‘My warnings over Keynsham High Street have been ignored’

Keynsham High Street

A year on from the Keynsham High Street redevelopment, which has seen dozens of people falling and in some cases seriously injuring themselves, there have been no attempts to alleviate the situation in any way, says a local councillor.

Alan Hale said the dangers presented by the contraflow cycle lane were made clear almost immediately after injuries were reported within the first week of it being introduced. But since then accidents have continued, including significant fractures, loss of teeth, facial injuries and serious bruising.

This week Cllr Hale, the Conservative member for Keynsham South, and Bath & North East Somerset Council’s member advocate for road safety, is calling for immediate action.

Cllr Alan Hale

He said that he had done as the council requested and directed people to log their falls on the ‘Fix My Street’ website. Following B&NES’ request for feedback comments, reports and complaints about Keynsham High Street, he had provided the necessary details about injuries, and was informed that all responses are formally logged, reviewed and responded to with input from the highways authority as part of the ongoing review and monitoring process.

Cllr Hale said: “Despite much correspondence, there has been no positive action, save to tell me they are monitoring the situation. That was in September of last year and since then there have been many more casualties. I have written to the chief executive and the council leader Kevin Guy, warning that should someone fall and die, they as principal officers may well find themselves being charged with corporate manslaughter. That has been ignored.”

As the member advocate for road safety, Cllr Hale said he had been quick to identify the risks the development would lead to: “At the planning stage I warned that they were introducing a significant trip hazard, but that was dismissed by the officers. Clearly, my concerns have sadly been fulfilled.

“There can be no other local authority in the UK who spend good money on arguably a vanity project which achieves a long and continuing list of serious injuries in the local community due to the design of the project and then continue to sit on their hands, rather than treat it as an emergency and try to resolve it. Perhaps the legal action for damages which is pending from some of the casualties might open their eyes and ears.”