Stop speeding traffic before someone is killed, say Fishponds residents

RESIDENTS of a road used as a rat run say something needs to be done to stop speeding traffic, before someone is killed.

Two collisions in the space of two months on Ridgeway Road have resulted in vehicles overturning or leaving the road.

In the latest, in January (pictured above), a car ended up lodged in a wall in front of a house after a crash near the junction with Dominion Road.

In November another car flipped onto its roof after a collision at the same junction – just a week after a funding bid by residents for speed indicator signs was turned down.

The road is used as a cut-through by drivers trying to avoid the traffic lights at the junction of Lodge Causeway and Fishponds Road.

It has a 20mph speed limit but residents say frustrated drivers trying to avoid jams frequently break it, leaving the road unsafe for other road users and pedestrians.

Heavy lorries, directed onto the road by satnav units, also end up getting stuck and having to reverse.

‘Our streets are not for racing around’

Resident Mary Stevens has been campaigning to tackle the road’s traffic problems for several years.

She said: “It does feel like someone will have to be killed before there’s a change. It feels very depressing.

“Our streets are not for racing around and we shouldn’t be tolerating it.”

Residents have been organising via the Ridgeway Road Positive Action Group.

They applied to the council for £12,000 last year to pay for two vehicle-activated traffic signs, which tell drivers their speed and whether they are breaking the limit.

However the bid for Community Infrastructure Levy money, paid by developers building in the area, was turned down.

Hillfields ward city councillor Ellie King wrote to Mary to tell her there was not enough CIL funding for the scheme, and there was a “significant backlog” in funding highways projects.

Another resident, who asked not to be named, said residents were “rather livid” that the application was rejected.

Mary said: “We understand the council’s financial position, but public services end up having to cover the huge cost of accidents – yet there’s no scope for upfront investment to prevent them.

“We need a rethink about who our streets are for, and change things so kids can walk to school safely.”

No consensus on road closure

In 2020 the possibility of closing Ridgeway Road to through traffic at the bridge over the Bristol & Bath Railway Path was discussed at a community meeting.

At the time residents were told there had been 44 accidents in the previous 15 years and 629 speeding fines handed to drivers breaking the 20mph limit in three years.

A survey responded to by 300 people failed to show a consensus on the idea of closing the road, although residents did agree HGVs should be banned and speeding needed to be tackled.

Residents are holding a meeting at Chester Park Infant School on Monday February 5 at 7.30pm to discuss the next steps, including the possibility of setting up a community speedwatch scheme.

Ridgeway Road runs through the Hillfields and Eastville wards, and the Voice has asked the four city councillors representing wards for their views.

Police said the car involved in the incident on January 11 had collided with a parked vehicle.

No-one was injured and the collision is not the subject of any further police investigation.