A new Banwell Bypass category

The idea of a bypass for Banwell has been in existence for many years. Most recently North Somerset Council (NSC) applied to the government Housing Infrastructure Fund to enable large scale new housing near Banwell, to include a Banwell bypass, and were successful. Planning the Banwell Bypass is now under way. A presentation by the Banwell Bypass team, headed up by the appointed contactors for the scheme, and NSC officials, about the Banwell Bypass plans took place by Zoom on the 18th April 2021 at the annual Parish Assembly. The slides are here for reference.

Banwell-Bypass-NSC-Presentation-18.04.21

TIMELINE

2015

NSC Transport and Movement statement on the Banwell Bypass.  The Greater Bristol Strategic Transport Study ( GBSTS) ruled out the bypass proposals for Banwell, Churchill and Sandford, all experiencing local congestion exacerbated by the restricted capacity through the village centres,  as being poor value for money, with local rather than strategic merits.  The  NSC document  rules out bypasses for Sandford and Churchill, and describes the Banwell Bypass as a ‘longer term scheme with currently no funding status’

August 2020

NSC announcement re the Housing Infrastructure funding for Banwell Bypass  https://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/news/banwell-bypass-new-school-under-way ‘ The funding will be used to design and build Banwell bypass and a 900-place secondary school expansion at Parklands Village, as well as to improve local roads and utilities, and for flood mitigation. 

Following the signing, concept drawings and other technical documents for the bypass were released to the industry to begin the process to find a construction contractor. Based on the safeguarded bypass route, these illustrations show possibilities such as locations for junctions and the potential width of the new road to allow companies to bid for the chance to build the scheme.

Engineers will now start to collect essential technical information and data, including ecological and watercourse surveys, traffic modelling, and ground investigations to start developing designs. These designs will also be informed by community conversations and consultation with parish councils, residents, business, and organisations in Banwell and surrounding villages.

The council’s executive member with responsibility for planning and transport, Cllr James Tonkin, said: “Finalising the contract means the project’s teams can start to use this critical funding to progress designs…A lot of technical work has already been happening behind the scenes”. The schemes are expected to support around 7,500 new homes, more than half of which are due to be built as part of Weston villages ( Haywood and Parklands).  The remainder will be decided by the new Local Plan process’

Provisional  plan for the Banwell Bypass issued

March 2021

Consequences for Winscombe of Banwell Bypass article by Robin Jeacocke

April 2021

Banwell Bypass Team briefings to Churchill and Winscombe and Sandford Parish Council briefings Powerpoint presentation giving the Bypass objectives as

  • improve and enhance Banwell’s public spaces by reducing traffic severance and improving the public realm
    •  provide the opportunity to increase active and sustainable travel between local villages and Weston-super-Mare
    • Improve the local road network to deal with existing congestion issues
    • To be innovative and efficient in reducing and offsetting carbon from the design and construction of the infrastructure
    • To ensure the development provides the opportunity to increase biodiversity net gain by at least 10%
    • To proactively engage with stakeholders in a way that is both clear and transparent
    • Ensure the development respects the local area a minimises visual impact upon the surrounding countryside and Mendip Hills AONB
    • Infrastructure that enables housing development ( subject to local Plan)

The Transport Assessment Study Area includes Banwell, Sandford, Churchill, Langford, Winscombe, Shipham, and Bristol Airport, and settlements west of Banwell including Hutton, Locking, and West wick.

On community working groups:

‘ Co-ordinated through the Parish Council who will liaise with the project team.

The purpose of the working groups is to enable affected communities to communicate their concerns and aspirations for the scheme and then to feedback on the project team’s proposals

There will be separate groups for businesses and environmental stakeholders

There will be wider public consultation to allow for individual feedback

The working groups will be consulted throughout the design and production of the project

More details will be provided once the design and build contractor is appointed.’

News item about appointment of Banwell Bypass contractor Alun Griffiths

NSC Decision Contract Award HIF Fund Banwell Bypass 20.21 published

May 2021

Banwell Bypass Team contact Winscombe and Sandford Parish Councils about recruiting Banwell Bypass Working Group members

BANWELL BYPASS PROVISIONAL LIST OF DOCUMENTS

Some documents listed also have a summary of information added.  To see the documents in full, use the online link shown, or go to https://www.dropbox.com/sh/egu9gr6ot5dgzu7/AAA7N1sHrpJKA3nFuMwoM8jea?dl=0 where they are in alphabetical order.

