Highwood Road closure: Church minister urges flock to “make feelings known”

"Road ahead closed" sign on Highwood Road, Patchway.

A Patchway church minister has urged his parishioners to respond to South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) consultation over the 18-month “experimental” closure of Highwood Road to general traffic.

Writing in a recent parish newsletter, Fr Eugene Campbell of Holy Family RC Church says he has noticed an increase in traffic using “rat runs” through Patchway estate since the closure came into effect on 15th October. He also raises concern over the volume of traffic using Coniston Road and says he hasn’t seen many buses using the the new dedicated bus lane on Highwood Road.

Expressing concerns over road safety within the main Patchway estate, Fr Campbell writes:

“I am fearful with extra traffic using the estate, that the residents and especially children are put at more danger with increased vehicles in the area.”

Urging parishioners to respond to the SGC consultation, he adds:

“This is supposed to be a temporary closure for 18 months from last November, but will become permanent if we do not make our feelings known.”

Responses to the consultation, which runs until 19th April 2013, must be made in writing, as described here:

Experimental Traffic Orders Highwood Road Area, Patchway

Photo: “Road ahead closed” sign on Highwood Road, near Holy Family RC Church.

Extra signs erected to increase awareness of road closure

With large numbers of unauthorised vehicles continuing to use the restricted section of Highwood Road, there has been criticism from readers of The Journal that SGC hasn’t done enough to signpost the road closure.

Residents of the new Charlton Hayes housing development have reported that many drivers are turning into their estate and trying to find another way through to The Mall

SGC has responded by installing massive solar-powered road signs on Gloucester Road, which instruct drivers to go “straight on” to the new junction at Hayes Way rather than turning off at Stoke Lodge.

"The Mall straight on" sign on Gloucester Road, Patchway.

Photo: Solar-powered road sign near the Shellmor Avenue junction on the southbound A38 Gloucester Road.

More information and related links:


  1. i dont think that we are goona get any chrimbo spirt from SGC in the season of goodwill maybe we should pray from help from above








  3. Lets just see what happens in 18months but as I and a lot of people have said on here before Coniston road is a main road like many other roads and so it gets used more now tha Highwood is closed (for now we hope)

  4. I understand your doubts Diane, but unless we write to SGC and continue to tell them they got it wrong and over 4000 of us told them so, this road will never reopen.

    Thank you Father Campbell for taking the time to highlight the dangers this road closure is causing the residents of Patchway. There has been several accidents on Coniston Road in the last 2 weeks,

    I hope its gets opened before someone gets badly hurt.

    Chris Mills

  5. Well if God is on our side it must give us half a chance, I feel better than Bob Dylan now. Genuine thanks to the church for raising this, brilliant. Community in action. The real big society.

    Let’s hope he can deliver us this common sense from SGC.

    I hear from some other little helpers there are some more deliveries coming from Santa to Patchway tonight, and for next year.

    A mayoral chain should be dropping through Brian Hopkinson’s chimney some time, it’s top of his wish list. In return there should be a revival of the Bowling green for Stoke Lodge residents, I’d seek indoor and outdoor given the weather if I paid me taxes there.

    I better not spoil what other delights santa’s got coming kids, but have no fear I’m getting some gobstoppers.

    Thanks to all on here for all their views and info good and bad, it does make us all think, that’s a good thing, never a dull moment eh, and thanks to the journal for keeping us all informed, merry christmas everybody!

  6. coniston is not like highwood rd, coniston is a one lane rd and highwood lane was a duel carriageway designed to move traffic through patchway without going through a housing estate.everywhere you look councils are building bypasses to aleviate traffic through built up areasbut not this dafty council,they redirected traffit through a housing estate and shut a duel carriage way,we are a laughing stock

  7. But it didnt take long for coniston road to be closed due to a car being on its roof on friday 21st, there is just too much traffic going down there now and this was an accident waiting to happen

  8. This road is too busy but nurse crippin if the rumours are anything to go by this person crashed her car into a parked car and somehow ended upside down, this is purely the fault of the driver who was clearly driving too fast, while I agree with you about the volume of traffiic on consiton road, the only person accountable for this accident was the driver.

