Is a 30mph limit right for the new by-pass?

30mph sign on the Stoke Gifford By-Pass.

The 30mph speed limit along much of the new Stoke Gifford Transport Link (SGTL) between Parkway North and the A4174 Ring Road has been called into question by a number of residents who have contacted the Journal.

Between Parkway North Roundabout and a point just north of the Hambrook Lane crossing, the speed limit is 40mph, but the remainder of the road up to its junction with the A4174 has a limit of just 30mph.

Between Hambrook Lane and Oxleigh Way (the entrance into the Highbrook Park housing development) the road runs through open countryside and there are no junctions.

When opinions on the matter were sought on the Bradley Stoke Journal’s Facebook page, an overwhelming majority of more than 70 respondents said the speed limit should be 40mph or even 50mph throughout. Several readers who said they try to comply with the 30mph limit said they had been subjected to tailgating or dangerous undertaking manoeuvres.

The 30mph limit has recently been enforced by the police mobile speed camera unit.

A South Gloucestershire Council spokesperson said:

“The speed limits for the SGTL were set out at the design stage. Road safety professionals were involved at the design stage and continue to monitor road use. The East of Harry Stoke development will be built adjacent to the SGTL and there are no proposals to change the current speed limits at present.”

Comments on the Bradley Stoke Journal Facebook page

Nicola: I think it should be 40, at least until the housing development is complete and road usage is known.

Matt: Didn’t actually realise it’s a 30; it’s certainly not what’s observed!

Shirley: Nobody seems to do 30. I end up getting tailgated when I do.  It doesn’t seem the right limit for that road at this moment in time.

Sam: 40 seems sensible considering you have 40 through the middle in places through Bradley Stoke!

David: 30 is fine for me, I drive at 30 and don’t feel intimidated by a pratt trying to tailgate me.

Read more comments and add your own at

Photo: 30mph sign on the Stoke Gifford By-Pass, just before the Hambrook Road junction (when travelling south).

This article originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal news magazine (on page 22). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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  1. It seems very hard to believe that any kind of road engineer designed that to be a 30mph limit road if they did they need glasses, compare that road to Heron Way where it’s a 40mph speed limit. It looks like it should be a 50 limit really.

    They should measure the speed the majority of drivers drive at and use that as a basis for setting the speed limit, that’s what the DfT guidelines are.
    When you do that the speed limit is mostly respected and compliance is high.

  2. I’m absolutely gob smacked ! Just received a speeding summons (doing just under 40) ! Never realized that such a road was restricted to 30 its ludicrous. Also just noticed ( and I’m sure I’m right ) the 30 mph signs have just been replaced with larger ones ? Anyone else noticed this ???

  3. From the DFT guidelines;
    19. Unless a speed limit is set with support from the local community, the police and other local services, with supporting education, and with consideration of whether engineering measures are necessary to reduce
    speeds; or if it is set unrealistically low for the particular road function and condition, it may be ineffective and drivers may not comply with the speed

    Where there is poor compliance with an existing speed limit on a road or stretch of road the reasons for the non-compliance should be examined before a solution is sought. If the speed limit is set too low for no clear reason and the risk of collisions is low, then it may be appropriate to increase the limit

  4. I have recently received a speeding fine and points on my license as I was doing just over 40 in the 30 zone, I honestly believed it was 40 on this entire road, went down the road today (from ring road heading towards Bradley Stoke) and could only see 1 30 sign at the traffic lights entering the road, there are no other speed signs on the road unti it changes to 40. This is ludicrous, how many others have been fined on this stretch and thought it was 40?

  5. Since last September some 300+ people exceeded the speed limit, about 180 were offered speed awareness courses so take care. It’s easy to miss the nearside 30mph sign as its on the side of the bus lane.

  6. I was very upset to have received a fine and three points on my licence for going at 44mph on this road. The road is not in a residential area and did not appear to be a road where a 30mph limit is needed for any particular reason.

    I understand if there are reasons why this road needs to be 30mph eg a previously high accident rate. But if this is the case, then there needs to much more visible and clear road signs.

    Also, I had no option to attend the speed awareness class, which I would have readily taken instead of the course, as if they are making changes to the Bristol roads that feature different rules and norms to what most people are accustomed, then this change needs to be accompanied with the offer to educate the public before they are punished.

  7. I too believe the limit is wrong and confusing. That’s why they have placed a speed patrol van to make some money out of this. We need to extend to 49-50.

  8. I think anyone who gets a speeding fine their should contest it, citing the DfT guidelines and possible the poor placement of the speed limit start.

