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As you may have seen in the press or heard on BBC Radio Bristol there are proposals to introduce a traffic scheme for Conham Rd/Crews Hole Road/Blackswarth Rd and Beaufort Road/The Avenue in St George. It is intended that the scheme will be implemented in January 2014.
Residents have raised concerns about road safety and traffic speeds on both these routes many times in the past. Both routes have very heavy traffic, particularly during ‘rush hours’ and have sections which are narrow where it is difficult for vehicles to pass. They have become busy commuting routes to Bristol, something neither route has been designed to cope with.
Since the beginning of 2010 there have been 8 accidents on the Crews Hole Road route involving 10 vehicles and 8 casualties including 1 serious injury. Figures for Beaufort Road / The Avenue for the same period are 9 accidents involving 21 vehicles with 11 casualties including 1 child and 1 serious injury. Locations and details for the accidents can be seen on the Council’s mapping system at maps.bristol.gov.uk.
Road safety in Crews Hole is currently one of the Neighbourhood Partnership’s priority issues. In addition to general problems with speeding traffic for pedestrians there is a particularly dangerous road crossing walking from Conham following the river where pedestrians have to cross the road to rejoin the river path at the end of what used to be Butlers Tar Works. The section of road from this corner to Conham is also a gap in the River Avon Trail where pedestrians and cyclists have to follow the road.
Many plans to improve these routes have been produced over the past 30 years or more but have not been implemented. During that time much of Crews Hole has changed from an industrial to residential area and new houses are still being built. The industrial area is all now focused at the Netham end. There are weight restrictions on Troopers Hill Rd and Conham Hill so that access for heavy vehicles to the industrial area is from the Netham direction only.
Following discussions at Neighburhood Partership Traffic and Transport sub-group meetings and further issues raised at Neighbourhood Forums, the Council’s Highways department has been looking at possible schemes to address these issues. It is clear that there is no scheme that will please everybody and also that any changes have the potential to have an impact on traffic over a wide area of East Bristol.
A scheme is now being developed that involves making parts of both routes one-way. A draft version of this scheme has been shown to St George Councillors and members of the Traffic & Transport sub-group. Views on the scheme have also been sought from other Council departments, the emergency services, bus operators and South Gloucestershire Council.
The next stage will be for officers from Highways and the Neighbourhood Partnership to talk to businesses in Crews Hole.
Once the scheme has been finalised (with any changes following the above discussions) it is intended that it will be introduced in January 2014 as an experimental traffic order. This allows the scheme to be modified after it has been introduced. Prior to its implementation information will be made available on the web, at St George Library and at other venues or meetings.
Once the experimental scheme is in place there will be an extensive consultation exercise to get people’s views. If parts of the scheme are found not to be working then they will be changed. This is an advantage over the normal process of introducing traffic schemes through Traffic Regulation Orders which cannot easily be changed once they have been introduced.
Neither route will be one-way for its entire length; the aim is for through traffic to be able to use the Crews Hole route towards Bristol only, allowing the use of the Beaufort Road through route only for travel away from Bristol. It is hoped that the majority of traffic, as now, will use the main roads (A431, A420 & A4).
Sections of both roads will remain two-way; in particular, the Blackswarth Road end of Crews Hole Rd will remain two-way so that heavy vehicles serving the industrial area will not be affected. Maps showing the exact locations of the one-way sections will be published once the plans have been finalised and further updates with links will be added to this website.
Update – 23rd Sept 13
Article published in the Bristol Post today.