With the failure of both Wiltshire and BANES to repair the damage to Staples Hill caused by heavy traffic - tracked vehicles weighting up to 28 tons, some of which is due to the development at Freshford Mill but which has been significantly reduced by crushing demolition waste and reusing that waste on site. One might wonder how a proposal to spend over one million pounds on a foot bridge across the river Avon at Bradford on Avon can be justified. Staple Hill's road surface is so poor that local motorists will not position their vehicles to the left of the road unless forced to do so. Poor cyclists have no choice but to either stop or risk aggressive action by impatient motorists.
One may question whether the so called financial crisis is real when one million pound is being seriously considered in the building of a footbridge over the river Avon at Bradford on Avon when basic road maintenance is being ignored. It seems to me that what we have to contend with is a bunch of crooks. Who has been sacked in these banks? I may be wrong but no one!!! One neighbour has been charged over £180 for being overdrawn. I'd sooner have government restored to the monarchy rather than this lot.
Parish council's £4,000 botch-up as Freshford traffic plan is shelved
ALLEGATIONS of 'bungling' have been made over Freshford Parish Council's handling of its widely condemned Shared Space initiative. The traffic-calming idea outside the Primary School was rejected last year after the council spent nearly £4,000 of public money trying to ‘sell’ the plan to the village. The news brought cheers from opponents who had branded the idea ‘misguided’ and ‘potentially dangerous’. It also brought startling claims that right from the outset the parish council had not asked the school for its opinion on a Shared Space scheme – even though it affected the safety of hundreds of children and parents. B&NES rejected the parish council's ideas in which drivers and walkers would have shared a ‘merged’ road and pavement right outside the school. It said the cost ‘could not be justified on traffic and safety grounds’. But cost was the last thing on the PC's mind in 2007 when it lashed out £3,855 of taxpayers’ money for a report and slide-show presentation on traffic-calming measures in the village. School's superior scheme Critics say the council ignored widely-held fears that many drivers were already busting speed limits as they hurtled down Freshford Lane towards the school. One observer said: ‘Spending £3,855 was outrageous – especially when B&NES ended up rejecting the firm’s idea. Children and parents were likely to have been put in danger from speeding drivers outside the school – and the merged “shared space” design looked awful. That £3,855 was just money down the drain.’ As the parish council’s original ideas are kicked into touch, approval is almost certain to be given for a simpler and far superior scheme in which the school itself is playing a major role. The B&NES initiative – which is likely to be funded from the Safer Routes to School budget and the Traffic and Safety Task Register – would mean: BUILDING a pavement behind the hedge on the school side of Freshford Lane all the way to the lay-by where coaches could safely deliver and pick up pupils, RAISING the level of the road junction and its approaches and highlighting the surface, and EXTENDING the pavements on the corners by the school, the old Post Office and New Road/Dark Lane. But with dozens of schools jostling to win B&NES’s cash for schemes, it could be two years or more before the Freshford project gets the go-ahead. 'Squandered our money' What many villagers want to know now is: Why the hell wasn’t the school asked for its views before the parish council forked out thousands of pounds of public money on consultants? A senior officer in B&NES’s Highways office told The Stroller: ‘I suggest you raise this with the parish council which might be able to answer your query.’ Clearly this is unlikely, based on the council’s handling of the affair so far. However, sources ‘close’ to Freshford Primary are outraged that the school was not asked for its suggestions right from the beginning. As one source said: ‘We were told what we'd get – instead of being asked what we needed. Minds had been made up. It was a fait accompli.’ Yet it is understood that this aspect has never been touched on at parish council meetings. Indeed, members spent barely three minutes discussing the project at one recent meeting. Equally worrying, The Stroller learns that the parish council had not even bothered to contact the consultants since cheerfully handing them the £3,855 for that 2007 presentation in the Memorial Hall. A reliable source close to the firm declared: ‘We’re not clear who, if anyone, is driving things forward on the parish council.’ An exasperated villager commented: ‘If true, this is appalling after the PC squandered £3,855 of our money. But, then again, maybe that’s par for the course in view of the ruddy awful botch-up this parish council has made of the whole business. ‘Instead of showing such arrogance, these people should be ashamed – especially after asking the entire village to the consultants’ presentation.' The meeting had been a ‘sham’, he claimed. ‘The invitation to the Memorial Hall said we’d be able to raise “traffic and parking” issues. But the parish council wasn’t interested. The Shared Space idea they were promoting seemed to be paramount. Steamrollered through 'After forking out that jaw-dropping £3,855, it obviously felt it had to steamroller through this scheme. ‘Just remind me never to accept a parish council “invitation” again.’ Many onlookers at that packed meeting two years ago were horrified when large sections of the audience rallied behind the consultants’ ideas with indecent haste as the PC's chairman hurried proceedings along, whipping up support for a 'yes' vote. As he left the meeting, one Freshford veteran and former councillor raised his eyes skywards, shook his head and remarked to friends: 'I don't believe it. How could so many seemingly intelligent people fall for all this?' Well, now we know . . . For it's a question that more and more villagers must have been asking themselves in sheer embarrassment since rashly voicing their support for the scheme. Within weeks, however, it was becoming clear that many of them had simply not thought through the consequences. So how does the scheme work? In a nutshell, the pavement is hijacked by motorists to become part of the road. Then pedestrians have to pray that drivers will never speed in these areas, never park on pavements . . . and always give way to them. Some hopes! Freshford Lane now has: Two triangular signs warning of a school ahead and children crossing, A 30mph limit, then a 20mph zone from the cemetery, past the school to the bridge by The Inn. The huge word ‘SLOW’ painted in the road near the school, and A separate sign across the road from the school warning of children playing. But a covert traffic survey by The Stroller over four days last year showed that an astonishing six drivers in 10 were busting the 30 and 20mph limits – and putting in danger dozens of children, mothers and other villagers. Indeed, several drivers were seen ‘careering’ through the 20mph zone towards the school – some of them while talking into mobile phones. Yet if the consultants pushing the scheme at that meeting had been successful, Freshford Lane could have been stripped of warning signs – because the firm likes to dismiss many signs and road markings as mere “clutter”. Outrage at 'confusion' theory Meanwhile, a row has broken over 'irresponsible' remarks made by a parish councillor closely connected to the first scheme. The member, who retired said he backed the firm’s ideas outside the school because they were based on ‘confusion’ – the confusion of motorists suddenly confronted with pedestrians in the road! His extraordinary view was certain to infuriate mothers with children and was branded ‘outrageous’ by a regional road safety officer. He said it was ‘vital’ that drivers travelling down Freshford Lane – especially those not familiar with the area – had a clear warning of any shared zone ahead and fully understood there could be people in the road or crossing it. Another angry observer said that advocating ‘confusion’ would be ‘like playing a motoring version of Russian Roulette with children’s lives’. The consultants’ 2007 slide-show raised another concern, too. Some members of the audience claimed that film shots of normally busy spots which had been given the consultants’ “treatment” seemed to show only a few vehicles . . . or none at all. ‘This gave a distorted picture in some cases,’ one resident claimed. 'I wasn’t happy about it.’ Thankfully, though, the tide seems to be turning nationally against shared space – especially among groups representing the partially sighted and disabled. Not that The Stroller is against the concept. Shared space has had notable successes in towns and cities all over the world. But using it in the perilously confined area slap outside the gates of Freshford Primary School could be lethal unless ALL drivers curb their excesses. Which is why The Stroller was adamant from the outset that the parish council’s original and ill-conceived idea had to be rejected. We should all be mightily relieved that it has been.
ON reflection, Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire has very little control of traffic in relation to pedestrians. Yet it might not seem so because there are two pedestrian crossings – and at least 11 roundabouts! The roundabouts are of no real consequence to pedestrians but are useful.
