New pedestrian crossing and speed limits now fully operational

New pedestrian crossing now operational on Bradley Stoke Way.

A new pedestrian crossing on Bradley Stoke Way has been brought into service days before the first anniversary of an accident that left a schoolboy in hospital with critical injuries.

The new Toucan crossing is part of a package of measures agreed by South Gloucestershire Council after 3,932 people signed a petition calling for the road to be made safer for pedestrians.

Year 9 student Ben Thompson was struck by a motorcycle while crossing the road on 30th September 2011.

Earlier in 2011, 10-year-old Callum Hartigan suffered serious leg injuries in an accident on the same stretch of road after being knocked off his bike by a speeding motorist.

Other measures also completed last week include extending the length of the 30mph speed limit zone to include the new crossing and the installation of a new bus lane, reducing the number of lanes available to general traffic from two to one.

A 30mph speed limit is now also in force south of the Savages Wood Roundabout, where an existing Toucan crossing, much-used by school students, links Snowberry Close with Champs Sur Marne.

The northern section of the new bus lane (beyond the bus-only entrance into the Willow Brook Centre) will be used by just one bus a day, Monday to Friday only. Council officials say its construction was already planned as part of a bus rapid transit scheme due to come into service in 2017/18 and it made sense to do the work now as part of the crossing installation project.

Subject to funding and planning approvals, the new bus lane will eventually extend all the way from the Willow Brook Centre to the Aztec West Roundabout. The general traffic lanes will be “shifted over” to make space for it, eating into the verge on the other side of the road.

Bradley Stoke Community School, where Ben Thompson is a student, is today holding a ‘non-school uniform day’ to raise funds for much needed equipment that he will need once he is able to make the transition from hospital life to life at home.

Students in Years 7 – 11 at the school were last week shown a road safety film called ‘Ghost Street’, which was followed by discussion on issues relating to safety and responsibilities.

Older students will this week watch a ‘collision reconstruction’ event, involving a crash scene with a girl trapped in a car.

The school says it continues to receive “a few complaints” from members of the public about the behaviour of some of its students when walking to and from school. A statement in last week’s school newsletter reads:

“… although the new traffic measures on Bradley Stoke Way will help their safety, too many of our students are not careful enough when crossing the roads around the school.”

New 30mph speed limit now in force on Bradley Stoke Way,

Photo 1: New Toucan crossing north of the Willow Brook Centre.

Photo 2: New 30mph speed limit south of the Savages Wood Roundabout.

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  1. So where is the proof that either accident was caused as a result of speed or the actions of the driver? I have travelled that stretch of road many, many times at the beginning and end of the school day and their road sense is non exsistant. Kids of all ages run out in to the road without looking and without using the crossings provided, but once again drivers are blamed without taking such things in to account.. How about a sensible approach to road safety in stead of the knee jerk-mums net brigade hijacking things again. Kids need to be taught about road safety from early childhood by parents as well as by the school. Parents should stop blaming innocent people for their own inadequacies

  2. First we had the park and ride with no ‘ride’ (Stoke Gifford) now South Gloucester Council brings us the bus lane with just five buses a week! What crazy scheme will they think of next?

  3. Earlier last year, 10-year-old Callum Hartigan suffered serious leg injuries in an accident on the same stretch of road after being knocked off his bike by a speeding motorist.

    A court hearing in May this year was told that the BMW car that struck Callum had been travelling at 67mph as driver Daniel Wooler rushed to make a meeting he was late for.

    Appearing at Bristol Crown Court, a “remorseful” Mr Wooler, 44, of Stanton Drew, was handed 12-month jail term, suspended for two years, with 150 hours of unpaid work and £850 court costs. He was also banned from driving for a year and ordered to pass an extended driving test before returning to the road.

    Just thought we’d better have some balance – The driver from the first incident was convicted of driving at 67 mph up that road.

    The above quotation was taken directly from The Journal’s own pages herd in the web.

  4. Vic

    Reducing the road to one lane is the only way to reduce speed on this stretch of road(whether it’s a bus lane or not). I live just a few yards from this crossing and I can assure you that from the road and engine noise alone it is possible to gauge that motorists are constantly exceeding the speed limit.


    I agree that educating the children about the dangers of crossing roads is very important, in the same way as teaching them not to touch a hot saucepan is important but to try and deflect all attention away from motorists is wrong. Are you suggesting that if children behaved correctly when crossing the road it would still be OK to exceed the speed limit ?

  5. I think you just have to look at the seriousness of the injuries suffered by the two boys to see that speeding was an issue in both accidents. Serious injuries are sustained at 40mph and below, but not as serious as the ones the boys had.
    Education on safely crossing the road is important, as is education for drivers to drive within the set speed limits.

