Wait and see how throughabout works before building more, says MP

The Kingsfield Roundabout at Longwell Green which could also become a throughabout

Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore says South Gloucestershire Council should wait and see how effective the new throughabout at Warmley is before changes are made to other roundabout junctions along the Ring Road.

In his response to the council’s recent consultation on its plans for £30m improvements to five more roundabouts along the A4174, the MP also said he wants to see metrobus services expanded.

He said: “The A4174 Ring Road is the transport backbone of our local economy. We must invest in it not only to protect existing jobs but also to provide the jobs of the future – and must do so carefully and in consultation with local people. Doing nothing represents an economic threat to our area that will ultimately undermine the quality of life for people living and working in Kingswood.”

Mr Skidmore says he supports in principle the objectives of the project to reduce carbon emissions and improve journey times for all road users, including public transport, by relieving traffic delays and congestion along the Ring Road, subject to conditions.

However, if funding is approved by the government, he said significant efforts would need to be made to minimise the short-term impact of any works including any rat-running by those seeking to avoid the roadworks. Mr Skidmore said this was a concern that has been raised with him by Warmley residents (The Week In featured this in Issue 692).

He added: “Improving traffic flow on the Ring Road will ultimately discourage local rat-running by those drivers seeking to avoid queues and consideration needs to be given on how to further strengthen the benefits of lower traffic through communities, including changes to local junctions.”

Mr Skidmore said that while throughabouts have been shown to work elsewhere in the country, the one due to open soon at the Wraxall Road Roundabout in Warmley will be the first such junction in our area: “There should be some time to evaluate how effective this scheme is and allow people to become familiar with it before construction begins on the other roundabout junctions.”

The council is proposing changes to five other Ring Road junctions between Longwell Green and Lyde Green – including three more throughabouts at the Siston Hill, Deanery Road and Kingsfield junctions.

Mr Skidmore continues: “The existing metrobus services already run along the Ring Road to and from Lyde Green and there needs to be a firmer commitment from both the council and the West of England Combined Authority to extend these public transport services across Kingswood.”

A petition organised by South Gloucestershire Green Party against the proposed roundabout changes, which has been signed by more than 1,600 people, has been handed in to the council.

It calls for the plans for the five junctions to be ditched and for the council to investigate more appropriate ways of reducing congestion that reflect the need to reduce traffic.

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