Archive for August, 2016

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Dismay over Hatchet Road bus lane decision

Posted on Saturday 20th August 2016 at 3:22 pm by SH (Editor)

MetroBus network in north Bristol, showing proposed Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension.

South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) decision to approve a scheme that involves ripping up mature hedgerows and scores of trees to install a new bus lane along one side of Hatchet Road has been greeted with dismay by local residents and councillors.

With SGC’s own figures showing that the new southbound bus lane will reduce bus journey times by just 29 seconds, and only during the morning peak, with no improvement at other times of the day, the £1.47 million cost of installing it has been described by Cllr Ernie Brown, chair of Stoke Gifford Parish Council and one of three SGC councillors representing Stoke Gifford, as “economic suicide”.

The bus lane forms a small part of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME), a proposed extension of the wider MetroBus network that is currently under construction. It will link Bristol Parkway Station and The Mall bus station, via Hatchet Road, Gipsy Patch Lane, through the former Rolls-Royce East Works site, along North Way, under the A38 via the existing underpass at the Combination Ground junction, and through the former Filton Airfield site (earmarked for redevelopment as part of the Cribbs Patchway New Neighbourhood).

The scheme also includes replacing the railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane with a much wider concrete structure capable of accommodating one general traffic lane and a bus lane in each direction.

Strong opposition to the Hatchet Road widening, which would require a strip of land to be taken from Meade Park (resulting in the loss of some trees) and the removal of hedgerows on both sides of the road south of Meade Park, was evident in the results of a public consultation on the proposed CPME scheme that ran from November 2015 to January 2016.

More: Bus lane option voted through by Conservative councillors »

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Ratcliffe Drive post office reopened after refit

Posted on Monday 15th August 2016 at 6:03 pm by SH (Editor)

Jhoots directors and staff at the newly-refurbished post office in Ratcliffe Drive, Stoke Gifford. L-r: Richard Sugden (operations manager), Hazel Phelps (post office assistant) and Roger Herbert (director of primary care).

Stoke Gifford’s newly-refurbished ‘main style’ post office in the former Jhoots Pharmacy store in Ratcliffe Drive is proving a hit with local residents and businesses.

Following its reopening at the end of June, the post office now offers three serving positions: one screened, one open plan and a third at a retail counter at the front of the store.

Services available at the branch include: Drop & Go, Parcelforce Express, vehicle tax, foreign currency, travel insurance, National Express ticket sales and Post Office banking, in addition to all the usual branch post office functions.

The new layout incorporates a consultation area where post office staff can give advice on financial products, but Jhoots say they are looking at the possibility of using this space for a self-service scanner/photocopier or photo printing kiosk.

The post office operation has now been taken under the direct control of the Jhoots pharmacy group, which operates 50 pharmacies across the UK, including seven in the Bristol area and two in Bath. It had previously been operated by an independent postmaster and then, following the transfer of the pharmacy to the nearby Stoke Gifford Medical Centre in January 2015, by an organisation acting as a temporary postmaster.

Richard Sugden, operations director at Jhoots, described the Stoke Gifford site as a new venture for the company, being its first standalone business that is not a pharmacy.

Jhoots have taken on the two staff who worked at the previous post office and are in the process of recruiting two more.

Aside from the post office function, the shop also stocks stationery, household products and a small selection of gifts. The range of products offered will be regularly reviewed and the business will respond to the needs of the community.

More: Business will be developed to meet needs of the community »

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