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Agenda and minutes

Venue: St Margaret's Hall, Bradford on Avon

Contact: Kevin Fielding 

No. Item


Welcome to the Community Forum - Councillor Jim Lynch


Councillor Jim Lynch welcomed all and outlined the format of the evening. This was a joint forum between the Area Board, Town Council and Streets Ahead, trying to work across politics to discuss seemingly intractible issues which have been affecting the town for decades. Wiltshire Council is the authority responsible for Highways and Air Quality. The Town Council has a strong consultative and democratic mandate. The evening is about hearing and discussing the EVIDENCE on various traffic issues affecting the town and not about jumping to SOLUTIONS. The goal is to get from shared data - to information - to knowledge - to wisdom.



Context: ongoing dialogue with Wiltshire Highways - Councillor Dom Newton


Councillor Dom Newton talked about the ongoing dialogue between the Town Council and Wiltshire Highways around the identification of objectives and priorities for action. Objectives had been identified: 1. To improve pedestrian safety/ reduce traffic intimidation; 2. To improve air quality; 3. To better manage the flow and speed of traffic; 4. To increase parking capacity. This evening discussions should be held in the context of the above, helping to unpack some of the quantitative and qualitative evidence for the issues.



Traffic Issues in Bradford on Avon


Councillors Sarah Gibson and Mike Roberts talked about the work of the Highways and Transport Committee and the Community Area Transport Group in addressing the detail of the transport issues. A number of achievements have been realised in the past year, including 20 mph zones, new zebra crossings, residents parking and revised yellow lining. Traffic, river crossing and benchmarking surveys have been commissioned to provide evidence of the problems. The county and town council continue to work together closely on these matters.



Mini presentations

·         Streets Ahead (Simon Kay)

·         Atkins (Trevor Bedeman)

·         Home Run (Michael Robson/ Pooya Kamvari, HomeRun app)

·         River Crossing (Councillor Sarah Gibson)

·         Benchmarking (Councillor Sarah Gibson)




Simon Kay, the Chairman of Streets Ahead, outlined the work and membership of his group which is an alliance of the Preservation Trust, Climate Friendly, Seniors Forum, BoA Business, Area Board and several other local stakeholder groups. He outlined the traffic and environmental problems in the town centre caused by heavy traffic volumes and HGVs. Issues being addressed include railings; bollards; signage; hedges overhanging pavements; parking; the school run; pavement quality; crossings; speeding and speed limits. Detailed concerns have been raised in a letter to the Town Council. Simon encouraged Wiltshire Council to get involved in helping to design and deliver the required solutions.



Trevor Bedeman of White Stripe presented his revised analysis of the Atkins Traffic Study. The original report had shown up to 80% of traffic crossing the town bridge to be locally generated, with a clear conclusion that “we are the problem”. He had analysed the data collection methods and identified flaws in the methodology. After correction, he was able to show that the level of local traffic was nearer 50%, still significant but now showing a significant proportion of traffic with no origin or destination in the town. This knowledge is important to help us differentiate policy approaches and action plans to manage and reduce levels of 1. through-traffic and 2. local traffic.



Michael Robson and Pooya Kamvari, developers of the HomeRun mobile phone app, presented their product which is being used in other locations across Wiltshire with demonstrable air quality issues. Through engagement with schools, parents and pupils, the app allows access to real-time school journey data and can track and display real vehicle emissions, transport modes, journey times and distances, routes used, congestion heat maps and other metrics. Outcomes include a reduction in vehicle emissions from car sharing; promoting active travel as children chose healthier options such as walking and cycling to school; empowering parents through data sharing, pooled transport and journey tracking of their children. It is hoped, with the funding support of the Area Board and Town Council, that the large secondary school and two primary schools will take advantage of this opportunity to build on the evidence of existing school travel plans and to reduce the carbon footprint of the school run in the town.



Councillor Sarah Gibson reported on two data collection exercises – the river crossing and town centre benchmarking studies – which are being jointly supported and funded by the Town Council and the Area Board. Both have involved stakeholder consultations and public participation. The quantitative and qualitative evidence gathered has helped to show how the town centre is used, how people move around and how improvements can be made to create a vibrant town centre with a more pedestrian friendly environment. The river crossing survey highlighted the general consensus that an improvement in the pedestrian experience across the river in the centre of town is a priority. The bench marking study highlighted the lack of available parking in the town and the need to increase footfall.







Roundtable Discussions

·         Traffic Survey

·         One Way System

·         Congestion Charging

·         River Crossing

·         HomeRun



Traffic Survey

- traffic in BoA is like the Alps: we have to live with it and concentrate on things that we can control

- if we want to encourage visitors we need to deck the Station Car Park and encourage park and ride/walk from the outskirts of town

- the town population is only 9,000 but we have 22,000 vehicles per day crossing the town bridge

- impact of students from Trowbridge attending St Laurence School by car – encourage more buses and car sharing

- a future town bypass would benefit access to Trowbridge more than helping Bradford


One-Way-System (OWS)

- Pros: improved pedestrian safety; less pavement damage; smoother traffic flow; room for cyclists; parking for delivery vehicles and cars; longer drive time will discourage through traffic; less vehicle idling will benefit air quality; traffic lights on Town Bridge will manage flows

- Cons: longer drive time through town; more inconvenience for drivers; increased speed; increased pollution; buses and lorries have to negotiate chicanes; needs to be part of congestion charge to work

- Action Plan: 1. Prioritise objectives for OWS and gather data to identify where pedestrian concerns exist. 2. Engage with experts at Wiltshire Council to model OWS variants. 3. Look at OWS elsewhere e.g. Glastonbury, Bruton 4. Trial OWS. 5. Monitor air quality before/during/after trial.


Congestion Charging

- technology to measure through traffic – its origin and destination

- who to charge? positive and negative impacts?

- where do we want to put the traffic?

- who gets the financial revenue?

  find the right term: congestion charge or T- Charge (as in London)?

- need for secure cameras (and cameras to watch cameras?)

- need to model a congestion charge

- collect data

- make a bid to the Clean Air Fund

- introduce a toll on the Town Bridge on an experimental basis


River Crosssing

- better publicity for town bus

– repair town centre pavements to improve feeling of safety in town centre and therefore increase footfall

– key link from south of town is through the shops. A bridge from Bridge Yard to the Library would be helpful

– ask for more than one new footbridge.

– one close to Town Bridge would be important to ensure it is used

- option for connecting Kingston Farm to the town



Summary and Thanks


The Chairman thanked all for their contributions and promised to publish online the powerpoint presentations and workshop outcomes. Regular reviews of progress would be necessary in order to keep up the momentum and goodwill evident in the room.



Date of next meeting


Wednesday 24 January 2018 – South Wraxall Village Hall




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