  9. I live on Coniston and park my car on my drive at the front of the house. I always reverse onto the drive so that I am not reversing onto the road. Yesterday there was so much traffic that it took me 10 minutes to park up.

    I don’t really have an opinion about Highwood road, I barely ever used the closed section anyway. But, if they wanted to close the main thoroughfare through Patchway and encourage people to use the new Hayes Road, they should have made Coniston Road ‘Access Only’ and then got our local boys in blue to police it for a while.

    Coniston road is not designed for the amount of traffic that it is now coping with, and the inner estate roads like Stroud and Durban are just totally unsuitable.

    I’ve sent my opposition, but I really don’t want it to be a death in the community, caused by this daft decision, that finally convinces them that it is wrong.

    Thank you Father Campbell

  10. @pained, 10 minutes to reverse your car on your drive! It’s Coniston Road not the bloody M4! Need to learn how to park by the sounds of it!

  11. make coniston road access only,never happen,there is only one answer open up highwoodlane for normal traffic and get back to normal and this sorry affair will be over,then change the lights back to what they used to be and then i can turn right at the top of callicroft and be part of patchway once again.

  12. Last night my wife hit a pot hole on Coniston and ripped a hole in the side wall of one of our tires, really nice of Ford to give us a puncher repair kit and no spare, had to wait for the RAC man to get a new Tyre.

    Coniston is being ripped apart by the traffic now using it, I know its a main road, but its not a main arterial road the closure of Highwood has turned it into.

  13. i cant stop shaking my head in disbelief at the stupidity of the south glos council,we went to little stoke park with our grandaughter and dog and found the barrier closed across the entrance to the car park so we couldnt get in ,shut on a bank holiday,informed it will be open again on tuesday,what a laugh everyone is back to work.

  14. Re: Little Stoke Park car park barrier

    I believe the barrier is the responsibility of Stoke Gifford Parish Council and not South Gloucestershire Council.

    In its defence, I should point out that the Parish Council gave advance warning of the barrier closure through a news item on its website:


    but I guess that not many people look on there.

  15. I noticed this too as I was there on Saturday.

    I wonder if it may have been to do with travelling folk who may have turned up over the period?

    Filton had a problem recently, and ended up using a height restrictive barrier to prevent caravans entering and staying in a local car park for the long term.

    That’s my guess anyway, for what it’s worth, no help I know. The councillors there may be able to help answer on the Stoke Gifford Journal if you post there?

  16. Dear Sir

    It has now been a few months since the closure of Highwood road and I feel it is time that a made a response to voice my objection to this very poor and disastrous decision for the local residents, particularly for the sake of the limited number of buses that actually use the new bus route compared to the number of vehicles now using Coniston road. I live just off Coniston road and I believe there has been at least a 10 fold increase in traffic using it since the closure of High wood road. As a consequence a number of accidents have already occurred and I strongly believe it is only time before one causes a fatality.

    As a local resident I wish voice my objection during the consultation period to the closure of Highwood road. Not only has it increased the amount of traffic on Coniston road, butting residents at increased personal risk, it has also aggravated the already poor condition of the road surface, increased damage to the local environment and it has started to devalue property prices of houses facing Coniston road.

    I personally feel that the residents of the Patchway and surrounding area have been significantly let down and very also poorly represented by their local elected officials in allowing the decision to close Highwood road to proceed. I hope that after the consultation period sanity will prevail and local traffic will be allowed once again to use Highwood road in both directions.

    Michael Stock

  17. Michael: I too live not far Coniston Road and agree with you with regard to the amount of traffic and the condition of thealreay poor road surface. It is also noticeable that the amount off traffic filtering through Bradley, Worthing and Durban roads has also increased, although this did not happen immediately – it took about a month for the increase to become noticeable, but I put this down to people getting adventurous and trying to find alternatives to traversing the whole of Coniston Road.

