Loading images...

36 Seconds to Save Lives: 40 mph for Westonzoyland Road

Posted on 30th January, 2023 in News

We are calling on Cllr Mike Rigby to reduce the speed limit between Bridgwater and Westonzoyland. Will you help us?

Sign Up Now

  • The current situation on Westonzoyland Road presents an unacceptable safety risk.
  • We call for the speed limit from Bridgwater to Westonzoyland (two-mile stretch) to be reduced from 60 mph to 40 mph.
  • Anyone who uses this road regularly knows how dangerous it is: collisions occur all too frequently, many of which result in death or life-changing injuries.
  • Most people who regularly use this route know, or know of, someone who has been affected by a crash here.
  • This petition is about improving safety for everyone, including drivers.
  • Driving at 40 instead of 60 mph over this short two-mile stretch would theoretically add one minute to a journey. In reality, though, no-one drives at 60 all the way – it’s usually around 50,
  • which makes a difference of just 36 seconds! Isn’t that worth someone’s life?
  • “Reducing the speed from 60 mph to 40 mph reduces the probability of fatality in the event of an accident by 40 percent.”
  • All other routes in and out of Bridgwater are safer because they are slower and wider. Lower speed limits encourage better driving, and more space allows for safer overtaking.
    • Quantock Road (A39): 40 mph until Sandford Hill / New Road roundabout, where segregated cycle path begins.
    • Taunton Road (A38): 40 mph from Showground Road to North Petherton, plus segregated bike route.
    • Bath Road (A39): 40 mph from motorway bridge to Bawdrip.
    • Bristol Road (A38): 50 mph from Ascot Drive to Dunball, dual carriageway plus segregated cycle route.
    • Westonzoyland Road (A372): 60 mph, no off-road cycle lanes
  • Westonzoyland Road is the outlier: it is a dangerous road as it is narrow and bendy with blind junctions, has very deep ditches and is still subject to the historical 60 mph national speed limit. The speed limit is the only realistic option that can be changed to make it safer.
  • Many more drivers have died on this stretch than cyclists. Driver-only crashes outnumber those involving cyclists by at least 7 to 1 (but the same ratio would be a fair assumption).
  • Benefits to all road users include:
    • Safer driving means lower costs: less fuel, cheaper insurance.
    • Driving at a reduced speed is better for the environment.
    • Less traffic disruption: road closures are all too frequent an event which makes driving faster a false economy.
    • Safer for active travel – drivers forced to drive but would like to occasionally cycle but can’t because the road is too dangerous at 60mph.
  • People who live in Cannington, Woolavington, Puriton and North Petherton can all access Bridgwater by active travel (on foot or by bicycle) with relative safety. Westonzoyland residents, however, cannot.
  • People are put off walking or cycling this road because it is too dangerous, so they end up driving instead.
  • The A372 is currently used only by a brave few walkers and cyclists as a commuting route. With improved safety, it has the potential to carry many more.
  • This is important as we try to shift Bridgwater towards active travel.
  • National Cycle Network route 3 crosses the A372 from Rugg’s Drove to River Lane. The situation is a major safety concern for Sustrans (who have responsibility for the NCN).
  • The ultimate goal is a segregated active travel route between Westonzoyland and Bridgwater, but this will take years to be realised, while lives continue to be put at risk.
  • Reducing the speed limit is a quick and effective way to improve the safety of the route for everyone.

Please help us improve road safety by signing our petition.

Sign Up Now