Update November 2023

For the time being restrictions to traffic movements at Hambrook lights must remain in place. This is because roadside nitrogen dioxide levels must be compliant for at least a year.

Recent data has shown significant improvements in the emissions at this location.

We are not able to remove the restrictions until we can evidence to the Department for Transport and DEFRA that the emission levels are low enough and are not likely to increase.

About the restrictions

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 nitrogen dioxide annual mean limit.

We were required by government to assess if there were any actions that could be taken to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels on this section of the ring road to meet the legal limits in the shortest time possible.

Summary of the changes

  • 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
Hambrook air quality action - map of the changes

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.

We have been gathering emissions data for some time, but normal traffic levels were disrupted by the Covid lockdowns in 2020 to 2021.

Why we need to improve air quality

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 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.

Consultation and feedback

We ran a consultation on the scheme between August 2019 to February 2020. Visit our consultation website for more information.

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