Willow Brook road humps in the news (again)

Approach road to the Willow Brook Centre, Bradley Stoke

An article in today’s Bristol Evening Post claims shoppers have been put off from using Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook Centre following the installation of speed humps back in November last year.

The humps on the approach road to the centre are said to be giving customers “too much of a jolt” and the obstacles are alleged to be causing traffic congestion because vehicles have to “virtually stop before driving over them”.

The story will be familiar to Journal readers as we covered it two months ago when the humps were first installed.

The paper quotes Bradley Stoke Town Councillor Keith Cranney as saying:

“… the centre should be doing everything it could to encourage customers in times of economic austerity – not put them off.”

“I’ve had a lot of complaints about this and it was raised at a recent forum meeting where someone said they wouldn’t be shopping there again.”

Members of the Bradley Stoke Police Beat Team which has a base at the centre, however, expressed different views in a presentation to a Town Council meeting last Wednesday.

PCSO Paul Baxter said he believed the humps were actually “helping the cause”, adding:

“Before they went in, every day we were viewing CCTV images of people sliding off from the bend at the end [of the access road] and writing their cars off.”

“They needed to slow down. I understand that it’s a pain but I do believe it’s better than having nothing there at all.”

Beat manager PC Claire Fletcher had earlier told the meeting that she encounters “someone driving at me [down the centre of the road] every time I arrive or leave”, adding:

“On two occasions I’ve had to swerve to avoid someone and have immediately gone up to inspect the CCTV in the centre’s control room to get the registration numbers.”

The errant drivers were dealt with under Section 59 of the Road Traffic Act (Vehicles used in manner causing alarm, distress or annoyance), she reported.

Willow Brook Centre Manager Scott Lahive is quoted as saying:

“It would be very regrettable if these measures were discouraging people from visiting the centre.”

“The introduction of speed bumps were a last resort following nearly 50 accidents on the approach road due to speeding vehicles.”

Read more: Shoppers in Bradley Stoke “put off by steep speed humps”

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  1. If the problem was people sliding off on the corner, then a better roadsuface should have been used. The road surface on the entrance has always been very slippery when damp. The humps are far to big. will Willow Brook make a contribution to new suspension when I need it?

  2. I cannot believe this, PCSO Baxter. A car was written off every day? Really?


    PCSO Paul Baxter said he believed the humps were actually “helping the cause”, adding:

    “Before they went in, every day we were viewing CCTV images of people sliding off from the bend at the end [of the access road] and writing their cars off.”

  3. So on that 1 corner loads of cars were being written off! so why not take all the speed bumps off up to that approach and leave the mountain that you’ve already built there?

    As soon as those Mountain of speed bumps went in i moved my shopping to another location! there a pain in the a** and a total waste of money.

    For the money that i’m guessing it cost no doubt in the millions maybe they could of spent the money on “Bradley Stoke Way” where more accidents seem to be happening???

  4. What the centre management should of done is installed less speed bumps on the approach road and then laid down shellgrip on the tight bend. The first bend has always been dangerous when wet as it becomes incredibly slippery (tarmac releasing oils?).

  5. I think there are 2 main problems with the speed bumps that people are annoyed at:

    1) The design. They are far to harsh for driving over in your car. A van/truck with a wider track can easily stradle them, but a smaller car cannot. I realise the idea is to have people drive over them, but I think using the smoother tarmac based ones would’ve been much better. You still have to slow down to go over them, but they are a much less harsh jolt.

    2) The placement. With having a single hump on each side, they have been spaced too far apart allowing people to drive down the centre of the road causing potential accidents. Why not implement slightly narrower humps, and install a 3rd in the centre of the road?

    I think these are the main issue people are annoyed about, not necessarily the just fact that humps have been installed, but their design and implementation.

    The best solution IMO, would have been to use tarmac bumps the whole width of the road, so you had no choice but to drive over them, but being less harsh on your vehicle. Also turn the pedestrain crossings into tarmac raised tables which would slow down vehicles in front of the shopping centre.

    Why is it these scheme’s are never thought through properly by anyone with a hint of common sense?

  6. The amount of accidents that happened on “the bend” At the top area of the car park was horrendous.I totally agree with pcso baxter.The reasons these accident were happening was the sheer speed of vehicles on the entrance road before the bend.Since the humps and the speed ristrictor have been installed I have not seen any accidents.Well done willowbrook team!!!

