SGC considers “mitigation measures” to fix Aztec West traffic woes created by its own £4m scheme

Aztec West Business Park, Almondsbury, Bristol

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) has revealed that it is considering a range of “mitigation measures” to address the widely held view that a recent £4.2m scheme of “improvements” on the southbound A38 near Aztec West has worsened peak time traffic congestion for the majority of road users in the area.

The latest development came just days after one local councillor said he had raised the issue with West of England metro mayor Tim Bowles and asked him to speak to members of SGC’s Cabinet.

Pressure is also being applied to Highways England (HE), which has responsibility for the roundabout at the neighbouring M5 J16 roundabout, asking it to liaise with SGC over the lack of synchronisation between traffic signals there and at the Aztec West Roundabout.

In a letter sent by Bradley Stoke Town Council to HE, mayor Andy Ward referred to “an issue with the sequencing which causes congestion when traffic leaving the Motorway attempts to integrate with the Aztec West roundabout approach road network”. He went on to write: “The traffic in the local area has worsened significantly since the recent improvements were made. Our residents are understandably frustrated having endured many years of roadworks in and around the town only to find that, once completed, the promised improvements have not materialised and in fact the opposite is the case and congestion has significantly worsened.”

Speaking at a BSTC meeting on 14th March, Cllr Brian Hopkinson reported that SGC is “considering taking over responsibility for the M5 Junction 16 traffic lights from Highways England,” although it was noted that there were financial issues which would need to be addressed before this could be done.

Earlier, a meeting of the local SGC Community Engagement Forum on 22nd February had been told that: “Several mitigation measures outside the scope of the road scheme which was substantially completed in October 2017 have been identified to assist in alleviating the current issues.” These are listed in the minutes as:

  1. Do nothing, beyond continuing to lobby HE for improvement to M5 J16
  2. Make lane 1 (nearside) from between the Aztec West Roundabout and the M5 J16 southbound on-slip lane ‘left only’
  3. Create four lanes on the A38 northbound approach to M5 J16, designated: (1) M5 southbound; (2) A38 northbound; (3 & 4): M5 northbound
  4. Implement a Traffic Regulation Order to prohibit the left-turning manoeuvre from the Bradley Stoke Way lane out of the business park onto the A38 northbound
  5. Experimental temporary signalisation of the first internal roundabout within the business park between 3pm and 7pm

The positive and negative attributes of each option are detailed in the forum minutes (section 9 refers):

• Minutes of the Bradley Stoke, Stoke Lodge, The Common (East of A38) Community Engagement Forum meeting on 22nd February 2018

This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 23). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,200 homes in Bradley Stoke and Little Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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  1. Do they realise that hardly anybody will use Lane 4 of the A38 northbound at peak periods because it always gets blocked at the M5 junction by traffic coming off the M5 trying to turn right to the A38 southbound.

  2. Not sure why so much focus on the M5 junction. While not perfect, the biggest problem for me is the Aztec Roundabout junction with Bradley Stoke Way. Not enough cars are let through the lights either into or out of BSW. Additionally, the Woodlands Lane junction seems to cause major problems. The lights change too frequently (so cars on BSW face a red light far too often) and too many cars are let out of WL at peak times. This then has a knock-on effect to the A38 and Aztec West roundabout.

    I think if the sequencing is changed so that BSW traffic has a green light for longer then that will help. Additionally, the traffic lights should all be switched off at all junctions in and around Aztec between 20:00 and 05:00 – the junction would function fine when traffic is light at night time as people do know how to use a roundabout without traffic signalling.

  3. I see they have opted for option 2 above. As predicted its worse.

    Now everyone either going straight ahead North on the A38 or trying to get onto the M5/M4 is forced into the middle lane because lane 1 is for M5 southbound only and only “first timers” use lane 3 because everybody else knows that you always get blocked by traffic coming off the M5 at the roundabout.

    Muppets the lot of them…………!

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