    Let’s just hope that common sense prevails – Highwood Road will never be a dual carriageway again but hopefully it will become available – perhaps with a restriction on weight/length of vehicles.

  18. i think it can be put back to a duel carriageway again,what was done can be undone,just needs certain individuals to look at whats happening in there parish,see sense and do the right thing and swallow there pride.

  19. I can’t see how you can restore the dual carriageway, but the road can and certainly should be re-opened.

    I hope people are formally complaining to SGC, as they need to hear this.

    I’m a bit concerned over a couple of recent comments by a couple of people though, I hope you all realise this was an old decision that went by the old town council, the new town council did all it could to try and over-turn the mistakes of the previous incumbents.

    Those who campaigned with us out on Highwood Road and at the council when we know the truth, the rest of you need to know that too.

    Yes I know some of the current council were here, but the ConDem Liberals and Tories were the South Glos councillors here then, the new Labour group tried desperately to overturn their stupidity in this but we were again over-ruled by the ConDem Tories and Liberals at South Glos Council who ignored the signatures of over 4,100 residents and council tax payers.

    We were not helped by the U Turns of Tory Stoke Lodge Councillors in SGC Brian Hopkinson and Sarah Pomfret who signed the petition with us and then voted to close the road along with all their Tory and Liberal Colleagues, only Labour Councillors voted to keep it open.

    Tory Councillors Hopkinson and Pomfret are now leaving Patchway and taking Stoke Lodge with them, after helping to close the main route through it. Also guilty of being asleep on the job while all this was going on are your former Liberal South Glos Councillors here, Dando, Graupner, and Woodley.

    It shouldn’t be party political here, but it is, when every single Tory and Liberal to a man and woman voted to close Highwood Road and the Airfield too.

    Please know that, and remember it when you vote.

  20. Didn’t know it was a Tory decision, but why does that not suprise me! They always make the best decisions! Will vote Tory again and again and again!

  21. I have lived in Stroud rd for 6months now and cannot believe that the closure of Highwood rd actually went through , the traffic on coniston , stroud rd and others is unbelievable and is at a very dangerous level considering that many children walk these roads to get to and from school .
    coniston rd is begging to be resurfaced , cant wait to see the mayhem when they do that , they may as well only do the works during rush hour just to add to their list of stupid things to do.

  22. resurfing coniston road wont mean less traffic will be using it, it just means the same traffic will be using a resurfaced rd.we all know the answer,get back to what it was like before the closure and and the chance to turn right at the top of callicroft after visiting the mall.sgc have really spoiled the quality of life in patchway the moment they started building those new homes,anyway i dont seem to live in patchway anymore, callicroft,hazeldene and southsea dont belong anywhere,we are patchways bermuda triangle.

  23. There’s already a pot hole on the new closed section of Highwood Road. Hope Bovis have made a better job of building the houses…!

  24. @ Callicroft!

    Get over yourself….Patchway triangle? For a start, on your road I bet there has been a neglible increase in traffic. I assume your concern is that you can’t turn left right by your house etc?

    Does me nut in. Drive down, do the A38. Even on a bad day it’s 10 mins tops and I do it everyday from my house in Patchway for work.

    I remember you I think – you do the whole of Coniston for some reason? Will take just as long, albeit you’ll be doing 30mph not sat in “traffic”

  25. i do the whole of coniston for the simple reason i cant drive to the mall on a perfectly good road called highwood,the sgc have dictated my journey with there daft road closure nothing else and i will use all roads open to me until the decision is reversed.ps,i tried to get over myself but i got tangled up,sorry

  26. dear callicroft it appears that you have a city & guilds in missing the point , if you would slow down , read , study the points made by me in an earlier post you would discover that im actually on the side of the residents of this area , the points that i have made are my personal observations of council incompetence , highwood rd should never have been closed , its now so quiet that bovis whenever they decide to build will have nature lovers to deal with .
    Any way just got over my self ( what ever that means)

  27. All apologies accepted , whats next? The mandarins would form a road block but we are British , we endure such inconvenience , This is just a warm up before the houses are built , just a few at the moment but wait till they build thousands of houses on filton air field , highwood will be but a distant memory and north bristol will be gridlock any day of the week not just when there is a incident on the m5 . gloomy gloomy gloomy.

