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Planned repairs in May Half Term are unsatisfactory

Reported in the Damage to pavement category by Steve Harries at 18:05, Fri 4 May 2018

Sent to Bath and North East Somerset Council 4 minutes later. Council ref: 1303532.

I have been informed that it is planned to close the A37 to fit a "road quality chamber" in place of the existing "pedestrian quality chamber" on the narrow pavement on Pensford Hill.

Doing so in my opinion will facilitate the continued use of the pavement by articulated lorries presenting a serious danger to pedestrians and the risk of damage to other services in the pavement in that area that are not rated for the weight of vehicles.

The cover should be repaired to a pedestrian quality cover with a Northern bollard to prevent vehicles crossing the cover on the pavement.

I believe it could be a very serious lapse in duty of care and public safety to (with intent) enable large vehicles to use the pavement at that point.

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Updates

  • Thank you for your report, it will be reviewed by the appropriate team.

    Posted by Bath and North East Somerset Council at 18:10, Fri 4 May 2018

  • I am still waiting for the council to return a phone call regarding implementation of Phase 2 road safety measures on A37 through Pensford. This was promised verbally in reponse to my first posting for this post code. Steve Harries quite rightly says the mounting of vehicles on the narrow pavement on the hill is very dangerous to pedestrians and must be resolved with preventative measures. Do we have to wait for a death or serious injury before the council acts??

    Posted anonymously at 09:12, Wed 16 May 2018

  • We have reviewed this report and referred it onto another team who will deal with it appropriately.

    State changed to: Internal referral

    Posted by Bath and North East Somerset Council at 09:39, Wed 16 May 2018

  • I would like to share a Council response to my concerns and firstly state thank you that it was received promptly today.

    "Dear Mr Harries,

    I thank you for your enquiry. The Council is working with both the ward Councillor and the Parish Council to implement a series of pedestrian focussed improvements and this will include bollards.

    The essential maintenance work to the chamber is not intended to encourage vehicles to drive on the footway and to all intents and purpose the chamber will look no different.

    At present the chamber is collapsing and presents a trip hazard for pedestrians as well as making it difficult for any wheelchairs/pushchairs.

    Yours sincerely

    [Council staff names removed by moderator]"

    I would like to raise three questions about this Council response.

    1: Does the Council understand why the Pedestrian Rated Chamber on the narrow public pedestrian pavement is collapsing? Has this knowledge informed your decision to upgrade the chamber to a "Road Quality Chamber"?

    2: When are the "pedestrian focussed improvements" planned? I have emails from [Name removed by moderator] saying that works were to commence before Christmas 2017 following a series of incidents and injuries on Pensford Hill in September/October and headline stories in local newspapers.

    2: I have no concern about the aesthetics of the planned Chamber and I will point out that there is no aesthetic difference between a Road Rated Chamber and a Pedestrian Rated Chamber so I am unsure of the relevance of that remark. I am sure aesthetics in any event is not the Council's priority. To install a "road quality chamber" in place of an existing "pedestrian quality chamber" is intent to allow HGV vehicles to use the pavement illegally with pedestrians (Adults and Children on school runs). It is reasonable, I believe, to deduce that the Council's intent is to reduce the risk of ongoing damage to the cover without preventing vehicles, and serves only to manage the Council's costs over pedestrian safety. There is no such "pedestrian focused improvements" by making such a change on a public pavement. The pedestrian measures to prevent HGVs riding the pavement must not be an after thought - completed some undetermined time later. The image that I have shared shows that there is an imminent risk to life or serious injury by repairing the chamber for road traffic.

    Thank you and I look forward to you paying due diligence and duty of care to my community concern.

    Posted by Steve Harries at 18:12, Wed 16 May 2018
    Moderated by an administrator at 17:18, Thu 17 May 2018

  • The attached image is to remind the Council of the imminent risk to life with or without a repaired chamber alone ...

