Entry Hill Low Traffic Neighbourhood

Questions and answers

These are some of the questions we have already been asked about the Entry Hill LTN.  We hope you will find them useful and we’ll add to them as new information becomes available.  You can read more about what people are saying about traffic issues in Bath and add your comments at https://bathnesliveablestreets.commonplace.is/

 

What is an LTN and what would this look like on Entry Hill?

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are areas where steps are taken to reduce the amount of through traffic, eliminating 'rat-runs' and diverting vehicles to roads which are better suited for high volumes of traffic. As well as the obvious benefits of reduced traffic volume, less speeding and improved air quality and road noise, there are a range of other benefits to residents. See more at  Low-traffic neighbourhoods – London Living Streets]   

 

BANES propose to make use of LTNs across the city to tackle problems of road safety and pollution.  The specific proposal for Entry Hill, is to put up bollards (technically called 'modal filters') across Entry Hill, just below the entrance to Entry Hill Golf Course, to prevent through traffic.  This would effectively turn Entry Hill into two cul-de-sacs.

 

Are we the only area in Bath looking to become a LTN?

No - definitely not – there is interest in other areas with similar issues of through traffic and local congestion. The interest in LTNs has been building for months now.  A presentation at the Guildhall in January 2020 was completely full and some Entry Hill residents attended a previous meeting in October 2019.  

 

Why does Entry Hill need to become an LTN?

Many residents of Entry Hill have raised concerns  with the council and the police about the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, due to the volume and speed of traffic using Entry Hill. This was one of the major reasons for creating the Entry Hill Community Association. The situation continues to get worse and it can be only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured.

 

Why do you believe Entry Hill is unsafe as it is?

Many people, including children, walk along Entry Hill to get to work or school, to access buses or trains, for shopping or other reasons.  Yet in just the last six months, two drivers have lost control of their vehicles on Entry Hill – one demolished bollards put in place to  protect pedestrians at the lower end of the hill  and the other mounted the pavement, damaging a wall and causing a gas leak   It is just fortunate that the outcome wasn’t worse and that no one was badly hurt.

 

Anyone who walks along Entry Hill regularly reports the same issues – vehicles driving above the speed limit, mounting the pavement and not respecting the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.  This behaviour is getting progressively worse and it is increasingly unpleasant, with more frequent 'road rage' incidents as congestion causes tempers to fray. Why accept and try and accommodate this behaviour when we can prevent it!

 

Why place the bollards in that area of Entry Hill? (Just below the entrance of Entry Hill Golf Course)

The bollards need to be positioned at this point on safety grounds. There needs to be a safe turning circle for vehicles on either side of the traffic control point.

 

What about a compromise of a one-way system?

This is one of several alternatives that have been discussed.  However, traffic experts have advised that one-way systems sometimes have the opposite effect and make speeding even worse as drivers travel faster.  Avon and Somerset Police do not support a one-way system for Entry Hill.

 

Why can't we have traffic calming measures, like speed humps or chicanes?

Unfortunately, these alternative measures of traffic calming are not effective.  There are technical reasons why Entry Hill cannot have speed humps (due to the nature of the road) and chicanes have been found to lead to more traffic tension and pollution.  See some of the comments at the end of this section from people living in areas where these measures have been installed.  (Taken from the Bath Liveable Streets website.)

 

How about more traffic enforcement?

Sadly, this only deters speed for a little while. There has been quite regular speed enforcement on Entry Hill and it hasn't solved the issue (which continues to get worse). The location of enforcement vans are often posted on social media to warn drivers!

 

Entry Hill needs a static speed camera then?

These are very expensive and the local council has to fund them pay for them. They would also only work for one very small section of Entry Hill. They are not an option.

 

Community Speed Watch?

Not likely either. This would take dedicated locals and the penalty for speeding to the offending motorist is a letter.  This is not a permanent solution.

 

What if a resident needed an ambulance?