  28. Open the road to residents and bus only.

    HGVs use it during the night.

    What is it closed to as the signs are different – from the Mall it is bus only followed by a sign bus taxi and cycle only, from Patchway it’s bus taxi and motorcycle.

    Not noticed any grid lock all over Xmas, not like how it has been in earlier years – working well in that respect.

  29. lets not get bogged down with just this group of vehicles, that group of residents,i agree with an earlier post ,it cant be turned back to a duel carriageway but still can be turned back to a single lane by pass, open it for everyone,

  30. And opening it for every one does what? Don’t forget that the area will become a park space, traffic will need to be restricted.

    Make it a 15 MPH zone for just bus use or bus and local residents only.

    Don’t forget that there is a new road built to take the Mall traffic.

  31. Glyn Williams has asked us to publish a copy of the letter he has sent to South Gloucestershire Council in response to the consultation on the “experimental” closure of Highwood Road:

    For the attention of Dean Shepherd

    I strongly disagree with the new road layout for the reasons stated below:-

    1. Most buses do not use Highwood Road and use Coniston Road because that’s where the bus stops are located!

    2. Most vehicles now use Coniston Road and it gets heavily congested at peak times.

    3. As Coniston Road traffic is now so heavy it will not be long before a child is run over being maimed or even killed.

    4. The condition of the road service in Coniston Road is very bad now and after just a few months a motorcyclist or a cyclist is going to have a nasty accident.

    5. Where is the gain in making Highwood Road a bus lane only?

    6. The land you have given to the builders belongs to the tax payer and they have not agreed to you giving it away.

    7. The local shops will possibly close due to less traffic passing their doors.

    I will help all organizations that will pursue this to even a judicial review!

    Glyn Williams
    Bradley Stoke

  32. Excellent letter from Glyn. I hope everyone on here that is unhappy (or as in my case furious) with the closure of Highwood Road has also written to Dean Shepherd and encouraged their neighbours and friends to do also.

  33. 15mph for bus use,thats what it is now,who is going to police the restriction for residents only,never happen,ok make hgv lorries use the new road but cars etc use highwood with a 20mph speed limit,got to be better than all the other routes.

  34. Policing is easy, camera and resident’s premit sticker, instant fine.

    How about making Coniston Road Residents only? Forcing use of Hayes road?

    Once non resident traffic has been educated problem solved.

    As for the letter, item 1 obviously he does not use buses, item 3 is speculative and can apply to any road, why just a child? Item 4 speculative again and as for item 7 more traffic on Coniston will feed those shops and the Rodway shops are hidden from Highwood Road and can only attract more custom. As I see it only the garage area will be hit by the road closure. If you are going to write such a letter it should be much better than that.

  35. forget cameras,stickers,permits etc,reverse the decision to close highwood and get it open,i like my idea cars and buses only no hgvs and make it a 20mph speed limit which bristol will be one day anyway,paper work costs money which we will end uo paying for.

  36. Mr Dean Shepherd have you read all of the above comments , please leave a post on here so that we know that you are taking notice.

  37. Very interesting!!

    GRJ – Yes I did notice, believe me I had to sit on my hands but when the seagulls follow the trawler it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea!

  38. @GRJ

    It takes 10 minutes to reverse onto the drive because the traffic is so bad. If you haven’t got something constructive to say I suggest you keep your opinions to yourself.

    @ Callicroft

    The current situation is intolerable but not helped by residents who “will use all roads open to me until the decision is reversed”. How about thinking about those of us affected by your actions and use the route via Hayes Road that has been made available to you. It may take YOU longer, but it stops your actions affecting ME.

