Real issue

PUBLISHED: 16:20 15 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:01 24 May 2010

As the Cabstand fiasco rumbles on, it becomes ever more clear that North Somerset council officials have dug their heels in and will protect their stance over the new road layout, come what may. The timing of their meeting on March 24 is a point in view.

As the Cabstand fiasco rumbles on, it becomes ever more clear that North Somerset council officials have dug their heels in and will protect their stance over the new road layout, come what may. The timing of their meeting on March 24 is a point in view. The lights do work, after a fashion, but at a cost to the motorist and at a cost to the residents of Slade Road. Five thousand signatures is ample evidence that the residents of Portishead are unwilling to continue putting up with that cost.North Somerset's answer is to tweak the lights one more time and to give consideration to making Slade Road a cul-de-sac. This is a very convenient fix for North Somerset but a further inconvenience for the motorist and does nothing to tackle the real issue. In fact it will only force more cars into the Cabstand junction "car park". However, North Somerset will be seen to have governed, the residents of Slade Road will be appeased and the rest of us will do as we are told.A number of letters have been written to the local papers suggesting that an elongated roundabout would be the best solution. It is the only solution, and, we know it will work because the previous road layout was largely used in this fashion. All that was necessary was to formalise the area as such and include a much-needed pedestrian crossing at Cabstand. Additionally, the most dangerous area for pedestrians is at Avon Way, between the two banks. That's where we really need a crossing.The very large, but very empty pedestrian area outside Waitrose garage must be given back to the motorist. The lights must be removed and the area must be remodelled as an elongated roundabout.Pedestrian traffic at the new crossings, other than Cabstand itself, is currently very light, and, likely to remain so because the attractions away from the High Street trend towards the drive-to rather than walk-to. The resultant low usage of these crossings would have little impact on the traffic flow.It was reported in the North Somerset Times on December 14, 2005, that North Somerset's assistant director for development and environment, Karuna Tharmananthar, has said: "Removal of the lights is not an option". I would like to remind Mr. Tharmananthar that if the time of the meeting on March 24 was shifted to make it more accessible to the public, he could well face up to 5,000 residents, all very eager to explain how removal of the lights is very much an option.J H Lewis - Woodhill Avenue, Portishead

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