Visibility screens installed at roundabout

Photo of a visibility screen in the central reservation of the B4057 Winterbourne Road.

If you’ve noticed these green boards recently appear at the Winterbourne Road / Hatchet Road roundabout and wondered what they’re for, here’s an explanation from South Gloucestershire Council, reproduced from a notice displayed on parish council noticeboards around Stoke Gifford.


Collision records show that there is an issue with vehicles on the B4057 over-running give way lines at Hatchet Road roundabout and colliding with vehicles on the circulatory carriageway.

Funding has been prioritised to address this issue by providing visibility screens on the B4057 approaches, to reduce vehicle approach speeds.

Purpose of the scheme

The purpose of the scheme is to reduce the number of collisions occurring, by reducing vehicle speeds on the B4057 approaches. Currently, the very good visibility on the approach to the roundabout means that drivers can make a very early decision as to whether to enter the roundabout or not; consequently, these drivers do not reduce speed significantly, and some misjudge their entry leading to a collision. The provision of screens which reduce forward visibility forces drivers to slow down and wait until they approach the give way line, where they regain visibility, to make a decision on whether to enter the roundabout or not. Such installations have been successful in reducing collisions at similar sites (including A4174 Wraxall Road, in South Gloucestershire).

Proposed scheme

It is proposed to introduce visibility screens on both B4057 approaches to the roundabout. The screens will be dark green in colour and approximately 1.8 metres in height.

Photo: Visibility screen now installed in the central reservation of the B4057 Winterbourne Road on the westbound approach to the Hatchet Road roundabout.

More information and related links

This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 12). 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’s one thing forcing the already slow traffic to go even slower, but WHAT AN EYESORE! They could have planted some trees or something to actually make it worthwhile! Ridiculousl.

  2. Increasing safety by reducing a drivers visibility of an oncoming roundabout. That is an unbelievably stupid idea. I’m a regular user of this roundabout and I think it’s more dangerous than before. Not only can I now not see traffic approaching from the right until I’m at the point of entering the roundabout but the roundabout also looks perfectly clear to the casual glance in the dark because the headlights of other vehicles are blocked by the fences!

    I understand the concept of forcing drivers to slow down but it’s probably debatable whether speed was the issue in the first place and another risk has been introduced by reducing the visibility so the net effect on accidents will likely be zero at best anyway. Probably made worse actually. Reducing visibility increases perceived danger, which in turn makes people slow down and the simple-minded assume that this improves safety – ignoring the fact that reduced visibility increases actual danger, not just perceived danger.

    I suspect that an actual analysis of the pre-fence accident data from this location would show that most of the collisions are low speed at peak times when people try to pull out onto the busy roundabout into an inappropriate gap. Speed has nothing to do with that, it’s impatience. The fences will make that worse as people can no longer see gaps until they’re already almost at a standstill, therefore they need a larger gap to safely pull into because of their slower starting speed, therefore queues at the roundabout will be longer and people with a propensity for impatience will be more impatient than ever, thereby posing more of a threat than ever. These fences will cause more people to accelerate harder into the same sized gaps in the traffic. Congratulations, tax money wasted making things worse, which is becoming a regular thing in South Gloucestershire.

    The idea of a roundabout is to keep the traffic flowing, to make junctions safe without the need for traffic lights. These fences mean that traffic is unable to flow properly because everyone approaching on a dual section needs to come to a virtual standstill on approach to the roundabout whether it’s necessary or not. This will make congestion worse at busy times. If the roundabout isn’t working, install traffic lights! Ideally part-time ones that only operate at busy times, as they’re not required outside of peak times. I’m sure fences are cheaper but that doesn’t make them a good idea.

    How about the police do something useful for a change if this is such an accident blackspot! Perhaps penalise offenders rather than installing fences that make things more inconvenient and dangerous for everyone? If it’s not worth wasting police time on then why is it worth wasting our tax money on? Since we already pay for the police.

    Causing people to slow down excessively, then reaccelerate causes more noxious fumes to be emitted per vehicle. Just what the good people of Stoke Gifford need!

    What happens when someone is speeding down Hatchet Road or Orpheus Road and a law abiding driver can’t see them approaching and make a judgement on their speed because they haven’t been able to see them for long enough for the brain to recognise that the car is approaching faster than it should be?

    How about tall vehicles with drivers that can see over the barriers. More of those will be running into the back of cars that have slowed down in front of them for, from the driver of the large vehicle’s perspective, no good reason and therefore totally unexpectedly.

    Is this really the best the council can come up with to improve road safety? Turning residential areas into obstacle courses so that drivers spend their time concentrating a few feet in front of their cars rather than scanning wide and far up the road for actual hazards, and now reducing visibility at major junctions? These ridiculous fences need to come down before they get someone killed, most likely a cyclist or something easily missable because they haven’t been spotted by a driver when pulling out when previously they would have been seen a mile off.

  3. Car drivers don’t look anyway so these are a total waste of money, I think what will really happen is people will look right and will have much less time to make a decision on whether to go or stop and the wrong decision to be made far more often……..
    I know, S Gloucs council could waste/spend another 2.9 million pounds modifying this roundabout, and …it could be done at the same time as the Rabbit roundabout and Gipsy Patch railway bridge…. that would slow the traffic down.
    But the more serious question why weren’t Toucan crossings considered for this roundabout, I see more people trying to cross here, to slow traffic down like the proposed Rabbit roundabout, why were these hideous green fences erected and why are’t they considered necessary on the other two entrances to the roundabout. Oh , I know, silly me, S. Gloucs council road traffic planning logic kicks in…..

  4. It would help if they took down the distracting advertisments on the roundabout, what a crazy idea, distract drivers when they need all their attention.

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