The crossings for pedestrians are close to the library and the Shambles, the most central location. It is obvious to anyone who visits Bradford that pedestrians should take great care, especially close to the canal bridge area and near the bottom of Market Street, where there are no pavements.
Effectively, there are two roundabouts: one by Station Road and one by Market Street. I can't see any way to improve the traffic control. But what I do see are lots of pedestrians waiting to cross the roads. But who cares? They're just pedestrians, aren't they? They don't pay for the roads, so let them wait. This is a classic example of the Shared Space philosophy – and it doesn't really work. The fact that most – or rather a lot – of motorists drive very carefully does not detract from the fact that many of them just drive on and don't give way to pedestrians, cyclists or anyone else. At least where the only pedestrian controlled light does force motorists to stop, pedestrians may cross the road without waiting for either a break in the traffic or for a motorist to give way. The light also allows a break for motorists to enter or exit the car park. Otherwise, bag of blood, as that is what you are, aren't you? Beware!!
I HAVE tried and failed to find a village where the Shared Space concept has been used to help residents cope with their traffic problems. All I can find is town and city applications, mainly in Holland.
The concept essentially requires the removal of traffic controls and pavements to force motorists to interact with pedestrian and other users as having equals rights. It is rather like what happens when a junction controlled by traffic lights has a lights failure. Drivers and others manage, by easing forward and using a bit of give and take and eye contact. It even seems that the traffic flow is better when the lights are NOT in operation. Of course this is a temporary effect.
I have found some information on Hans Monderman the founder of the theory. Here is a quote from an article:
"For decades, traffic engineer Hans Monderman had a hair-raising way of showing off his handiwork to anyone who took the trouble to visit his native northern Dutch province of Friesland. He would walk backward, arms folded, into the flow of traffic, and without horn-honking or expletives, drivers would slow or stop to let him safely cross to the other side. Monderman's stunt was an act of faith in the concept of "shared space," a radical street-design principle he quietly pioneered in more than 120 projects across Friesland. By the time he died of cancer last month, Monderman's local lessons had gone global: his notion of shared space has become a buzzword for urban designers all over the world. Ben Hamilton-Baillie, a British traffic and urban-design consultant, says Monderman's legacy goes beyond even that: "Hans took a very mundane profession and made it explore much wider political and social questions about what public space and public life are all about."
If Hans Monderman had been doing this for decades may I suggest that the local motorists were used to his eccentric behaviour? And of course, actually the location is where his ideas have been used to alter the road traffic behaviour.
It is obvious that Mr Monderman believes that we should entrust our bodily safety to the motorist, well at least where the road landscape has been altered according to his principles of shared Space. Well, I have not visited Holland, but in the UK we are advised by the police to avoid eye contact with other motorists as it could result in a road rage incident. The philosphy assumes that people are able to see each other's eyes, pity the blind or partially sighted pedestrian. The philsophy assumes that there will be street lighting so road users are able to see each other's eyes as well! My impression of the responsibility of other road users for their behaviour is not very high as it is based on their level of skill and perception. We should not place too much responsibility on the motorist.
Motor Vehicles and Their Control
The reality is that a motor vehicle is a large heavy moving machine that could quite easly injure and kill anyone it hits. The vehicle is controlled by a person using their hands and feet in coordination and requires good eyesight and a certain amount of agility. A moving vehicle will only stop when the brakes are applied or when it hits something. A vehicle takes time to stop and will cover a distance before it stops which is proportional to its weight and speed and condition of the road surface. Whilst these facts are obvious to adults they are not to children, and children must be brought up to take great care when crossing a road. Where a road does not have a pavement the child is at great risk. Children can become distracted and dash into the road, they are also, not so well coordinated in their movements. Older people also lose some of the awareness of danger and may stumble on poorly maintained pavements and road surfaces.
