Council acts to improve bridge 20mph signage

South Gloucestershire Council has taken action to improve the visibility of road signs marking the extent of a new 20mph speed limit on roads either side of Parkway Bridge following complaints that the signage is inadequate and poorly positioned.

Photo of a 20mph road sign, amongst other signs.
New 20mph speed limit sign on the Brierly Furlong approach to Parkway Bridge.

The reduced 20mph speed limit, which extends from the Ratcliffe Drive roundabout on Hatchet Road to a point beyond the Church Road mini-roundabout on Brierly Furlong was introduced in early September as part of a package of road safety measures associated with the restoration of two-way traffic under the bridge.

A significant number of road users appear to have been unaware of the new speed limit, questioning on social media why a temporary speed monitoring device installed on Hatchet Road had shown them a ‘grumpy face’ for travelling too fast.

A number of reports on the FixMyStreet website [1, 2, 3] claimed that the installed 20mph speed limit signs were too small and, in some cases, set back too far from the road and/or obscured by tree branches. It was also suggested that the speed limit should be painted on the road surface.

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Responding to an enquiry from the Journal, a South Gloucestershire Council spokesperson said (on 8th October):

“Our grounds maintenance team has visited the area around Parkway Bridge to cut back the hedges and remove any vegetation that was obscuring the signs.”

“The 20mph signs present are sized as specified in the official guidance – the Traffic Signs Regulations & General Directions and the Traffic Signs Manual.”

“A number of 20mph roundel markings for the road surface are included as part of the scheme, and these will be completed in the coming weeks.”

The 20mph speed limit has been implemented initially on a temporary basis for a period of 6 months. The effectiveness of the overall package of road safety measures, which also include slightly widened footways under the bridge (by a combined total of 80cm) and additional signage aimed at pedestrians and cyclists. The new speed limit will be made permanent after 6 months “if justified following review”.

Photo of a 'pedestrian priority' sign.
New ‘pedestrian priority’ sign on the shared path under the bridge.

The cost of implementing the footway widening and road safety measures has been put at “approx. £60,000”, although this amount includes “funding for several active travel initiatives [at local schools and businesses]”.

An estimated £20,600 was spent on installing and maintaining the previous one-way ‘social distancing’ scheme at the bridge, over a period of 15 months.

This article originally appeared in the October 2021 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 7). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, 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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