  1. 2007   Manual for Streets 1 Department for Transport communities and Local Government Manual for Streets guidance on good design for residential streets high streets and lanes in rural areas gives a maximum design speed of 20 mph as an objective, reinforced by
  2. 2010  Manual for Streets 2 Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation in relation to busier streets and non-trunk roads.
  3. January 2013  Department for Transport Guidance Setting Local Speed Limits https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/setting-local-speed-limits/setting-local-speed-limits sets guidance for all local speed limits on single and dual carriageway roads in urban and rural area: ‘for residential streets and other town and city streets with high pedestrian and cyclist movement, local traffic authorities should consider the use of 20 mph schemes.’
  4. 2015 NSC Transport and Movement statement on the Banwell Bypass.  The Greater Bristol Strategic Transport Study ( GBSTS) ruled out the bypass proposals for Banwell, Churchill and Sandford, all experiencing local congestion exacerbated by the restricted capacity through the village centres,  as being poor value for money, with local rather than strategic merits.  The  NSC document  rules out bypasses for Sandford and Churchill, and describes the Banwell Bypass as a ‘longer term scheme with currently no funding status’
  5. May 2016 Public Health England guidance: Active travel: a briefing for local authorities https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/active-travel-a-briefing-for-local-authorities  this identifies key adverse effects of motorised road transport as increased disease burden due to reduced levels of physical activity, road traffic collisions and injuries, air pollution, noise, reduced social cohesion and increased social isolation for many. Increasing walking and physical activity: ‘there is also a growing evidence base on the benefits of 20 mph speed limits in support of this, and repeated national surveys show strong public support for 20 mph in residential streets.  Many towns and cities England have either implemented or are committed to 20 mph speed limits across much of their road networks.’
  6. January 2018 MSC and Mendip Bats Special Area of Conservation guidance on Development
  7. January 2018 Image of Bat Consultation Zones including Banwell, Sandford, Winscombe, Churchill
  8. August to October 2018 Vehicle Activated Sign readings Greenhill Road ( A368) Sandford
  9. January 2019 Vehicle Activated sign readings Station Road ( A368 ) Sandford, Banwell facing
  10. February 2019 Vehicle Activated Sign  readings Greenhill Road ( A368) Sandford, Sandford facing
  11. March 2019 Statement on behalf of  Rule 6 party Sandford Neighbourhood Group Public Inquiry re proposed Aurora development Sandford
  12. March 2019 Transport and Residents Survey extract from Statement Rule 6 party Public Inquiry re proposed Aurora development Sandford
  13. Crashmap Data Sandford 1999-2019
  14. Crashmap Data Churchill 1999-2019
  15. Crashmap Data Winscombe 1999-2019
  16. 2019 Avon and Somerset Constabulary response to FOI request on speeding and casualties 2013-2019
  17. 2019 Avon and Somerset Constabulary  response to FOI request on killed and seriously injured casualties 2014-2019
  18. January 2020 NSC Report to the Executive on 20 mph areas to encourage walking and cycling.  The advice contains a material error about 20 mph limits and rules them out, stipulating 20 mph zones only.
  19. January 2020  NSC Minutes of executive decision on 20 mph areas to encourage walking and cycling policy and process.  This was voted in, but was still being reviewed by NSC Highways as at May 2021.  There is currently no formal NSC policy on 20 mph areas to encourage walking and travel.
  20. May 2020 Emergency Active Travel Fund announced by government. The scheme aims to get more people to travel on foot and bike and helps mitigate public transport capacity constraints due to Covid-19 social distancing requirements. It supports local authorities to develop cycling and walking facilities and projects such as Low Traffic Neighbourhood Schemes (LTNs). LTNs are programmes that intend to reduce road access to motorists and increase spaces for walking and cycling. These schemes (LTNs) have been developed in towns and cities across England.
  21. July 2020 Department for Transport Guidance for local authorities on designing high-quality, safe cycle infrastructure 1/2020
  22. July 2020   Transport for quality of life report The Carbon Impact of the national roads programme. https://www.transportforqualityoflife.com/u/files/The%20carbon%20impact%20of%20the%20national%20roads%20programme%20FINAL.pdf
  23. August 2020  NSC announcement re the Housing Infrastructure funding for Banwell Bypass  https://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/news/banwell-bypass-new-school-under-way ‘ The funding will be used to design and build Banwell bypass and a 900-place secondary school expansion at Parklands Village, as well as to improve local roads and utilities, and for flood mitigation. 

Following the signing, concept drawings and other technical documents for the bypass were released to the industry to begin the process to find a construction contractor. Based on the safeguarded bypass route, these illustrations show possibilities such as locations for junctions and the potential width of the new road to allow companies to bid for the chance to build the scheme.

Engineers will now start to collect essential technical information and data, including ecological and watercourse surveys, traffic modelling, and ground investigations to start developing designs. These designs will also be informed by community conversations and consultation with parish councils, residents, business, and organisations in Banwell and surrounding villages.

