Plans to widen Teewell Hill bridge
Published on: 31 Oct 2013
WORK to improve an accident hotspot in Staple Hill could start as soon as March.
Teewell Hill railway bridge was built in the 1840s to carry traffic over the now Bristol and Bath Railway Path.
But the bridge is struggling to cope with the volume and size of today’s traffic, and vehicles are hitting the barrier walls and railings.
South Gloucestershire Council has put forward plans to improve safety at the site by widening the bridge and introducing footpaths at both sides.
The authority has asked residents and drivers for their views on the proposals.
The results of the consultation will be published in the next few days.
Staple Hill councillor Shirley Potts said: “Before the ring road we used to get the most enormous lorries go through there. It became quiet after the ring road opened but some of them have now started coming back again.
“It’s just very, very dangerous.
“Lorries used to get stuck because it wasn’t wide enough and this would hold up the traffic.
“It also meant drivers coming in the opposite direction were afraid to move towards the side because of how narrow it was but this is an issue which the plans would resolve.
“For years I’ve been asking for something to be done and was told it would cost too much and they didn’t know whether they could do anything in engineering terms anyway. However they have now found out that they can and they are doing something about it.
“Residents are very pleased and feel it will be a lot safer.”
A report issued by the authority states: “The existing railings and parapets are of a substandard design compared to modern standards which creates a risk to the public.”
Under the plans, the bridge will be widened from 5.3m into two 3.9m lanes to enable vehicles to pass each other safely.
Engineers say the steel pedestrian footbridge alongside the bridge is in need of a complete overhaul as it is too costly to keep maintaining.
The authority proposes to remove the footbridge and provide 2.5m wide footways to both sides of the bridge.
The report says: “This will provide better visibility and an improved bend for road users from Teewell Hill to Station Road.”
The barriers will be made from tough aluminum, designed to withstand any collisions.
A dedicated right turn lane for vehicles travelling from Teewell Hill to Gloucester Road will be added for safety and improved traffic flow.
The bridge will look similar to the original as the walls will be clad in matching stone.
Road and railway path closures will be necessary while work is carried out.
Council officials say work is expected to start in March.