Road is a danger on our doorstep, say Keynsham neighbours

A group of Keynsham neighbours are demanding that council officials come and meet them after they say years of complaints about speeding, collisions and near-misses for pedestrians have fallen on deaf ears.

People living on Wellsway at its junction with Bath Hill say they feel their lives are at risk every time they step out of their gates onto the narrow pavement at the start of the busy road.

Mum-of-three Gemma Mitchell said she and many other residents have been clipped by wing mirrors on passing vehicles, while last year one car collided with neighbour Laura Chesterfield’s wall as the driver lost control on the corner and another knocked over a telegraph pole, bringing the wires down across the road.

Vehicles including buses and lorries also mount the pavement to squeeze past oncoming cars, she said, with a large truck narrowly missing her pushchair as she stepped out of her gate in one incident.

She said: “We have been raising these issues since we moved here in 2005 but were told there hadn’t been any fatalities and nothing was done. Cars mount the pavement instead of waiting for traffic on the other side to pass and we have to double check before coming out of our gates for the fear of getting hit by a car on the pavement. Many of us have been knocked on the arms and legs by passing cars and vans.

“There are many young families living here and we can’t let our children step out onto the pavement by themselves despite this being a main route to Chandag and Wellsway schools. Emails and phone calls don’t seem to work and we all want to know what action will be taken to prevent a death.”

Keynsham East councillor Bryan Organ told Keynshamvoice he is currently organising a visit to Keynsham by new Cabinet member for transport and highways Councillor Mark Shelford so he can see some of the problems on the town’s roads for himself – and Wellsway will be included.

He said: “At the development committee meeting on July 26 I asked Mark Shelford to come to Keynsham and look at the issues. I have been to see people living at this entrance to the Wellsway, as well as residents further up who have a nightmare getting onto the main road, and am very aware of the concerns. In several places along the Wellsway there is something not right at the moment.”

The entrance to Wellsway from Bath Hill is included in the 20mph zone rolled out across Keynsham in 2013. But residents say they are baffled as to why there is no sign placed at the junction and only a small repeater sign several metres further up the road. A temporary illuminated sign was placed near the junction in April but only for a week, residents said.

Gemma’s husband Chris said: “Permanent 20mph signs should be put at the start of the Wellsway or painted on the road as I think some people think it’s a 30mph or 40mph road. But perhaps the most effective thing would be a traffic island. A car was parked on one side of the road near where it narrows for a couple of days and it forced every car to slow down so maybe a solid structure should be installed.

“The 45-degree angle on the junction at the roundabout also allows cars to come round the corner too fast – if it was squared off in some way they would have to slow down.”
Keynsham beat manager Pc James Evans said the road is visited by the Safety Camera Partnership but the road layout meant officers had to sit further up the Wellsway. There had been reports of speeding and complaints about vehicles contravening the 7.5-ton weight limit, he said, and operations to combat this were planned in and around the town with an evidential speed gun that would allow offenders to be prosecuted.

A spokesman for Bath and North East Somerset Council said: “The council takes traffic safety very seriously and the Highways Team will make sure that the necessary inspections are carried out to ensure that all the relevant signage is in place. Highways issues can be reported via Council Connect at Council_Connect@bathnes.gov.uk or on 01225 394041.”