  7. Humps = good idea. Number of Humps Used = *Totally* excessive.

    In the space of where 2 humps should be located, they have loads. It is WAY too many. I can see, and totally agree with, people driving down the middle of the road and through the lay-by. I have no feeling about whether they are too big or whatever; my only gripe is with the number of them. It causes traffic chaos.

    I am one of those no longer shopping at Willow Brook!

  8. How annoying, couldn’t they have extended the humps so that they were across the full length of the road? That way there is equal ware on my beloved mode of transport. Very little thought has been put in to the layout. Did they really need to put them down the full length of the entrance or right by the turn in for the garage? I have seen people drive through the middle of these humps and use the lay by. If anything, people are going to end up causing more accidents in avoidance of the humps. They should have re designed the corner (may be a chicane) to slow vehicles or just the raise surface. Complete overkill and extremely off putting. Sainsburys is only 5mins down the road I guess.

  9. A little lateral thinking: Create an entrance/exit to the Willow Brook Centre off Bradley Stoke Way. Then there’s no need for this silly access road and all the congestion it is now causing around the Three Brooks roundabout. Come on Councillors – take the initiative!

  10. If the reason for having humps is to reduce speed to the corner then why are there none leaving the car park towards the corner??

  11. If the problem was people “sliding off from the bend at the end [of the access road] and writing their cars off.” why multiple speed bumps on the approach? Why not a bump before the zebra crossing and a bump before the bend?

    No one can claim the bumps are there to help pedestrians because no thought has been given to the safety of pedestrians in the the rest of car park.

    There are a ridiculous number of bumps. I’m not surprised people are avoiding them whenever possible.

    The excessive bend at the end of the access road is just one of the stupid design features of the whole car park.

    As for people “writing their cars” off every day … really?

  12. Yes people did write cars off everyday!! When the weather was wet.Seems to me that everybody is just ignoring the fact that these accidents happened because people did not obey the speed limit!! WHICH IS 10?MPH.If people had stuck to these limits im sure there would have been no accidents and hence no speed bumps!!! Come on people think…….Speed kills!!!

  13. Another person voting with my feet/tyres. Like most on here I have nothing against suitable use of speed bumps.

    However, the amount that have been installed, along with the fact that the edges are not flush with the road surface causing the suspension to bang into them – AT ANY SPEED – means that it will be causing damage to my tracking and suspension. I can’t justify the extra cost of motoring just to shop there. Aldi it is, followed closely by Morrisons/Asda.

    Would it really have been an issue to have two sets instead of, what, 8 or so, WBC?

    Also, I note that there have been less “daily accidents and writeoffs”. Has the new road surface (the raised bit) helped here perhaps? The old one was almost unusable after even a mild frost, whereas this seems a lot grippier.

    Finally, there seem to be some people that have been indoctrinated that all SPEED KILLS. No. Inappropriate speed kills. Let’s not start quoting incorrect mantra to all and sundry please.

  14. I assumed they’d had problems with boy racers or something?

    The “it stops accidents at the corner” reason doesn’t make sense as the speed bumps aren’t at the corner.

  15. “the obstacles are alleged to be causing traffic congestion”

    I take it the author of the piece hasn’t seen the queues going in or out lately?

    After a couple of near misses with idiots driving down the middle of the road, Asda is looking like a good alternative at the moment.

    It’s not helping the pedestrians…those that know how to use a crossing still do so, and those that can’t will find other ways to remove themselves from the gene pool.

  16. We avoid Tesco as my wife has a problem with her back and neck, everytime we go over a hump this causes pain. So going to Sainsburys and Aldi is a less painful option.

  17. This is the first time I heard of people writing cars off on that bit of road. I thought the purpose of the humps was to slow cars down going into and out of the car park. Once past these humps they speed up to normal speed thus putting pedestrians and trollies at risk around the car park because they treat it like a normal road.

    I’ve had a near miss on several occasions because some idiot decided I could get across the road with a full trolly without him having to stop or slow down.

    Some drivers seem to take delight in trying to run you over!!! Whats the point in slowing them down at the entrance and exit then letting them ‘loose’ in the car park.

    Also all they are doing is taking that first right into the car park and feeding through to parking spaces from there instead of going round the road system in the car park to get to a space.

  18. I am not speaking on,behalf of the willowbrook but mearly a concerned resident whos property overlooks the centre.I really do not get the issues.So you would put your so called tyres,exahuast,tracking etc over that of a human life? And yes speeding does kill and causes horrific injurys,where if people were sticking to the onsite speed restriction no accidents would happen because of excessive speed.

