Queen Charlton ‘rat run’ traffic ban made permanent

A TRIAL traffic ban on a ‘rat run’ between Keynsham and Whitchurch has been made permanent.

Hundreds of vehicles a day have been taken off Queen Charlton Lane since the experimental traffic regulations were introduced in November 2022.

Bath and North East Somerset Council has now started the legal process that could see the new Traffic Regulation Order in place in the early spring.

During the trial, the council gathered feedback from residents and monitored the impacts of traffic on surrounding roads and air quality.

The purpose of the trial was to stop motorists from using inappropriate residential roads as short cuts, while maintaining vehicle access to homes, and to provide a safe and pleasant route for walking and cycling.

One resident who responded to the council’s consultation said: “This road was being used as a ‘rat run’ prior to the closure. Since the trial, I have been able to walk along a quiet country lane without fear of being knocked down.”

The decision to make the scheme permanent has been taken by Councillor Manda Rigby, cabinet member for transport, who said: “I want to thank everyone who has taken part in consultations and given their feedback.

“The monitoring reports showed that no significant traffic impacts were recorded on the primary alternative routes as a direct result of the trials and, most commonly, there were air quality improvements within and outside the trial area. In all cases, the NO2 [nitrogen dioxide] readings are well below the government legal limit and also within the council’s own stricter targets.”  

The traffic restrictions in Queen Charlton were part of one of three Liveable Neighbourhood experimental trials run by the council. The other two were at Southlands (Weston) and Church Street (Widcombe) in Bath.

To keep traffic out of the narrow lane, two sets of drop-down bollards and temporary wooden planters were installed – one set just after Furthermead Farm and the other before Dapwell Lane. Landowners and farmers have been able to drop the bollards to gain access.

The cost of the infrastructure to make the restrictions permanent is estimated to be £9,000.