Hundreds of people have taken to Facebook to share their frustration at plans to make changes to the Hambrook traffic lights near the M32.
Last week Bristol Live reported that South Gloucestershire Council would be restricting the movements of motorists on this part of the A4174 ring road as part of an 18-month trial to improve air quality.
The restrictions are an attempt to comply with a government directive to reduce the dangerously high nitrogen dioxide levels to legal limits as soon as possible.
(Image: Bristol Live)
When it comes into force in August motorists travelling on the A4174 towards the M32 will no longer be able to turn right onto the B4058 towards Winterbourne.
Instead drivers will have to travel straight ahead at the traffic lights, go around the M32 roundabout and back onto the A4174, so they can then turn left onto the B4058.
There are also plans to remove the bus lane through the Hambrook junction to the M32 traffic lights in order to create a third lane of traffic heading westbound.
Traffic will still be able to turn left onto the B4058 towards Frenchay.
But motorists travelling towards the Hambrook junction from Frenchay on the B4058 will only be able to turn left onto the ring road towards the M32.
Drivers will no longer be able to travel straight ahead towards Winterbourne or turn right onto the ring road.
But there are plans to extend the left turn lane in order to create two lanes of traffic.
The changes have been met with a mixture of anger and disbelief from motorists and residents.
One resident Patrick Collins said: “Can somebody explain to me how making vehicles drive further and wait at three sets of traffic lights instead of one, will help to make our air cleaner?
(Image: South Gloucestershire Council)
“How much time and money (if any) has been spent by the council in consulting experts before coming up with this proposal, how much more will be spent implementing the changes, monitoring it during the eighteen month trial period, then reinstating the roads and signs to what they are now, when it is found that it hasn’t worked.”
And a post detailing the scheme on the South Gloucestershire Council StreetCare Facebook page has attracted more than 300 comments – the majority of which have objected to the plans.
Brian Allinson wrote: “This is awful and will make congestion and the resulting pollution much worse.
“It fails to recognise that newer cars built today are far cleaner. This proposal has not been properly considered or put out to consultation! A bad choice!”
And Sara Say wrote: “These restrictions were in place whilst the Bromley Heath Viaduct works took place. It caused chaos! The decision was retracted after multiple complaints.
“I cannot see how putting this back in place is going to help.
Meanwhile Robert Houghton said: “It will be interesting to see if this works. They’ll need to change the phasing of the lights on the M32 roundabout though so it’s possible to go around without stopping at every section.”
(Image: Bristol Live)
A spokesperson for the council said restrictions at the traffic lights would allow traffic on the ring road to flow more efficiently.
He added: “We have been instructed by government to take measures to improve air quality between the M32 Junction 1 and the Bromley Heath roundabouts on A4174 in order to reduce the amount of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air.
“Existing steps taken will lead to the national air quality standard being achieved in 2020, but it is important to improve air quality and lower emissions as quickly as possible, a responsibility we take very seriously as a council.
“This is the only road in South Gloucestershire to exceed these national limits and we have introduced an Experimental Traffic Order to try to improve the air quality here.
“We understand that some journeys may be affected by this and we apologise for any inconvenience it causes.
“We will be monitoring the levels of NO2 closely during the initial trial period to see if the air quality improves and levels fall to acceptable levels. People will be able to provide feedback on the trial and details of they can do this will be published in August.”