Who does Drive Through Freshford?
Because Freshford is a village that is located in a through route to Bath and Bristol. The route is the shortest route according to Microsoft Autoroute (using Trowbridge as datum). A lot of non-local traffic does go through Freshford. The route is also good for getting to Bath -if one wants to get to the South side of the city. As a resident, and when I was teaching at Oldfield School in Bath, it was quicker for me to go through the Village over to Midford lane and go through Bath down to the Globe roundabout (the Bristol side of Bath) and then drive back into the city! With the lengthy but temporary closure of the bridge, a few years back, at Limpley Stoke, many drivers scrutinsed their maps and realised that a route through Freshford would be better for them and they have stuck to that alteration in their route.
According to Microsoft Autoroute motorists travelling to Bath should go through Bradford on Avon first, which is quicker and shorter, except that the entrance to the city is from the A46 side and is subject to more delays, so is it quicker?
What I am trying to get at, is that, these drivers are just driving through the village, and many of them -as the village has no significance for them- ignore the speed limits. They are intent on getting to work as quickly as possible (they don't really want to go there!) and in the evening coming home as quickly as possible(they can't get away from their workplace quicker enough!)
Some of them even use Dark lane as a short cut! or drive through Mill lane and up Rosemary Lane to get to the A36.
Pavements and Shared Spaces
I do not think, given this group of motorists, that any attempt to make it easier to ease congestion in Freshford would be in the interests of public safety. My view is that Freshford should have pavements for pedestrians and they should be wider and they should be continuous. At present pavements are not continous. The shared spaces lobby, if it exists, would have us removing pavements and would need to depend on the goodwill of road users in machines, and that they would go slower because they would realise that the pedestrians would be more vulnerable! As a motorist I know exactly how motorists in this country behave, just watch a women with a pushchair trying to cross a busy road or anyone else trying to crosss for that matter!
Even residents break the speed limit! Even parents dropping off and collecting their children break the speed limit! And,even the smallest car weighs more than one half a ton, and the damage that any contact with a pedestrian especially a child would cause hardly bears thinking about. So, keep the trend to separate vehicles from pedestrians. Accidents don't happen they are caused, they are caused by human indifference or frailty and the road makers have taken steps to protect us. If changes are made to our village environment that place pedestrians and other road users in greater danger, then those responsible for those changes, will be responsible for those who are killed or maimed, and should bear the consequences.