This indpendent website, founded in January 2012, aims to bring you a comprehensive round up of stories from the police, local councils and community groups in Stoke Gifford.

Survey work this week on Hatchet Road as SGC continues to progress bus lane scheme

Posted on Monday 20th February 2017 at 6:24 pm by SH (Editor)

Hatchet Road, Stoke Gifford, where a new southbound bus lane is proposed as part of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension project.

Two road surveys being carried out this week will provide visual confirmation that South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) remains determined to proceed with its plan to construct a new bus lane along Hatchet Road, despite overwhelming opposition from local councillors and residents.

The new southbound bus lane, between the Gipsy Patch Lane and Ratcliffe Drive roundabouts, will form part of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) scheme, which will link The Mall at Cribbs Causeway with Bristol Parkway Station and serve the new developments planned for the former Filton Airfield site.

A survey using ground penetrating radar (GPR) equipment is to be carried out over five nights starting tonight (Monday 20th February), in order to map underground services and “help towards the preparation of the CPME plans”.

Additionally, on Tuesday (21st February) consultants working for SGC will be undertaking manual traffic counts on Hatchet Road for approximately 1.5 hours in the morning peak period and 1.5 hours in the evening peak.  These surveys are said to be needed to “inform transport modelling as part of the CPME scheme”.

A statement on the CPME page of the Travelwest website reads:

“There will be some traffic management on Hatchet Road, Stoke Gifford, beginning on the evening of Monday 20th February and lasting for five nights whilst we perform survey work on the highway. This work will be located between the Gipsy Patch Lane and Ratcliffe Drive/Sandringham Road roundabouts.”

“This work has been planned to take place when it will cause the least disruption and will therefore be carried out overnight from Monday to Friday between 7.30pm and 5am. We will need to close one lane at a time to undertake the survey and will therefore place temporary traffic lights to carry out the survey work during the above times only. Vehicles will still be able to travel in both directions but will be controlled by the traffic lights.”

More: Work does not signal start of construction, emphasises council »

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Plans go in for fourth platform at Bristol Parkway

Posted on Tuesday 14th February 2017 at 9:47 pm by SH (Editor)

Bristol Parkway Railway Station, Stoke Gifford, Bristol.

Network Rail has submitted a planning application for proposed works at Bristol Parkway Station that include adding a fourth platform (to be designated ‘platform 1’) and extending the length of the three existing platforms (nos. 2, 3 and 4).

The aim of the project is to enable two new London to Bristol services to operate each hour, in each direction, from December 2018 and improve the overall passenger capacity at the station.

The work is part of the Great Western Capacity Enhancement Programme which aims to provide significant passenger capacity enhancement through the operation of longer trains and additional services, as well as reduced journey times, particularly between Bristol and London Paddington.

  • Network Rail is obliged to deliver infrastructure to enable:
  • Two new London to Bristol Temple Meads via Parkway services each hour, in each direction, from December 2018
  • Improved operational flexibility, over the base May 2016 layout, sufficient to allow empty coaching stock moves to and from the new Hitachi train depot at the Filton Triangle (Stoke Gifford)
  • Parallel moves from Bristol Parkway towards Filton (from the new platform 1) and South Wales (from the existing platform 2)

The new platform will be 300m in length, while the extended lengths of platform 2 to 4 will range from 299m to 333m, allowing them to accommodate the new fleet of Hitachi trains.

The Bristol Parkway platform work is one of a number of major railway projects being implemented in the Bristol area including the electrification of the Great Western Mainline and the renewal of signalling across the Bristol area.

More: Network Rail website will provide updates throughout the works »

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Yarn-bombed Christmas tree to double as blankets for homeless

Posted on Saturday 24th December 2016 at 11:29 am by SH (Editor)

Members of the St Mike’s Yarn Bombers (SMYB) with their Christmas tree (l-r): Debbie Bambridge, Emily Preston, Kia Harris, Sara Clothier and Zoe Garde-Evans.

Knitters from St Michael’s Church in Stoke Gifford have not only created their own Christmas tree from yarn – but when the decorations come down they plan to recycle it into blankets for local homeless charities.

Over 800 woolly green squares have been knitted or crocheted and then stacked into a six-foot tall Christmas tree by the St Mike’s Yarn Bombers (SMYB).

Christmas tree created by the St Mike's Yarn Bombers (SMYB) of Stoke Gifford, Bristol.

Whilst thousands of real Christmas trees are recycled into compost – the knitted tree will be dismantled and sewn into at least ten woolly blankets for two Bristol charities supporting homeless people.

The yarn bombing group has been delighting local people with surprise displays and decorations at community events in Stoke Gifford since early 2016 (see previous Journal article here). But when they launched the Christmas tree project they were joined by around a hundred other knitters across Bristol and beyond. Church members, craft groups, family, friends and children produced squares. They were even sent three green squares from a knitter in Washington DC in the United States.

A total of 848 different green squares have been stacked into to the woolly Christmas tree. Of these, 816 have been knitted or crocheted and 32 are made of felt and were decorated by children at the Messy Church which meets once a month at St Michael’s.

More: Blankets will go to Emmaus Bristol and Julian Trust night shelter »

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Councillors to press for deferral of Hatchet Road bus lane plans

Posted on Tuesday 20th December 2016 at 8:24 pm by SH (Editor)

Cllr Colin Hunt, of South Gloucestershire Council, at a public meeting to discuss plans for a bus lane on Hatchet Road as part of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension scheme. Cllr Ernie Brown, chair of Stoke Gifford Parish Council, at a public meeting to discuss plans for a bus lane on Hatchet Road as part of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension scheme.

Stoke Gifford’s three South Glos councillors have signalled their intention to formally call for the implementation of a controversial new southbound bus lane on Hatchet Road to be deferred until the impact of the new Stoke Gifford By-Pass on traffic flows through the village are known.

The new bus lane, approved by South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) Environment & Community Services (ECS) Committee in July, forms part of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) scheme, which will link Bristol Parkway Station with The Mall at Cribbs Causeway and serve the new developments planned for the former Filton Airfield site.

The councillors’ intended plan of action was confirmed after a packed public meeting held at St Michael’s Primary School on 22nd November demonstrated the strength of feeling amongst local residents against the bus lane proposals.

The meeting, attended by around 140 people, was addressed principally by Cllr Colin Hunt, a member of the ECS Committee which approved the Hatchet Road bus lane option and also chair of the West of England Joint Transport Executive Committee, which oversees the region’s MetroBus projects.

Facing an audience which seemed to be universally opposed to the Hatchet Road plans, which will see mature hedgerows and scores of mature trees ripped out, Cllr Hunt made it clear from the start of the meeting that he was not prepared to consider any alternatives, saying: “one way or another we’ve got to put a bus lane down there. All we’re trying to do is provide a fast bus service. I understand that you don’t want to lose green space, but we all have to make sacrifices.”

Cllr Hunt revealed that since the decision in July, council officers have been investigating a number of measures that might mitigate the impact of the scheme, such as moving the main area of ‘land take’ over to the Forty Acres side of the road and reducing the width of the bus lane, both of which would lead to less vegetation being taken from Meade Park and adjacent to residents’ homes on the east side of the road. However, both of these options would require further public consultation and thereby delay the scheme.

Claim: Committee’s decision is "intellectually challenged," says a resident »

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