Crews Hole closure: MP asks residents for their views on scheme now due to start in January

crews hole 2The controversial closure of part of Crews Hole, which had been expected to start this autumn, is now set to start in the New Year.

The scheme, which we revealed in The Week In earlier this month, affects Conham Road, Crews Hole Road, Blackswarth Road, Beaufort Road and The Avenue in St George. It has come under fire from some residents and has been opposed by parish councillors from Hanham, Hanham Abbots and Oldland.

The aim is for through traffic to be able to use the Crews Hole route, pictured above, towards Bristol only, so Beaufort Road, below, becomes a through route only for travel away from Bristol. It is hoped that the majority of traffic will use the main roads – the A431, A420 and A4.

beaufort roadSections of both roads will remain two-way; in particular, the Blackswarth Road end of Crews Hole Road will remain two-way so that heavy vehicles serving the industrial area will not be affected.

Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore says he is seeking residents’ views regarding plans for Crews Hole Road, which is at the edge of his constituency. He has been knocking on doors seeking the views of residents in Hanham and says he will be passing them on to Bristol City Council.

He said: “I know that Crews Hole has been for time a valuable access route in and out of Bristol. If the road is made one-way, while reducing congestion on that road, this will inevitably affect local residents across the constituency – not just in Hanham, but also areas such as Oldland Common, Longwell Green, and Barrs Court who will find their access to Bristol impaired.

“But I would like to know what residents think about these plans so I can represent their views on this important matter.”

The St George Neighbourhood Partnership – made up of residents, community groups and councillors working with representatives from the police, city council and other agencies – says that road safety in Crews Hole is one of its priority issues.

It say that since the beginning of 2010 there have been eight accidents on the Crews Hole Road route involving 10 vehicles and eight casualties, including one serious injury. Figures for Beaufort Road/ The Avenue for the same period show nine accidents involving 21 vehicles with 11 casualties.

The Partnership said: “In addition to general problems with speeding traffic for pedestrians there is a particularly dangerous road crossing walking from Conham following the river where pedestrians have to cross the road to rejoin the river path at the end of what used to be Butlers Tar Works. The section of road from this corner to Conham is also a gap in the River Avon Trail where pedestrians and cyclists have to follow the road.

“Many plans to improve these routes have been produced over the past 30 years or more but have not been implemented. During that time much of Crews Hole has changed from an industrial to residential area and new houses are still being built.

“Following discussions at Neighbourhood Partnership Traffic and Transport sub-group meetings and further issues raised at Neighbourhood Forums, the council’s highways department has been looking at possible schemes to address these issues. It is clear that there is no scheme that will please everybody and also that any changes have the potential to have an impact on traffic over a wide area of East Bristol.

“A scheme is now being developed that involves making parts of both routes one-way. A draft version of this scheme has been shown to St George councillors and members of the traffic and transport sub-group. Views on the scheme have also been sought from other council departments, the emergency services, bus operators and South Gloucestershire Council.

“Once the scheme has been finalised (with any changes following the above discussions) it is intended that it will be introduced in January 2014 as an experimental traffic order. This allows the scheme to be modified after it has been introduced.”