Road closure plans split residents
A GROUP of residents are throwing their weight behind a campaign for two roads to be shut to traffic in Whitehall – after finding out another group are trying to stop the closure.
As The Post reported last month Bristol City Council is proposing to close Prospect Place and Stepney Road to through traffic.
A group of householders contacted The Post to say it would make their lives a nightmare, and was potentially dangerous, adding to the journey times of emergency services called out to the area.
But the council revealed it was actually another group of householders who instigated the proposals due to the problem of road rage in Westminster Road, which is known as a rat-run.
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Many residents living in the road have now contacted The Post to say that they desperately want the proposal to go ahead.
Mother-of-three Sara Finning said she began attending the Easton and Lawrence Hill Neighbourhood Forum last year to try to get something done about the "aggression and speeding" she had witnessed by motorists.
The council then secured £5,000 for a traffic survey in order to fully investigate the situation and to make recommendations.
The result was the current proposal being put forward by residents and the council.
Ms Finning said: "There is a lot of false information going around, and while I accept that there will be some inconvenience, this is not just the council imposing this proposal.
"It was resident-led after my two-year-old son narrowly avoided being hit by a speeding car.
"Lots of residents want it implemented, and even those who object to it agree that something has to be done about Westminster Road.
"There is daily aggression and road rage – lots of people accept that it won't be long before there's a really serious accident."
Rose Smith, 51, who also lives in the road, said: "My car was written off outside my house and a car overturned in a nearby street.
"Numerous parked cars have been scratched by drivers having to reverse when a car comes speeding along in the opposite direction.
"People treat it like a race circuit and it's about time something was done.
"We understand it may cause inconvenience to other residents but a few minutes added to their journey is worth it if it's going to make it safer."
Another resident Carole Bennett, 65, said: "I'm in favour of the proposal because I think it will calm the traffic.
"Lots of residents have wanted something done for years and now there's finally the chance it could happen.
"We understand that the other householders will be put out a bit but we believe this proposal will make a huge difference to our safety."
So far the group opposing the scheme has collected 300 signatures on a petition, which they have handed to the city council.
Mya Castillo, 36, who lives in Johnsons Road and opposes the scheme, said: "None of us are denying that Westminster Road is used as a rat run but we are not sure this is the right way to solve it. It just seems like this is a cheap option for the council when something better could be done.
"We are a close community and don't want there to be a divide among residents – we want the right solution for everyone."
A city council spokeswoman said the council would be accepting residents' comments until February, when formal consultation begins.