Traffic calming? That's not what we'd call it - residents

January 25 2019

A SPEED limit of 20mph looks set to be introduced in Frenchay to protect children walking to and from school.

South Gloucestershire Council is asking residents and businesses what they think of proposals to change the 30mph limit in roads near Frenchay Primary School.

The roads affected are:

• Part of Beckspool Road 

• Part of Begbrook Park 

• Chapel Lane

• Church Road

• Cliff Court Drive

• Pearces Hill

• Quarry Road

• Tuckett Lane

• Westbourne Terrace

• Frenchay Hill

The move is part of the authority's pledge to ensure that all schools in the district are covered by a 20mph limit, in line with Government guidance.

Funding has been secured for the scheme with further cash coming from the redevelopment of Frenchay Hospital for two speed tables at the eastern section of Beckspool Road, which runs alongside Frenchay Common.

In the consultation document the council says: "The purpose of the scheme is to reduce traffic speeds to improve road safety for vulnerable road users, as well as making walking and cycling to and from the school more attractive within this residential area."

The council also claims lower speeds help increase walking and cycling because people feel safer.

Traffic problems have blighted the lives of Frenchay residents in the last few years and have been compounded by the recent introduction of traffic calming chicanes in Beckspool Road, which runs alongside Frenchay Common.

Residents say drivers speed up in a race to get priority which they fear will lead to road rage and accidents.

Frenchay Residents Association's chair, Adrian Collins, said: "Frenchay Residents Association backs the plans for 20mph speed limits, but is consulting with residents over the current incomplete traffic calming measures which have caused many problems since December when they were started. "

FRA has been hosting drop-in sessions at the parish church to discuss traffic issues in and around Frenchay with residents. 

Mr Collins said: "The whole traffic calming scheme needs much more scrutiny. Consultation with residents is designed to provide accurate feedback on the changes, including the current road alterations going through Frenchay Common. 

"The overwhelming level of traffic going through Frenchay at peak times to avoid congestion on the ring road is causing total gridlock in the area, which is trapping residents in their homes unable to move on their local roads."

A post on Stoke Lane Action Group's Facebook page says the traffic calming measures are making Beckspool Road "undriveable".

Another post said: "The strange chicane on Frenchay Common makes absolutely no sense other than to cause additional traffic chaos in the area. I think they will cause an accident rather than prevent them."

Meanwhile an online petition has been launched against the "traffic slowing" works as well as plans for double yellow lines in the area, saying they will stop people, particularly the elderly, accessing communal centres such as the Friends Meeting House, church and village hall.

Frenchay and Stoke Park councillor Trevor Jones said he supported both the traffic calming scheme and the 20mph proposals.

"Having been a governor at Frenchay Primary School since 2006, I welcome these schemes which will enable and ensure compliance of the proposed 20mph speed limit, right across the core of Frenchay village, in similar fashion to the recent proposals for the Bromley Heath area of Downend.

"Such schemes not only reduce traffic speeds, improving road safety for vulnerable road users, but also making walking and cycling within residential areas more attractive."

A South Gloucestershire Council spokesman said: “Our transport officers attended a meeting in Frenchay to learn more about the issues raised by residents and local road users.

“The traffic calming measures were proposed by the developers of the Frenchay Hospital site within their planning application, and this was consulted on as part of the usual planning process.

“To help address any issues, the developer recently carried out a road safety audit, which is now complete and we are currently awaiting the results. If any issues are identified through the safety audit then it will include recommendations to help address them.”

Residents have until February 5 to have their say about the 20mph proposals. 

Visit  https://bit.ly/2QUKX9t and https://bit.ly/2szjHDx to  comment.