centre.

The news follows two serious accidents on this stretch of road this year alone, both of which involved children who were using informal crossing points between Savages Wood and the shopping centre.

A public petition for improved road safety measures launched after the most recent incident attracted 2,600 signatures in just six days after it was officially launched by concerned parents and residents on 15th September.

The planned improvements announced today include extending the existing 30mph speed limit zone and constructing a new light-controlled pedestrian crossing.

SGC officers and executive member for planning and transport Brian Allinson met with representatives from local schools on Tuesday 18th October to discuss concerns about road safety at the location and consider options for improvements.

The meeting heard that following the recent serious injury accident on Bradley Stoke Way in September, the council had implemented a number of measures to tackle traffic speed, including introducing additional road signs and markings and requesting police mobile speed enforcement.

Cllr Allinson also announced that a programme of work has now been drawn up to extend the area covered by the existing 30mph speed limit and to change two existing dropped kerb crossing points into one new light-controlled pedestrian crossing.

An SGC press release explains that the developments have been made possible through the availability of ‘Section 106’ funding from development in the Bradley Stoke area, and are being brought forward as part of planned improvements on Bradley Stoke Way through the North Fringe to Hengrove Package major transport scheme bid.

Consideration is also being given to erecting additional railings at the site in order to take an existing drop kerb crossing point out of use, and to introducing permanent speed reminder warning signs either side of the proposed new light-controlled crossing.

Cllr Allinson said:

“South Gloucestershire Council takes road safety extremely seriously and we are very concerned about the recent accidents on Bradley Stoke Way.”

“I am very grateful to local schools for the opportunity to meet with them and discuss their concerns about road safety at this location.”

“Council officers have now prepared an outline programme of work for permanent measures to tackle road safety on this stretch of road and I understand that, provided no objections are raised during consultation, work will be able to commence on site from March 2012.”

The Council’s proposals are due to be discussed at the next meeting of the Bradley Stoke Safer and Stronger Communities Group on Tuesday 1st November at the Baileys Court Activity Centre (7pm start), where Mark King, SGC’s Head of Streetcare, will give a presentation.

The minutes of the 18th October meeting reveal that the Council also plans to extended the 30mph speed limit to include the existing toucan (light-controlled) crossing south of the Savages Wood Roundabout (between Snowberry Close and Champs Sur Marne).

More info: Plan of “reactive safety measures” already in place on Bradley Stoke Way [PDF, 459kB]

Footnote: Section 106 agreements are legal agreements between a planning authority and a developer to ensure that certain works related to a development are undertaken – for example, to provide a community meeting space, open spaces or play area and equipment.

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  1. The proposal is for a second light-controlled crossing, near the site of the two recent accidents (marked with blue squares on the plan referenced in the article).

  2. Re the above comment..hopefully they will have the good sense not to and to think logically about it considering the speed of the road, the public amenities around it and the number of accidents….but then again they could always spend it on another big screen for the Queens celebrations next may/june time..becuase that would be a sensible thing to do and save lives!
    or maybe they could reward their staff again!

  3. This is a step in the right direction by the council and we are pleased that they are listening to the concerns of local residents, however, the plans do not address all of the concerns of local residents. I am one of the organisers of the petition which has now been signed by over 3000 residents and asks for the limit to be 30mph on the whole road and the dual carriageway to be reduced to single lanes.

    The councils proposals state that the 30mph limit will be increased to encompass the new crossing and also to cover the crossing that comes out from Champs Sur Maine. We are concerned that what we will be left with on BSW will be quite confusing for motorists as most of the road will be 30 with odd patches of 40. We feel that this situation will mean that cars will still continue to speed along this road.

    The council is also proposing to leave the dual carriageway which again we feel is going to encourage cars to speed in an area dense with pedestrians trying to cross the road.

    This is a road which runs right through the heart of our town and we feel it is important that people are encouraged to walk, scoot and cycle around it. We therefore, feel it it not unreasonable that we have a 30mph speed limit on it so people can do this safely.

  4. Speed limits or single carriageways are pointless without one key element. Education. Our kids (and some adults) need to be taught the green cross code. Accidents will continue if people persist in crossing the road when it is unsafe to do so.

