A public meeting has been called to discuss local residents’ concerns about the “experimental” closure of Highwood Road after it emerged that South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) is to make a final decision on the closure at a committee meeting in September.
The local meeting takes place at Coniston Community Centre, near The Parade in Coniston Road, on Thursday 22nd August at 7pm.
It has been organised by Chris Jenner, the community development worker for Patchway, in response to concerns raised at the Patchway Safer and Stronger Community Group meeting on 24th July.
The closure of Highwood Road to general traffic (buses and taxis are still allowed to use it, subject to a 20mph speed limit) was a key component of the outline planning permission for the development of the North Field area (now known as Charlton Hayes) and is intended to provide safe pedestrian and cycling links between Charlton Hayes and “old” Patchway.
The road was closed to general traffic on 15th October 2012, following the introduction of an 18-month experimental Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) intended to “allow the implications of the scheme to be fully considered in consultation with the local community”.
The “experimental” nature of the closure was a concession made by the council after 4,137 people signed a petition calling for it to be kept open to general non-commercial traffic, subject to a 20mph speed limit, in addition to the buses and taxis that are allowed to use it under the council’s original Highwood Road Linear Park scheme.
Research by The Journal has revealed that the ‘forward plan’ of SGC’s Planning Transport and Strategic Environment (PTSE) Committee indicates that the topic “Highwood Road closure – review re-opening” is due to be discussed at the committee’s meeting on 4th September.
According to the plan, committee members will be asked:
- To consider the results of the consultation following the implementation of the Experimental Bus only TRO on Highwood Road.
- To reach a decision on whether to Confirm, Modify or Extinguish the Experimental Bus only TRO on Highwood Road.
The Journal understands that Thursday’s public meeting in Patchway will be attended by town councillors (some of whom are also South Gloucestershire councillors) but no SGC officers will be present.
The results of SGC’s public consultation on the “experimental” closure, held from October 2012 to April 2013, are likely to be revealed next week when the agenda and reports for September’s PTSE Committee meeting are published.