As for being motorists being considerate to each other let alone pedestrians and other road users one only has to review the rise of legislation to protect motorists from each other and others to realise that Mr Monderman's philosophy may not be transferable to the UK. The most recent legislation being to deter motorists from using mobile phones whilst they drive. And as for speed limits? As a regular user of the M4 (once a week) in the evening between Chippenham and Swindon I invariably keep to the speed limit (well most of the time!) and recently have reduced my speed to 55 mph to save fuel. When I used to drive at a steady speed of 70mph I used to overtake about two dozen cars or so a year! This meant that over that 13 mile or so distance there were virtually no cars travelling below 70mph. I often see vehicles with only one headlamp and since I am not overtaking these vehicles they are travelling faster than I am, and by the speed they ovetake me at least 75mph, whatever the weather. The M4 has had several fatal accidents over the years -it was closed last week. The introduction of speed cameras signs on the Swindon stretch only worked as a deterrence for a while, until motorists realised the cameras are not actually there.
Traffic Problem: the Documentation
The British exponent of the Shared Space theory is Ben Hamilton-Baille (BHB) and my message to him is NO I don't trust the British motorist. I am not charging £225 plus VAT for a half day consultation like BHB. But unlike BHB I have produced a complete photographic survey of every road junction in Freshford. I have also produced video films of every route in to and out of Freshford. These documents have been published here: Road Junction Photos and here: Videos of Roads and as far as I know are the only complete record of its type of a village carried out in the UK. In spite of the cost of the BHB consultants report I read of a group of residents who are considering ideas for the places where something might be done. Which sounds like BHB didn't come up with the ideas? I would have thought that BANES Highways authority would have come up with solutions, if there are any, so the question is are there traffic problems anyway?
Is There actually a Traffic Problem in Freshford?
Residents of Freshford should consider the observations below which are based on the video and photographic data and common sense.
we do not have a failure of the road infrastructure in Freshford to carry traffic: it works congestion is caused by parents' vehicles by Freshford Primary School. There is no parking off road for this traffic. A little reduction may be possible, but probably several parents live quite a way from the school. There are flashing warning lights by the school so motorists should be aware of the danger.
Unlike Shared Space experiments which tend to be town centre based Freshford is on a through route to Bath and towns to the East. This cannot be altered.
With the rise of SATNAV devices more traffic IS travelling through Freshford. this cannot be dealt with except possibly, and only possibly, by newly designed ROAD SIGNS
Unlike settlements where Shared Space is employed Freshford is not subject to traffic controls anyway, except for the 30 mph and newly introduced 20 mph signs.
[edit added: All roads into Freshford, Westwood, Limpley Stoke and the hamlets are subject to a width restriction of 6 foot six inches accept for access. The signs are not advisory but mandatory, and bring a fine and penalty points on a driver's licence if they are ignored.]
Successful schemes in Holland or elsewhere are not necessariy tansportable to the UK
So apart from where there are pavements residents have no choice but to share the roads with motorists anyway, so why employ BHB and what have they suggested? We have had nothing to read so far, except remove pavements.
If vehicles do not like how long it takes them to get through Freshford they should use the main roads
Suggestions for Improving Pedestrian Safety
The whole area should be a Green Lanes area with 20 mph and 30 mph limits enclosing the whole village and surrounding hamlets -We won't get that because the government (Labour)hasn't established any Green Lanes anywhere so far.
Restore the pavement kerbstones to the proper three inch height. This provides a measure of protection for pedestrians
Widen the pavement in New Road which is little wider than a footpath at present -my grandson fell in front of MY car a few years ago
Add pavements where there are none at present
Cut back hedging where it encroaches on footways and roads and charge residents who don't look after their own hedges, if the parish has to carry out the work.
Remove hedging where it may improve visibility
Ensure that locals do not park on the pavement
Motorists shoud be discouraged from going through our village as much as possible. The slower their journey the more likely they will be willing to use the A36 or the A363.
The police should take action against those motorists who break the 6 foot 6 inch restriction.
This is a reference that includes a quote from Mr Monderman:
Nor are shared-space designs appropriate everywhere, like in major urban centers, but only in neighborhoods that meet particular criteria. Recently, a group of well-to-do parents asked him to widen the two-lane road leading to their children's school, saying it was too small to accommodate what he derisively calls "their huge cars."
