Update on traffic issues from Cllr Sarah Gibson, Wiltshire Councillor for Bradford South and Chair of the Area Board’s Community Area Transport Group (CATG) - September 2018
Traffic issues in Bradford on Avon are complex and need to be addressed at various levels: long term strategic, medium term regional and the more immediate local level. Bradford is not an island and we cannot achieve workable solutions without taking account of what happens around us that has an impact on traffic flow here.
Long term strategic
I am liaising with Wiltshire Council Highways department and the Town Council to ensure that common aims are established and that any proposed solutions are modelled within the wider context of Highways England’s Strategic Road Investment Strategy and the Wiltshire Local Plan Review. It is via this work that a long term solution to mitigate the issues of air pollution and pedestrian safety in the town will emerge. Be it toll charges, alternate one-way systems, lights or a combination of these and other ideas, any solution must be carefully considered as part of this wider context.
Medium term regional
An important regional issue which may affect our town is that BANES (Bath & North East Somerset Council) is planning to introduce a clean air charging zone that could see lorries and other vehicles diverted onto roads in the Bradford on Avon area to avoid paying the charge. I have arranged two meetings with Cllr Mark Shelford, BANES Cabinet member for Transport and the Environment, to discuss the impact on our area. One of these meetings will include members of the town council and Wiltshire Cabinet member for Highways, Cllr Bridget Wayman and will discuss the implications for Bradford on Avon and ask what is being offered to ensure that BANES are not just moving their pollution problem to us (this meeting took place on September 27th). The second meeting will include Cllr Johnny Kidney for Winsley and Westwood, to look at the impact on local villages including Limpley Stoke, Winsley, Holt and Staverton (this meeting is due by early November 2018).
Short term/ local level
The Bradford on Avon CATG last met on 3rd September. This group has a modest budget and looks at smaller interventions in the streets and roads of our area with the principle aims of improving pedestrian and road safety and enhancing the street scene. This round table group is a useful meeting place for representatives of the Parishes and the town to discuss and collaborate on highways issues. This meeting was attended by members of Wingfield, Westwood and Monkton Farleigh Parish Councils, Cllrs Trevor Carbin and Johnny Kidney and representatives of the Friends of Woolley and Streets ahead community groups.
As a result of the meeting:
- New metro counts on Belcombe and Woolley street have been requested, by residents and Catg, of Wiltshire Council to enable monitoring of speeds along both roads
- The offer by the BoA Preservation Trust to contribute towards using superior materials in road and pavement repairs in the conservation area was well received by the highways engineers present at the meeting.
Following discussion at the meeting a Highways engineer and I will make a site visit this month to consider alternative options for the Station Approach crossing, the speeding on Belcombe, issues with pedestrian crossing on Market Street. and the signage on Woolley Green (this site visit has now taken place. A costed proposal to make crossing the entrance to Station Approach safer will be developed).