A wider scheme

For the benefit of your readers in West Ward, Portishead, I would like the opportunity to respond to last week's letter concerning the voting on the current Junction 19 scheme

For the benefit of your readers in West Ward, Portishead, I would like the opportunity to respond to last week's letter concerning the voting on the current Junction 19 scheme.The planners objective is to enable Junction 19 to cope better when the 2,000+ extra 'Ashlands' cars which swell the traffic already using this often congested route out of Portishead with the introduction of computer controlled traffic lights sited at the head of the Portbury Hundred.The voting options were:To approve the scheme, which is expected to increase traffic flows from 820 cars per hour to 1,100 cars per hour, thereby reducing traffic queues (but admitted as a short term solution). Or to vote against the scheme and allow the commuters' daily drudge to continue unchanged and progressively get worse.I did not feel I could support either option.The proposed scheme, I felt, did not go far enough and voting against it would have meant no improvement at all.What I did do, however before the vote, was to try and suggest a wider scheme by proposing the Highways Agency join forces with the developers to undertake a joint long term solution, remodelling the whole junction, rather than just repositioning the traffic lights.Part of this proposal, which was widely supported, was for a second lane onto the north bound carriage slip way, which 70 per cent of the morning Portbury Hundred traffic uses. Simplistically, by doubling the sliproad's capacity the queuing time could be potentially halved. I abstained from voting in protest because I felt this Government agency didn't listen or look beyond their short term budgets, seeing fit only to reject all proposals out of hand on the grounds of cost and road safety rather than Portishead's much deserved needs. Cllr David JolleyDistrict Councillor. Portishead West Ward.


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