Petition launched after ‘near miss’

PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 June 2016

The M49 is currently closed.

The M49 is currently closed.

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A petition to change an ‘unsafe’ main road through Banwell to include new traffic calming measures has been launched.

Marie Postma, who lives in Hayward village, launched the online petition to encourage North Somerset Council to place traffic lights at the top and bottom of the hill in West Street, which is adjacent to the High Street.

Ms Postma, who is 25 years old and a full-time mum, launched her petition after the Mercury reported a lorry had struck a building next to West Street’s junction with Church Street.

She said: “I decided to create this petition after seeing the story about the building. I wasn’t surprised because I pass through regularly and the road is so narrow that some vehicles can’t get through. The traffic flow means people get impatient.

“People have to get their cars on to the pavement to get through. I am quite a nervous driver and do not like going through that area.

“When there were temporary traffic lights, it worked perfectly fine.”

North Somerset Council is aware of the petition and says steps are being taken to exclude large vehicles from the area.

Deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees, the executive member for highways, said: “We are seeking to ban most heavy goods vehicle traffic through Banwell once the new South Bristol link road is completed.

“But traffic lights on this section would need to cater for three or four junctions and would undoubtedly lead to even worse delays, as well as speeding up traffic through this section if it was allowing one way passage.”

However, Ms Postma said sitting in traffic is a ‘small price to pay’ if it averts further accidents.

She said: “When the lorry hit the building, it could have been a lot worse – and it could have been avoided.

“It was a near miss and I would ask people if they would prefer to sit for 10 minutes in traffic, or wait even longer if an accident happens. It is a small price to pay if it stops someone dying.

“I have had a good response so far and I really hope by getting the word out there it will change.”

Banwell Parish Council’s clerk said: “The parish council is well aware of the traffic problems in Banwell and we have been working tirelessly for many years to try to solve them. Unfortunately there is no easy solution for many reasons, all of which can be confirmed with North Somerset Council.

“We are still in dialogue with NSC to try to come up with a solution. The parish council is very concerned but it is completely out of our powers – the petition needs to go to North Somerset Council not us. The highways department is the only one who can make these decisions – we can only try to influence it. The parish council meetings are always open to the public if anyone wants to come and discuss this issue.”

To sign the petition, click here.

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