Death of pedestrian prompts road safety campaign in Chipping Sodbury

Unhappy residents on Cotswold Road, Chipping Sodbury

Unhappy residents on Cotswold Road, Chipping Sodbury

First published in News Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury

PEOPLE living on a ‘dangerous’ dual carriageway in Chipping Sodbury have launched a campaign to cut the number of accidents outside their homes.

Residents of Cotswold Road and surrounding roads are calling on South Gloucestershire Council to implement safety measures as a matter of urgency. Their appeal follows the death of 39-year-old pedestrian John Ferguson, from Kingrove Crescent, who was killed in a crash involving two cars on July 27.

Chairman of the Elms Neighbourhood Watch Committee, Mike Westcott, told the Gazette: "We should all be concerned about what is happening.

"It is not so much being worried more accidents will happen, they have already happened.

"It definitely needs either a speed camera or to be reduced to a single lane carriageway. It is dangerous and something needs to be done."

The fatal accident happened on the eastbound carriageway, which remains dual lane despite the council reducing the westbound carriageway to a single lane in 2007 following complaints from householders on that side of the road.

People living on the eastbound side claim a catalogue of minor accidents, cars landing in residents’ gardens and atop their boundary walls has blighted them for years and say it is now time their side of the road is made a priority.

Carole Swain, who has lived in Cotswold Road for 45 years, said: "We have been constantly complaining to the council and when they altered the other side it was with the promise they would alter this side too, but that has never been done.

"At night youngsters zoom up and down here like it is a racetrack. The traffic is a lot quieter in the evenings so they are able to speed, they go way over the 50mph limit."

A petition calling for improvements has so far been signed by all 37 residents on the eastbound side.

Bob Keen, also a member of the Elms Neighbourhood Watch Committee, said handheld speed guns should be used to slow traffic down, as they are used elsewhere in the district.

"Just a few people standing there with yellow jackets on would slow drivers down," he said.

"In the evenings young motorists get together racing around town, it just seems the sort of thing they do."

A spokeswoman for South Gloucestershire Council said traffic bosses had been monitoring vehicle speeds and driver behaviour before progress was made on the eastern carriageway.

She added: "Following the reduction in both the reported injury record and vehicle speeds on the westbound approach, requests have been made by residents living on Cotswold Road to carry out a similar scheme on the eastbound approach.

"This request is included on South Gloucestershire Council’s task register of schemes competing for inclusion in the Local Transport Plan Capital Works Programme."

She confirmed that one side of an underpass for pedestrians underneath Cotswold Road was closed for essential maintenance at the time of the accident but the other side had remained open at all times.

* Two men, aged 33 and 19, were arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and both have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

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