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Internal News - 27 January 2006

BANES' reasons for The Avenue scheme

A letter to Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor George Lunt from BANES dated January 2006

Mr Lunt

There is no injury accident record in the last 3 years on Claverton Hill, however there is concern about the possible conflicts between traffic and other road users on the hill, which is why the scheme was promoted in the first place. Although one of the Council's primary duties is to reduce the numbers of actual injury accidents occurring, an important part of our remit is to reduce both tha actual, and perceived, risk of injury on the highway, as this affects both the level of accidents occurring, and the quality of life of local people.

It is not the type of traffic which is considered hazardous, rather the level of traffic flow at any one time. As you will appreciate, some roads are designed to carry large amounts of traffic and include safe facilities for all road users (i.e footways, crossings, cycle lanes etc) where appropriate. Smaller country roads and lanes are clearly not designed to carry large amounts of traffic and have no such facilities, therefore where a minor country road is subjected to excessive traffic flows, the hazard to other, vulnerable, road users is increased proportionally.

Counts taken in 2004 show that the average off-peak vehicle flows on Claverton Hill/The Avenue are around 40 vehicles per hour in each direction, however in the peak hour this rises to 217 in one direction and 143 in the other, figures considered inappropriate for what is effectively a minor country lane . The majority of this peak hour traffic is generated by people accessing the University via The Avenue and Convocation Avenue, thereforethe proposal to ban turns at this junction would effectively force this traffic elsewhere, so reducing the peak hour flows on Claverton Hill substantially. As I said in my previous email, adequate, and more suitable, routes exist both north and south of Claverton Hill. In the case of Brassknocker Hill, the recently constructed roundabout at it's junction with Claverton Down Road has made turning right from Brassknocker towards the University much easier and safer, with reduced queues.

Although there is clearly considerable opposition to the proposal, the scheme is on the current Capital Programme and it is therefore necessary to go through the democratic process of consultation and public advertisement, before all comments received are considered, and a decision to proceed with, or reject, the scheme taken by the Executive Member for Transport & Highways. The proposal is due to be publicly advertised imminently. Given the level of opposition there would appear to be a reasonable chance that the proposal may be rejected, however ultimately that decision rests with the Executive Member.

Nick Jeanes
Team Leader Traffic & Safety
01225 394256