Parents present road safety petition to council

July 30 2018
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Parents have presented an e-petition to Bristol City Council following concerns raised about the safety of children walking to and from the Elmgrove site of Colston’s Primary School.

As previously reported in Bishopston Voice, parents are calling on the council to take immediate action to reduce safety hazards on Redland Road on the section between Cotham Brow and Zetland Road.

The petition, which closed on July 10, received 362 signatures. Presenting the petition to the council at the full council meeting on July 17, concerned parent Catherine said: “On a daily basis I witness vehicles mounting the kerb and driving at speed along the pavement to free up the inevitable bottle neck caused by the sheer volume of two way traffic trying to use the single lane stretch of road. Cyclists frequently resort to riding along the pavement because they consider this stretch of road to be too dangerous to cycle along. 

“There are no pedestrian crossings along this stretch of road, and in one place the road is narrowed to suggest a crossing point. Children standing at this crossing point are invisible to oncoming traffic, as they are obscured by parked cars. Similarly, people trying to cross at this point have to step into the road to peer round parked cars to see whether anything is coming.

“Those of you who are familiar with this bit of road might remember that a car was recently impaled upon one of the metal pencils, and thank goodness that they only hit one of the metal pencils and not a child. 

“This situation is set to get worse with the residential development on the Redland High School site, and the implementation of a no left turn into Bath Buildings, which will direct a greater number of vehicles along this already overburdened section of road. Aside from the immediate dangers to pedestrians and cyclists, the sheer volume of traffic must be having a hugely detrimental impact on the air quality around the school. 

“We trust that as our elected representatives, you will acknowledge the problem and find an innovative and effective solution for reducing the significant dangers on this challenging stretch of road before the end of the year. Taking no action is not an acceptable option.”

Also speaking at the meeting, Anthony Negus, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Cotham Ward, said: “Thank you Catherine and everybody who supported this motion, I know you have put a lot of work into this and it is very justifiable. 

“It is being used by vehicles that are completely unsuitable to that road and nothing is being done about this. It’s a primary school, it’s got other roads, it’s got a gym, it’s on the main drag into Bristol on the journey into work in to the morning and that is going to be made worse when a left turn into Bath Buildings from Cheltenham Road is finally implemented. 

“I am truly worried about this. I urge officers to please take this into consideration and do the right thing and make it safe for our kids in Cotham.”

Speaking to Bishopston Voice after the meeting, Alex Bell, head teacher of Colston’s Primary School added: “I was encouraged to hear reports of a good meeting at which our petition was submitted by parent Catherine. It was also encouraging to hear of an immediate positive response from the Mayor. 

"I look forward to proposed solutions from the council with regard to working with our school to ensure the safety of our children.”

The petition is now with Bristol City Council’s Democratic Services for review, and a further update in regard to the outcome will be published in a future edition of Bishopston Voice.