Evidence from elsewhere, is that emergency vehicles can manoeuvre much more efficiently where there are LTNs.  When normal life resumes, post-coronavirus, traffic levels on Entry Hill will return.  Emergency vehicles will need to navigate the congestion at the Greenway Lane end of Entry Hill, with inevitable delays.  With an Entry Hill LTN, there would be better access for emergency vehicles.

 

What about the residents at the Combe Down end of Entry Hill?

The emergency vehicles will have full access from Bradford Road. 

 

How will delivery and recycling trucks gain access to Entry Hill?

BANES will be responsible for the introduction of the LTN and of course there will be full liaison with the companies responsible for these services, which would not be affected.  As with emergency vehicles, access to homes and businesses is likely to be improved and the workers will have safer working conditions from lower traffic levels. 

 

What about disabled access?

The bollards will be spaced far enough apart to allow mobility scooters to pass through in both directions.

Why should Entry Hill residents be penalised due to other people’s unsafe driving?

There will be some inconvenience to residents of having an LTN.  They will have to spend slightly more time in their cars to travel south, towards Combe Down and beyond.  But we think that this will be outweighed by the benefits of more pleasant, safer walking and cycling; and reduced air and noise pollution.  There will be advantages to drivers too, from easier, safer exit from side roads, less stressful passage north along Entry Hill toward the city centre and less damage to vehicles parked on Entry Hill.

 

It will take longer to get my children to school/this will increase my commuting time.

We hope that making Entry Hill an LTN will encourage more people to see walking as a safe and healthy alternative to car journeys.  If your children attend a primary school in the Combe Down or Odd Down area, you can use the pedestrian access from Entry Hill Park where parents and children can safely walk to school. 

 

For those who have to travel by car, the new route will be to turn onto the Wellsway from the bottom of Entry Hill, then drive southwards along the Wellsway to reach Midford Road, Bradford  Road or other routes to the south by this route.   Although this is against the main flow of peak hour traffic, it is possible that journey times will be slightly longer.  We hope that this disadvantage will be balanced by some of the benefits of living in an LTN.

 

We have been living on a cul de sac off Entry Hill for years. We need to be able to turn left and drive up the hill.

Unfortunately this will not be possible.  We know that the change will take time to adjust too, but we hope that you will come to find that the advantages of lower levels of traffic on Entry Hill, with easier and safer exit from cul-de-sacs, and easier passage down Entry Hill will outweigh the minor disadvantage of slightly increased travel times to destinations in Combe Down and beyond.

 

This will ultimately create more traffic on the main roads and cause more issues.

Entry Hill is used as a short-cut by non-residents, but through traffic ultimately ends up back on the same main roads (Wellsway, Bradford Road etc) it was trying to avoid.  The benefits are often minimal to drivers and the overall traffic levels on these roads are not increased.  It does not create more traffic on these main roads, but it will potentially change the points at which traffic gets congested, but the congestion is happening because there is simply too much traffic.

 

In areas with LTNs, they have been proven to encourage more people to walk, cycle or use public transport so in the longer term they will actually improve traffic flow. The only way to reduce congestion is for less people to drive.


What is BANES Council doing about the buses?

Alongside its work on LTNs, BANES are looking to change how public transport works in Bath. In the short term, some changes need to be made to accommodate new social distancing requirements.  The Council wants to align changes in public transport to these measures.

Will there be disruption on both sides of the proposed traffic control point?

In the early stages of the LTN road closure being put in place, drivers will be unfamiliar with the new arrangements and there will inevitably be vehicles having to turn around and head back the way they came.  This is why the positioning of the control point is really important.  If it is agreed, BANES Council will actively publicise the LTNs and install all necessary signage.

 

Will the LTN cause more cars to park on our road?

Irrespective of the LTN, Entry Hill will potentially see more commuters parking outside our homes, as residents parking zones are introduced and extended in neighbouring areas. It's only a matter of time before commuters begin to park on our hill and in our cul-de-sacs unless residents’ parking is introduced onto Entry Hill. This is a separate issue that the Community Association will be considering and discussing.

