In response to community feedback, we are proposing a through-traffic restriction on Queen Charlton Lane between Whitchurch village and Queen Charlton, as part of our Liveable Neighbourhoods (LN) programme.
Our proposals aim to remove through traffic from this narrow rural route, keeping commuter traffic on the main road network. This will make the route safer for local residents, children, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
We want to know whether you support a trial of a through-traffic restriction at this location. We would also like to hear your comments on a preliminary design.
The Liveable Neighbourhoods programme
This is one of four proposals for through-traffic restrictions across Bath and North East Somerset being piloted ahead of wider improvements under the community-led LN programme.
The LN programme aims to improve health and wellbeing through safer, quieter residential streets and rural roads with better spaces for walking, wheeling and meeting others outside.
Queen Charlton Lane is a narrow road that provides access to the Maes Knoll residential development in Whitchurch village, Queen Charlton Cattery, Furthermead Farm, the village of Queen Charlton and several field access points along the route.
Select a topic below to find out more about the challenges on this road, and what residents have told us during our public engagements so far.
Queen Charlton Lane is heavily used by through traffic in the morning and afternoon peaks. According to residents, drivers use this route to 'queue jump' the traffic at the Woollard Lane/A37 junction.
In addition, locals have reported fly-tipping incidents along this road due to its rural location.
Through traffic due to 'short-cutting'
This route is often used by 'queue-jumpers' looking to beat peak time queues at the Woollard Lane/A37 junction. This can lead to complacency and careless driver behaviour.
The carriageway is straight and clear but narrow at 6 metres wide. There is no centre line. This could lead to speeding traffic, increasing the risk to other road users, especially pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
Poor pedestrian provision
There are no footpaths along the length of the route, except for a short section of 'virtual footway' from the A37 to the Maes Knoll development. This is indicated with road markings, rather than a kerb.
In a public engagement on our LN programme in December 2021, the majority of respondents from the Whitchurch village and Queen Charlton area supported the installation of traffic interventions.
97% of respondents highlighted that speeding traffic was an issue in the area, while 88% of respondents highlighted through traffic as a concern.
96% of respondents stated that restrictions on through traffic and or HGVs would have the biggest impact to make this area safer.
We are proposing to trial two sets of droppable bollards (modal filters) along Queen Charlton Lane. Coming from the west (A37), the first modal filter would be located just after Furthermead Farm, while the second would be just before Dapwell Lane.
The two sets of bollards would restrict vehicle access to provide a traffic-free area between the two points, but would allow pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders to pass. Emergency services and local farm traffic would still be able to access this route.
Both proposed locations provide space for a vehicle to make a three-point turn if needed.
We will consult with key stakeholders such as the emergency services, waste, highways and local landowners during this engagement, which will ensure that all service and farm vehicle needs will be accommodated for in our plan.
Select a topic below to read more about where the filters will be located, droppable bollards, how traffic movements would be amended and how these proposals would benefit the community.
Both proposed locations provide adequate space for a vehicle to make a three-point turn if required, as shown in the images below.
Additional waiting restrictions may be required to preserve the turning area, including double yellow lines and signage.
We would provide advance warning signs to warn motorists that they would not be able to use Queen Charlton Lane as a through route. We are proposing a ‘new road layout ahead’ sign and a 'no through road' sign on new posts just after the entrance to Maes Knoll Drive from the west, and a ‘no through road’ sign and a 'new road layout ahead' sign on new posts as you approach Queen Charlton Lane from Queen Charlton in the east.
We would also have to provide temporary signs for a limited period.
The modal filters would create a traffic-free area. The reduced through traffic will allow the local community to reclaim the road space, providing a safe and secure route for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. Through traffic would be moved back to the main roads that are designed to take this traffic.
While residents of Queen Charlton would not be able to use Queen Charlton Lane to access the A37, they would benefit from fewer passing vehicles and quieter, safer roads and streets.
Landowners and emergency vehicles would still have access to the route when needed, maintaining the access corridor between Whitchurch village and the village of Queen Charlton.
Along with physical restrictions, we are working with residents – especially where issues have been identified – to reduce reliance on cars where possible, especially for short trips that could be walked or wheeled. This is to help reduce congestion on all roads, improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions. There are also health, wellbeing and financial benefits for the individual.
Developing liveable neighbourhoods is not all about physical interventions and will rely in part on everyone finding healthier, sustainable ways to do short journeys.
Droppable bollards are collapsible physical barriers that prevent most vehicles from passing, while still providing space on either side for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders to pass.
Emergency services, service vehicles, and other selected entities (such as landowners whose field entrances are along Queen Charlton Lane) would be able to use a key or pin number to lower the barrier, allowing them to pass.
The modal filter would divert inappropriate vehicular traffic along Charlton Road and Woolard Lane, as shown in the image below.
This is approximately a 1km increase in distance for vehicles to access the Village of Queen Charlton from Whitchurch village and vice versa.
Have your say
We would like to hear whether you agree, in principle, to the introduction of a traffic intervention on this road. You will also be able to add additional comments which we will consider when creating the detailed design, should the proposal be supported.
Have your say on our proposals by completing our online form. This should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes of your time.
We are holding an in-person public engagement event on 17 August 2022, at Queen Charlton Village Hall between 4pm and 8pm.
The event will allow you to discuss the proposals in more detail with a member of our team.
What happens next
We will consider and publish the feedback we receive on this proposal. Assuming there is support for the vehicle restriction, we will draw up a more detailed design, taking on board residents’ comments.
The restriction would then be temporarily installed from Autumn 2022, under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO).
This trial would run for 12 months. During this time, residents and the wider public could experience the changes and see how it affects traffic movements. We would ask for your views on the restriction during a 12-month formal consultation.
We would inform residents and the public of the details before a trial starts, including the final design, installation date and how you can formally have your say. We will consider all comments before deciding to permanently adopt any restriction.
Should a trial be approved, we will monitor local traffic movements using automatic traffic counts and cameras. This would happen towards the end of the trial period and will be compared to baseline data collected before any trial starts (in Autumn 2022).
We will publish the data to show any impact of the restriction on local traffic movements. It will inform any decision to permanently adopt the restriction.