'An accident waiting to happen' ... and it does
AFTER well over a year of roadworks, the Avon Ring Road’s first throughabout has opened.
The Wraxall Road through-about – a roundabout where some traffic goes through the middle rather than around the side – at Cadbury Heath has cost £6.9 million to install.
The previous roundabout, which didn’t have traffic lights, suffered from long queues, especially at rush hours.
A council spokesperson said: “It [the throughabout] will help to reduce delays at busy periods by managing the volumes of traffic in a controlled manner.
“It will also help to improve air quality in the vicinity of the roundabout and future proof the road network with additional housing and development coming forward in the area.
“It is also set to make sustainable modes of travel such as public transport and walking and cycling more attractive options within local communities.”
But residents took to social media to complain that the layout is confusing, because unlike normal roundabouts it requires vehicles to move into the left-hand lane in order to turn right.
Bus driver Andy Gards got in touch with Hanham & Longwell Green Voice concerned about confusing road markings at the through-about.
He said: “As a bus driver for First, I have had to experience the newly-opened Wraxall Road roundabout on my No 42 bus.
“Coming down from Cock Road and turning right heading towards the new roundabout, the markings on the nearside lane don’t correspond with the markings on the Ring Road.
“Instead of going straight across the other side it tries to send you down towards Warmley.
“It’s the same coming from the other side, which tries to send you towards Kingfield roundabout.
“This is an accident waiting to happen and needs to be addressed ASAP.”
Within a fortnight of the throughabout opening, an accident had happened, although it is not clear whether the design played any role in the crash.
Two cars and a van were involved in an accident, which left the road closed for four hours while ambulances took two people to Southmead hospital and Avon Fire and Rescue cut a man free from the wreckage of his car by removing the roof.
South Gloucestershire Council has now put plans for three more throughabouts on the ring road on hold for at least a year following a public survey.
More than eight out of ten respondents said they were against more throughabouts being built.
Cabinet member Steve Reade said: “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 days’ 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 that, 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."