'Unsafe' crossing should be changed, says crash victim's dad

May 24 2021

THE father of a cyclist who was hit by a car at the Hambrook traffic lights is calling for changes to the crossing where the collision happened.
Thomas Harris was cycling across the three-lane section of the Avon Ring Road, between the M32 and the Bromley Heath roundabout, on March 9 when he was knocked from his bike, then hit by two other vehicles.
He suffered fractures to the front and back of his skull and several bleeds to the brain.
He was in a coma for seven days and in intensive care for three weeks, and while he has been able to return home, brain damage has affected his memory and mobility.
Tom was hit as he crossed the third lane of the road, by a vehicle which his dad Rich understands was travelling at around the 50mph limit.
Rich said: "It's a 50mph limit approaching the lights but when you approach the next junction, which is a roundabout, it's 30mph. It's also 30mph in the other direction (from Frenchay and Winterbourne).
"They're letting traffic through too quick. There isn't enough time to go across three lanes on the crossing – it's the same timescale as a two-lane crossing. It needs to be changed or someone else will be knocked off in time."
Rich says that signs warning vehicles about the crossing need to be improved and is also concerned that the continuation of the experimental order banning some right turns at the junction, which was supposed to have finished in February, could have contributed to the accident.
The family, who lived in Staple Hill until they moved from the area last year, have engaged solicitors to work on possible legal action over safety at the junction.
A South Gloucestershire Council spokesman said: “We are aware that a police investigation is in progress and we will review their findings fully once they have been shared with us.
“We were required by Government to implement an Experimental Traffic Order at Hambrook traffic lights on the A4174 to improve air quality in the area. Since then, our monitoring data of nitrogen dioxide levels has been significantly impacted due to Covid-19 restrictions resulting in less traffic on our roads. Because of this we are seeking guidance from the Joint Air Quality Unit as to the way forward with the scheme.
“The measures in place at the junction are fully compliant with legislative requirements, including the signalised crossing facilities which were upgraded in 2018 and have been designed to support the safety of all road users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists.”
An online fundraising campaign to fund adaptations Tom will need as a result of the collision can be found at bit.ly/3sK0n3a.