Road will be closed as an 'experiment'
THE controversial closure of a road in Patchway is to go-ahead – but will be "experimental" for 18 months.
South Gloucestershire Council decided to press ahead with the closure of Highwood Road to general traffic in July, despite strong oppositions from locals, including a 4,000-name petition which called for the road to be kept open to general non-commercial traffic, subject to a 20mph speed limit.
But the authority has made the traffic order "experimental", which means residents are being consulted on the closure and can make comments or objections.
The council said the 18-month trial period will allow "a full evaluation of the impact of the scheme upon the adjoining highway network and local community to be fully considered".
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Traffic orders issued on the road show that its closure will take effect from Monday, October 15.
The closure will affect the section of Highwood Road between Charlton Boulevard (the entrance into the new Charlton Hayes development) and the western end of Coniston Road.
Once the scheme is implemented, only buses, taxis and cyclists will be permitted to use the restricted section.
Traffic emerging from Coniston Road onto Highwood Road will only be able to turn right (towards The Mall).
The southern carriageway of the affected section of Highwood Road has already been taken out of service and is being converted into a "linear park".
Access from Sycamore Drive onto the northern carriageway of Highwood Road was permanently blocked off on September 10.
Opponents of the scheme believe it will make it difficult for some residents to access local facilities and claim it will lead to "rat-running" along Coniston Road.
A South Gloucestershire Council spokeswoman said: "An experimental closure order will be in place on Highwood Road from October 15 for a period of up to 18 months.
"Highwood Road will be closed between Coniston Road to the west and Callicroft Road/Durban Road to the East except for buses, cycles and taxis.
"Signs are being put up in the area giving advance notice of the closure, including at either end of Highwood Road.
"Consultation signs will also be put up informing the general public on how to make comments/objections to this experimental closure."