A4 Bath Road - Actions to improve safety - Saltford Parish Council

SPC takes action where appropriate to improve safety on the A4 Bath Road. B&NES Council is the Highways Authority (Parish Councils are not permitted to undertake responsibilities belonging to other authorities). SPC and Saltford’s B&NES Council Ward Cllrs often liaise and work collaboratively, on this and other village-wide matters, for the benefit of residents.

Vehicles speeding into the village is an ongoing concern. Following SPC and Ward Cllr Duncan Hounsell noticing that the VAS (Vehicular Activated Sign) was not lighting up as often as usual, Saltford Ward Cllr Duncan Hounsell went to investigate and identified that the sign was only partially working. Issues with the sign were subsequently reported by SPC to B&NES Council via www.fixmystreet.com the same day (18/01/22).

UPDATE – 31 October 2023:

B&NES Council Saltford Ward Cllr Duncan Hounsell and Saltford Parish Council have since been working together following issues arising with the Vehicular Activated Sign last year.

SPC resolved to contact B&NES Council requesting a replacement sign if the existing sign could not be fixed, and suggested a range of options to B&NES Council to improve its functionality.

Following a review of VAS signs by B&NES Council, SPC made a robust case for the VAS sign in Saltford to be replaced or upgraded, an action that was strongly supported by Cllr Hounsell.

Following a recent request for an update by Cllr Hounsell, B&NES Council confirmed earlier this month that a 30mph VAS sign situated in another location in B&NES was now available (as its original location had reduced to 20mph). After discussing with with Ward Cllr Housnell, B&NES Council agreed to relocate this VAS sign to Saltford.

The replacement VAS sign was installed today, replacing Saltford’s original sign that was no longer working. The sign is slightly larger than the old one, with a clear and bright ’30 SLOW DOWN’ message for those entering the village a higher speeds.

SPC and Cllr Hounsell are grateful to the Highways Team at B&NES Council for responding to their ongoing concerns and installing this replacement VAS sign in Saltford.

Original 2022 article:

SPC’s and Cllr Duncan Hounsell’s original joint efforts to relocate the VAS sign to this location (on the A4 Bath Road near the ‘Saltford’ sign when entering the village from the direction of Bath) can be found below. This article dates from May 2020. The article also details other measures requested by SPC to B&NES Council to improve safety on or near the A4 Bath Road.

Further to requesting repairs to the VAS sign, recent actions by SPC to support safety measures include the Parish Council resolving at its December 2021 meeting to support B&NES Council’s proposals to reduce the speed limit from 50mph to 40mph on the stretch of A4 between the Globe Roundabout and Saltford. Please find more information in SPC’s news article here. Saltford Ward Cllrs Duncan Hounsell and Alastair Singleton also supported B&NES Council’s proposals, with Cllr Hounsell stating at SPC’s January 2022 meeting that the speed limit reduction scheme had ‘long-term benefits’. An outcome following the public consultation is expected in the next few weeks.

SPC has requested improvements to the pedestrian crossing at this location following residents’ requests and awaits further updates on this from B&NES Council. Further, SPC requested in November 2021 that B&NES Council’s Street Lighting team install low level LED street lighting underneath or near the GWR bridge on The Shallows, near its junction with the A4 Bath Road, for safety reasons.

Resident concern results in new location for Vehicular Activated Sign in Saltford (news article published May 2020).

Following concerns raised by residents about speeding vehicles entering the village, in a joint effort between B&NES Ward Cllr Duncan Hounsell and Saltford Parish Council, a Vehicular Activated Sign (VAS) has now been relocated to the bottom of Saltford hill.

The VAS sign was previously located on the A4 Bath Road in the centre of a 30 mph zone. It is now situated close to the entrance to the village if travelling from the direction of The Globe roundabout, immediately after the speed limit reduces from 50 mph to 30 mph. The sign activates and displays a reminder of ‘30 mph’ to drivers should their speed exceed the legal threshold. The effectiveness of VAS signs has been proven to be beneficial in reducing vehicle speeds, particularly those of faster drivers who contribute disproportionately to collision risk.

The relocation of the VAS sign on 7th May is part of a series of actions both Cllr Hounsell and Saltford Parish Council have been working towards regarding road safety at this location. Other efforts include requesting improved pedestrian crossing opportunities, especially for more vulnerable users. Cllr Hounsell and Saltford Parish Council have also successfully requested maintenance work to sunken metal road covers, both in the interests of safety as well as noise reduction to nearby households. They have also recently been successful in achieving a new bin close to this location, in light of the nearest one beforehand being by the shops at the top of the hill and consequently harder for some residents to access.

Following its relocation last week (7th May), Cllr Hounsell, who as well as being Saltford Ward Councillor sits on the Parish Council, stated: “I am delighted that the VAS speed calming sign is now moved to a more appropriate location on the A4 in Saltford. This another example of the Parish Council and B&NES Council working collaboratively to improve people’s lives. Our thanks to local residents who have highlighted the need for this safety measure over a long time.” 

The relocation of the VAS sign was jointly funded by Cllr Hounsell and Saltford Parish Council.

2022 update: After many years of service, including as Chair, Cllr Hounsell stepped down from his role on Saltford Parish Council in December 2020. Cllr Hounsell continues to represent Saltford Ward at B&NES Council. Cllr Hounsell attends SPC’s monthly meetings (when available) and is happy to share his Ward Cllrs report with residents – to request a copy please contact him directly using details on the B&NES Council website.

Photo shows Cllr Duncan Hounsell in May 2020, following the relocation of the VAS sign
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