He refused, saying that the fault lay not with the road, but with the cars. "They can't wait for each other to pass?" he asked. "I wouldn't interfere with the right of people to buy the car they want, but nor should the government have to solve the problems they make with their choices."
We have had two badgers killed in the last few weeks. One on the upper reaches of Staples Hill on the long stretch of road which is bounded by the Iford estate and the other on the Upper Westwood road. Sometimes the vehicle driver will move the animal off the road or more often they leave it for someone else to move. The local authority should remove dead animals from the road but was in no hurry in the case of the Upper Westwood death The animal was left to decay for several days. This is what live badgers look like:
I decline to publish what a dead badger looks like after several days in the heat as this website is classified as General and may be accessed by young children. No doubt there were mums with children travelling along this lane who had to avoid running over the dead animal and who were hoping their children would not see the dead animal. Why are these animals killed so frequently on our roads? The answer is that motor vehicles kill these animals.
The solution to reduced deaths is for drivers to drive a lot slower where badgers live. It might even be advisable to use the vehicle's horn and sound a warning. However if its late at night or early in the morning when this would disturb residents then surely the vehicles could go a lot slower. Or even stop, extinguish lights and then restart their vehicle. Over a distance of two miles a car travelling at 20mph will take 2 minutes longer than a car travelling at 30mph. Is a couple of minutes too much to ask for safeguarding the life of one of our most beautiful animals? I have encountered a group of four deer just by the place where I park my car, it was very strange as they almost appeared as alien creatures in the moonlight in the road. When one encounters a horse and rider one slows if necessary to a standstill and then proceeds with caution (well one should unless one is ignorant Ed). so why not proceed with similar caution when one encounters a badger and other animals? It's because we don't know they are there -until we encounter them -by which time it is too late they have paniced!
Perhaps these deaths are the result of snaring, or a deliberate hit and run, but I hope that they are the result of an accident. But even so, can't drivers think of other animals apart from themselves (correction a human being is not an animal!) point taken, but don't we have thus a responsibility to protect all wildlife, as we have consciousness and the perception to realise that animals don't understand what a vehicle is! My opinion is that drivers should go particularly slowly when they are on country roads, rather than possibly shorten their own life (increased stress) by speeding around to no good purpose.
Television adverts (excellent in my opinion) sponsered by the government have stressed how the speed limit if exceeded results in more serious injury and death to children hit by a vehicle. Similarly, a reduced speed will reduce the accidental injury and death of the badger. The problem with the badger is that it tends to panic and rushes across the road right in front of the vehicle, or if it can't get off the road because of dense hedging or walls it will desperately, run up the road with its slippery claws impeding its get away.
Legally, a motorists can travel at 60mph along these country roads and I am sorry to say that a few do!
Does the driver of this van believe that he is parking sensibly? Nice that he has moved his vehicle off the road to some extent? Nice for other motorists. Shared spaces? Or just ignorance. Just down the road was an elderly women with two dogs who would have to move into the road to pass this van. Are there elderly people who are unwilling to have a walk in the centre of the village because it is dangerous? what if you were losing your eyesight, or were unsteady on your feet, or were accompanying little children how safe would you feel. The pavements are dangerous anyway.
What a motorist does is manoeuvre his or her vehicle which on average weighs at least three quarters of a ton using his feet and hands. If he makes a mistake someone will get injured, and the person most likely to get injured is a pedestrian. I suppose if we had shared spaces this type of parking would not be illegal as the pavement would not exist?
I fail to understand why some people believe that given the freedom to use the maximum road space as in the shared spaces philosophy that some people will NOT act in an inconsiderate manner; example below.
Pavements with their kurbs provide a measure of protection from vehicles. The kerbside also provide drainage and what used to be a place where the dog could do its business -although this is illegal now. The photograph below shows someone's car parked on the pavement in the High street Freshford.