    State changed to: Open

    Posted by Steve Harries at 18:18, Wed 16 May 2018

  • This is really unsafe, if a pedestrian walks past this collapsed chamber at the same time a HGV drives over it, again, it can seriously endanger the safety of pedestrians. Children walk to school down this road and HGV persistently drive on the pavement. More safety barriers should be situated on this road instead of strengthening the chamber so it’s suitable to be driven on.

    Posted anonymously at 22:20, Wed 16 May 2018

  • These photographs taken whilst walking up Pensford Hill and from my living room window at BS39 4AB clearly illustrate the daily lorry abuse of the pavement. This narrow stretch of the A37 is perilous to pass for pedestrians and is not fit for purpose as an A road carrying extreme vehicle tonnage. How is the council going to fix this?

    Posted anonymously at 22:39, Wed 16 May 2018

  • I live on this hill and feel that bollards are useless. There is barely sufficient space to wheel a buggy through, and if you have a double buggy........ It seems that if a bollard is knocked down more than a few times then it is note replaced. How about a strong metal railing all the way down, offering protection to all pedestrians and limiting the size of vehicles that can travel along this road. Better still, traffic lights top and bottom!

    I know a family who have chosen to send their child to Stanton Drew school rather than risk walking them down the hill. What's this going to do to Pensford School if more families take this option.

    Posted anonymously at 22:48, Wed 16 May 2018

  • This stretch of the A37 clearly isn't able to accommodate the traffic that uses it daily. To strengthen the pavement chamber demonstrates not only knowledge of, but also acceptance of the continuation of heavy goods vehicles to regularly drive on the pavement, this is a lapse of care and duty towards the people who use that pavement and is setting a dangerous precedent. Roads like the A37 are designed and built to carry heavy traffic, pavements are designed and built to carry pedestrians - to start strengthening the pavement to carry heavy traffic is the wrong way forward and I disagree strongly with this work going ahead. The solution to this problem simply must be to stop vehicles mounting the pavement and for BaNES to allow this to continue is a wanton dereliction of their duty towards the people of Pensford.

    Posted by Dom Lowe at 08:22, Thu 17 May 2018

  • This needs to be re-considered urgently. the continual affirmation that HGVs and pedestrians can share the same spare is absurd ! It really is only a matter of time before there is a fatality on this road involving a pedestrian and a HGV using the pedestrians space. I live on the main A37 and have been in a situation where I have walked out of my gate and onto the pavement when a HGV making room for a HGV on the other side of the road has mounted the pavement and taken the space that I was in - if I had moved further form my gate and was unable to step back into my garden this would have been a very different story. I have children that used to attend Pensford School but do no longer do. One of the reasons for re-locating them was the stress involved in walking to school. It is just not safe to walk two young children along this pavement.

    Posted anonymously at 10:47, Thu 17 May 2018

  • We have assessed this report and found that it does not currently meet the criteria for intervention. No further action will be taken at this time.

    State changed to: No further action

    Posted by Bath and North East Somerset Council at 11:53, Thu 17 May 2018

  • May I respectfully ask if imminent risk to life is a BaNES "criteria for intervention"? This is a serious question to the Council who appear to have made the decision with Openreach to upgrade a footpath chamber for traffic conditions in contention with pedestrians.

    I hope that the works will not be delayed in any way to fit the appropriate chamber covers for a footpath and an appropriate safety measure to protect pedestrians and the Openreach infrastructure from all vehicular traffic.

    Thank you.

    State changed to: Open

    Posted by Steve Harries at 16:54, Thu 17 May 2018

  • I have had it confirmed by Openreach that the planned works by Carillon Talent (Contractor) on the 29th May is to install a JF10 80 x 240cm footway cover (For Reference please See https://www.ournetwork.openreach.co.uk/ resources/ site1/ General/ Downloads/ identifying_our_equipment_guide.pdf)

    This lightly reinforced concrete cover is, correctly and sensibly, not rated for vehicular traffic, let alone HGV traffic. Therefore BaNES or Openreach must have measures to prevent HGVs access before reopening the A37. Failing to do so is putting property and people at serious risk and a breach of Health and Safety tolerances for the equipment. Plastic cones are not acceptable as an interim solution as they are being moved by vehicles pushing them out of the way.

