Changes to road layout will make streets 'dangerous'

Proposed road layout changes have come under criticism from locals in Southville. Residents say that the changes will create more traffic for neighbouring streets and will not solve wider issues in the area. Greville Road was selected as one of several roads to receive funding from Bristol City Council to improve walking and cycling journeys across the city.

The city council says that a final decision is yet to be made on the final layout. Residents were asked to complete a survey on four proposed road changes. These proposals would see Greville Road become one-way or access-only.

The road is one of several residential streets used as a ‘rat run’, or cut through, for cars travelling in the neighbourhood but some residents think that proposed changes will just divert this traffic to surrounding roads. Tim Burns, 41, of Greville Road said: “The proposals could increase traffic in neighbouring streets and do little to address wider issues. “It’s an easy option instead of taking a neighbourhood approach.

I think the entire community is pretty much on the same side of this.” Resident of neighbouring Upton Street, Sarah King, 34, said: “The main thing I am concerned about is the rat running and the speeds around my road. The more it happens, the more it risks children being in danger.”

A consultation on the layout of Greville Road has just closed, and the council says that nothing has yet been decided about the future of the neighbourhood. A Bristol City Council spokesperson said: “Engagement has just finished with the community on and around Greville Road to find out what people like about the street and what they might like to see improved, with our aim being to reduce traffic congestion and pollution to create more neighbourhoods that encourage walking, cycling and public transport. “No decisions have yet been made and no detailed plans designed and we will not take forward any scheme that is not supported by the community.

“We are now considering all the feedback and ideas we received in the survey and we will soon be back in touch with locals on the next steps.” But local groups have criticised the plans, suggesting that they do not meet sustainability goals for the area. Matthew Symonds of the Bedminster and Southville Liveable Neighbourhood Group said: “Although we welcome support to reduce the impact of traffic on our neighbourhood, we are seriously concerned that the current consultation is taking too narrow a focus and is not following the principles needed to achieve a Liveable Neighbourhood that addresses residents’ concerns,

“Taking this narrow approach will not achieve the potential to deliver a pilot that reduces motorised through-traffic, boosts sustainable transport and improves the street environment. “Focussing solely on individual streets will also increase the risk of displacement of traffic to neighbouring streets causing resentment from residents in these streets, “We believe a Liveable Neighbourhood approach could achieve far greater impact, at no greater cost, than the proposals outlined in the current consultation.”

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said: “I am aware of the considerable interest in the scheme and have been in open communication with residents and local road users alike. “It is my sincere hope that as many people as possible took part in the consultation exercise undertaken by Bristol City Council. “Traffic management schemes, be them large or small, should hold the primary focus of reducing and not simply displacing vehicle movements.

“It makes very little sense if any plan increases congestion and pollution on alternate routes.

Liveable neighbourhoods are not just one road and decisions should be undertaken with that in mind.”