Posts Tagged ‘traffic calming’

Willow Brook backtracks over speed bumps

Posted on Friday 2nd August 2019 at 10:26 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a recently fitted speed cushion.

Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre has removed a series of much-criticised full-width speed bumps from its private access road and replaced them with softer ‘island-style’ speed bumps. The move came less than three months after the 50mm-high full-width bumps, widely condemned as being “overly harsh”, were fitted in mid-March.

The U-turn leaves the traffic calming measures on the access road looking much the same as they did prior to March, albeit with two of the island bumps being relocated closer to the zebra crossing in the vicinity of the Tesco petrol filling station.

The full-width bumps had been criticised, not only for the discomfort they caused to vehicle occupants and fears that they might be damaging to vehicle suspension and/or wheel alignment, but also because of the traffic queues that built up due to some drivers slowing almost to a halt to pass over them.

Support for the new measures came from those particularly concerned about the safety of pedestrians using the zebra crossing and some drivers who had experienced oncoming vehicles swerving into the centre of the road to avoid the previous cushion-type bumps.

The issues surrounding the new bumps, in particular their alleged role in causing “congestion on surrounding public roads”, were raised by a town councillor at a committee meeting on 17th April and the town clerk was instructed to write to the Willow Brook Centre management to raise these concerns.

A comprehensive reply from centre manager Andy Wynn was subsequently tabled at the council’s AGM on 15th May. Mr Wynn justified the introduction of the new bumps on road safety grounds and said the style of bump fitted was ‘industry standard’ for a road with a 10mph speed limit. A combination of seasonal factors had led to long tailbacks forming around the centre on the last Saturday in March, but traffic queues seemed to be “reducing week-on-week as more and more people adjust to driving over the bumps at the optimum speed of 8-10mph”.

More:’Gridlock on exit’ incident brought matters to a head »

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Mixed reactions to Willow Brook Centre’s new speed bumps

Posted on Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 9:51 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of one of the new full-width speed bumps.

The replacement of a number of cushion-type speed bumps on the access road of the Willow Brook shopping centre with new, more severe, full-width bumps sparked extensive debate on the Journal’s Facebook page during March.

The reader who started the discussion remarked on the “large traffic queue” that had formed because of drivers slowing to a crawl as they passed over the “overly harsh” speed bumps, noting that this had resulted in the roundabout near the Three Brooks pub becoming blocked.

Scores of other readers added comments complaining about the severity of the bumps, expressing fears that their vehicles’ suspension and/or wheel alignment might be damaged as a result of passing over them.

Others complained about the discomfort experienced by vehicle occupants, particularly the elderly or disabled and those with sensitive medical conditions such a back pain.

On the other hand, the new bumps were strongly supported by readers who are concerned about the safety of pedestrians using the zebra crossing or have experienced issues with vehicles swerving into the centre of the road to avoid the previous cushion-type bumps.

Speed bumps were first installed at the centre in September 2011 following a series of accidents that had been attributed to speeding. The centre management later claimed that the number of reported incidents had reduced from 58 in the 35 months prior to installation of the bumps to zero in the subsequent 12 months.

Responding to a statement request from the Journal, Andy Wynn, manager of the Willow Brook Centre, said:

“The new speed bumps have been installed following a review of safety in the area, in light of a number of near misses for both pedestrians and vehicles. The speed bumps are designed to be driven over between 5 miles per hour and the speed limit of the car park, which has always been 10 miles per hour. The same make and model of speed bump is in place in several car parks around Bristol and has been for some years.”

More: Selected reader comments from our Facebook page »

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