    With this update could the Council please confirm and reassure the community that permanent safety measures will be put in place before reopening the A37 at Pensford Hill after May 29th works?

    Posted by Steve Harries at 11:01, Fri 18 May 2018

  • Working link

    Https://www.ournetwork.openreach.co.uk/resources/site1/General/Downloads/identifying_our_equipment_guide.pdf

    Posted anonymously at 11:15, Fri 18 May 2018

  • A question for the Council and a request for a reply by email please. What is the "Non-Standard" solution for the chamber repair on Pensford Hill that was agreed between Openreach, Carillion Telent and Highways in April 2017. Does this solution in any way strengthen the design above a standard solution for a footpath with a JF10 cover? Does this solution in any way negate the need for preventative measures to stop HGV's passing over the cover?

    Posted by Steve Harries at 11:55, Fri 18 May 2018

  • I have now spoken at length with BaNES StreetWorks, Carillion Telent and NorthAvon utility services.

    The "Non Standard" works are being costed for a Lintel to be put into the kerb and a JRC12 cast Iron carrigeway cover to be installed! This contradicts statements to me by Openreach.

    NorthAvon and Carrillion Telent both have confirmed the purpose is to enable the cover to withstand HGV traffic that are using the footpath and that this was the agreed solution with Openreach and Highways in April 2017 to make the cover and chamber "last longer".

    NorthAvon Engineer has stated (and is providing in writing) the only "safe" solution is to remove the Openreach box completely (if no other measures are in place to stop traffic using the footpath). A barrier/bollard to prevent traffic would also be a solution with a JF10 cover.

    Carrillion Telent believe the works will not go ahead in May as the costing and contract have not been resolved.

    The damaged cover must not be left without a robust barrier to stop (not deter) traffic from using the footpath whilst any decision is made - Doing so is neglecting resident's safety of self and property.

    All parties believe it is unsafe and at imminent risk of collapse with potential lethal damages. I hope that works goes ahead in Half term to put in place measures to stop the vehicles whilst the traffic is quite. The plastic cones should be removed as they offer no protection and are not preventing the continued abuse of the footpath.

    It is my opinion that to deliberately enable/facilitate HGVs to share a space with pedestrians amounts gross negligence.

    Posted by Steve Harries at 14:27, Fri 18 May 2018

  • Safety works have not proceeded in May Half term as stated. My understanding is that BaNES have granted Openreach access only after 7pm to avoid disrupting traffic and this may be limiting Openreach's capacity to complete the urgent repairs.

    My understanding is that Openreach and Highways have internally been each denying responsibility for the repair work which is causing the delays.

    Pedestrian safety appears to be Highways lowest priority.

    The chamber remains protected only by plastic cones which are moved daily and the area remains a serious trip hazard to pedestrians.

    Highways have stated that Openreach will not now upgrade the chamber covers to carriageway covers because it is a "quicker piece of work ". I welcome that decision regardless of the reason.

    Highways still felt it necessary to add that "We do not oppose the use of a carriageway grade chamber [in the footpath] because this should mean such a chamber would require less maintenance". I would like to suggest that preventing lorries sharing the footpath with pedestrians will also require less maintenance of the chamber.

    No mention is made by Highways about pedestrian safety. It would seem that Highways risk assess the costs of repairs but not pedestrian safety.

    I politely and urgently ask that together Highways and Openreach escalate these repairs and prevent lorries riding over the chamber before we have an imminent significant incident.