The council’s executive member with responsibility for planning and transport, Cllr James Tonkin, said: “Finalising the contract means the project’s teams can start to use this critical funding to progress designs…A lot of technical work has already been happening behind the scenes”. The schemes are expected to support around 7,500 new homes, more than half of which are due to be built as part of Weston villages ( Haywood and Parklands).  The remainder will be decided by the new Local Plan process’

  • 2020 Provisional  plan for the Banwell Bypass issued
  • Oct 2020 NSC draft Active Travel Strategy refers to a revised 20 mph policy ’20 mph zones have been demonstrated to both encourage walking and cycling and make the roads safer for all … we will expand the number of 20 mph zones covering built up areas and expand 40 mph limits on minor rural roads to make our roads and streets safer for everyone.’

( Note: NSC draft policy and process stipulates Parish and Town Councils must apply and pay for individual traffic  schemes incorporating 20 mph zones, which some choose not to do. NSC Highways carry out 1 or 2 of these schemes a year, with limited 20 mph zones, shorter than the Government guidance of 600m.  There are 39 North Somerset town and parish councils.  Currently Wrington is next in line, who have been waiting for over 4 years for their scheme. )

  • November 2020  Department for Transport  research and analysis on Public attitudes towards traffic and road use   https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-attitudes-towards-traffic-and-road-use Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that the government should act in local neighbourhoods to increase road safety (88%), improve air quality (86%), reduce traffic congestion (83%) and reduce traffic noise (75%). The four areas considered to be the most serious problems in residential and high streets were: vehicles going too fast (30% residential, 26% high street), not enough car parking spaces (27% residential, 26% high street), heavy traffic (20% residential, 23% high street) and traffic fumes (20% residential, 24% high street)

Three quarters of respondents supported the reduction of road traffic in towns and cities in England (77%) and their local area / neighbourhood (78%), and two thirds of respondents were supportive of reallocating road space to walking and cycling across towns and cities in England (66%) and their local area / neighbourhood (65%).

  • March 2021 Table comparing government guidance on 20 mph and NSC policy and practice by Cresten Boase for 20’s Plenty Sandford
  • March 2021 20’s Plenty powerpoint presentation to North Somerset District Councillors
  • March 2021 Consequences for Winscombe of Banwell Bypass article by Robin Jeacocke
  • April 2021 Parish Council briefings – powerpoint presentation giving the Bypass objectives as
    • improve and enhance Banwell’s public spaces by reducing traffic severance and improving the public realm
    •  provide the opportunity to increase active and sustainable travel between local villages and Weston-super-Mare
    • Improve the local road network to deal with existing congestion issues
    • To be innovative and efficient in reducing and offsetting carbon from the design and construction of the infrastructure
    • To ensure the development provides the opportunity to increase biodiversity net gain by at least 10%
    • To proactively engage with stakeholders in a way that is both clear and transparent
    • Ensure the development respects the local area a minimises visual impact upon the surrounding countryside and Mendip Hills AONB
    • Infrastructure that enables housing development ( subject to local Plan)

The Transport Assessment Study Area includes Banwell, Sandford, Churchill, Langford, Winscombe, Shipham, and Bristol Airport, and settlements west of Banwell including Hutton, Locking, and West wick.

On community working groups:

‘ Co-ordinated through the Parish Council who will liaise with the project team.

The purpose of the working groups is to enable affected communities to communicate their concerns and aspirations for the scheme and then to feedback on the project team’s proposals

There will be separate groups for businesses and environmental stakeholders

There will be wider public consultation to allow for individual feedback

The working groups will be consulted throughout the design and production of the project

More details will be provided once the design and build contractor is appointed.’

  •  April 2021News item about appointment of Banwell Bypass contractor Alun Griffiths
  • April 2021 NSC withdraw Active Travel Strategy and Quiet Lanes Order for reconsideration
  •  April 2021NSC Decision Contract Award HIF Fund Banwell Bypass 20.21
  • April 2021 NSC Banwell Bypass Team presentation  on Banwell Bypass to Winscombe and Sandford Parish Assembly and Churchill Parish Council
  • April 2021 20’s Plenty powerpoint presentation to Parish Councils
  • May 2021 North Somerset 20’s Plenty for Us Information and FAQ Leaflet

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1 Response

  1. Martyn Chambers says:

    Hi, has there been an impact assessment undertaken for Sandford. Looking at the increase in traffic, pollution etc… plus the major issue of no pavements and the pinch points on the A368 from Churchill to Churchill lights? I have not seen any information of redesigning Churchill Lights? or the widening of the A368 to accommodate the extra traffic. Are local property owners along the A368 subject to a possible compulsory purchase order? It seems mad to move the Banwell problem a mile or 2 miles down the road. The scheme needs a full end to end plan exiting on the A38.

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