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Coronavirus crisis: Gipsy Patch Lane railway bridge replacement postponed

Posted on Friday 3rd April 2020 at 11:49 am by TH

Photomontage of the proposed replacement railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane, looking westwards

Plans to demolish the existing narrow-arch railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane and replace it with a much wider concrete structure during a nine-day railway closure over Easter have been postponed as a consequence of the corinavirus crisis.

Over the last few months, the new 4,500 tonne bridge has been gradually taking shape in the Alun Griffiths site compound within the adjacent Horizon 38 business park. It was due to be moved into position in the early hours of 15th April 2020 using a 176-axle self-propelled modular transport unit.

But Network Rail has now been forced to postpone the bridge replacement because of the difficulty in adhering to government guidelines on social distancing, in particular the need to maintain a separation of two metres between members of the 150-strong team working on the project.

Network Rail says it is now working with its stakeholders to try to identify an opportunity later in the year when the bridge move can take place, “subject to any future government guidance and directives”.

Gipsy Patch Lane was closed to all road users at the railway bridge for an estimated eight-month period starting on 5th March 2020. An announcement issued today by South Gloucestershire Council says Gipsy Patch Lane and the Station Road junction will remain closed “so Network Rail and Alun Griffiths can continue their preparatory and highways work”.

Work that was planned to be carried out in the six or so months after the new bridge had been installed over Easter includes lowering the carriageway under the bridge, regrading the Station Road junction, construction of new carriageway and pathways and installation of a new drainage pumping station.

The current project timetable shows further carriageway work, e.g. the construction of new bus lanes, being carried out east and west of the bridge until the end of 2021.

The cost of replacing the Gipsy Patch Lane railway bridge is £26.73 million. The work forms part of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension scheme, which is funded to the tune of £56.9m by the West of England Combined Authority.

Photo of the new railway bridge under construction in the Alun Griffiths site compound.

Above: New railway bridge under construction in the Alun Griffiths site compound.

More: Statement from South Gloucestershire Council »

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More speed calming measures coming soon to Stoke Lane, despite public opposition

Posted on Monday 30th March 2020 at 5:14 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of speed cushions on Stoke Lane.

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) looks set to plough ahead with the implementation of a raft of additional traffic calming measures on Stoke Lane despite a public consultation showing majority opposition to every aspect of the advertised scheme.

However, proposals to install an additional speed table on Little Stoke Lane and extend the existing 20mph speed limit on that road have been abandoned.

The overall scheme spanning Stoke Lane and Little Stoke Lane was opposed by 53 percent of the 130 respondents.

A proposed additional speed table on Stoke Lane, between the junctions with Shellmor Avenue and Amberley Road was opposed by 63 percent of respondents, but will nonetheless be implemented, along with new speed cushions at other locations.

Similarly, the creation of an extended 20mph zone covering the full length of Stoke Lane and all associated side roads will go ahead, despite being opposed by 52 percent of respondents.

The scheme as originally proposed is intended to “help reduce speeds and improve road safety”, particularly for school children walking from Patchway Community School and the following primary schools: Holy Family, St Chad’s, Stoke Lodge and Little Stoke.

Outlining future plans, a feedback report published on 21st January (more than six months after the consultation closed) states:

“The initial consultation was carried out to inform the local community about the proposed speed limit and additional traffic calming measures, and to ensure that their comments and concerns are considered at an early stage. Following a meeting with the local members from Stoke Gifford and Bradley Stoke North, it was decided that Little Stoke Lane would be removed from the scheme and, with support from the Bradley Stoke North member, Stoke Lane would continue to the next stage. The 20mph zone now will be concentrated around Stoke Lane and reduced traffic calming will be installed only on Stoke Lane.”

More: Council anticipates starting work on the scheme "in 2020" »

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Admiral's Yard Self Storage, Little Stoke, Bristol.

Pub’s fundraising to benefit cleft lip patients

Posted on Saturday 14th March 2020 at 9:58 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the charity cheque presentation.

Patrons of Stoke Gifford’s Beaufort Arms public house have made another generous donation to Above & Beyond, the fundraising charity which supports Bristol’s city centre hospitals.

Their latest contribution of £1,200 has been specifically designated to assist in the support of children undergoing treatment for cleft lip and palate, a congenital abnormality very familiar to the pub’s general manager, Jim Carey, whose son Joseph was born with the condition.

Now aged 5, Joseph had to undergo corrective surgery on his lip when just 5 months old, followed by an operation on his palate five months later. Further operations are planned for when he is between 8 and 10 years old, including one in which a bone graft will be taken from his hip.

Photo of Joseph as a baby. Photo of Joseph today.

Above: Joseph as a baby and how he looks today following several rounds of corrective surgery.

Jim and his wife Gemma have received extensive support from the Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA), a charity working to improve the lives of people born with a cleft, and their families, in the UK.

CLAPA has advised the family on topics ranging from speech therapy to psychological support.

More: Money raised through weekly raffles and games »

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Greenfield housing site sold for £38 million

Posted on Thursday 12th March 2020 at 5:02 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a Wainhomes 'Land acquired' sign'.

Work on a new 327-home development site on the borders of Bradley Stoke and Stoke Gifford is now expected to start this summer following a £38 million land deal between two major housebuilding firms.

The site, which is being marketed under the name ‘Mulgrove Farm Village’, lies south of the Winterbourne Road (i.e. on the opposite side to the Winter Stream Farm pub restaurant) and north of the main railway line.

It forms part of the planned East of Harry Stoke New Neighbourhood where a total of 2,000 homes are to be built over the next eight or more years.

Given that the land consists of a domed-shaped hill, extensive earthworks are required to create a level plateau to enable development. These earthworks comprise levelling the site at its highest point and infilling areas on the lower slopes, with no plans to take material off site. This will involve the excavation and relocation of 250,000 cubic metres of material.

Photo of a field gate with the sign 'Mulgrove Farm' attached.

The south-eastern part of the site, around the now demolished Mulgrove Farm, is in the ownership of South Gloucestershire Council (SGC). The remainder was previously in the ownership of housebuilder Crest Nicholson but has now been acquired by Wainhomes Severn Valley.

In November 2018, Crest Nicholson secured full permission for a site-wide earthworks strategy and the construction of 150 homes on its part of the site. Outline permission was also granted for 177 homes on the council-owned land, along with a primary school and nursery.

Access to the new development will be from a new arm off Parkway North Roundabout in the west, and via a new junction on Old Gloucester Road, 90m south of its junction with Winterbourne Road in the east.

During the first phase of the project, Wainhomes Severn Valley will build 150 properties – 116 for private sale and through a registered housing provider, a further nine for shared ownership and 25 for affordable rent.

Site preparation will begin in the summer and building will commence following completion of a 12-month earthworks programme. The first homes are expected to be completed early in 2022.

More: Agreement in place to deliver the main infrastructure »

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Ocean Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.
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