With absolutely no fan fair, consultation with Councillors, prior warning or anything that smacks of constructive dialogue the latest proposals for ‘improving’ the A4018 along Passage Road have been published.

Residents will probably remember the first disastrous proposals put forward by the Mayor 12 months ago. After huge public outcry these were heavily redrawn and most of the contentious items dropped.

Now it appears that instead of doing one large plan for the whole road the Council will carry out the work in a series of stages. The first of which is going to the West of England Combined Authority on Friday. The full document can be read HERE but basically there are a number of key elements:

Intervention 1: The proposed signalised crossing upgrade south of Crow Lane Roundabout Intervention 2: The proposed new signalised crossing near Dragonswell Road

Intervention 3: This marks the midpoint of the proposed new segregated cycling and walking facility between Crow Lane Roundabout and Charlton Road

Intervention 4: The proposed new zebra crossing near Shipley Road

There is also the introduction of peak time bus lanes on one of the carriageway lanes between the Crow Lane roundabout and the top of the hill and an upgrade to the bus stops on that stretch of road.

Personally we support the bus stop upgrades and the new crossings. Since we have been arguing for the Dragonswell Road crossing for some time its great to see that someone took it on board.

HOWEVER we have to question both the bus lanes and the cycle lanes and maybe had someone actually tried to engage with local Councillors we could have explained why. So here goes:

Bus Lanes: Where they are proposing to install the bus lanes are not the areas where the road gets congested. The buses aren’t held up here so why spend the money for unnecessary infrastructure.

Cycle Lanes: Great to see more cycling infrastructure BUT this isn’t the route favoured by cyclists. If you are a commuter cyclist in Henbury, or from where the new housing estate is going by the Rugby Clubs, then probably the best route is Station Road-Henbury Road-Falcondale Road. You aren’t going to to approach a busy dual carriageway. If you are a Brentry commuter cyclist, or from the new housing estate on the airfield, then the route is either Charlton Road-top of Brentry Hill or Fishpool Hill-Brentry Lane-Passage Road. In either case you don’t go near the Crow Lane Roundabout.

I fear that we are about to spend millions on a cycling intervention that would be better spent on different roads. We have made all of these points to the Mayor. Fingers crossed he listens!