Council postpones four-week closure of Stoke Lane for traffic calming works

Photo showing a group of three speed cushions in a road.
Existing speed cushions on Stoke Lane, Stoke Lodge. Archive image from 2019.

South Gloucestershire Council has postponed a planned four-week closure of Stoke Lane that was due to start today (Monday 8th August 2022).

The road closure, which was announced barely a week ago, on Thursday 28th July, is needed to install additional traffic calming measures that include a new speed table, two new sets of speed cushions and an upgraded dropped-kerb crossing.

News of the postponement came via a Facebook post made just four days before the work was about to commence. No advance warning signs had been put out and no information about bus diversions had been made available in the intervening seven days.

The road is is used by First Bus services 19 & Y6 and Stagecoach service 12.

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Kitchen & Laundry Appliance Care, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

Postponement of the road closure means that it will no longer be possible to implement the traffic calming scheme before the new school year starts in September.

Public opposition

A public consultation on the controversial scheme held in May & June 2019 saw 63 percent of respondents reject the speed calming proposals. They were also opposed by Stoke Lodge and The Common Parish Council which expressed the view that “there are already sufficient traffic calming measures in place”.

The scheme also includes the introduction of a 20mph speed limit along virtually the full length of Stoke Lane, which was opposed by 52 percent of respondents in the public consultation.

Despite the strength of local opposition, council officers decided to proceed to the next stage (advertisement of a traffic regulation order) on the basis that the scheme was supported by the two South Gloucestershire councillors who represent the Bradley Stoke North ward, which covers Stoke Lodge. These are Cllr Franklin Owusu-Antwi and Cllr Sarah Pomfret.

Proposals for an additional speed table on Little Stoke Lane (south of Clay Lane mini-roundabout) and an extension of the existing 20mph speed limit on that road, which were consulted on at the same time as the Stoke Lane proposals, were abandoned after they failed to secure the support of the Stoke Gifford ward councillors.

Map showing locations of new traffic calming measures and extent of a new 20mph speed limit.
Stoke Lane traffic enhanced calming and new 20mph speed limit.

Public consultation on the draft traffic regulation orders for the traffic calming and the 20mph speed limit proposals took place in July & August 2020. There was once again strong opposition expressed, with 11 objections and just one response in support. However, Cllrs Owusu-Antwi and Pomfret once again expressed their support, as detailed in the decision report:

“[We] agree to proceed with the implementation of the scheme to improve quality of residence life, reduce carbon emissions and a healthy natural environment. More also, the proposal contributes to better safety and security of school children and their parents among other road users.”

“It is important that we make these improvements for residents and all users on daily basis to reduce any delays and make it even safer. Getting our community moving and cutting down congestion and making it safe is one of our priorities for residence.”

“[We] have spoken to residents and feel that the majority support these proposals. Many residents did not respond to the consultation because they find internet based consultations difficult.”

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The decision of the council’s Director of Environment and Community Services, duly issued on 13th October 2020, reads:

“That the 20mph speed limit and traffic calming, Stoke Lane, Stoke Lodge and The Common should be implemented as advertised, but that implementation be delayed until Gipsy Patch Lane bridge has been reopened to vehicular traffic.”

Gipsy Patch Lane was reopened to two-way traffic along its full length at 6am today (Monday 8th August 2022), following a two-week closure for resurfacing west of the bridge. This ties in with the originally announced date for commencement of the works on Stoke Lane.

Postponement

Asked why the Stoke Lane works had been postponed at such short notice, a spokesperson for South Gloucestershire Council said:

“The traffic calming work at Stoke Lane in Stoke Lodge, which was originally scheduled for 8th August, has been postponed to a later date. With other, ongoing work taking place in the area we want to minimise the potential for any disruption and apologise for the delay.”

With Gipsy Patch Lane now reopened, the Journal asked what other “ongoing work taking place in the area” had come to light in the short time since the council made its social media announcement about the Stoke Lodge road closure. The response given was:

“We’re constantly reviewing our programme of work and deemed it prudent to ensure traffic is running smoothly in the area before any further works are carried out.”

Work details

Map showing extent of road closures.
Map showing extent of road closures (red) required to implement a traffic calming scheme on Stoke Lane.

Expanding on the previous announcement about the Stoke Lane works, the spokesperson said:

“Whilst implementing the traffic calming scheme, we’ll also be taking the opportunity to carry out re-surfacing work and replace kerbs at Stoke Lane.”

“There are also likely to be utility works carried out prior to this, but these will not require a road closure. There are likely to be both day and night closures at different times, which will affect Stoke Lane from its junction with Amberley Road to its junction with Stokemead.”

“We will try to carry out most work during the day to help with access for residents although some overnight closures will be needed for the resurfacing work.”

“The signed diversion in place will be: Little Stoke Lane, B4057, A38, Stoke Lane and vice versa.” Motorists are asked to allow extra time for their journeys.”

“We will do all we can to ensure residents will still have access to their properties and all through traffic needs to follow the signed diversion route.”

“We are advising residents to speak to the crew working on the road as access to properties may change depending on the section of the road being worked on.”

“Any alterations to bus services or revised stops will be advised in advance of the re-programmed work.”

“Social media posts and temporary road closure signs will be put out in advance advising of the new date of the closure.”

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A response to a reader comment on the South Gloucestershire Council StreetCare page on Facebook added:

“We will make every effort to ensure residents always have access to their properties, the work crew will be able to advise you on access. However, there may be the odd occasion when access by vehicle is not possible if the road directly outside a property is being worked on. This will be temporary and we apologise for this in advance.”

More information and related links:

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Work rescheduled

UPDATE added 15th August 2022.

Statement issued by South Gloucestershire Council on Friday 12th August 2022:

“Preliminary works at Stoke Lane, Stoke Lodge, will begin on Monday 22nd August 2022.”

“Stoke Lane, from Amberley Road to its junction with Stokemead, will be closed for two weeks to prepare for traffic calming measures and a 20mph zone.”

“The work to add a speed table and speed cushions and introduce a 20mph zone is proposed to start in September 2022. We also plan to resurface Stoke Lane as part of this phase of work.”

A new article will be published on this website once the full details of the planned works in August and September are confirmed.

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One comment

  1. Still no details of entry to Shellmore Avenue and Standish Avenue and also numerous Closes needing access to their properties.

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