Residents of Stanley Hill have suffered for a long time from rat running. Drivers come off Bath Road, onto Angers Road, around Kingstree Street, and then up Stanley Hill before turning onto Bathwell Road to access Wells Road. The traffic often speeds up the hill causing loud traffic noise, and the turn onto Bathwell is even steeper so drivers roar their engines even more. Larger vans and lorries are sometimes directed onto this road and then get stuck on the hill top.
In order to tackle the rat running, local residents set up a Playing Out session to close the road for one afternoon each month. The intention was to reclaim the road for local residents and to give a gentle reminder that people lived on the street so did not appreciate dangerous driving and noise.
In Playing Out schemes local residents are still allowed full access to park their cars, but through traffic is blocked. Our closure is from the junction with Highgrove Street up to Bathwell Road, including blocking through traffic from Firfield to Frederick Street.
The sessions have been running over the summer months since 2014. Most events are themed, such as halloween, Easter, Beach party, Light & colour, and our big Water fight. We are always looking for more volunteers to help with road closures (ideally we need six people for each session) so please contact us if you'd like to take part.
TRESA is working with the council to find solutions to the rat running and the council transport team had suggested two options:
- Plugging Stanley Hill to prevent the rat running.
- Closing access to Angers Road from Bath Road to prevent the problem being pushed onto other local streets.
TRESA conducted a consultation with residents of the area asking their thoughts on the options (They were covered in three editions of Talk of Totterdown, as well as letters put through doors on Stanley Hill, Summer Hill, New Walls, Firfield, Highgrove, and Frederick Street). Of the responses we received, most were in favour of closing Angers Road to solve the problem.
Further research by the council officially confirmed the volumes of traffic and noted that many rat runners were joining the Wells Road, but not continuing up the hill as expected, and were heading down the hill to turn onto St John's Lane. Bristol council decided not to proceed with the road closure as other departments (mainly those relating to the bus network) felt the extra traffic going around Three Lamps would cause more congestion and that the Stanley Hill route was an acceptable "pressure release valve".
TRESA are currently in discussion with the council over the best course of action to calm the traffic - Could it be the option to plug Stanley Hill, or maybe traffic calming on the streets.