    Posted by Steve Harries at 16:27, Fri 1 June 2018

  • Still open, via questionnaire, 19:06, Fri 1 June 2018

  • Dear StreetFix

    I have been in communications with the Chair of BS EN124:2015 (Covers and Chambers British Standards) and provided photographs of the location, existing chamber and close-up of the covers as well as specifications proposed for the chamber repair. I have had what I believe is a considered, unbiased and engineering response which I would like to share.

    He regards the status quo of a shared space between pedestrians and lorries an "unacceptable and dangerous situation as it would only take a small deviation in conditions for a collision between the two to become a certainty".

    In considering the options (excluding closing the footpath or converting the pavement to carriageway) he believes "the only remaining ‘safe’ option would seem to be some form of pedestrian protection"

    I asked if he could advise on the risks of structural failure based on a frequency of 2 to 3 lorries per hour clipping the cover and his response is "my opinion is that due to the application conditions anticipated for B125-load-class products, the anticipated vehicle-exposure at this location is likely to cause structural failure of the cover and/frame components of a B125 product, probably as a result of cyclically-induced fatigue or even as a result of sub-structural collapse due to the inherently-narrower flange bedding area of B125 frames " He described concrete covers as "can fail in a brittle manner"

    Finally in the interests in helping Highways find a mutually acceptable solution that does consider safety and ongoing maintenance issues the Chair provided the following suggestion " your (my) suggestion of utilising a Bollard to prevent vehicle encroachment onto the pavement would seem the most favourable option. Indeed, ‘Bell-type’ bollards are often used for this purpose as they are resilient to traffic impacts (if made from an impact resistant material, not grey cast iron) and so need no routine maintenance.

    Here’s an example of one type (Cast Iron Services, Product 193 (Photo attached)"

    This seems an ideal solution that will provide wider access on the footpath for pedestrians whilst protecting the same, and according to the Chair these are proven to require less maintenance.

    In light of these expert opinions it would be foolish and I argue negligent for Highways not to not install protection for the chamber, cover and pedestrians at the same time as the chamber repair. The existing extra cones have deterred vehicles and have resulted in more caution by drivers, effectively moderating speeds at times where two vehicles approach.

    I welcome your consideration of the above and I am happy to share the full communication with the Chair

    Posted by Steve Harries at 21:34, Mon 4 June 2018

  • The works have still not started. There are cones in place that are being clipped by passing traffic daily and the cones are obstructing access along the footpath for pedestrians with pushchairs creating a dangerous environment adjacent to the A37 threshold.

    Posted by Steve Harries at 11:11, Tue 26 June 2018

  • Hi,

    Can I enquire as to the progress on both pedestrian safety (foremost even if not a BaNES priority) and the replacement of both the missing bollards and Openreach chamber?

    The bollards posted above are the only logical and long term solution, especially as there is no sign of HGV’s (which do not fit the carriageway) being stopped from using this road. Whilst designated as an “A” road, this stretch of the A37 is clearly not fit for this purpose.

    There have been so many accidents and near misses on this hill it is almost unbelievable that no serious action has been taken.

    If it had not been raised as an issue I could understand your hesitation in taking action. However, this is not the case and as such I would class this as wilful negligence on your behalf and to dismiss these very real concerns for this period of time only exacerbates the issue.

    Posted by Jason Rehbein at 17:58, Fri 29 June 2018

  • Again I am obliged to show evidence of the imminent risk to pedestrians.

    Https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zmEsRVKFEaEBJGIOA6sW91PlbQr3lPHS (Faces masked)

    The cones left by Openreach are an obstruction to the footpath forcing pedestrians with pushchairs into private land where there are trip hazards and serious risks of the pushchair toppling and throwing a child towards the A37. This has been reported several times to Highways and Openreach, and the general imminent safety risk reported by me to the Parish Councillor Mr PM since early 2017 and Mr J R-M MP in May 2018

    My understanding from a FOI request is that Highways have issued rolling 28 day Section 81 orders (Urgent Works) to Openreach and Highways seem prepared to extend these orders until the works are done and not enforce the deadlines. In the interim Highways are making no effort to make the footpath safe where they could bill Openreach.

