Thursday, 12 March 2009
Boxing Not Very Clever
Cyclists swerving to avoid a car being driven into the contra-flow cycle lane near the Centre yesterday evening when a traffic incident in Old Market caused gridlock of the whole central area. The Old Market "incident" was apparently an elderly couple being dragged under a bus, resulting in the man being killed and his partner being seriously injured. As usual we won't know the details of exactly what happened for many months, thanks to what sometimes seems like a conspiracy of silence to stifle any debate about road safety.
But we can observe and debate the scenes recorded by these pictures. What we clearly have is persistent encroachment onto the Yellow Box Junction, in contravention of the law, the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002, regs 10(1) & 29(2), which requires that you do not enter the box junction unless your exit road or lane is clear. It's eminently sensible stuff designed to keep the junction clear when the lights and priorities change. Who could argue with that?
But this being Bristol, there doesn't appear to be any enforcement, so rendering the whole thing ineffective. In the case of the junction of Anchor Road with College Green abuse of the Yellow Box Junction causes particular problems and real danger for pedestrians and cyclists due to the presence of a two-way cycle track passing through the junction, delineated by the large white square dots. A lot of buses pass through the junction and create the greatest problems by frequently blocking the pedestrian crossings as well.
So here's another challenge to our new Executive Member for Transport & Sustainability, Dr Jon Rogers. You want to get Bristol moving Jon, so how about enforcing the Yellow Box Junctions? We have the technology. All we need is the political will.