    I think that Highwood road should be reopened. Put the traffic lights back for ‘Callicroft’ and if needs be put a 30 limit on like the 30 limit outside my house on Coniston.

    Nobody in SGC has worried about the Dual Carriageway running alongside Thirlmere, Cranbourne and Southsea Roads so why the sudden kowtowing to the developers of Charlton Hayes? I’ll tell you why, it’s all about money and cramming as many houses as they can onto the plot. I wonder who is getting/got the brown envelope.


  39. Spot on Pained indeed.

    One does wonder about Brown Envelopes for these decisions, this one in particular as its so dumb and senseless and ignoring so many voter’s wishes, although the crucial point was it wasn’t ‘their’ voters so they at SGC cared less, a very Nimby Council who dump all they can on Patchway and Filton to look after their own greener enclaves.

    They expect you, me, us, to go away, that’s how they get away with it, unless people are prepared to really stand up and challenge then these things will keep going on.

    Remember to send your concerns directly to SGC and via the links and emails for the consultation, clearly it’s still a big issue for the unhappy majority on here from what I’ve read, so keep on keeping on, surely at some point common sense must prevail?

  40. I have already made my views known to Dean Shepherd via a formal objection. However, we must base our objections on facts and not a ‘feeling of unfairness’

    I am surprised that the council have not got traffic surveys going on to monitor any increases in traffic (maybe they have?) on Coniston and surrounding roads.

    I am surprised they made the changes to Highwood without fixing the potholes in Coniston.

    I despair at the decision to make changes against the will of the majority. Long live democracy!!

  41. has any body got a off road vehicle for sale i need one as i use coniston rd and my usual car is no longer suitable for that sort of terrain

  42. the patchway bypass isnt up to scratch then,i reckon they are going to make coniston rd bus only when it is totally destroyed and make worthing rd the new patchway bypass.

  43. Perhaps they want to turn Patchway into the first bus only estate? Or perhaps they have already bought shares in off road vehicles and are rubbing their hands together with great glee

  44. Well I drove down Coniston the other day to work around the Highwood closure and could not believe it, Coniston Road surface is like a ploughed field of concrete, shocking, disgraceful, SGC what the hell are you doing???? This is bloody mental, I don’t bee lieve it!!

  45. get highwood rd open before there is a disaster of some sort,we have got a council have we,where are they ,why dont they say something to let us know they are alive,is there anybody there.

  46. You’ve got a Patchway Town Council of which I am a member whose views are TOTALLY ignored by the ConDem South Gloucestershire Council, along with the views of some 4,100+ Patchway residents who petitioned, protested, and pleaded for Highwood Road to remain open, all to no avail as every single one of the Tories and Lib Dems voted to close it.

    What do you propose we do in the face of this. I grew up to the sounds of anarchy in the UK but cannot advocate that here.

    Should we declare a state of independence for Patchway Island? I’m up for that seeing as no one likes us and we don’t care. What else do we do in the face of mass ignorance?

  47. Having previously commented and voiced my opinion that it was madness to close Highwood Road,I can say that after four months of driving up and down Coniston Road it can only be described now as utter lunacy and the the lunatics who chose to impose this closure should be locked away.

    The lower part now is probably less than third world standard,driving is a hazard, and cycling well that’s just suicidal as I found out last week in daylight, god knows what its like at night.

    I only hope that as the experiment draws to a close we can really get the good people of Patchway together and do our damnest to get this closure overturned.

    Having stood at the top of Coniston at 4.30 pm last saturday, it was astonishing to see how many vehicles were turning left into Coniston, whilst in front of me stood a completely deserted, perfectly good, Highwood Road, and how anyone can justify that well they should be locked up as well.

  48. You are 100% right Ray. However, I just got wind of this from an airfield campaigner…

    There are ‘rumours’ from someone who attended a recent SGC core strategy meeting and reported back that it was said there that SGC closed the road and can’t re-open it as the builders (Bovis?) who paid for the relief road to be opened are threatening to sue SGC for their money back if SGC do re-open Highwood Road now…

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