The A4018 Consultation – What Next?

The 17 March deadline for commenting on the Council’s far-reaching proposals for the A4018 and Westbury Village has passed and the dust has settled – for now!

I attended many of the public meetings about the proposals and, to be honest, it was apparent right from the start that there was a huge groundswell of opinion against many of the proposals. So much so that the first meeting at Westbury Library nearly turned into a lynching party for the Council Officers who were present!

In summary, there was near-universal condemnation of the proposed bus lane in Westbury Village and blocking off Stoke Lane at its junction with the War Memorial roundabout. In short, the consensus was “leave Westbury Village alone”.

Another unwelcome proposal was the introduction of traffic lights to replace the Crow Lane roundabout, including a proposal to ban the outbound right turn into Knowle Lane. The banned right turn would totally isolate a large swathe of Brentry from easy access and result in many vehicles making circuitous detours. Someone even suggested that the roundabout should be examined by non-Council Traffic Consultants in order to redesign its size and layout to maximise traffic flows.

One of the 3 proposed banned outbound right turns into Westbury village should be retained (probably Canford Lane) and include a right turn refuge lane in parallel with the 2 ahead-lanes. The proposal to ban left-turns from the inside lanes would not markedly improve vehicle flow through the junctions and force vehicles to take long circuitous alternative routes through narrow residential roads. Similarly, there should not be a banned outbound right turn into Charlton Road, for the same reasons.

The traffic flow at ALL junctions will be dictated by the flow at the slowest junction – so why “improve” the others? The ultimate pinch-point, that wasn’t addressed in the Consultation, is Westbury Road – the section between Brecon Road and Henleaze Road.

As regards the introduction of 24-hour bus lanes, this is a terrible under-utilisation of the available road space. The number of busses – even at peak – is currently only about 5 an hour (in each direction) along Passage Road/Falcondale Road. Anyway, why 24-hour bus lanes when there are no 24-hour bus services? One seemingly worthwhile counter-proposal was the suggestion that a single, “tidal”, bus lane could be utilised along the whole route.

However, not all of the proposals were rejected out of hand. For instance, a new pedestrian crossing on Passage Road (near the Shipley Road junction) would be most welcome for school children crossing this busy road. Ideally, a crossing should be located on the existing speed table and not take out the small parking layby nearby.

A signalised junction at the Passage Road/Falcondale Road junction, with pedestrian crossing provision, was generally welcomed – provided the right turn from Passage Road into Greystoke Avenue was also optimised in order to avoid potential conflicts.

In summary, there would be far too many unintended consequences if the current proposals were introduced. It can only be hoped that the Council takes due cognisance of the feedback from their consultation and do some very serious rethinking before coming back with any revised proposals.

This entry was posted in Henleaze, NP3, Stoke Bishop, Transport, Westbury-on-Trym. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *