Rousham Road residents won't be rushed - its not fair on the kids

July 03 2018
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Since moving into a house on Rousham Road nine months ago I’ve been alarmed at how fast some drivers go, especially considering the road is a thoroughfare for students coming from Fairfield High School.

I’ve seen three near misses where the kids just pour down the steps and spill out onto the road and drivers stop only just in time. It’s really scary, heart-in-your-mouth stuff, and it’s only just luck that someone hasn’t gotten seriously injured there.

Rousham and Stottbury roads are both 20 mph zones, but I’ve seen cars coming down around the corner that are easily travelling over 40 mph. When we moved in my kids were out on the pavement most evenings- chalking on our wall, riding their bikes, playing with other children in the neighbourhood- but we’ve had to stop this because we feel it’s just too dangerous.

Speaking to people in the community everyone I talk to says that it’s the one thing on the road that they’d change- they just don’t feel like it’s a safe place for pedestrians, kids and pets. People who have been on the street a long time have tales of near-misses and actual accidents- someone showed me a picture from years ago of a car ramped up onto our front wall- just where my kids have been playing!

So a bunch of us got together and painted some signs to hang on lampposts. It was a really fun day, with whole families involved- we had tea and cake and it felt like a really positive thing to be doing with the children. They look great, and we’re going to make some larger ones soon- but really the only effective solution would be speed bumps along Rousham and Stottbury Roads. That’s the only thing that will give drivers pause and physically force them to slow their cars down.

Our local Councillors Estella Tincknell and Gill Kirk have been really supportive- I’ve met with them and shared the concerns we have in our community. They were receptive and have pushed it forward with the various departments in the council. Since talking with them we’ve seen police speed camera vehicles on the street; and we’ve also heard that there will be some new signage appearing soon. They are also supporting us to set up a local speed-watch group, which I’m busily recruiting volunteers for.

We’re trying to be as proactive as possible as a community, but ultimately we need the support of the council to get some speed bumps in. We’re realistic though- we understand how tight budgets are for all councils, especially Bristol- the statistics on how much gets taken up by adult social care is staggering- approx.. 60% of total council spending- so we appreciate that everything else takes a hit, and that includes highways and traffic enforcement.

But really, when we’re so close to a school and have such a high percentage of young families on the street, it’s unacceptable to just wait around until a member of the public gets injured or killed by dangerous driving. We’re happy that we’re starting to get a response, but we’ll be keeping up the pressure on the council until we get a solution that we feel will work in slowing people down effectively- and that’s speed-bumps.

Adam Laity