£2m road safety upgrade

MORE than £2 million in funding has been announced to improve safety on one of the main routes through Downend.

The Department for Transport says a total of £2.275m will be spent on measures to reduce the risks to cyclists and pedestrians using a five-and-a-half mile stretch of the A432, from the Avon Ring Road through to Easton.

The Bristol and South Gloucestershire A432 Safer Roads Fund project will include “speed reducing measures” and improved pedestrian crossings, with the aim of bringing about “significant reductions in fatal and serious injuries” on the road.

It will include the length of Badminton Road from the Wick Wick roundabout junction with the A4174 into the middle of Downend, the entire lengths of Downend Road and Fishponds Road, and the Stapleton Road in Easton.

Two miles of road covered by the project are in South Gloucestershire and the rest are in Bristol. The funding has been given to Bristol City Council, which will coordinate the work.

The city council was unable to give the Voice any details of the scheme.

A South Gloucestershire Council spokesperson said designs for road safety measures are in the early stages and a timescale for the project has not yet been fixed, although proposals would be shared during a public consultation before any work starts.

The funding is part of £38.3m for road improvements announced by the DfT under its Safer Road Funding scheme in late March.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Britain’s roads are some of the safest in the world, but we are always looking at ways to help keep drivers and all road users safe.”

Funding was awarded using the Crash Risk Mapping project published annually by the Road Safety Foundation, based on traffic flow data and figures for reported road casualties.

The RSF says there were 15 collisions involving serious or fatal injuries on the stretch of the A432 covered by the project between 2019 and 2021, a 15% rise on the previous three years.

It estimates the improvements will reduce fatal and serious injury accidents on the A432 by more than 30% in the next 20 years.

Data site crashmap.co.uk recorded 23 people injured, four of them seriously, in collisions along Badminton Road and 27 people injured, five of them seriously, on Downend Road over the five years from 2018 to 2022.

The DfT says the project will involve “introducing speed reducing measures and improving pedestrian crossing facilities, which will help to improve active travel by reducing the risk to pedestrians and cyclists”.