 

Does the golf course play a part in this?

If the golf course remains, plans for its future will see increased use with a new cafe and golf lessons promoted locally.  The potential new owner wants to promote a greener, healthier lifestyle and the LTN will help to enhance this. The area overall will be a safer and healthier environment. 

 

Cyclists are just as fast as cars.

This can be true (only downhill of course!). However, currently there are far fewer cyclists and the dangers posed by cyclists are a lot less than from cars. Responsible cyclists understand the importance of being mindful of the safety of pedestrians and other road users.

Are the changes permanent?

No. The changes are not permanent. Entry Hill can have an TRO (Traffic Regulation Order) and we can trial the LTN for 6 months. If after 6 months, the LTN has not been successful, the road can be reverted to how it was, allowing through traffic.  The structures will be temporary to begin with – if there were ever to be a serious problem, they can be removed very quickly.

 

Not everyone wants this change to Entry Hill.

We know that not everyone will support this change and that some people would prefer things to stay the same.  But we would urge people to support this as a trial and to consider the wider potential benefits.  If you have ideas for how it can be made to work better, you have the opportunity to put these forward.  Some change is inevitable. The growth of Bath, with housebuilding on former MOD and industrial sites means that traffic levels will continue to increase and doing nothing is not an option if we want to maintain the quality of life in our neighbourhood.  The traffic issues on Entry Hill are increasingly problematic and safety considerations must be paramount. Many potential solutions have been considered and this is currently considered to be the best, with good evidence from other places about the benefits that result.

 

What happens next?

We may have an opportunity to trial the LTN on Entry Hill if it is approved by BANES.  This will help to demonstrate the benefits and whether they outweigh any disbenefits.  If after 6 months the LTN has not been successful, the system can be reversed.   

 

Where can I find out more about LTNs?

We have links and information on the 'What are LTNs' page of this website.

 

 

 

Comments from other areas

 

Greenway Lane (Speed humps)

In the 30 years that we have lived here, Greenway Lane has gone from being a quiet residential lane to being a nightmare of heavy traffic, rat running, pollution, SUVs, tailbacks, road rage, parking hassle, and danger for pedestrians.

 

The high volume motorised traffic brings pollution, noise, congestion and makes it unsafe for our children and for the rest of the residents. We would like a safer and healthier road for our children and for us to walk or cycle to school and to work. y banning motorized traffic air quality and public health will be improved and as a consequence the health and happiness of everyone living in the area. It's important now more than ever. Please help us, it will benefit everyone. Thank you

 

Hawthorne Grove (Speed humps)

We have had an ongoing issue with this for years . In 2007 speed bumps were fitted but they have not helped. With continuous building in the area since then the problem has only become worse. We are used as a rat run by all.  Our buildings and cars have been damaged. Sydenhams builders have a site on our road and the size of the lorries, frequency of delivery and customers driving fast and erractic are now beyond acceptable. 

 

This road is a rat run. It is so busy during the day and the recent lockdown has made us realise that closure to all traffic is needed immediately. All traffic would enter and exit estates from foxhill end. Traffic volume and speed way too high. Exasperated by the builders merchants whose trade vehicles and supersized delivery lorries at all times of the day add too the congestion. Cyclists and pedestrians are at risk.

 

Coronation Avenue (Chicanes) 

The road is awful to walk on.  Traffic speeds up and down and the chicanes do not calm traffic effectively. It is used as a rat run. I can't believe there is no crossing in place for school children.

 

*Speeding issues on Coronation Avenue/Sladebrook Avenue*

The current traffic calming methods only work during peak time - speeds and noise are higher the rest of the time. Vehicles are frequently observed exceeding the speed limit and seen dangerously overtaking cyclists going up the hill. In addition, the pavement is quite narrow which with the speeding vehicles it is quite dangerous to step into the road to adhere to social distancing.

 

The speed chicanes on Coronation Avenue cause cars to speed up to get thru. They also cause extra air and noise pollution, as vehicles have to make a hill start each time they give way.