West Street/Hight Street Junction

The High Street/West Street Junction Improvement

Background

In April 2021 Atkins, the Wiltshire Council (WC) Traffic Consultants, were commissioned by Lacock Parish Council (LPC) and WC to undertake a Lacock Traffic Study. This identified several traffic calming measures. Part of their recommendations also included changing the layout and signage of the junction of High Street and West Street as a first priority.
In September 2021, LPC discussed and a voted to proceed with a proposal to change the road layout at the High Street West Street junction. The objective was to improve safety for road users and pedestrians around this junction and to deter traffic from speeding through the village.
The LPC then applied for funding from Wiltshire Council’s Annual Transport Substantive Bid fund. Unfortunately, our bid for funding was unsuccessful.
It was then agreed with WC Highways that we review the proposed layout and make modifications to reduce the cost, without losing the benefits of the layout.
We now have a revised road junction layout (see diagram).

Why have these changes been proposed?

There are several concerns relating to this junction, mostly raised by villagers in the traffic survey conducted by the LPC but also identified by Atkins in their recent study. They include:
  • dangerous traffic prioritisation, which allows through traffic to speed across the junction. The existing road markings and layout give priority to vehicles emerging from the High Street, whereas the vast majority of vehicles are proceeding straight across the junction and along West Street, to and from Hither Way
  • additionally, a proportion of the visitor traffic heading south on West St follows the road round into the High St having not acknowledged the direction signs to the NT Car Park or Dead End signs.
  • lack of adequate safe crossing points
  • inadequate lighting and poor signage
  • road markings at this junction are unchanged since before the gate was installed by the Abbey entrance, effectively turning High Street into a cul-de-sac.
  • volume of traffic through the village has and will continue to increase in future years as identified by Atkins.

What are the proposed changes and what will be their effect?

In addition to the diagram above, there is a full drawing (see LINK) that shows the proposed changes that are described below:

  • Installation of a 75mm raised mini roundabout at the junction will correct the priorities and address some of the safety concerns;
  • Two raised platforms, one on the approach and another after the junction will encourage traffic to slow down. This combination is judged by the LPC and Wiltshire Council Highways to provide an effective traffic calming measure and appropriate for this junction;;
  • The footway in front of the War Memorial has been slightly widened to provide a better line for vehicles travelling north and provide a safe parking location north of the junction. This will discourage parking on the junction in accordance with the Highway Code;
  • The West Street raised platform is a suitable place for pedestrians to cross.

What are the likely benefits?

  • The modified road layout and the widening of part of the pedestrian footway is intended to significantly improve safety for road users and pedestrians around this junction.
  • Traffic will be slowed by the raised area and the re-alignment of the road formed predominantly by the widening of the footway to the west creating a more significant “kink” in the road.
  • This slowing of traffic may go some way to deter through traffic from using the village.
  • The widening of the footway to the West in front of the War Memorial also improves the public realm by providing a clear visibility point for pedestrians to cross.

Next steps and funding costs

WC have stated they are unable to pay for all this work.

However, WC suggested the LPC apply for funding from the WC Annual Transport Substantive Bid fund. This requires Parish/Town Councils to submit their proposals and the financial contributions they are prepared to make. These various projects are then evaluated and some of the most beneficial proposals will then be selected by WC.

We would welcome your comments on this revised layout. Comments can be sent to stewardpc@btinternet.com