Plans to spend £30 million on converting three more roundabouts on the A4174 Ring Road into ‘throughabouts’ have been put on hold for at least 12 months after a public consultation showed a clear majority of respondents were opposed to the scheme.
The throughabout concept resembles a traditional roundabout but has additional ‘straight on’ traffic lanes that go through the centre of the roundabout. All routes through the junction, including the ‘straight on’ lanes, are subject to traffic signal control.
The proposals also include road widening and the creation of extra lanes at a further existing two roundabouts. The whole scheme would take a minimum of three years to complete, with work taking place at multiple junctions at the same time.
South Gloucestershire Council made the announcement just one week after reopening the Wraxall Road junction as the Ring Road’s first throughabout, following more than 14 months of roadworks that started last summer and cost £6.9 million.
Residents have condemned it as being “dangerous” and a “huge waste of money”.
The decision to put the scheme on hold was made after the results of a 12-week public consultation showed that 73 percent of the 880 respondents “strongly disapproved” of the proposals.
A council spokesperson said:
“The feedback received identified a number of issues and concerns from local people, which we hope to address in the coming months. This included wanting more time to become familiar with the recent Wraxall Road junction changes, as well as the impact of construction work and roadworks.”
The plans were strongly opposed by the South Gloucestershire Green Party which says the scheme fails to provide adequate provision for cyclists and pedestrians and does nothing to improve the reliability of bus services. The group’s petition to “scrap the plans” attracted more than 1,800 signatures.
Developing the scheme has already cost £806k, prompting the opposition Labour group to ask whether taxpayers’ money has been wasted.
The council’s Cabinet member for regeneration, environment and strategic infrastructure, Cllr Steve Reade, said:
“We would like to thank all those who took part in our consultation. You have spoken and we have listened. We will not be submitting a funding bid at this time, but we will feed the comments received back into the proposals.”
“Whilst pleased with the first few day’s operation of the new Wraxall Road throughabout scheme, we recognise it’s quite a big change for the area and people need time to become familiar with it. We will continue to monitor it to inform the wider project.”
“There remains a strong case both economically and environmentally for junction improvements along the A4174. It is anticipated with no intervention the congestion along the ring road and on adjacent roads will worsen in the years to come due to planned local growth.”
More information: Consultation feedback report (SGC) [PDF; 1.77MB]
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2021 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 11). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.