  19. @whysonegative – trolling much? “So called tyres, exhausts and tracking”,(yes cars do have parts with these names!) and yes the bumps actually ripped the undertray off of my car and the jolt they cause to the whole vehicle is obviously not doing it any good. I assume there were also horrific injuries caused daily alongside the write offs? Total hyperbole.

    As mentioned above I agree that the tarmac platform on the corner does a good job of slowing some people down and is in my opinion a sufficient measure, hopefully (but doubtful) the management of the centre will take comments from people who actually use the centre on board and consider at least reducing the number of humps.

  20. I rarely use the centre now either. From day one I thought the access road was just temporary during construction, I couldn’t beleive it was the permanent design. The whole traffic management is badly designed and will be near impossible to fix now. The area with the majority of the humps isn’t even the most pedestrianised area. If you are writing your car off on a 90 degree bend in a car park you either shouldn’t have a licence or you are going too fast!
    It is a lot less stressful to go to sainsburys as a lot of other people have been saying! No wonder Tescos share price is dropping!

  21. Living adjacent to the car park there is a huge problem with group of youngsters driving their cars at speed at night in the car park, music blasting out and tyres screeching. You could hear them speed out of the car park and then do the loop of bradley stoke, up bradley stoke way and back down brook way, so it is a relief to have something in place to slow them down…but the humps are too big and too many.

  22. @Whatfield residence – if I were you I would be asking the police why they are using CCTV to get reg numberrs of hump dodgers but by the sounds of it not been doing the same for these ‘boy racers’.
    How does the humps stop people driving to fast round the car park where more pedestrians are?

  23. WE RULE!! The power of the people works! If shoppers don’t like something we won’t shop there! If the Willow Brook Centre want more customers then they need to rethink but believe me it’s not just the speed bumps putting people off!!

  24. If this is the only you have to whine and moan about your not doing to bad in life really are you!! Try turning on the real news and hear the tragedys and terrible things going on in the world.Now think about what you are saying.Afew speed bumps to reduce speed Excellent,slow down and no damage will happen to your vehicle.CASE CLOSED

  25. @ian – because the boy racers didn’t upset the local PCSO I should wager! (but then you knew that didn’t you?!?)

    As for the point about slowing speed on approach to the Centre not helping slow the speed of the people who drive right by the shops? A perfectly valid point and one which shows the sheer ignorance of the planners/developers/Tesco….

  26. Another driver who is frustrated by all the new speed bumps.

    There are far, far too many along the straight part of the road before the corner. The corner one is just fine.

    Gone are the days when I can ‘just pop to Tesco’. I now have to join queues to get into the carpark before I even think about the long walk from the poorly arranged carpark into the shops.

    Pity they can’t open up that Bradley Stoke Way entrance for more than busses to let us in quickly. Maybe the resultant queueing on BSW would slow the traffic down enough so more kids don’t get hurt by speeding vehicles. win-win situation 🙂

  27. I’ve said it before and will repeat it here again, the designers and South Glos planners/councillors were totally negligent in their duties when they approved the design of the car park and its road layout during the planning phase.

    The centre proudly displays its Safe Park award but has a terrible record on maintaining the flashing lights at the zebra crossings and has placed a huge advertising sign near to the exit of the pet store road, try turning left to leave the centre and you will see the problem, sadly you won’t see the car that’s about to hit you until its too late. Pedestrians are left to fend for themselves in crossing roads with trolleys.

    Tesco are obviously allowed to do what they want at the WBC, seemingly without penalty – just see how many of their trolleys are abandoned about our town. Have any of our elected officials ev taken them to task over this blight on the environment?

    Finally (rant almost over, bear with me) the suggestion for an entrance from Brook Way is eminently sensible but will never go ahead, Tescos want EVERYONE to drive past their petrol station. They want your £££££ and don’t think of your convenience.

    We now shop elsewhere.

  28. I dont understand the hositility towards the PCSO, if you had to deal with the other side of things when idiots crash, causing unnecessary damage or worse injuring themselves, Im sure you would think differently. If it really bothers you that much shop elsewhere, or get yourself a 4×4, trust me you dont feel a thing.

