Speed limits in villages along a busy stretch of the A37 between Farrington Gurney and Whitchurch could be reduced as part of proposals to make the road safer by Bath & North East Somerset Council.
In May this year the Council announced plans to improve safety along the road by reducing traffic speeds, cutting accidents, saving lives, protecting pedestrians and saving the public purse over £614,000.
In response to concerns from local residents, parish councils and ward councillors, the Council’s Road Safety Team has been working with the community and Avon and Somerset Police to research and develop road safety solutions along the A37. The road carries over 18,000 vehicles a day and has seen 90 collisions across a five year period.
Members of the public are being invited to give their views on plans to:
- Extend the length of the 30 mph speed limit section in Whitchurch and introduce a new 40 mph speed limit on the section of road which is currently national speed limit.
- Extend the existing 30 mph speed limit section in Pensford and introduce a new 40 mph limit on a section of the road.
- Extend the existing 30 mph speed limit in Temple Cloud into the existing 50mph zone.
- Introduce a 30 mph limit in Clutton in the area where there is currently a 40 mph limit.
- Reduce the 50 mph limit in Farrington Gurney to a 40 mph restriction and reduce the 40 mph restriction to 30 mph.
Councillor Anthony Clarke (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “The A37 is an extremely busy road carrying over 18,000 vehicles every day. These proposals are all about making this stretch of road safer for both pedestrians and drivers. By slowing traffic down we can reduce collisions, which in turn can reduce the pressure on already stretched emergency services.
“If these proposals go ahead, in order to minimise disruption to road users the engineers will also complete routine maintenance alongside improvement projects which will also include co-ordinating a programme of road resurfacing work.”
Over the next two years £138,000 worth of road safety engineering work is planned to be carried out, vegetation cut back, signage improved, lines repainted and a 30 mile an hour speed limit through all villages along the A37 corridor covering an eight mile stretch between Whitchurch and Farrington Gurney will take place.
It is estimated that the safety improvements could reduce the number of collisions by a quarter and lead to a cost saving to society of more than £614,000 a year through reduced need for accident and emergency services to respond to such incidents (such as police, fire, ambulance and hospital services).
If the proposed speed limit reductions are approved, work on the scheme is expected to begin in March 2017.
Details of the proposals can be found at www.bathnes.gov.uk by searching for ‘permanent traffic order notices’. Comments must be sent by Thursday 29 December, either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to the Traffic Management Team, Bath & North East Somerset Council, Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath, BA1 1JG.
As work progresses along the A37, Council officers will continue to monitor accident data, work closely with Ward and Parish councillors to keep local people informed of the works and to minimise disruption to residents as well as linking closely with police to ensure road users comply with the new speed limits.