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.”
“The survey work will involve ground penetrating radar (GPR) equipment to scan the road. Radar waves will go through the ground and identify where underground utilities, such as gas and water pipes, are located.”
“It is essential that we undertake this survey work to help develop our plans for the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) route. Please note this survey work is to help towards the preparation of the CPME plans and does not signal the commencement of construction. We will also need to undertake a number of ecological surveys near Hatchet Road from March onwards as well as some further investigative work on Hatchet Road during the Easter break.”
“We understand that surveys may cause disruption and disturbance to local residents and we would like to apologise in advance and kindly ask for your patience whilst this work is taking place.”
According to a news item published on the Stoke Gifford Parish Council website, the traffic counts on Tuesday will “involve approximately two members of staff from [consultancy company] CH2M in hi-vis jackets stood to the side of the highway keeping count of passing traffic. No traffic management is required.”
Stoke Gifford Parish Council has called a further public meeting “to update local residents [on the CPME scheme], provide an opportunity to discuss any options moving forward, and to consider establishing a Residents Local Action Group to tackle this issue”. The meeting will take place at the Old School Rooms, North Road, Stoke Gifford on Tuesday 7th March starting at 7pm.
Photo: Hatchet Road, looking south towards the Ratcliffe Drive roundabout.