Representatives of a group campaigning for improved road safety measures on Bradley Stoke Way will tonight (Wednesday 14th) address a meeting of South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) in a debate secured through the Council’s petitions scheme.
Two serious accidents involving school-age children on the stretch of the road near the Willow Brook Centre earlier this year led to a group of concerned parents and residents launching a public petition to force a debate at a meeting of Full Council – through a mechanism enshrined in the South Gloucestershire Petitions Scheme.
Officially launched on Saturday 15th October, two weeks after the second serious accident on the road, the petition soon achieved the 2,500 signatures required to force a debate and the number of supporters has since grown to over 3,900.
The petition called on the Council to install a new ‘raised table’ toucan crossing, replacing the two drop kerb uncontrolled crossing points where the recent accidents have occurred. It also demanded conversion of the dual carriageway stretch of Bradley Stoke Way to a single lane, the introduction of a 30mph speed limit and the installation of improved warning signage and over-speed indicators.
Since the petition was launched, the Council has committed to installing a new toucan crossing between Wheatfield Drive and Savages Wood and extending the 30mph speed limit in a northerly direction so that it includes the new toucan crossing. The 30mph zone will also be extended in a southerly direction south of the Savages Wood Roundabout – to include the existing toucan crossing between Snowberry Close and Champs Sur Marne.
The Council has so far resisted the petitioners’ demand for the new toucan crossing to incorporate a speed table (on the grounds that the road is used by buses and emergency vehicles). The current plans also don’t meet the request for the dual carriageway section of the road to be reduced to a single lane.
A large number of campaigners attended the Bradley Stoke Safer and Stronger Community Group meeting on 1st November, where SGC’s head of Street Scene and Transport Services Mark King outlined the changes being proposed and answered questions from the public.
Mr King said it was hoped to implement the current proposals by “the back end of March “. He promised that the Council would look into the possibility of “narrowing the lanes down” but added that this would need to be done without compromising plans to introduce a new bus lane as part of the North Fringe to Hengrove Rapid Transit Package.
One member of the public called for a 30mph speed limit to be applied along the full length of Bradley Stoke Way, claiming that this was requested in the wording of petition. This would be easier to enforce and less confusing for drivers, she added.
Another speaker pointed out that there had been another recent accident (on 31st October) on Bradley Stoke Way, at the site of an uncontrolled crossing near the bridge over the nature reserve. Although no pedestrians were involved in the accident, which involved a car (alleged to have been speeding) and a motorcycle, it had occurred at a time when children were walking to local schools. This was further justification for extending the 30mph speed limit, the speaker added.
When The Journal’s photographer visited the site of the 31st October accident a few days later, the bollards and street lamp on the pedestrian refuge in the centre of the road could be seen to have been flattened in the accident. Although the crossing seems to be intended only to provide access to a bus stop on the eastern side of the road, a number of students making their way home from Bradley Stoke Community School were witnessed using the crossing in preference to the toucan crossing further up the road.
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