Windmill Hill's one-way plan

January 08 2016
Windmill Hill's one-way plan

PLANS to prevent rat-running by commuters through Windmill Hill’s narrow streets have been unveiled – though not all residents are happy.

PLANS to prevent rat-running by commuters through Windmill Hill’s narrow streets have been unveiled – though not all residents are happy.

Traffic officers have responded to unrest from residents at the amount of through traffic by coming up with two ideas to deter drivers from  passing through Windmill Hill from either north or south.

From the south, they suggest  banning drivers turning right from St John’s Lane into Paultow Road. This would be enforced by a traffic island, which would have a gap to allow cyclists to pass.

To deter drivers coming from the north under the railway bridge at Bedminster station, the plans suggest making several streets one-way.

Eldon Terrace, Quantock Road and Dunkerry Road would all be passable only northbound.

It is also proposed to make Kensal Avenue one way, eastbound only.

A council survey found that residents were concerned about drivers speeding through Windmill Hill, many of them taking a short cut to avoid queues on St John’s Lane, a meeting of Windmill Hill neighbourhood forum was told on December 8.

Officials have distributed 1,500 leaflets to residents explaining the proposals. So far responses have largely been negative, but that is normal for an idea such as this, said Matthew Ball, a senior highways officer for Bristol city council.

Rev David Moss, the vicar at St Michael & All Angels church in Windmill Hill, said he was worried that the changes would affect groups serving children and the elderly.

“I’m very concerned that this would make it impossible to find volunteer drivers [for the elderly], which is almost impossible as it is,” he said. He believes the difficulty of one-way restrictions on narrow roads will deter many older volunteers.

The church also runs the largest afterschool play scheme in Bristol, serving many working parents in the Marksbury Road area who would find it much more difficult to fetch their children, he said.

“The people who use the playscheme are the most vulnerable people in the area, often single parents on tax credits who are just beginning to work. This is the only playscheme they can access,” he said.

He asked for the one-way to be restricted to peak hours.

Council highways officer Nick Pate said restricted hours could be looked at – but such rules are often ignored by drivers.

The change could also prove dangerous for children at Victoria Park primary school, because it could send more traffic past the school entrance on Atlas Road, said a school governor.

Mr Pates said he understood this was a big concern.

The issue of traffic on Windmill Hill has been debated for several years. In 2014 it was proposed to close Cotswold Road to through traffic. But this was badly received by residents.

The area has a high level of car ownership and much of the traffic is from residents, the council has pointed out.

Cllr Sam Mongon said he wanted changes made, but without affecting other streets, particularly around Victoria Park school. “I’d also like to see more imaginative proposals for controlling speeding if one-way roads are put in place, such as widening some pavements or community flowerbeds,” he said.

Comments on the scheme can be emailed to

Further consultation will be held in the New Year.