    New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 "A street authority should discuss any difficulties that the proposed works cause with the promoter and agree an acceptable way forward. However, safety concerns, urgency or lack of co-operation, may make it necessary for the street authority to use its powers of direction."

    I have begun monitoring the road daily for incidents (where vehicles stop or take avoidance measures including using the footpath) and there were 37 incidents in one 9am-6pm period (around 4 per hour on average, and 9 incidents between 12 and 1pm).

    In an email response to my MP, Highways Traffic and Network Manager has said regarding works "we are hoping to implement improvements around autumn time". I find it distressing the he chooses words like 'hoping' and 'around' regarding pedestrian safety where all parties acknowledge the present very high risk to pedestrians.

    One of the issues delaying the works is the bollard type due to footpath utilities and foundation depth. Despite my sharing the Bell-Type proposal which from my understanding (and the expert advice from suppliers and the relevant standards organisations Chair) that these optimize footpath space, reduce maintenance and are effective at deterring traffic - They do not require a foundation and can be bolted down to the kerb. The Highways Network Manager has not engaged with me or my MP about this solution as to whether it is viable, what its cost might be. He also states that "Costs does have to be a consideration, even in relation to improving safety" - I believe we are not simply dealing with an improvement, we are dealing with a highways defect where safety is fundamentally non-existent, and that requires safety being the priority and not the costs.

    Finally I recently received a flyer from the Parish Councillor inviting residents to vote on safety measures with little context or explanation of the issues - The survey risks being a quantitative response and not qualitative. What is most telling from this is that between 2017 Phase 1 beautification and now BaNES have not drafted plans for Phase 2 safety requirements, and do not have a plan to bring to the community. Throughout that time the community has reasonably been expecting works to start and the road made safe. The plans should be urgently designed by Highways taking account industry standard risk assessments and then scrutinized; not decided by a community tick box ballad.

    Posted by Steve Harries at 20:52, Fri 29 June 2018

  • Still open, via questionnaire, 21:12, Fri 29 June 2018

  • The works have been completed by Openreach and they have installed a footpath frame and cover assembly. The chamber is not built under the A37 as it was presumed, so it was a standard footpath installation/repair for Openreach.

    The covers are rated for 12.5 tonne loads only, so they require protecting from HGVs that can exceed 40 tonne. Will the council now install two bell-type kerb bollards to protect both the Openreach infrastructure and pedestrians, and will you do this urgently ie within 7 days? I would appreciate a response to this question please.

    Openreach/B&NES will need to reinstall cones again as the covers are unprotected today, and I fear that if the council does not install the bollards within 7 days that Openreach will upgrade the chamber to 40/60 tonne load frame and covers to protect their infrastucture (they have no responsibility for the pedestrian apparently)- The E600 rated covers are a standard reserved for taxiing and parked aircraft at airports!!! Pedestrians will be left to fend for themselves until the Autum at least.

    It would just take two bollards - 1 outside #2 Hillside Cottages and one just south of the dropped kerb outside #4 Hillside Cottages. A perfect opportunity to pilot the bell-type bollards and monitor their effectiveness.

    It would borderline on the ridiculous if it were not complete negligence if Highways now force Openreach to remove the new and correctly installed footpath chamber frame and covers to then upgrade the same to cope with unrestricted and frequent 40 tonne rated lorry access to the narrow footpath.

    The video shows the danger to pedestrians - Note that the chamber trip hazard has now been repaired by Openreach.

    Https://drive.google.com/open?id=14VX1ml8W9X7P7z1TKGHPwhiq_tIPUjI7

    I look forward to your response.

    Posted by Steve Harries at 07:39, Mon 16 July 2018

  • We have looked into this issue and found it is not the council's responsibility. We have passed this report to the relevant party to take action.

