Plan to cut traffic on rural roads

Map of roads subject to proposed traffic order

A map of the roads the council is planning to restrict use of. - Credit: North Somerset Council

A proposal to stop ‘through traffic’ and HGVs from using rural roads between Nailsea, Backwell, Clevedon and Yatton has sparked hundreds of objections. 

North Somerset Council wants to restrict access to motor vehicles on a number of rural roads, while maintaining ‘normal use’ for local residents and businesses. 

However, thousands of people have signed a petition to oppose the traffic order due to concerns it will lead to more congestion in towns and villages, and prevent local people from using the roads to get to school, work and use nearby services. 

Cllr James Tonkin, the authority’s executive member for planning, highways and transport, confirmed the order will not apply to locals, but said it will ensure roads are safer for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. 

He said: “We hope to encourage journeys by bike or on foot by making lanes between Clevedon, Yatton, Nailsea and Backwell quieter and safer.     

“To do this, we are proposing to implement a Traffic Regulation Order on the lanes. This would reduce the volume of traffic on the roads by restricting access of through-traffic or HGVs attempting to use the roads as a rat-run, while maintaining normal use of the lanes for local residents, businesses, pubs and hospitality venues, as well as their visitors, suppliers and customers.     

“By encouraging more active modes of travel, we hope to promote improved health and a greener environment, working towards our ambitious goals of carbon neutrality by 2030. We want to be sure that our proposals work for our communities, and so we welcome comments on the plans to reduce traffic on the lanes.”     

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North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox said he has been inundated with emails and letters from residents who are concerned about the proposal. 

He said: “If they want to keep HGVs off the lanes, nobody is going to be against that. But it’s not going to achieve any of their environmental concerns, it is simply diverting traffic into different places.  

“It’s just not been properly thought out, and not well explained. The best thing for the council to do is to withdraw it and have a proper consultation, and ask local residents what they think could be done.”  

North Somerset Council would like to hear people’s views on the proposal. To comment, email traffic.orders@n-somerset.gov.uk and quote the reference ATF2/RL/310321 before 5pm on April 30. 

To view the proposal, log on to www.n-somerset.gov.uk/notices  

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