Planned changes to ring road will favour buses and cyclists

May 06 2022

The proposed new metrobus stops

The proposed new metrobus stops

CHANGES to two of the area's major roads are being planned to make them easier for buses, cyclists and pedestrians to use.

New metrobus stops, cycle tracks and reduced speed limits are planned for the A4174 Avon Ring Road between the Wick Wick roundabout and UWE if the changes go ahead.

On the A432 Badminton Road, between Wick Wick and Yate, cycle tracks, new junctions and crossings are planned.

And a new "bus gate" is proposed for the Hambrook junction to allow bus-only crossings from Frenchay towards Winterbournet.

South Gloucestershire Council has announced the "preliminary proposals" to support sustainable travel, having been allocated £105m in Government funding for transport infrastructure through the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement.

On the ring road the proposals would see the 'shared use' cycle and footpath alongside the ring road expanded into a two-way cycle track with a separate footpath between the Wick Wick roundabout and Coldharbour Lane, by UWE's Frenchay campus.

Pedestrian and cycle crossings at the Wick Wick and Bromley Heath roundabouts, Hambrook lights and M32 junction would be improved and new bus stops, including metrobus stops near Bromley Heath Park and Wick Wick, would be created.

The changes would also see the speed limit for the ring road reduced from 50mph to 40mph from Bromley Heath roundabout to Coldharbour Lane and to 30mph around the roundabout.

The 'bus gate' would allow buses only to cross from Frenchay towards Winterbourne.

At present no northbound traffic can cross, under an experimental traffic order introduced in 2019, which also banned right turns for westbound ring road traffic.

A council spokesperson confirmed that the new proposals for the Hambrook junction are "based on the ETO being made permanent".

The council was originally told by the Government to keep the order for 18 months and monitor air pollution.

But after the lockdown changed travel patterns, the spokesperson said the Department for Transport had told the authority the ETO must "remain in place until traffic returns to more normal volumes and patterns, so we can fully assess their effectiveness over a representative period".

The council said provision of bus services to Bromley Heath could also be looked into if a public consultation on the proposals "demonstrates significant interest in better direct services".

The consultation was announced by the council in late March, a day after April's Voice had been published, and ended on April 20.

Changes planned on the A432 between the Wick Wick roundabout and Yate include improvements to bus stops, changes to the junctions with Park Lane and Beesmoor Road, and a two-way cycle track, with separate footpath, along the eastern side of the A432 between Coalpit Heath and Kendleshire.