  9. South Glos Consultation
    A38 North of Falfield – Speed Limit Reduction ….

    “The purpose of the scheme is to introduce a realistic speed limit for the A38 between Falfield and Stone.”

    So why not introduce a realistic speed limit on the bypass as per the DFT advice?

  10. It’s an absolute JOKE
    This bypass should be a national speed limit, NOT 30MPH.
    Its just a means of making money.
    There are roads (stroke lanes )near this bypass that are national speed limits. The people who have been caught speeding, should be compensated and those points removed from there licences.

  11. Perhaps we should get group of protesters, protesteing near any speed detecting equipment deployed, as these people are not Police. ji

  12. Like many others I have just received a speeding ticket. I am really annoyed as I did not see the single 30 mph sign that’s in amongst the traffic lights as you turn right off the A4174. If, for whatever reason, the powers that be deem this to be a road that commands a 30 mph limit then why have they not placed more signs or painted 30 on the road surface ? I think we all know the real reason. My £100 is on its way

  13. I have also received a speeding ticket, didn’t notice the 30mph sign as I was looking at the policeman with his speed gun. Made sure (as always) that I was below 40mph. I would like to contest it but would loose the opportunity to go on the drivers awareness course.
    Feel very cheated.

  14. I have just received a speeding fine and my licence to be sent away for 3 points to be added. I did not known that the New stoke Gifford by pass had a 30mph limit have always driven at 40mph and when I saw the van I was glad that I was driving at my regular speed so I am completely shocked to have received this. My speedo is digital and at 41mph I thought I was driving responsible. Another way to make some money my southgloucester.

  15. I too have received a speeding fine, letter of intended prosecution. This I feel is unreasonable and causes unnecessary stress. I do understand the requirement to reduce road traffic accidents however, I do not believe the 30mph is deemed appropriate for this stretch of road. Is this another fuel conserving rouse or a money spinner? I am not sure if the signage meets the DfT requirements? Was the highways engineer qualified?

  16. I was furious to see arrive through the post a Notice of Intended Prosecution from the Speed Enforcement Unit.

    I agree with others on here this appears to be a money spinner and was right on my birthday! I have sent my £100 plus I have got 3 points on my licence. I have had a clean driving licence for 14 years and now I have 3 points added to my licence my insurance will go up. Absolutely disgraceful.

    Thank you Alex Hosking for raising the petition. I have just signed the South Gloucestershire County Council Petition …We, the undersigned, petition the Council to Raise the speed limit on the Stoke Gifford bypass. The Stoke Gifford bypass appears to have a speed limit that quite drastically does not match the engineering standard of the road.

    Read more and sign on this link:

  17. Late to comment on this topic, but if the Local Authority were at all concerned about road safety they should place a mobile camera on Hatchet Road. Two fairly narrow lanes, with cyclists and pedestrians (including school children) both at risk from drivers who rarely observe the 30mph limit.

  18. It should be worth noting that the average speed is (according to SGC’s own data) 6mph higher on the 30mph section than it is on the 40mph section, yes you did read that right.

    It’s not that people are more likely to observe a rule they perceive as reasonable rather than ignore it, although that might have something to with.
    Speed limits have been shown consistently to have very little effect on the speed most people drive at, that’s dictated more by the road engineering and the conditions at the time.
    That’s why some roads will have very high compliance and other roads very low, it depends if traffic speeds been used to asses what speed most people drive at and then used that as a basis for setting the speed limit, or if councilour X has just decided what the speed limit to win votes from people who don’t have very good knowledge of how and why speed limits are set and just assume that lower must always equal safer until you get speed limits that have very little relation to what most motorists would perceive as a safe speed to travel and come across more and more irrelevant.

  19. I noticed the e-petition is now closed with over 500 signatures.
    Has it been sent to Avon and Somerset Police with a complaint to allege unfair traffic policing considering the road conditions and inadequate signage?
    Is there a formal complaint I can reference in response to a Notice of Intended Prosecution?

  20. The signage is not adequate. There needs to be markings on the road surface when entering a 30 mph zone on this kind of road. A single sign next to the bus lane looks like it applies only to the bus lane.

  21. It wasn’t sent to the Police it was sent to the council as they control the speed limits.

    I would recommend that anyone caught speeding should complain to Avon and Somerset Police because DfT guidelines have not been followed with the setting of that speed limit, according to SGC’s own data the average speed is 12mph over the limit, the DfT guideline is that speed limits should not be set below the mean average speed.

    That said, after complaining, just pay the fine or go on the speed awareness course, as DfT guidelines not being adhered to in setting speed limits is not a defence in court, the idea is it may raise eyebrows if they are constantly getting complaints about the same thing and citing the same data.

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