Wednesday 31 December 2008

Centre stage at Cabot Circus

Just before Xmas, someone in a Ford Puma coming off the M32 approached Cabot Circus a bit too fast and ended up in House of Fraser, after bouncing off the roof of an Audi waiting at the lights.

The Puma driver ended up in Critical condition at the BRI and went on up to Frenchay for intensive care, the driver of the Audi also ended up at the BRI for chest injuries. The E.P. has some photos. and more text, using the term "accident" as they invariably do, showing a weak understanding of the concept of causality.

This is pretty messy and hopefully all involved will recover; we look forward to the result of the police investigation. What is clear is that the Puma must have been moving fairly fast to travel in the distance and manner that it did. Late at night that whole stretch of dual carriageways between the St James Barton Roundabout, St Pauls Roundabout and templemeads often have cars nipping around very fast on it. The roads are generally structured/styled for fast driving, but it is still an inner city, with junctions, lights and other road users. Which makes for a fairly dangerous combination.

One thing to look at here is whether the new junction changes at the end of Cabot Circus help things or not. It's clear that whoever designed the turn-left feed from Bond Street at the Newfoundland Way junction didn't consider bikes -or other vehicles- running lights, or they wouldn't have given it such atrocious visibility when you look right. When you get a green light, there's no way to see if anything decided to run-the-red without pulling out.

The other thing to consider is how that Dagger-into-the-City, the M32 contributes to excessive speed in the city centre. On a weekday commute the jam begins at eastville, so cars reaching the core have been doing 10mph for 15 minutes. Late at night you can do M4-to-Cabot Circus in 6-8 minutes, at which point your expectations of viable speeds are pretty unrealistic.

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