  5. Sukie, Sorry, but I don’t consider it safe to have cars and motor bikes accelerating flat out from the crossing outside the Willowbrook Centre towards the top end of town, just so they can over take someone they see as holding them up, stand there for more than 5 mins and you will see more than one person doing it. So it is too easy for a pedestrian to get caught out by it being safe when they start to cross the road but not being safe when they are halfway across.
    The council has not gone far enough. The dual carriageway has no place on that road.

  6. Once again another knee jerk reaction from a painfully poor Council. the problem is not the traffic, it is the people crossing the road at an inappropriate place. Stop being lazy and walk 100 yards to the proper crossing, or wait for the road to be clear.

    Does this now mean that every time there is an accident caused by a pedestrian that the drivers will be the ones who will be inconvenienced?

    Yeah probably.

  7. One lane or two, children and adults will continue to use the existing or the new crossing whilst paying more attention to their ipod’s or mobile phones than looking at the traffic conditions and actually asking themselves is it safe to cross.

    Sulke raises a very good point silverfish, spending a few minutes watching how pedestrians use the current crossings shows there’s a lot of work to do if future accidents are to be avoided.

  8. Sukie, quite agree, a great deal of education is required for everyone, pedestrians, motorists and even cyclists who continue to use the Zebra crossings around Bradley Stoke to cross the road. When you try to tell them they aren’t allowed to use them, all you get is abuse! Maybe it’s just todays society.

  9. I agree that a lot of people using the crossing are not doing so safely. But as someone who does cross safely, I think we should have the changes to the road, as I have on numerous occasions witnessed speeding motorists on this stretch of road(by Champs sur Marne)go through red lights when the beeps are going, or have to stop and skid across the stopping point on the crossings. I always wait for the traffic to stop, but others such as children or partially sighted may wait for the beeps and trust them. Motorists need to be aware that this is a residential area and to keep to 30 mph (when it is in place).

  10. Well done to SGC for taking the campaign seriously – I’ve long thought that the speed limit around the Willowbrook was too high. That said, I see the council has put up a temporary LED sign to slow people down on the southbound carriageway near the crossings….but it *still* blinks “40mph”! Surely setting this to 30mph would be safer?

    As for the speed limit on the rest of the road between the Savages Wood and Stoke Gifford – I don’t see it’s really necessary to change it – there’s actually no crossings for the rest of BSW in that direction except at the roundabouts (where people slow anyway).

  11. I agree with a lot of the comments above, the cause of the problem does not lie solely with the motorist, cyclists and pedestrians have to accept their share of responsibility.
    Looking at the map, it seems to me that both the accidents in 2011, occurred where BSW is a single lane carriageway. I am concerned that adding another set of lights will just make the motorist drive even faster along the road to make up the “delay” they experience by being stopped twice in a very short length of road.
    Why not build a bridge over the road, as keeping pedestrians and motorists apart, seems to be the only way of preventing future accidents.

  12. The council wont put in a bridge as they are trying to get rid of these across the county. So the only way is either better crossings or reduce the speed and of couse asking parents/school to reiterate the green cross code.
    I dont think anyone is blaming solely motorists but the measures being proposed by residents and council is to try and ensure that the public can cross the road as safely as possible and to make motorists aware of the speedlimits and if required to slow it down. I dont think that slowing it down by 10mph will be much of a difference to peoples travel time..but may in the event of an accident make an awful lot of difference to somones life..I think that would be a very important thing to bear in mind. After all this is outlined in the TV Adverts shown periodically “kill your speed”.

  13. @Bert I just want to point out that there are actually many other crossing points on BSW after the leisure centre roundabout. A pedestrian one almost straight away, then another unmanned crossing point to get to the bus stop further up. These both in 40 mph zones. There are a few others on the next sections too. At the next roundabout the road drops to 30 mph, so as I previously said we have a very strange situation with changing speed limits all along road. It would be much safer and more appropriate to have 30mph limit on whole road. The difference this would make to journey times would be negligible but it may save a child’s life!

  14. The Council doesn’t recognise that the stupid short dual-carriageway section (going West) is the main cause of speeding problems in the area.
    It would not be too expensive to reduce to single cariiageway.
    The existing light-controlled crossing needs to be changed to “straight-across” and not staggered as at present.
    I use this road a lot (as a motorist) and as Silverfox says this section is an invitation for overtaking.

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