Councillors in Kingswood are seeking an urgent meeting with Council officers to press the case for traffic lights at the Wraxall Road roundabout on the A4174 ring road.
A public drop-in meeting was held last week at the Kingswood Heritage Museum for residents to see plans for safety improvements to the roundabout. However, the 60 or so residents who attended also learnt that a long-held plan to introduce traffic lights was being abandoned.
The local Labour councillors for Woodstock, Gareth Manson, Andy Perkins and Pat Rooney, had alerted residents to the drop-in session because it had been arranged at short notice and very limited publicity had been given to it by the Council. They say:
"Joining the ring road from this roundabout is problematical particularly during rush hour, so it was very disappointing to learn that the plan for traffic lights was being dropped. But speaking to some residents at the drop-in it wasn’t clear whether different ideas from residents for dealing with the problem were going to be considered. We have, therefore, asked for an urgent meeting to understand whether anything can be done."
Analysis by Council officials has shown that the roundabout is too small to accommodate queuing traffic on it and that traffic lights would make the problems of queuing on Wraxall Road and Tower Lane worse.
The councillors add:
"Residents were asking us why, for example, couldn't lights be installed just on the ring road to allow traffic on the side roads to join when ring road traffic stops ? Traffic joins the ring road at Warmley and from Aspects Leisure Park like this, so it's questions like this that don’t seem to have answers."
South Gloucestershire Council has around £700,000 set aside for installing traffic lights at this roundabout. The councillors fear that with the cuts being imposed on the Council by the Conservative-led Government, that this money is being eyed for other things. They add:
"The money for these lights should be safeguarded. If the programme for installing traffic lights on the ring road had been kept to, the Wraxall Road roundabout should have been dealt with about 3 years ago. Our fear is that the money could disappear because not enough money is available for other schemes elsewhere in the district."
It is thought that a formal decision on changes to the roundabout will be made by the Council's Planning, Transport and Strategic Environment (PTSE) committee in March as part of the overall annual transport capital programme for 2014/15.
The Woodstock councillors are encouraging residents to send their comments to the council by email to email@example.com, telephone 01454 868675 or in writing to: FREEPOST RTCT-JXLE-EET, South Gloucestershire Council, Wraxall consultation, Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood, BRISTOL, BS15 9TR.
The councillors conclude:
"The pressure needs to be kept on the Council because if we do not get these lights when there is money set aside for them, then we will never get them with the level of cuts we are being forced to make."
11th February 2014