3 November 2023
When former Joint Cabinet Member for Transport at Bath and North East Somerset Council, Cllr Joanna Wright, saw collision data on the Morrisons junction on the London Road, she insisted that council officers review the road layout at the junction.
Cllr Joanna Wright, now Green Group leader at B&NES, said: “The data on collisions at this busy junction on a main road, which is also a cycling main route for many including school children, was not acceptable. The layout of our roads should be examined and wherever there are hotspots immediate action to improve them should be undertaken.
“Over the years the Council has received several reports of collisions and conflict between vehicles turning right into Morrisons and people cycling toward the city centre. From the collision analysis it appears that the majority of the cases occur when inbound vehicles are queuing through the junction and allowing right turning vehicles access to the supermarket car park. The queuing inbound vehicles obscure cyclists approaching on the inside and therefore a driver turning right cannot see them.
“I understand that the new scheme will help improve the safety of all road users by increasing inter-visibility of the driver and approaching cyclist by enlarging the yellow box across the junction. Additionally, the new scheme will be highlighting the presence of cyclists by implementing a marked cycle lane on the road surface, which will act as a reminder to drivers that cyclists may be approaching on the inside of stationary traffic.”
At November’s full council meeting Member Advocate for Active Travel, Cllr Saskia Heijltjes, will propose a ‘Vision Zero’ motion on behalf of the Green Party. This calls for a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.
Cllr Saskia Heijltjes said: “The implementation of work to improve this junction is just one of the many actions needed across our road networks. It is clear from the data that how we design our roads affects all road users and the public highway should be safe for every user. I am pleased that Officers at B&NES looked seriously at this data and that construction at this junction, which I believe will start on the 5th November, will improve the safety for all road users in this location.
“However, I would like to stress that paint doesn’t offer the physical protection from motorised vehicles is needed for people cycling.
“Physical protection can be achieved by kerbs, bollards or floating car parking. As Member Advocate for Active Travel (Bath), I speak up for vulnerable road users. Physical protection is the most important way we can enable more people to take up walking and cycling.”