'Planned junction changes won't work'

May 03 2022

Bristol City  Council is proposing to refurbish the junction of Falcondale Road and Henbury Road. 

The work is not linked to either of the two major transport projects under discussion - the A4018 and the no. 2 bus route - but is happening because the traffic lights are at the end of their life. 

Rather than replacing like-for-like which would not meet modern standards, the council is proposing to:

• add an inbound 24-hour bus lane on Falcondale Rd between Greystoke Avenue and Henbury Road

• Make the inbound right-hand lane on Falcondale Rd right-turn only for traffic heading up Henbury Hill; traffic heading into town would use the left lane

• Ban right turns from Falcondale Rd outbound into Henbury Rd towards the village

The plans are out for consultation until May 8.

Resident Robert Murphy has written to the Voice with his comments. He is asking planners to consider omitting the bus lane which he says serves no useful purpose. 

He would also like to see the northern traffic island should be improved to make the crossing safer for pedestrians. 

"My general comment is that these proposals appear to be based on a rather blinkered view of traffic movements and bus lanes but fail to consider the overall effects on people who live in the locality and need to walk around the area, he said.

"This location can be compared with other locations where two lanes of traffic are forced into one lane. Traffic then splits into two lanes at the approach to traffic lights thus blocking the end of the bus lane. In this case a few vehicles in lane 2 (right turn only) would prevent most of the through traffic from proceeding when traffic lights change. 

"The “Transport Engagement” documents acknowledge that buses are 'currently held up in traffic which can queue past Greystoke Avenue'. If traffic is forced into one lane, then it is likely that that the queue would stretch well past Greystoke Avenue. Therefore buses would be held up before they even reach the bus lane!"

Mr Murphy goes on to comment: "When the planned modifications to the Greystoke Avenue junction are eventually built, what will be the overall effect on traffic movements? Traffic may be unable to proceed through the junction when traffic lights change. There may be similar effects at other junctions and the overall effect is likely to be increased congestion along Falcondale Road.

"As with previous traffic proposals there appears to a lack of understanding of how areas adjacent to the main route would be affected. Hold-ups would cause increased pollution and some drivers may create “rat runs” through narrow residential streets.

"It should be obvious to planners that the proposals are likely to increase congestion and pollution and create safety issues. As with the A37 & A4018 proposals planners persist with the naïve strategy that the “creation of priority bus routes” will force people to abandon their cars and use buses. The reality is that an unobstructed bus route would not be feasible unless many junctions were closed or severely restricted. The disruption to traffic crossing the main route and the consequences for all the residential areas, would simply not be acceptable. 

"Bus times are very unlikely to be improved by any of the measures proposed. The bus service is woefully inadequate particularly in relation to East/West travel and this could become even worse. Unless there is adequate public transport it seems unlikely that drivers will abandon their vehicles."