  29. Firstly i would like to start its park mark not safe park sceme, if your unable to read the sign maybe you were driving too quickly.Secondly if its not down to speed why are people driving into objects that are bedding into concrete, i.e lampost. unless ur driving onto willowbrook property with a bulldozer or tank.Thirdly i agree with the speed humps as they do reduce speed and do not damage your vehicle if you drive in the correct manner.you can search google, ask jeeves or any other search engine.There are speed humps all round the surrounding area does this mean people play chicken around half of bristol driving down the middle of the road risking there lives and the lives of others.believe it or not there are some in sainsbury as one person forgot.As most people believe willowbrook waste there money on random things, im going to ask if they can build a helipad so customers can be air lifted in.Must dash ive got to walk to tescos to get my shopping, please dont run me over. walk yes walk people can walk believe it or not. Also if people want to get to the shops 30seconds quicker then leave your house 30 seoncs earlier. Its all bout planning your day

  30. Shame the planners didn’t think to use some of the money spent on the excessive number of speed bumps to tackle the flooding in the car parks. If you go shopping at the Willowbrook Centre in the rain, be prepared for very wet feet!

  31. The planners need to look seriously at placing parking restrictions along Savages Wood Road. Between the congestion there and the delays getting in to the WBC because of the speed bumps, the area is often gridlocked. Access to the WBC from Bradley Stoke Way is an obvious way forward.

  32. @Annoyed – agree with you about Savages Wood Road congestion.

    @Jarvis – some people dont have the luxury of being able to walk to the shops. I suffer from arthritis. Walking is a serious chore.

    However I do agree that if people are writing their cars off on the 90deg bend then seriously they deserve it. What I have issue with is the design of the humps that encourages people to drive erratically to avoid them. Often straight into the path of my car.

    @Anon-e-mouse: Agree about the zebra crossing lighting, its a joke.

    @Whatfield resident – Boy-racers are a red herring, there’s nothing in the car park itself to slow them down.

  33. Surely a far better deterrent would have been a couple of PCSOs with a machine which indicates the speed that you are travelling.

    Their presence would also deter boy racers etc. etc. etc.

    Oh sorry, that would involve some police liaison and presence on the street rather than sitting in a nice warm control room watching the tele (CCTV) and just checking on people who have annoyed you personally.
    When someone reports an incident it appears that there is no witness to it and yet the CCTV Footage can be recovered for WPC Fletcher’s convenience.

    Veeery interesting methinks!

  34. How many cars were written off in the car park? I’ve never heard of this to be honest but I’ll take the PCSO’s word that this happened.

    The bumps are really rather unpleasant – I have to drive over them VERY slowly in order not to cause undue damage to my car (apologies to those behind me but I’m not speeding up). There are also way too many of them. I will admit to driving down the middle of them, but only when there’s no one around, otherwise you risk hitting someone coming the other way.

    It seems a shame that a small minority of idiots have caused all of the rest of us to be punished in this way.

  35. @sally – hardly a police matter though is it? If the layby is there then what’s the harm in using it and its nice flat, bump free, surface… (and yes I use it to avoid two of the humps).

  36. The whole plan of the Car Park is flawed in the first place. Lanes don’t allign to the entry roads thus forcing drivers to take corners at odd angles to enter and exit parking lanes, zebra crossings with no flashing yellow lights, entry paths that takes ages to reach the car park from the main roads.

    The humps and the ramp are a new jewel in its crown. Use of CCTV to send warnings/tickets will be next. Every little helps. Looks like someone is trying hard to justify their job.

    The Mall boasts of 5000+ parking spaces , surely they see more pedestrians in their car park than the WBC. How many of these humps do we see there ?

    WBC indeed, Willow ‘Bumps’ Centre i.e.

    I would like to see if WBC Manager manages to drive under 10mph all the way from the Pub to his parking lot.

  37. Someone who is more legally minded maybe able to explain how the Road Traffic Act applies to roads constructed on what I assume is private property ( referring to the PCSO using CCTV to monitor bump-dodgers).

  38. @anon-e-mouse I think the Road Traffic Act applies to any road that the public have access to, or something like that, which means that all the rules of the road apply in this case.

  39. I have just about had enough of these bumps! We now have to queue from the roundabout before the garage to get in and that’s probably because other small car owners like myself have to come to a complete standstill before trying to clamber over one of these “bumps”. I cringe at the thought of the damage this is doing to my car 🙁 Might have to choose an alternative to what used to be the convenience of Tesco’s to another supermarket that I don’t arrive at feeling thoroughly brassed off!

    Love gyre’s suggestion:

    “Pity they can’t open up that Bradley Stoke Way entrance for more than busses to let us in quickly. Maybe the resultant queueing on BSW would slow the traffic down enough so more kids don’t get hurt by speeding vehicles. win-win situation :)” Fantastic idea!

