The long-debated closure of Patchway’s Highwood Road to general traffic looks set to take effect from Monday 15th October after traffic orders associated with the scheme were published today by South Gloucestershire Council.
The Council decided in July to press ahead with the proposals, despite receiving a 4,137 signature petition calling for the road to be kept open to general non-commercial traffic, subject to a 20mph speed limit.
The only concession made to the petitioners was to implement the closure for a trial period of 18-months, to allow “a full evaluation of the impact of the scheme upon the adjoining highway network and local community to be fully considered”.
Opponents of the scheme say it will make it difficult for some residents to access local facilities and claim it will lead to “rat-running” along Coniston Road.
The closure will affect the section of Highwood Road between Charlton Boulevard (the entrance into the new Charlton Hayes development) and the western end of Coniston Road. Once the scheme is implemented, only buses, taxis and cyclists will be permitted to use the restricted section.
Traffic emerging from Coniston Road onto Highwood Road will only be able to turn right (towards The Mall).
The southern carriageway of the affected section of Highwood Road has already been taken out of service and is being converted into what the Council calls a ‘linear park‘.
Access from Sycamore Drive onto the northern carriageway of Highwood Road was permanently blocked off on 10th September.
Copies of the experimental traffic orders and associated documents may be viewed at Patchway Library. Objections to making the orders permanent must be lodged with the Council within six months of the experimental orders coming into operation.
South Gloucestershire Council was unable to provide a statement in time for the publication of this article. However, the closure date of Monday 15th October is confirmed in a note that was added to the Highwood Road Roadworks page of the Council’s website earlier today.
UPDATE (2nd October): South Gloucestershire Council has today provided the following statement:
“An experimental closure order will be in place on Highwood Road from October 15th for a period of up to 18 months. Highwood Road will be closed between Coniston Road (to the west) and Callicroft Road / Durban Road (to the East) except for buses, cycles and taxis. Signs are being put up in the area giving advance notice of the closure, including at either end of Highwood Road. Consultation signs will also be put up informing the general public on how to make comments/objections to this experimental closure.”
Photo 1: New road sign showing there will be no access to The Mall from the Callicroft Road / Durban Road junction.
Photo 2: Sycamore Drive junction is already closed.