Campaign to improve safety on ‘rat run’ lanes

The blind corner outside Brook Farm at Goose Green, with no safe space to separate pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders from traffic

A new campaign group has been started to make it safer for walkers, cyclists and horse riders using the lanes that cross the commons in the Siston area.

Slow Down For Siston is highlighting concerns with speeding vehicles, pedestrian safety, and the lack of visibility and signage around Siston Hill and from Carsons Road to Goose Green and Webbs Heath.

Concerned residents have met with South Gloucestershire councillors Ben Stokes and Marilyn Palmer to discuss concerns about public safety on local roads, saying the volume and speed of traffic, as well as the lack of safe pedestrian access between the ancient commons, needs to be urgently addressed.

Both councillors agreed with the residents’ concerns and have given their support for an application to be made to South Gloucestershire Council. To take this process forward the group must consult with all residents in the Siston area, and the parish council has made a donation to cover the cost of the public consultation which has now been launched.

Campaigners say that many people have witnessed accidents and near-misses, with drivers speeding well above the 40mph speed limit and often showing little regard to the blind bends and others using these country lanes.

There are no road signs to warn for pedestrians, cyclists, scooters, deer, hidden entrances, or slow vehicles such as tractors.

The group says: “With the Ring Road beyond capacity at peak times, an increasing number of motorists are using Carsons Road, Siston Hill, Goose Green, Siston Lane and Webbs Heath as a rat run. We need to make our country lanes less attractive to motorists looking for an alternative route, and at the same time make these country lanes safe for local pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.”

The consultation asks people if they are concerned about the speed and volume of traffic and the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. They are also quizzed about whether they would welcome a ‘Commons Connect’ scheme to link Webbs Heath, Goose Green and Siston Common with safe pedestrian access, and for their views on safe walkways where there is currently no option but to walk in the road.

Views on a reduction in the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph and other speed limiting measures, such as traffic chicanes or speed ramps, are also being sought.

The responses will be recorded and then an application to improve road safety in the area will be submitted to South Gloucestershire Council.