Call for vehicle ban on North Swindon road
RESIDENTS have written to the leader of Swindon Council asking him to take action on traffic problems in Queen Elizabeth Drive.
They are asking Coun David Renard (Con, Priory Vale) to ban heavy goods vehicles and buses along the road as it is too narrow – meaning vehicles regularly have to mount the kerb and travel the wrong way down roads.
Residents had a meeting with Coun Keith Williams (Con, Shaw) and council officers in July to put forward their case, but they have been frustrated by the lack of action since then.
“Several of us sat down to discuss the issue as nothing had happened,” said David Parkinson, 50, who lives on the road.
“We have shown the council all the evidence the road is too dangerous but nothing is being done, so we have contacted David Renard.”
The residents have each written to the council leader separately.
In his letter, David said: “How much longer will our elected council members and your council officers continue to permit to exist a clear and present road safety danger, of which they are fully aware and which SBC have already made previous decisions to mitigate, when they can resolve and eliminate the risks with a simple decision?”
The road was declared unsafe for use by large vehicles in 2005 by the council but several years later it started being used as a bus route.
David said he believes the reason for the lack of action is because of opposition from the bus companies.
He said: “We have shown the council more than enough evidence the road is not safe and they declared the road was not safe themselves.
“The roundabouts do not follow the Government guidelines. The council’s main concern seems to be having to pay compensation to Thamesdown Transport but this should not come above safety.”
A petition was held and of the 88 respondents, 87 said they were in favour of the ban.
Coun Renard said while he is in favour of banning HGVs on the road, he believes there are enough people using the bus service to warrant keeping it.
He said: “We want to make sure, and I am sure most would agree, that everyone lives within reasonable proximity to a bus service.”
The concept of opening a public consultation has been considered but Coun Renard says there may be problems.
He said: “There are only two routes using the road. Thamesdown Transport is a company that has the right to use it.”
A Thamesdown spokesman said: “Thamesdown has operated a regular service along Queen Elizabeth Drive since September 2011.
“The use of Queen Elizabeth Drive is important as it is the most efficient and effective way for us to provide public transport services to residents of Taw Hill.
“We are satisfied it is safe for buses to use and our drivers make every effort to avoid encroaching onto grass verges if two buses pass each other at the narrower points.”
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