Pitchcombe Junction

Update as at 24 May 2018:

A4173 / A46 Pitchcombe – Junction Notes

 

 

 

3no. proposals were reviewed, and traffic modelling undertaken based on traffic flows from the 2018 traffic count compared against the existing layout (standard practice when reviewing junction alterations).

Options were:

 

  • Option 1 – Signalised Junction;

 

  • Option 2 – Give way with Right Turn Lane;

 

  • Option 3 – Give way with No Right Turn Lane.

 

 

 

Option1 – Signalised Junction.

 

This junction option allows all vehicle movements to be completed with the 3 major arms being signalised, the only arm remaining give way will be Half Way Pitch.

 

Positive:

  • Will formally control vehicle movements and reduce the confusion with the existing

layout.

 

Negative:

  • Increased traffic queue lengths compared to the exiting layout.

 

  • Close to saturation levels (junction stops working effectively in dealing with traffic)

 

  • Sub-standard highway geometry / very steep gradient for the A4173/A46 Left Turn movement.

 

  • Both existing bus stops would need relocation, which will be difficult without land acquisition.

 

  • May need some geotechnical input / design due to earthworks / topography in the area between the A4173/A46 carriageways.

 

  • Will urbanise rural location with traffic signal equipment.

 

  • Possible environmental issues with air quality / noise from vehicles stop/starting.

 

  • Will require additional street lighting columns to ensure the highway is lit to current standards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Option 2 – Give Way with Right Turn Lane

 

Option 2 involves changing the layout of the existing junction to allow vehicles from A46 Cheltenham arm to wait to turn right onto the A4173 or Halfway Pitch, without preventing vehicles from continuing towards Stroud.

 

Positive:

  • Offers simplified junction layout, with a specific right turn lane making the right turn manoeuvre safer and easier.

 

  • The geometry will slow down the traffic speed undertaking the movement A46-A4173 Northbound.

 

  • Reduced environmental impact.

 

  • Maintains existing 2no. bus stops.

 

  • No earthworks / geotechnical issues.

 

  • Reduced traffic queue lengths over Option 1.

 

  • Reduced saturation levels over Option 1.

 

Negative:

  • Will not fully control vehicle / driver behaviour like Option 1.

 

  • Sub-standard geometry (TD 42/95) with respect to the distance between the A4173 junction and Halfway Pitch junction.

 

  • Will require additional street lighting columns to ensure the highway is lit to current standards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Option 3 – Give way with No Right Turn Lane.

 

This option is a simple T-junction arrangement which does not include a Right Turn Queuing lane. Therefore, vehicles wanting to make this movement will block vehicles going towards Stroud.

 

 

Positive:

  • Offers a simplified junction layout over the existing.

 

  • Will reduce vehicle speeds for traffic making the A46/A4173 left turn (northbound).

 

  • Minimal environmental impact.

 

  • Maintains existing 2no. bus stops.

 

  • Reduced queue lengths over Option 1.

 

  • Reduced saturation levels over options 1 and 2.

 

Against:

  • May cause delays to the A46 southbound ‘through’ traffic due to right-turn traffic onto the A4173.

 

  • Could cause ‘shunt’ type collisions due to the above.

 

  • May not reduce vehicle speeds through the junction.

 

  • Sub-standard geometry (TD 42/95) with respect to the distance between the A4173 junction and Halfway Pitch junction.

 

  • Will require additional street lighting columns to ensure the highway is lit to current standards

 

 

Conclusion.

 

  • Option 2 (Give Way with Right Turn Lane) offers the most effective improvement to the existing junction.

 

  • It has a minimal effect Environmentally.

 

  • It has a minimum effect on congestion, whilst providing improvements to safety. The dedicated right turn lane allowing vehicles to queue to turn right from the A46 onto the A4173 will improve safety, whilst still allowing vehicles to continue along the A46 towards Stroud un-impeded.

 

  • We are currently working on the detailed design of Option 2, including the street lighting design and intend to implement the junction improvement this financial year.

 

T.CAHILL- Principal Engineer-Amey

22/05/18

 

Latest News:

The Parish Council are working with the County Council and the result of a large bid for funding from the Department of Transport is expected shortly, it is then hoped that a large Highways Scheme involving the A46 / A4173 can be undertaken.

Road Safety and the A46/A4173 Junction

In 2010 the then Chairman of the Parish Council reported “Over the past 5 years the Parish Council has held numerous meetings with GCC Highways personnel regarding road safety improvements for the A46 & A4173 and Pitchcombe junction. Although some improvements to road safety have been achieved, i.e. improved signage, anti skid surfacing, installation of VAS, however our concern remains to be Pitchcombe junction. Options have been considered at the junction for a roundabout, traffic lights, re-layout of the junction by utilising vacant land.

Following various studies these have all been rejected by GCC Highways on the grounds of technical feasibility, safety, or cost. Further according to Highways accident records the junction is ranked as a accident hot spot but given low county priority, 100th!

Follow a meeting with Highways management in August last year (2009), it was agreed that the only cost effective option left for the Parish Council was to press for a reduction in the speed limit on the A46 & A4173. The Parish Council was invited to submit such a case to Highways and the Police. A detailed document was presented to Highways and the Police in September 2009 justifying a case to reduce the speed limit on the A46 & A4173 from 50mph to 40mph. This document identified the numerous blind spots and poor visibility at the junction and adjoining roads within the Parish exiting or entering the A46 & A4173.  Also the document identified the various and confusing variations in speed limits on the roads between Painswick and Stroud, and Brookthorpe and Stroud. Our case for a reduced consistent speed limit was supported by Painswick, Brookthorpe, and Whiteshill Parish Councils.

This request was rejected by the Police as they considered that the current speed limit met the National Guidelines. An appeal was sent to Stan Waddington, County Councillor responsible for Highways in January this year, whilst sympathetic a change to the speed limit was rejected, again the low priority accident ranking was quoted.”

Since 2010 in the Pitchcombe Parish Council has continued to lobby the authorities for action. During this period there have been many accidents, mercifully none fatal, but several serious injuries resulted and considerable damage and disruption has been caused.

Virtually all the approaches of the Parish Council have been ineffective, other than some improvements to the road markings/surfaces and an additional vehicle activated sign.

With a series of accidents occurring in late 2015/early 2016 and the Parish Council formally raised the issue yet again in its letter of the 5th of February 2016.to the Lead Commissioner for Highways.

Further meetings and site visits have followed, and we are currently awaiting improved signage and other minor works at a number of junctions hazards. We are still awaiting a decision on the question of a reduction in the speed limit.

1 2005 A46 Junction Letters

2 2009 A46 Traffic signalsreport

3 2009 A46 Report Pitchcombe Road Safety

4 2009 A46 Report Photo Record Pt 1

5 2009 A46 Report Photo Record Pt 2

6 2009 A46 Atkins Report 7 2010 A46 County Councillor Letters

7_PITCHCOMBE PARISH PLAN

8 2009 A46 Police Refusal

9 Road Safety in Pitchcombe