Residents campaigning to reverse a decision to construct a one-way bus lane on Hatchet Road in Stoke Gifford have begun the formal process to secure a debate at a full meeting of South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) after their petition passed the critical milestone of 2,500 signatures in early May.
The campaigners are opposed to the bus lane, which will form part of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) scheme, because it will require the destruction of hedgerows and many mature trees and yet bring no significant improvement in bus journey times.
Paul Tanner who fronts the Hatchet Road Action Group, presented the petition to the meeting of SGC’s Full Council on 17th May (see below).
The earliest opportunity for the matter to be debated would be at the next Full Council meeting on 19th July, but SGC officers are yet to confirm a date.
Mr Tanner says he has made a number of Freedom of Information requests to the council for unpublished reports associated with the original decision. These, he claims, further support the group’s case that the decision was made without a proper appraisal of all the options on the table.
Should the group’s actions at SGC prove unfruitful, it is planned to approach the new Metro Mayor, Tim Bowles, who, prior to his election, pledged to call for a review of the Hatchet Road section of the CPME route.
Paul Tanner’s speech to Full Council on Wednesday 17th May
Thank you for the opportunity to present a petition on behalf of the Hatchet Road Action Group.
You will recall that I was one of three people who addressed the Full Council at its March meeting. Since that time, the Hatchet Road Action Group has been busy seeking support for our campaign for the council to review and change the decision made last July by the Environment and Community Services Committee to put a bus lane on part of Hatchet Road. This proposal is part of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension scheme. Our preferred option is to review the number of bus stops required between Bristol Parkway Station and Gipsy Patch Lane and install bus lay-bys in those places.
As you will have heard previously, this will provide a much more cost-effective solution for the area. It will be far less damaging to the environment, less disruptive for all traffic in the short-term and reflect and respect the feedback provided from the community.
The number of signatories submitted today totals 2,736. This number is increasing and I expect to have in excess of 3,000 supporters signed up by the end of the month. It is difficult to gauge at the moment what the number will be when I submit a final version.
We ask that the council receive this petition and arrange for a thorough and objective review of this matter before discussion at a forthcoming Full Council meeting. We maintain that the evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of the bus lay-by option.
Paul Tanner (pictured, right)
For and on behalf of the Hatchet Road Action Group
This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 7). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
UPDATE (14th June 2017): Paul Tanner reports that he has received official confirmation that a debate on the petition will be held at the meeting of SGC’s Full Council on Wednesday 19th July 2017. The meeting will be held in The Council Chamber, Kingswood Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood, BS15 9TR, starting at 7pm. The agenda and reports for the meeting should be available on the SGC website from 11th July 2017.