  40. It’s a car park! Not your front garden! If you don’t like it don’t go there! Iv seen to many people being scraped off the floor due to road traffic accidents to really stress about a large shopping facility trying to implement a safety feature in there car park. Have people forgotten the small child hit over the road or the near fatal accidents on Bradley Stoke way. Perhaps we should ask their families what they think of the ever so offensive speed bumps. People should think more about their driving rather than what their driving over. Also pc Claire fletcher and pcso Paul Baxter work very hard for our community so perhaps a little respect should be shown for the people that try and keep our community safe!

  41. the speed bumps are a joke! can you really expect people to not drive between them? i work in the centre but i cant even drive in there anymore just to get there. the que’s are never ending, and the bumps cause damage to the underside of my car because they are too high, which causes it to scrape along the bottom of my car, so i have no choice but to drive between them. why should we all suffer jut because a few people cant drive? me, my family and friends all avoid using the centre as its just more trouble than its worth. so well done guys, you have lost so many customers thanks to this. nice one.

  42. If the centre managers looked at the situation before the willow brook centre had opened and shut off the turnings to the recycling area and moved it to the bottom of the car park then the accident rate would be down and the speed bumps would not be there, the problem is when people try to turn and create a traffic jam, my wife works in Tesco and she and her friends have not heard of any accidents before the speed bumps where put into operation, the problems have only arisen when the willow brook centre manager decided to create the problem and alienate people coming into the centre by placing the speed bumps in place.

  43. I’ve asked the centre manager and he has informed me theres been over 50 accidents since the centre was open which I would say was a problem. If you work in Tesco you are unlikely to see anything! Accidents in Bradley stoke as a whole were only recorded if it was fatal which you could find this information if you go to the public meetings. Thank you..

  44. I would like to see if the accidents have gone up since the speed bumps have gone in. Now when you are driving, you have to keep your eye on the bumps, keep your eye on cars coming up the middle of the road, keep your eye on the cars going off to the left into the lay-by and back, Oh and look out for any pedestrians that might be trying to dodge between these cars. Its got to be more dangerous and is pushing people away from the centre, the competion must be rubbing their hands with glee!

  45. I have seen a few accidents on the first bend where the car has understeered straight into the curb and over towards the willow brook storage unit. So I can quite believe the quoted figure of 50 over the last 3 or so years.

    I also know someone who did just that and he admitted he was going too fast for the conditions.

  46. the whole place is a joke, the speed bumps are stupid and the car park is driving me up the wall, it really put me off going up there but I have to drop my son to explore learning, there are far to may disabled spaces nothing againist disabled badge holders but most of them are empty and then you have the parking warden on your case. would rather go to sainsburys or asda

  47. I’m glad we got to the bottom of “people writing their cars off every day”. A few people driving into a flower bed every week isn’t quite the same.

    I think they should have spent a bit of money on re-painting the zebra crossing. If safety is so important I’m surprised it is in such poor condition. Leaving the car park this evening the zebra crossing was hardly visible.

  48. OK I can accept the tarmac speed bump at the corner to slow traffic down, but not any of the others. I drive a sports car with stiff suspension and necessary speed bumps make my blood boil – and no, I’m not a girlie racer in built up areas. Coupled with that, after jolting over these awful contraptions you can’t find a parking space because there’s far too many disabled spaces – I have never seen anywhere near half of them used at any one time. Lots of people on this site have asked for accident figures but none are ever produced. This country has gone speed bump and speed camera mad – tantamount to constant persecution of the motorist. I also see cyclists whinging about motorists a) they don’t contribute to road tax and b) They are allowed on roads without taking a test. Fair? I think not.

  49. And further to my last, I’m definately going to shop at Sainsbury’s – they only have one or two bumps. I note the comment about how hard the police work – I don’t doubt it. But this has nothing to do with whether speed bumps should be laid by the Centre Management. I also note the comment made about the child’s accident – whilst I have sympathy because nobody likes to hear of children getting hurt, has anyone asked what a child was doing crossing the road by themselves? If there is so much concern about speeding traffic, why have the Council sanctioned the build of an old folks home (which has robbed the pub of its car parking spaces) right next to the centre – well thought through, I don’t think so! While I’m on about new builds, the new flats along the road don’t have enough parking and residents are understandably parking on the main road, adding to an obstacle course to get to the Centre (that’s if you can get there safely with no street lights on at night, another bug bear). No thanks! What are the planners thinking??!!! They need to wake up!

  50. Absolutely staggered there is somebody out there who thought it a good idea to put bumps in the lay-by; it’s almost like they don’t want people to shop there.

  51. Also, to Scott Lahive who said “The introduction of speed bumps were a last resort following nearly 50 accidents on the approach road due to speeding vehicles.” – what were all the other measures you tried?

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