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.”
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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