‘Stop speeding on Wellsway before someone is hurt’

PEOPLE living on Wellsway in Keynsham have renewed their calls for action to curb speeding drivers before someone is injured.

Properties at the start of Wellsway, where it meets Bath Road, have been damaged in the past few years by crashing vehicles.

In October, a driver came through the roundabout from Bath Road and struck a vehicle coming the other way.

The first car hit ploughed into the wall between Gemma and Chris Mitchell’s home and their neighbour’s, while the other hit a wall on the other side of the road.

In a previous incident, a car knocked over a telegraph pole, bringing the wires down across the road.

Gemma, who says it’s a miracle nobody has been hurt, is among residents who have repeated their calls for something to be done.

Suggestions include a large 20mph sign at the start of Wellsway, speed bumps, and higher kerbs to stop vehicles mounting the pavement.

But Gemma said: “We’d welcome anything just to stop the speeding.

“The problem is people not sticking to the 20 limit. They come off the roundabout, round the bend, put their foot down and lose control.

Gemma says that although there is room for two cars to pass each other, larger vehicles sometimes mount the pavement.

This has resulted in near-misses for pedestrians, such as the time a lorry almost hit Gemma when she was wheeling one of her children in a pushchair.

The mum-of-three said: “Quite a few kids walk to school along here. We’ve been so lucky that nobody has been hurt. But someone will get hurt sooner or later.”

She would like to see higher kerbs to deter vehicles from mounting the pavement, as well as a big 20mph sign at the start of the Wellsway.

“Because it’s a main road, people think it’s more than 20. The first sign is quite a way up the road, and it’s tiny and covered by a bush.”

Gemma’s husband Chris said another way to cut traffic speed off the Bath Road roundabout into Wellsway would be to square off the current sweeping bend. This would make drivers slow down or stop at the roundabout rather than allowing the “catapult effect” into Wellsway.

A visible ‘gateway’ at the start of Wellsway, to highlight that it is a low-speed area, is another of Chris’s recommendations.

He added: “More measures working in unison will surely work better.”

Councillor Manda Rigby, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “We responded to concerns from residents and carried out a study last year at the northern section of the road near Bath Hill to see if further traffic management measures were appropriate.

“We found that speed humps are not feasible because they would be too close to people’s homes, which can lead to residents experiencing issues with noise and vibration.

“Widening the footways would require the use of privately-owned land, and making kerbs higher could cause rain water to drain back towards the properties.

“We have got 20mph signs at intervals all along the Wellsway and we have a rolling programme to re-line any worn-out 20mph road markings throughout B&NES to make drivers aware. Council officers will pass on the concerns about speeding to the police.”

But Gemma said she was disappointed with the council’s response.

Gemma said: “We didn’t even know the council reviewed the road last year. It would have been nice if they spoke to some of the residents to find out what we deal with day to day.”

Pictured, Gemma Mitchell (centre) with other residents whose properties have been damaged