Changes at Fishponds junction spark fears over safety
FISHPONDS residents say someone could be killed if nothing is done about a dangerous junction altered as part of a plan to speed up bus routes into the city centre.
They say the new rules at the junction of Hockeys Lane and Fishponds Road is an example of a lack of consultation.
Drivers are flouting a ban on turning left into Hockeys Lane at the corner of Morrisons supermarket.
Yet pedestrians crossing the lane are shown a "green man" and so they assume it is safe to cross the road.
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Residents and ward councillors are worried that nothing will be done until someone is hurt or even killed at the junction.
They say the ban on turning left was a last-minute decision and should never have been imposed.
Drivers have been using the junction for many years but the ban was introduced to make way for the new bus lane.
The residents and councillors claim if they had been properly consulted then this issue and many others connected with the new bus lane would never have arisen.
They want to see the ban lifted and for a pedestrian crossing to be installed further up Hockeys Lane, near the recently opened library.
Shop owner Leigh Cooper, chairman of the Fishponds Business Forum, said: "We are not against the bus lane in principle.
"But we do feel very strongly about the way in which it was implemented and over-engineered."
He said the new bus lane had hit traders hard in Fishponds because shoppers were now travelling to Staple Hill, Emersons Green or Eastville due to parking restrictions, lack of disabled parking and changes to existing roads.
Ward councillor Lesley Alexander (Con, Frome Vale) said she had contacted the council many times about issues related to the new bus lane but never received a reply.
Phil Hanby, Labour ward councillor for Hillfields, said: "The junction at Hockeys Lane is an accident waiting to happen."
Katie Haydon, chair of the Greater Fishponds Neighbourhood Partnership, said: "The bus lane is such a disadvantage to our community.
"Bristol City Council did not consult with the residents – if they had done so, we would never have ended up with this turning left ban at this junction.
"The council has taken no notice of us at all – yet we are the ones who have suffered the effects."
Lib Dem cabinet councillor Tim Kent said the council was not being belligerent about the bus lane.
He said there had been full consultations and changes had been made as a result of getting people's views.
He said: "On major schemes, we sometimes don't get some things quite right and we have to revisit them and get them sorted out."
He accepted there was an issue with the left-hand turn into Hockeys Lane and it did need to be reviewed.
He said he was visiting the area next week with a council official to take a look at the junction and see what needed to be done.
He also accepted that parking restrictions needed to be reviewed because he agreed that a one-hour waiting limit was too short.
He said: "Our difficulty was that if we had changed the waiting restriction at a very late stage, then it would have put the whole scheme at risk and caused a major delay.
"When I signed the order, I made it clear that I would review the parking issue and I am happy to do that."