Social distancing and making public places safer - Bristol Parkway railway bridge
South Gloucestershire Council - 10th June 2020
As we begin to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions are eased, our roads and open spaces will become busier. Staying safe and saving lives by keeping to social distancing rules will be more important than ever to help protect the most vulnerable and reduce the rate of infection.
As a council we have a statutory duty to make it as easy as possible to follow rules for social distancing in public places and we are working on several projects to make public space safer for everyone. These schemes will also help to maintain some of the positive changes seen during this time, such as an increase in cycling and fewer cars on our roads.
With schools reopening on 1 June 2020, more year groups returning from 15 June and people returning to work, there is an urgency to ensure our footpaths and cycle routes are safe and can support social distancing. One priority area for these changes is the bridge near Parkway Station on Brierly Furlong. This is an historic ‘tight spot’ for people walking or cycling to education establishments and places of work and needs some adjustment to enable people to socially distance from one another.
From Sunday 14 June, we will be carrying out a two week trial for a new road layout under Parkway railway bridge. Barriers will be used to create a single lane for traffic, controlled by temporary traffic signals. The extra space created either side of the lane will be designated for people walking or cycling under the bridge and allow them to keep a safe distance from each other (please see map enclosed with this letter for details). Signs and road markings will be in place to notify road users of the new road layout and direct cyclists and pedestrians to use it safely and appropriately.
Due to the immediacy of the issue, it has not been possible to follow our normal consultation procedures for a scheme of this size. The road changes are a temporary measure in response to the emergency situation. We are committed to developing a longer-term solution with stakeholders that provides safe access and/or additional facilities to divert pedestrians and cyclists away from the highway. We will be monitoring, recording and reviewing the changes as more people return to work, businesses re-open and pupils return to school.
We anticipate these changes may cause delays for traffic in the area. We apologise for any disruption; these measures are essential to help people stay safe and control the spread of the virus.
You can provide feedback about this scheme at www.sustrans.org.uk/space-to-move/. As a council, we will ask for comments once more of the schemes are introduced. For details on our other schemes to facilitate social distancing please visit www.southglos.gov.uk/making-public-places-safer.
If you have any suggestions for improvements or adjustments to facilitate social distancing for walkers, cyclists and other road users, you can submit ideas at www.southglos.gov.uk/local-transport-priority-list.
If you would like to receive the latest updates for South Gloucestershire residents in relation to the coronavirus pandemic, subscribe to our online weekly newsletter https://mailchi.mp/southglos/covid-19.
For information about how we are responding to COVID-19 visit www.southglos.gov.uk/coronavirus or call our COVID-19 freephone number 0800 953 7778. We are facing significant pressures on our resources at this very difficult time and our telephone lines are very busy. If you do call, please be patient and our staff will respond to you as soon as they can.
We hope you continue to stay safe and well.
Public Health Department and Streetcare, South Gloucestershire Council