    State changed to: not the council's responsibility

    Posted by Bath and North East Somerset Council at 09:20, Mon 16 July 2018

  • Please advise how the installation of kerb bollards to stop the daily abuse of the only footpath available to residents by HGVs; that as a result are forcing Openreach to upgrade a perfectly functioning and repaired chamber to withstand loads up to 60 tonnes? How is that not the council'sresponsibility? In a recent email Highways tried to convince me that pedestrian safety is a priority but that is most clearly not the case.

    I also have not received a response to my question from Highways.

    Posted by Steve Harries at 10:57, Mon 16 July 2018

  • My question to the Council - Will the council now install two bell-type kerb bollards to protect both the Openreach infrastructure and pedestrians, and will you do this urgently ie within 7 days?

    Question to follow up - If you do not, are you aware that Openreach will have to upgrade their footpath frame and covers to withstand loads in excess of 40 tonnes in a share space with pedestrians including a wheelchair user?

    I would appreciate a response to this question please.

    State changed to: Open

    Posted by Steve Harries at 11:03, Mon 16 July 2018

  • Repair of 15th July totally unsatisfactory. Old concrete covers with fractures put back over chamber. See photos. ÌProposed metal covers arrived wrong size so could not be installed. My property seriously at risk from breach of fractured cover. Risk still of a major incident when HGV uses pavement. Pedestrians at risk from lorry pavement use. Please protect us with appropriately placed bollards deterrents urgently.

    Posted by Sarah Bishop at 11:40, Mon 16 July 2018

  • I'm really disappointed at the council's response to Steve Harries' responses - I believe he has done a lot of research into this matter and have proposed a very reasonable and cost effective method to ensure proper separation of traffic, especially the large number of HGVs going through Pensford and the amount of children/strollers using the pavement. However, the council seem totally uninterested in responding to his proposals and keep on passing it out of the council. As a father of a infant, I'm very keen on seeing a reasonable resolution of this situation please. Thank you.

    Posted by Piers Kittel at 12:18, Tue 17 July 2018

  • Openreach have now been very clear as to their reasons for keeping the cones on the covers and about their further plans to install the 40 to 60 tonne rated chamber covers in pace of the footpath covers. They have stated to me that

    "It is vital that we look to protect our network and thus reducing any further cost from damage. ... We will replace the manhole structure as planned. However, if the council in the meantime change the layout and measures on the footpath, this may change our plans." Openreach

    I understand that the bollard installation may take some short-term planning and I hope that it is proceeding with some urgency, but I do not understand why the council does not put interim cones in place to deter the frequent and uncontrolled footpath violation by traffic. Is it not as vital as Openreach's own concern for a footpath box?

    Please view the two videos below:

    16th July - https://goo.gl/ rF4VLB 17th July (Openreach mitigating their risk) - https://goo.gl/ MhtJqF

    On the 17th July I requested by email that B&NES urgently install and maintain temporary cones from south of the dropped kerb outside 4 Hillside Cottages to the driveway at Kensington House. there has been no response and no action.

    We currently have the unsatisfactory situation of Openreach doggedly safeguarding their equipment with cones and clearly under pressure to upgrade their chamber on the footpath; meanwhile B&NES are ignoring the same safeguarding risk for serious injury or death to a pedestrian in the face of overwhelming evidence, by failing to install any temporary risk aversion measures.

    Please install temporary measures to deter traffic.

    Posted by Steve Harries at 09:28, Tue 24 July 2018

  • Still open, via questionnaire, 23:32, Fri 27 July 2018

  • Openreach cones are still there to protect their footpath box and deter HGVs from rolling down the narrow footpath. No measures, not even temporary ones, by BANEs to protect pedestrians using the same space. HGVs continue violating the footpath before and after the chamber. Kids back to school in 2 weeks BANEs - This is their path to primary and secondary school!

