Hambrook lights – changes to traffic movements
What we are doing
In August 2019 we started an Experimental Traffic Order (ETO), a trial which can be in place for up to 18 months, during which time consideration is given to making the order permanent. The ETO restricts some traffic movements at the Hambrook lights. This follows a government directive to improve air quality on this part of the A4174 ring road in the shortest time possible for all road users, including motorists, bus passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.
The ETO removes the:
- westbound bus lane through the junction to the M32 traffic signals
- right turn facility onto the B4058 from the westbound carriageway of the A4174 ring road
- straight on movement for the B4058 northbound from Frenchay
- right turn facility from the B4058 from Frenchay onto the A4174
There are no changes to the direction of travel southbound on the B4058 from Winterbourne.
We understand that these changes make some journeys slightly longer as drivers need to go around the M32 roundabout in order to access the B4058 northbound and/or the ring road from Frenchay. However, reducing the amount of time and number of vehicles that are stationary at the traffic lights will reduce emissions and should improve air quality.
This is a trial and we will not know if the scheme has successfully reduced air pollution and to what level, until all the data has been collected and analysed.
Why we have made these changes
Air pollution is a significant public health issue. Poor air quality has a number of adverse effects on health and is recognised as a contributing factor in the onset of heart disease and cancer. It particularly affects the most vulnerable in society; children and older people and people already suffering from respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.
The UK has legislation to ensure that certain standards of air quality are met to protect health, but in some areas the standards have not been met. The most immediate air quality challenge faced both at a national and local level is to meet the standards for the pollutant nitrogen dioxide (NO2). This type of pollution is largely caused by vehicle emissions, with road traffic contributing about 80% of the NO2 pollution around roads.
A national assessment of local authority roads identified the A4174 ring road between the M32 Junction 1 and the Bromley Heath roundabouts as being above the annual mean limit value for NO2 of 40 μg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre). We were required by government to assess if there were any actions that could be taken to reduce the high NO2 levels on this section of the ring road to meet the legal limits in the shortest time possible.
Have your say
Experimental Traffic Orders are subject to a statutory process which allows the public to comment formally and provide feedback. The consultation on this scheme has now closed and we will publish a report of the feedback received in due course .
Visit our consultation website for more information.
We will post updates on this page and on our consultation website if there is a decision on making the layout changes permanent, altering them in any way or removing them.
Your questions answered
When will you publish the data on air quality you have been collecting since the changes were made?
We are monitoring roadside nitrogen dioxide levels at a number of locations near the Hambrook lights. We will not be able to assess whether the annual limit (40 µg/m3) has been met, which is the specific problem we were directed to address by the Government, until we have collected data for at least 12 months after the changes were made in August 2019. The data will then also need to be finalised in line with government guidance. As soon as we are in a position to make the final data available, we will post updates on this page and on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Will more traffic be allowed through the Hambrook lights east to west on the ring road?
Is this the same system used for the Bromley Heath Viaduct improvements?
Are any changes being made to the Bromley Heath roundabout traffic lights sequencing?
Will the changes be made permanent?
Orders are subject to a statutory process which allows the public to comment formally and provide feedback. Visit our consultation website for more information.
Will bus services be affected?
19/19A Cribbs Causeway to Bath
Y4 Bristol to Yate.
Is this the only location in South Gloucestershire where traffic movements are being restricted to try and improve air quality?
I live near the Hambrook traffic lights - what is the air quality like where i live?
What changes are there for cyclists and pedestrians?
The existing traffic signal controlled crossings for cyclists and pedestrians will not change throughout the trial. Cyclists will have direct access to the triangular island through the new barrier if you are approaching on the Bristol Road from Frenchay direction only.
With that one exception, the short sections of road through the traffic islands will be blocked off to everyone. When cycling north you will not be able to use those sections to go right across in one go on the road from Frenchay. You are expected to use the crossing from the triangular island for safety reasons, as it would be unsafe to join the left turn from the A4174 ring road towards Winterbourne.
Will traffic tail back from the motorway?
By suspending the ring road bus lane there is extra space created for other vehicles to occupy and this will help reduce congestion.