Daytime traffic has increased

I WAS angered to read the council's reason for stopping the tolling on the Kewstoke Toll Road as reported in last week's Mercury

I WAS angered to read the council's reason for stopping the tolling on the Kewstoke Toll Road as reported in last week's Mercury.Surely it is up to any company bidding for the concession to decide whether it is a worthwhile proposition? The council decided not to offer this concession for tender after First Management pulled out, despite local businesses notifying them of their interest in operating it.Living only a short distance from the Toll Road I know daytime traffic has increased significantly since the road became free to use. When the road was tolled, those who used it were more often than not visiting Kewstoke and Sand Bay. Now the majority of traffic is using the road as a convenient rat-run between the M5, St Georges and Worle through to Weston seafront, town centre and indeed as an easy route out past the hospital onto the A38; and vice versa. What two or three years ago used to be a quiet rural seaside village now experiences 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm rush hours. Drivers do not give way when they should so traffic is often jammed up in the narrow sections of Kewstoke Road and when it can, traffic speeds through the village breaking the speed limit. The safety of local drivers, pedestrians, and riders is being compromised through the council's decision.Councillor Crockford-Hawley claims that 90 per cent of the road is in Weston. This may be quite correct, but that is the unpopulated stretch - 100 per cent of traffic that uses the road comes through Kewstoke, a village with few pavements and stretches of road so narrow that two cars cannot pass each other. Removing the toll means there is now nothing to slow traffic entering the village. This combined with the increased use of the road by taxis, coaches and HGVs (breaking the road's weight limit) along with the 'boy racers' who used to restrict their activities to night-time but now regularly race the Toll Road and the village during the day, means you take your life in your hands should you venture into the village on foot.He also claims he is happy to listen to the concerns of the parish council. He should come and use his ears and eyes to experience first-hand how bad the problem has become. A formal census of the roads needs to be carried out to determine not only the traffic volume but exactly where the traffic has come from and is heading to. Maybe then the council will realise that the sooner the tolls are re-introduced the sooner the village will return to being a safer and more enjoyable place to live and holiday in.MARK TEMPLEMAN - Via e-mail

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