    Posted by Steve Harries at 06:35, Sat 25 August 2018
    Still open, via questionnaire

  • Still no pedestrian safety measures in place, not even temporary measures. Now we are in the Autumn the roads and pavements are frequently wet so no doubt the Lorries frequently rolling down the footpath present an even greater danger to pedestrians (if the risk could get any worse).

    There are plans to close the road for other works so I hope that by now the council have a plan in place to fit street fixings to prevent the footpath abuse soon, and in this Autumn as previously advised.

    Posted by Steve Harries at 09:53, Sun 23 September 2018
    Still open, via questionnaire

  • No indication of a plan or any work commencing fir pedestrian safety yet.

    Posted by Steve Harries at 19:45, Sun 21 October 2018
    Still open, via questionnaire

  • Not repaired yet but plans now submitted to the community for consultations. No requirement for BT to reinfoce their footpath structure for HGV access. Pleased to see Option 2 the Bell type bollards but awaiting more detail on location and numbers. Options 1 & 3 look to be maintenance intensive if HGVs are not deterred and use the area . Work was stated to be in the Autumn but looking likely now for after Christmas? I hope delays are not extensive or at all whilst the footpath remains dangerous to pedestrians and darkness during school runs.

    Posted by Steve Harries at 21:02, Sun 18 November 2018
    Still open, via questionnaire

  • No progress yet. We are so lucky there has not been an incident.

    Posted by Steve Harries at 18:07, Mon 17 December 2018
    Still open, via questionnaire

  • Pleased to see some progress with test holes checking the dept of services which appear to be good depth. It will be good to know an exact time frame that safety improvements will take and which Option (including the positions of all planned safety footpath fixtures) will be in effect.

    Posted by Steve Harries at 19:08, Fri 28 December 2018

  • Looking at the Council's survey of the hill it clearly shows that the area marked in blue in the image is less than 5.5 meters, the minimum Highways standard for lined single carriageway.

    May I propose that the centre line in this area be removed and appropriate safety signage be installed to warn traffic that the road is particularly narrow at this point. By no coincidence, this is the same area that HGVs frequently use the footpath as shown in my videos, so I am hoping that bollards are positioned here as part of the upcoming safety improvements planned..

    The carriageway boundary markings in this section obviously must be retained and not removed to artificially widen the road - That would be unsafe.

    Posted by Steve Harries at 19:37, Fri 28 December 2018

  • Still open, via questionnaire, 21:01, Monday 14 January 2019

  • With respect to the notice of "Road Safety Works planned to commence on the 18th of February on Pensford Hill may I make some observations and ask some questions for a response from the Council/Highways? (Questions are those bullet points below)

    For context, it should be noted that planning for pedestrian safety improvements on Pensford Hill have been in dialogue by me with B&NES and Councillor May for over 2 years; it seems reasonable to me to expect that the plans are advanced and addressed all the already known safety risks have been assessed on Pensford Hill.

    I understand that the Option 3 Bell Type Bollards are deemed too wide (300mm) for some areas of the public footpath and now will not be installed. I am pleased that such an observation has been made by B&NES that for safety there needs to space for push chairs on our footpath, however I (and I suspect our Parish Council) are not clear on the Council's position about the width of the carriageway (those areas <= 5.4 meters) and how unsafe they are for two HGVs travelling at least 20MPH to pass each other?

    It is important to note that this is in most of those areas were the footpath is too narrow for the bollards where pedestrians with push chairs frequent on the school run to the Primary school .

    • Has B&NES conducted a Risk Assessment for HGVs passing each other, and a Risk Assessment for HGV proximity to pedestrians without street furniture protection on the narrow carriage ways on Pensford Hill ahead of these planned safety works?

    • If the answer is 'No' will B&NES now fully Risk Assess those areas in the context of HGVs and pedestrians before works commence on the 18th February and share those findings with the community?

    • Are any safety improvements planned for those areas of carriage way eg: removing the carriageway center line and managing traffic through those locations?

