September 29th, 2016

Business leaders spell out bridge traffic fears

Business leaders spell out bridge traffic fears Business leaders spell out bridge traffic fears
Updated: 2:46 pm, Oct 30, 2015

A LEADING Evesham business group has raised fears the town could ‘grind to a halt’ if the traffic nightmare on the town’s Abbey Bridge isn’t resolved.

VECTA Chairman Tony Rowland made the plea for something to be done in a letter from the group to Coun John Smith, Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for Highways.

The group was inspired to act following its meeting which saw business leaders from across the town outline concerns about the traffic flow over the new bridge.

In the letter to Coun Smith, seen by the Observer, Mr Rowland tackled the issue motorists face when trying to turn right into Hampton due to the green feeder light working sporadically.

The letter also raised concerns about the volume of traffic on the crossroads, suggesting it has reached its capacity.

“There is also a considerable problem with traffic attempting to turn right from Cheltenham Road on to Waterside,” Mr Rowland said.

“Cars are unable to turn right until the lights change to red for Abbey Road traffic as there is no filter, this queue then only moves approximately three cars each time and are sat at the junction effectively blocking flow.

“There is also no light visible to right turners once the lights are passed at pedestrian island on Cheltenham Road, so cars do not move until Abbey Road has stopped,” he added.

The business leaders asked if Worcestershire County Council had any proposals which could be implemented to assist the easing of traffic flow through the town.

A traffic model of the town centre should be made effective to see if there are any improvements which can be made to alter the course of traffic flow, according to the letter.

“At the moment we are reaching the point where the town will start to loose trade because of traffic queues which occur regularly over the new bridge,” Mr Rowland said.

“I remember the original traffic counts indicated 18,000 vehicle movements a day went over the bridge, but I suspect the volume in traffic of vehicles per hour has slowed down with the pedestrian crossings, which have been implemented on the traffic light system.”

“When the Rudge land is developed with a further 250 homes, and when Wychavon District Council construct the Waitrose store generating an additional 1,500 and 2,000 vehicle movements a day, together with the development at Briar Close and the future development of the old Abbey site as a tourist destination, one can easily see we are going to grind to a halt on this bridge,” he added

In response, a Worcestershire County Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm the letter has been received and a response is being sent to Mr Rowland.”

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