Council launches 20mph review
A CITY-WIDE review of 20mph speed limits will assess whether changes need to be made to roads in Bishopston, Cotham and Redland.
Councillors will be working with Bristol City Council to capture the views of local residents, and as part of the consultation speed limits along Ashley Down Road, Cheltenham Road (A38), Cotham Brow, Cotham Road, Cranbrook Road, Gloucester Road (A38), Redland Road and Kellaway Avenue are being reviewed.
Martin Fodor, Green Party Councillor for Redland Ward hopes that local voices get heard in the consultation. He said: “With local roads like Cranbrook Rd, Gloucester Rd and Redland Rd named in the consultation, the onus is on residents to take part in the process and say if they want to keep the safer speeds, as plenty of people driving through our area made clear they want higher speeds again and the Mayor’s election promise played to that demand. A spate of accidents on Cranbrook Road and elsewhere show how the dangers are still there.
“Though it focuses on the list of roads and the limits, not other ways to make roads safer, there is space in text boxes to mention other roads and certainly raise other safety issues, such as the need for physical calming measures, crossings, and speed enforcement, or indeed getting other 30mph roads slowed down if people want to make it easier to use or cross Kellaway Avenue.”
Eleanor Combley, Green Party Councillor for Bishopston and Ashley Down added: “Higher speeds increase the likelihood of having an accident, and the probability of someone being seriously injured or killed when there is an accident.
“As a road user, whether on foot, by bike or in a car, I find that 20mph has made our roads safer and more comfortable places to be. Interestingly, research by UWE found that 20mph has reduced speeds, but made almost no difference to journey times over a longer distance (because drivers in 30mph limits were spending their time accelerating, braking, and idling in queues and almost never driving at a steady 30mph anyway). For the same reason, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) have found 20mph is likely to improve air quality. So, it saves lives, encourages people to walk and cycle, and doesn’t significantly slow car journeys – what’s not to like?”
Tom Brook, Labour Co-op Councillor for Bishopston and Ashley Down also said: “It’s worth stressing that the purpose of the review is not to review the principle of having 20mph speed limits. It’s instead to identify whether any localised adjustments are needed to the speed limits in order to improve their effectiveness.
“I think this is the right approach, as all of the evidence indicates that Bristol has become a safer and much nicer place to be a pedestrian, cyclist or motorist since 20mph was introduced.”
Resident Clare Freshwater-Turned helped to launch a campaign in 2016 to install a safe crossing on Cranbrook Road following two near-miss accidents. However, despite drumming up local support and taking a petition to a full council meeting, the timing unfortunately coincided with the council removing funding from neighbourhood partnerships.
Commenting on the speed review, she said: “I am very concerned about the speed on Cranbrook Road, especially in the section between Upper Cranbrook down to the island before Clare Avenue.
“We are still very keen to sort out the issue at the crossing of Cranbrook and Cairns Road. This is a route to school and children cross here on a daily basis. It has also been the site of traffic accidents and concerningly a school child was hit by a car at this site too. Luckily the car was not speeding, but if we increase the speed limits it will encourage drivers to drive faster making this road more dangerous for pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles.
“We have contacted the council and the mayor on numerous occasions expressing our safety concerns and will continue to do so.”
The consultation closes at the end of August. To have your say, visit the consultation website: bristol.gov.uk/20mphreview