    May I propose that the narrow footpath can be widened 300mm to accommodate the OPtion 3 bollards whilst effective management of the traffic is designed into the A37 at the same time. This may involve alternate traffic control, or more ambitiously and medium to long term, the creation of a northbound one way route for HGVs through Pensford Hill with southbound traffic diverted through another route because the A37 cannot sustain two HGVs simultaneously without Russian Roulette self-management at 20-30MPH – thus addressing the safety and risk to both parties.

    • If the Option 3 bollards are not installed, and B&NES are prepared to ignore the risk of incident between 2 HGVs on the carriageway, and or between HGVs and pedestrians (perhaps as a result of the former), will Option 1 or Option 2 concrete kerb risers be used in those narrow footpath areas?

    This is not an idle concern, only three days ago a lorry took evasive action travelling north bound in front of my son returning from school with the wing mirror smashed by trees on the verge opposite Hillside Cottages (the mirror is still on the road edge). He took emergency action to avoid a collision with a southbound HGV.

    Another lorry's wing mirror, 2 days ago, struck the side wall of the property immediately south of the public footpath on Pensford Hill whilst he avoided a northbound HGV. This incident happened at the blind exit of that properties driveway, this time in front of my eldest son.

    This open post will shared with the Parish Council, Pensford Facebook Groups and the Bristol Wrong Road group for their information.

    I look forward to, and would be very grateful for, a response to my four bullet point questions ahead of the commencement of planned safety works.

    Posted by Steve Harries at 18:46, Wednesday 23 January 2019

  • The planned works on Pensford Hill starting on Monday 11th February are seriously flawed (I argue illegal and do not comply with the Highway Code) and will not address the problem of HGVs violating the pavement.

    Details of my complaint can be found on my two Google Dives:

    • PDFs showing the plans and my complaint. I have endeavoured to be objective as I have Risk Assessment training, and where possible (and within my knowledge limits) I have referred to regulations.

    O https://drive.google.com/ open?id=1uJtW1KWDzFxVvnSNQTc3UtFnQ4lwEMyb

    • Videos which have been time-edited to show the scale of the Highway Code breaches and the risks to pedestrians. You may need to download these to view them if they do not play in your Browser.

    O https://drive.google.com/ open?id=1nJew4fiOk9EI-SErc1eOqnLKt_AhrBwk

    Posted by Steve Harries at 11:25, Sunday 10 February 2019

  • Still open, via questionnaire, 21:45, Monday 11 February 2019

  • Works planned still neglect the fundamental safety problem on Pensford Hill, the continued and expected (by design) use of the pavement by high tonnage and wide vehicles.

    A minimum I expect is no vehicles on the footpath to protect the pedestrian and the BT Chamber that is not rated for such weights and could implode under such weights.

    B@NES have had more than 4 years where this problem and risks have been clearly identified and the covers on the chamber have already been replaced due to developing failures from HGVs. The solution is not to upgrade the covers, that would be reprehensible. Get the HGVs off the school and village footpath please.

    Posted by Steve Harries at 16:58, Tuesday 12 March 2019
    Still open, via questionnaire

  • Still not repaired. £280000 road works in Pensford and BaNES choose to neglect the one area where the Openreach infrastructure and school children are at daily risk of encountering HGVs in controlled and uncontrolled footpath incursions. Disgusting neglect by BaNES.

    Instead BaNES installed a Give Way line without a Traffic Regulation Order according to Avon and Somerset Police, and without a Safety Audit. It is meaningless and complicates the liability of individuals should an accident involving injury occurs. It is in breach of Section 41 (1) of the Highways Act.

    The A37 remains Out of Repair, defective, confusing and dangerous due to failures by BaNES to plan traffic management measures and pedestrian safety equipment wherethe greatest risk is evidential.

    This complaint remains open until this risk is mitigated.

    Posted by Steve Harries at 19:32, Wednesday 10 April 2019
    Still open, via questionnaire

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