The much feared Muller Road/Shaldon Road "Lights of Death" junction isn't sporting any lights today. Not for bicycles coming off the St Werburgh's path, a path due to be uprated over the winter (the path's closure warning signs are up, incidentally).
Normally bikes get a green light after oncoming traffic have had 15s of green, enough for all the vehicles turning right -who assume its a T-junction- to pull out. Some of these drivers get very upset about the whole thing. You need to look at the lights to left, on muller road, and pull out when they go red, before the oncoming cars react to green. It's not fun.
Today they are trying a new experiment. The lights have been turned off. All traffic is dropped to one lane at a time, which is cutting down on vehicle flow. Muller Road, the busy route from the M32 to North-West Bristol, is busy, as is Shaldon Road. Nobody is happy. When they get a chance to go, the cars take it.
Which makes crossing this road by bike kind of tricky. And on foot.
This crossing was actually funded as part of the safe routes to school program. Now it is fenced off half way, so if you run to the island, you will get stuck.
There have been some mitigation measures on Shaldon Road -cones- forcing one of the locals to park in the bus stop instead of their own house.
The reason for all of this is some electricity roadworks, work that has been slowly going down Shaldon Road over the months. It's been good work, with the road left in a nice state afterwards.
Enquiries were made of the very friendly site crew about why we cyclists were left without lights. Apparently someone in the council felt that we didn't need them. Because the traffic was down to single lane, it would be easy to cross. Easy maybe for cyclists whose knees work, cyclists who arent towing children and like cycling across traffic on Muller road because they like the adrenalin rush. But if you do want that experience, better to go to Ashton Court and have some mud fun, not seeing if you can outrace the transit van that has the green light on Muller Road.
Stephen Webster is the name of the council contact. I wonder, does he have an email address? Does he have scientific evidence to back up his theory that its OK for bikes to cycle across Muller Road traffic when its down to single lane?