Perhaps, the motorist believes that he or she is acting in the best interests of other motorists in that there is more width available to passing vehicles if their car is parked on the pavement. Or, perhaps the driver thinks that their car is a little safer from being damaged by a passing vehicle. However, the law is the law and has been made for a good reason.
The kerb not only protects pedestrians it is also a strong deterrent to motorists to keep away from the pavements, as to hit a kerbstone in good condition, will usually ruin a tyre.
The pavements in Freshford have become lower with periodic road surfacing and should be restored to the level required to protect pedestrians. It should be remembered that the kerb at its proper height will help to divert a vehicle away from the pavement. Or is B&NES council seeking to save money by removing pavements altogether?
Another example of dog poo. Sorry dog, its not your fault! on someone's drive.
Maybe a DNA test could be used to identify the dog (or rather its owner) Incidentally, paternity DNA tests for dogs are cheaper than that for humans -probably because they are more common!
I wonder whether we need to put a notice up on our land: No dog poo allowed! Cat poo is another issue but not well documented. But whatever the animal they know that one does not s**t in one's own backyard!
In praise of cats, apart from being a lot more cuddly than dogs they do catch a lot of vermin, your big fluffy cat can quite easily kill a large rat. I once had a cat who used to actually use the toilet, although he couldn't pull the chain! and the same cat did a poo over the plug hole of the bath! I then decided it was time to cut a cat flap into my garden door. Much to the relief of my cat when he was chased by a fox (I was living in London at the time)
I just thought that residents of Freshford Somerset and Wiltshire would like to know that Hamiliton- Baillie Associates have listed Freshford Parish Council as one of their clients on their website: Hamilton-Baillie Client List Does that mean that the company is being paid by Freshford Parish Council for their services?
Today I note, and photograph this vehicle parked entirely on the pavement in Freshford Somerset and West Wiltshire.
This inconsiderate behaviour is illegal. How does this evidence support the case for Shared Spaces? What is the driver thinking? That they are helping other motorists to have more space to pass them? Or is it that they are thinking that by parking thus their is less chance of their vehicle being damaged by another motorist? Pedestrians?
As I have mentioned before I missed the lecture on Shared Spaces. But this does not preclude my right to add my observations on what I consider to be a very dangerous philosophy. Whilst pedestrians may share spaces with other pedestrians without the necessity to have regulation of their movements, there are situations where such regulation is necessary. For example, keeping to the left (in the UK) on stairs both in buildings and in particular in underground railway stations helps people to help each other to keep out of the way, in what are often extremely busy environments. But to share spaces on an equal basis with motorists is almost completely nonsense. One does not argue with the mass of a car, which is on average at least three-quarters of a ton.
Perhaps many years ago when motoring was restricted to well to do people there was little necessity for regulation. After all to be well to do one had to have money and usually having money was associated with a decent upbringing and a good education. Factors which tended to endow such people with an understanding and sympathy for others that is often missing in contemporary British society. However one doesn't have to have a decent upbringing and a good education these days to own a motor car.
And, we all feel that we are quite capable of behaving sensibly in our cars without such regulation, after all it is the others who need such regulation. Scrap the drink drive regulations as well, after all the more I drink the slower and more carefully I drive, up to the point where I am so drunk as to fall asleep in my vehicle (an offence!) Joking aside this Shared spaces concept is a little more complicated than scrapping speed limits etc but it is dangerous. I will add further comments on another post but for the time being if you feel you would like to refresh your understanding of the concept or if like me you missed it then why not refer to the Wikipedia article Shared Space
Its unfortunate that some people are unwilling to collect and dispose of their dog's excrement. part of the pleasure of living in the countryside is to use footpaths rather than roads. However, I won't use my local bridleway at night because I don't want to tread in dog poo. I understand that unless a footpath or bridleway is maintained by the local authority there is nothing preventing dog owners from allowing the dog to foul the ground on which people including children may walk.
During the day, if I do notice dog poo I pick up a stick and use it to move the poo off away from the pathway. for footpath, pavements and other ground that is either owned of maintained by the local authority it is now (since 1996) an offensive for the person in charge of the dog to not take steps to remove that dog's excrement. For B&NES council's information visit:
Within Freshford village there are footpaths that are regularly fouled by dogs. What could be a safer option for parents taking their children to school is thus denied to them by the selfish attitude of the dog owner. Under the circumstances, anyone seeing a dog fouling the footpaths, pavements and council owned land should tactfully remind the person in charge of the dog that they should remove the offending excrement. It is not sufficient under the law to just move the poo off to one side, it has to be removed. (However, if you are not in charge of the dog, then why not follow my example and use a stick to move the poo off the pathway)
"Bath and North East Somerset Council adopted the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 in September 1998. The whole of Bath and North East Somerset was designated, which means that any person in charge of a dog must clean up after it forthwith, on any land which is open to the air and to which the public are entitled or permitted to have access. A copy of the Designation Order can be viewed at the Council Offices, Riverside, Keynsham.
Failure to clean up after your dog is an offence. Anyone seen allowing their dog to foul and not clean up after it will be approached by the Dog Warden and will either be put forward for prosecution, or be issued a Fixed Penalty of £50. The owner will have the opportunity to pay the Fixed Penalty and thereby avoid conviction. The Penalty would have to be paid within 14 days. If it is not paid, the owner may be prosecuted and, if found guilty of the offence, fined a maximum of £1,000.
Registered Blind persons with dogs are the only exemption.
The Act does not apply to:
roads outside the 40mph limit and land running alongside them
agricultural land (other than footpaths that cross them)
rural common land
land which is predominantly marshland, moor or heath"
Because Freshford is a village that is located in a through route to Bath and Bristol. The route is the shortest route according to Microsoft Autoroute (using Trowbridge as datum). A lot of non-local traffic does go through Freshford. The route is also good for getting to Bath -if one wants to get to the South side of the city. As a resident, and when I was teaching at Oldfield School in Bath, it was quicker for me to go through the Village over to Midford lane and go through Bath down to the Globe roundabout (the Bristol side of Bath) and then drive back into the city! With the lengthy but temporary closure of the bridge, a few years back, at Limpley Stoke, many drivers scrutinsed their maps and realised that a route through Freshford would be better for them and they have stuck to that alteration in their route.
According to Microsoft Autoroute motorists travelling to Bath should go through Bradford on Avon first, which is quicker and shorter, except that the entrance to the city is from the A46 side and is subject to more delays, so is it quicker?
What I am trying to get at, is that, these drivers are just driving through the village, and many of them -as the village has no significance for them- ignore the speed limits. They are intent on getting to work as quickly as possible (they don't really want to go there!) and in the evening coming home as quickly as possible(they can't get away from their workplace quicker enough!)
Some of them even use Dark lane as a short cut! or drive through Mill lane and up Rosemary Lane to get to the A36.
Pavements and Shared Spaces
I do not think, given this group of motorists, that any attempt to make it easier to ease congestion in Freshford would be in the interests of public safety. My view is that Freshford should have pavements for pedestrians and they should be wider and they should be continuous. At present pavements are not continous. The shared spaces lobby, if it exists, would have us removing pavements and would need to depend on the goodwill of road users in machines, and that they would go slower because they would realise that the pedestrians would be more vulnerable! As a motorist I know exactly how motorists in this country behave, just watch a women with a pushchair trying to cross a busy road or anyone else trying to crosss for that matter!
Even residents break the speed limit! Even parents dropping off and collecting their children break the speed limit! And,even the smallest car weighs more than one half a ton, and the damage that any contact with a pedestrian especially a child would cause hardly bears thinking about. So, keep the trend to separate vehicles from pedestrians. Accidents don't happen they are caused, they are caused by human indifference or frailty and the road makers have taken steps to protect us. If changes are made to our village environment that place pedestrians and other road users in greater danger, then those responsible for those changes, will be responsible for those who are killed or maimed, and should bear the consequences.