Traffic problems faced in Keynsham's Park Road 'should never happen again', says transport chief

May 06 2016

The transport chief for Bath and North East Somerset Council has said that he wants to ensure the ongoing disruption faced by Keynsham residents living near the Meadows development “never happens again anywhere else in the authority”.

The transport chief for Bath and North East Somerset Council has said that he wants to ensure the ongoing disruption faced by Keynsham residents living near the Meadows development “never happens again anywhere else in the authority”.

Cabinet member for transport Councillor Anthony Clarke was speaking to Keynsham town councillors at their meeting on April 19, after being invited to give them an update on work to tackle trouble spots in the town as part of the authority’s transport strategy for Keynsham.

He said the situation in Park Road was “unspeakable” and he was working to ensure the major projects team and highways officers talked “in a meaningful way” over future schemes, “ensuring agreements signed with developers take these things into account”.

Taylor Wimpey is building nearly 300 homes off Park Road and construction traffic accessing the site since work began in 2012 has prompted a raft of complaints from residents. These have included lorries delivering materials outside of the agreed hours, potholes and damage to grass verges from HGVs, drivers failing to use the agreed routes to and from the site, reports of speeding as well as a long-hoped-for haul road to redirect vehicles failing to materialise.

Responding to the comments, a Taylor Wimpey spokesman said the company had met with the community and ward councillors regularly and kept residents informed of activities at the site via a newsletter.

He added: “We recognise that we have a responsibility to keep disturbance to our neighbours to a minimum during our construction operations, and this is a responsibility we take very seriously. We regret that people living near the Meadows have experienced inconvenience and disruption and we will continue to listen to residents’ concerns and try to put right any problems which are brought to our attention.”

Also at the top of the agenda at the April meeting were worsening parking problems in the town centre as the new council offices reached full occupancy.

Councillor Brian Simmons said Keynsham and District Dial a Ride drivers had noticed an increase in on-street parking on both sides of various residential streets, causing problems in narrow roads such as Handel Road, Sherwood Road and Park Road.

Councillor Zoe Wilkins, chair of the Chamber of Commerce, said traders had reported car parks were filled during the week by people with parking permits while the Civic Centre car park was poorly used at weekends as a result of poor signage, they believed.

Ms Wilkins suggested that raising the price of parking permits could be considered to encourage more people to use public transport.

An annual parking permit for Keynsham’s long-stay car parks is £216 while a yearly season ticket for rail travel from Bristol or Bath to Keynsham is £860 or £868 respectively and a Touchcard for bus travel from Bristol or Bath is £792 or £960 respectively for the year.

A resident also took the opportunity to raise his concerns about HGVs and buses mounting the pavements at narrow points on Charlton Road.

Mr Clarke said he had been taken on tours of the town by Keynsham councillors Charles Gerrish and Alan Hale, visiting some of the worst “pinch points” and he believed bollards on the pavements on Charlton Road could force buggy and wheelchair users into the road.

“There are very difficult problems relating to this, and the major one from a council point of view is that we don’t have authority to do anything about traffic offences or police matters. The Local Government Association is trying hard to change that so that we can deal with things like HGVs mounting the pavement and not have to rely on police,” he said.

An experimental approach to traffic orders was the correct way, he added, while longer term methods of altering traffic flow, such as a bypass, were looked at and he would take on board issues raised about parking. Transport studies following on from the Keynsham Transport Strategy adopted last year were also continuing, he said, and the town council would be consulted before the trial of one-way traffic on the High Street was implemented, although no date has been set.