Petition - Make Badger Farm Road junctions safe and accessible for all

Response from Hampshire County Council, May 2021

Thank you very much for forwarding the Make Badger Farm Road Junctions Safe & Accessible for All petition.

I apologise for the delay it has taken for us to provide you with a response and would like to assure you that any future correspondence will not suffer from such a delay.

We understand your concerns over the safety and accessibility of the crossing facilities at a) the Badger Farm Road and Oliver's Battery Road North/South junction and at b) the Ridgeway approach to Badger Farm Road, for mobility aid users, pedestrians with pushchairs and cyclists.

We welcome your valuable suggestions on how the accessibility challenges and potential safety risks at these locations can be addressed in addition to valuable suggestions for cycle and bus priority improvements along Badger Farm Road.

Hampshire County Council's Transport Strategy team in 2006 examined opportunities for improving crossing facilities at the Badger Farm Road and Oliver's Battery Road North/South junction with proposals for replacing the pedestrian underpass with an at-grade (surface level) signalled controlled Toucan crossing considered in conjunction with a short northbound bus lane.

Local consultation highlighted significant objections from the local community with parents in particular concerned about the safety of young school children using an at-grade controlled crossing with the potential for drivers not stopping at the new crossing facility.

Following the consultation HCC's Transport Strategy team reviewed the proposals and considered retaining the existing pedestrian underpass and incorporating an at-grade Toucan crossing facility. Unfortunately, the proposed design failed a road safety audit.

The Winchester City Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) that was developed by Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council, is proposing to develop a radial cycle route (C2) connecting the city centre to Olivers Battery via Romsey Road and Olivers Battery Road North as part of the Primary Cycle Network for the city. Site visits and route audit work undertaken as part of the LCWIP work noted that on this route, pedestrians and cycles looking to travel between Olivers Battery Road North and Olivers Battery Road South currently need to use the subway underpass to cross Badger Farm Road. The study suggested that future feasibility work on this route should explore options to reconfigure the junction layout, removing the subway and providing an at-grade crossing for cyclists and pedestrians, such as a Toucan crossing. It was considered that this would improve the attractiveness and directness of the route and access for all users.

Due to funding constraints, we have had to prioritise the future development of pedestrian and cycle improvements proposed within the LCWIP. Improved at-grade crossing facilities at this location have unfortunately not been prioritised amongst the short term LCWIP priorities due to the funding constraints, but would be considered and may be progressed as part of the medium term LCWIP priorities.

HCC's Safer Roads team has discussed road safety concerns on Badger Farm Road with local Councillors and the Parish Council on a number of occasions in recent years. During these discussions it has been mentioned that reduced speed limits may be considered where there are recurring patterns of reported injury accidents with excess or inappropriate speed recorded by the Police as contributory factors.

HCC analyses the Police accident data in this way to ensure that we treat the causes of accidents with the most appropriate measures. It is often assumed that speed is the main cause of collisions, but this is not the case and other driver error factors are more commonly recorded. Reduced speed limits may also require accompanying physical speed reducing measures, as experience shows that implementing speed limits with signs alone achieves only a marginal reduction in speeds. It is for this reason that the Police will not support proposed reductions in speed limits that they feel are not realistic and will not achieve driver compliance, as this will merely create an ongoing enforcement problem. In addition, implementing new speed limits is a relatively costly and resource intensive procedure, requiring implementation of a legally enforceable Traffic Regulation Order, including statutory consultations and advertising.

HCC can confirm that the section of Badger Farm Road from Oliver’s Battery Road South/North to Sainsburys roundabout (including the junction and roundabout) is included within the County Council’s Casualty Reduction Programmes for further investigation, as officers have noted a worsening trend of injury accidents following regular examination of the police database of recorded injury collisions. However excess or inappropriate speed is not a predominant causation factor in these collisions and any measures installed will be aimed at highlighting the various hazards present to drivers.

HCC looks forward to working with the local community, local Councillors and the Parish Council to develop and identify appropriate funding opportunities for improving road safety, crossing facilities, cycle and bus priority measures within the Badger Farm Road area.

Yours sincerely

Cllr Rob Humby
Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment