Downend / Bromley Heath, A4174 ring road and Bromley Heath Road -Amendments to priority vehicle lanes

Traffic on the A4174 ring road has grown at three times the national average over the last fifteen years. Bearing in mind the plans for further development in the North Fringe it seems likely that similarly high rates of traffic growth will continue in the foreseeable future.


One of the foremost priorities of the Joint Local Transport Plan is to seek to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. To realise this objective the Council has implemented a package of integrated transport schemes, including the 2+ lanes, which seek to encourage people to use alternatives to the single occupancy private car, particularly public transport and car sharing.


The first 2+ lanes were installed on the A4174 ring road and Bromley Heath Road in 1998 to promote both public transport reliability and encourage commuters to car share. To encourage more people to car share the existing 2+ lane on the A4174 ring road was extended in 2001 for approximately 770 metres between Bromley Heath roundabout and Church Lane overbridge. Another 2+ lane was also installed in Coldharbour Lane in 2001.


In May 2009 an Executive Member decision was made to enable operational changes to the 2+ lanes on the A4174 ring road and Bromley Heath Road to be undertaken.

Currently these lanes are operational between 07.00 - 09.30hrs and are available for use by multi occupancy vehicles, buses, motorcycles and cycles.


The Road Haulage Association has approached the Council requesting that HGVs over 7.5t be allowed to use the 2+ lane. It is argued that as haulage companies have to respond to customer requirements there can be no flexibility in their operations which results in the HGVs having to use the A4174 ring road in the morning peak hours. The RHA consider that the HGVs should be viewed as freight buses delivering a range of goods in one vehicle.


HGVs represent 6% (240 vehicles) of the total westbound traffic on the A4174 ring road between 07.00 - 09.30hrs. In terms of road capacity these 240 HGVs equate to 480 cars Their transfer to the 2+ lane would have a minimal affect on the operation of the 2+ lanes but would release the equivalent capacity of 480 cars in the adjacent general purpose lane.


Members of the taxi trade have also called for an exemption for driver only taxis in the 2+ lanes. Taxis not carrying a fare paying passenger are currently unable to use all the bus lanes in South Gloucestershire. Monitoring of the A4174 ring road has shown that driver only taxis make up a very small proportion of the total flow. Their inclusion in the category of exempted vehicles would provide a consistent approach to all priority lanes throughout South Gloucestershire.


As previously stated the 2+ lanes on the A4174 ring road and Bromley Heath Road currently operate between 07.00 and 09.30 hours. The peak flow in the 2+ lane occurs at 08.00hrs. By moving the start time to 07.30 hrs it would become operational prior to the peak demand but allow single occupancy drivers to stagger their travelling times.


The current Traffic Regulation Orders which were made to enable the 2+ lanes to be installed are to be amended to include the following proposals:


  1. The 2+ lanes on the A4174 and Bromley Heath Road will be operational between Mon - Fri, 07.30 and 09.30 hours.
  2. HGVs over 7.5t are to be included in the classes of vehicles allowed to use the 2+ lanes on the A4174 and Bromley Heath Road.
  3. Driver only hackney carriages and private hire vehicles are to be included in the exempted vehicles allowed to use the 2+ lanes on the A4174 and Bromley Heath Road.

Subject to consultations and public advertisement the scheme is programmed to be implemented in 2010 / 2011.

This consultation has now closed and we are analysing the results which will be published here in due course.


  • Opened
    17 Dec 2009 at 12:00
  • Closed
    28 Jan 2010 at 23:59


Consultation Topic
  • Local highways and transportation projects
Geographical area
  • Downend
  • Winterbourne
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Contact Details

If you have any questions or would like to make any comments, please contact:

Sue Crabtree
Transportation Services
South Gloucestershire Council
Broad Lane
BS37 7PN

Tel: 01454 863640
Fax: 01454 863757