  6. agree with Neil I live next to the road and the speed of the traffic at times is far too fast, I also use the road daily at 3.45 / 5pm and its very difficult to drive at 40mph without someone right up your back. Having seen the aftermath of the two boys accidents I would not wish that upon anyone, bens still haunts me especially and I do agree that kids do not always take due care,but by slowing traffic down hopefully this will take one element out of the equation. Bradley stoke way is poorly designed in as much it goes through the middle of a community. Would have been much better on one side or another. After all we would all hate this to be our child or a friends whether it’s their fault or the motorists.

  7. On the first comment, which I find disgusting!! the parents can educate their children as much as possible but when you get speeding car or bike riders that have no regard for anything but themselves it is difficult for a child or anyone else to gauge that kind of speed.. and as for the knee jerk mums brigade as so ignorantly put maybe you should put yourself in Bens or Callums mums shoes for a day!!!!

  8. Having read all the comments above I can agree with points from all comments and I think the main point is that 1 vehicles do speed along Bradley Stoke Way although I wouldn’t say all drivers drive over 67 mph. The other point is that we are all aware that there is a large school just off the road with a lot of children going to and from. I think that the waste of money spent on the bus lane for 1 bus a day should have been spent on putting barriers along the road so that the children going to and from the school use the crossings. I do think the bus lane will help drivers see the children coming out of tesco’s on scooters & bikes then risking there lives by crossing the road without looking this is an education thing but kids are kids and the roads at schools should reflect this barriers along the road would prevent kids from rushing straight out or crossing in dangerous areas. Or maybe at school times put a lollypop lady on the traffic lights ensuring the children use them and not run between cars. There always has to be a balance and I think that the new traffic lights rather than the new speed limit will be the biggest improvement because even as an adult I wouldn’t walk all the way down to Tesco before crossing it is human nature.

    The driver that hit a child doing 67 mph deserves what he got because anyone that uses that road at school opening or closing times there is no way you can reach that speed without putting other drivers in danger let alone perdestrians. He wouldn’t have been able to react in time even if the traffic lights had started to change.

  9. Lollypop lady (or do you have to say person these days) is an excellent idea…. what ever happened to them anyway ?

    The advantage of having a single lane road is that as long as one person is doing 30 mph then everyone behind also has to do 30. Unfortunately not enough people do travel at 30 in the first place.

    Education of children on the risks of crossing roads is very important but motorists also need to be more responsible. Because motorists are adults they need to take account of the shortcomings some children have when deciding to cross a road and factor in the unpredictable element

  10. I have only just moved into the area and have already noticed the insane speed some drivers do along Bradley Stoke Way. I used the new crossing past tesco earlier today and a Mercedes driver was going so fast(its hard to judge visually but I would be surprised if he was travelling at less than 60) he barely had time to stop, he was braking so hard you could literally see the front of the car go down.

    Yes children do need to be taught road safety but with speeding drivers people might not be able to see them or might not be able to judge how fast they will reach you. Also maybe some drivers need to be reminded that when you turn onto a road anything currently on that road including pedestrians has the right of way, even if the driver is carrying straight on at a roundabout!

  11. I thought there was a lollipop lady on BSW? I don’t use it during rush hour, but I’m sure I remember there being one there at some point. Maybe I’m imagining it?

  12. To Michelle,

    Maybe you should not comment on the accident unless you know all the facts. Just because there is a lack of information being broadcasted to what caused Ben’s accident (or as you call is PROOF) that does not just automatically mean he is to fault. You can not assume someone is at fault either way. It is something that is very serious and should not just be discussed to random people such as yourself who think they deserve to know such details. You do not know what happened that day.
    Yes we all realize that some kids don’t cross properly and some drivers drive like complete idiots. However these are people lives you are judging so maybe you should think about that before writing such a comment.

    It is fact that Calum’s accident was not due to anything he did but it was down to the driver speeding. There has been a case that has come and gone for that so I’m sure that should be more than enough proof for you there.

    Oh and just to let you know Ben was taught to cross a road safely, hence why he was using a crossing, but we much appreciate you giving us a snippet of your wisdom.

    Thank you for making your view well known. Even though you clearly know absolutely nothing about what happened that day or the day of Calum’s accident. It is always nice having more stress and aggro being put on a family going through something like this by people who don’t have a clue.

    To the other people who commented,

    We as a family appreciate people not being bias or taking sides when the facts are yet to be known and put the children first instead of talking about it in such a cold hearted manner.

    From Ben’s very annoyed older sister.

  13. I’m confused to why we have speed bumps on Brook Way and not on Bradley Stoke way? Both sets of roads are main roads being used.

    I personally hate speed bumps if i’m honest but it will avoid accidents and heated discussions like on here!!

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