In response to community feedback, we are proposing a through-traffic restriction in Southlands (Weston, Bath) as part of our Liveable Neighbourhoods (LN) programme.
Our proposals aim to remove through traffic from this residential road, keeping this traffic on the main road network while maintaining vehicle access for residents and visitors. This will make the route safer for residents, children, pedestrians and cyclists.
In August 2022, we asked whether you supported a trial of a through-traffic restriction at this location and gathered feedback from the community 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 with better spaces for walking, wheeling and meeting others outside. Not all LN programme improvements will include vehicle restrictions.
Southlands is a 20mph residential street which links to Weston High Street to the north and Penn Hill Road to the south. The area is a short walk from the High Street, St Mary's Catholic Primary School and the Royal United Hospital.
Select a topic below to find out more about the challenges on this street, and what residents have told us during our public engagements so far.
Through traffic due to 'short-cutting'
This route is often used by drivers to bypass the main roads which are designed to take this traffic. Resident feedback states that there are significant numbers of commuters using this road to avoid the queues on the High Street and Penn Hill Road.
School pick-ups and drop-offs
Residents have also reported that the area is used by parents who are picking up or dropping off children from St Mary's Primary School.
In a public engagement on our Liveable Neighbourhoods programme in December 2021, the majority of respondents (71%) supported the installation of traffic interventions in the area.
42% of respondents highlighted that through traffic was an issue in the area, 31% of respondents said that speeding traffic was a concern and 24% stated that school run traffic was a problem.
45% 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 a modal filter on Southlands, which would be a set of temporary planters in the area near no.128 Southlands (before the cul-de-sac as you head along Southlands from Penn Hill Road).
The planters would allow pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchairs to pass freely and safely, but would restrict vehicles from passing.
Residents and visitors would still be able to access homes and businesses on either side of the restriction via the High Street or Penn Hill Road. The location provides space for a three-point turn with good visibility.
We also consulted with key stakeholders such as the emergency services, waste and highways during this engagement. Their feedback would ensure that all services are accommodated should there be a decision to proceed.
Select a topic below to read more about where the filter would be located, the potential types of planter, how traffic movements will be amended and how these proposals will benefit the community.
The modal filter (a set of temporary planters) would be located on the street near no. 128 Southlands, before you reach the cul-de-sac after entering Southlands from Penn Hill Road. This area provides adequate space for a vehicle to make a three-point turn on both sides of the restriction, without the need to remove parking spaces, as shown in the image below.
We would provide advance warning signs to warn motorists that they would not be able to use Southlands as a through route. We are proposing a ‘road ahead closed’ sign and a 'no through road except cycles' sign on new posts at the change from the High Street onto Southlands in the north, and a ‘no through road except cycles’ sign and a 'road ahead closed' sign on new posts at the Penn Hill Road junction.
Supporting direction signs may also be needed. We would also provide temporary signs for a limited period.
Should the trial be successful and the restriction made permanent, additional physical features may be installed next to the modal filter to prevent vehicles from driving over the pavement on either side to bypass it. This could be achieved through the positioning of benches or posts.
The introduction of temporary planters as a modal filter would move through traffic back onto main roads, creating a safer road space for residents, children, pedestrians, cyclists and more.
The area occupied by the modal filter could be fitted with street furniture to provide a community space for residents, reclaiming the road space as a community hub, should the trial be made permanent.
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.
During the trial, we would install temporary planters to restrict through traffic. Should the trial be successful and made permanent, we could use a combination of features such as benches to create an additional community space for local residents.
The restriction would move through traffic from Southlands back onto the main road network, as shown in the image below:
Access for the emergency and other services would be from either end of Southlands, depending on the location.
Have your say
We held an in-person public engagement event on 18 August 2022, where residents could discuss the proposals in more detail with a member of our team.
An online and printed questionnaire was available for people to indicate their support for the proposal with an invitation to leave further comments and suggestions.
The consultation closed on 30 August 2022.
Read the engagement feedback report and the single member decision
What happens next
A final decision on whether or not to proceed with a trial will be made in early November.
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 6 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 we decide whether 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.