Archive for July, 2017

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South Glos Council to debate Hatchet Road bus lane petition on 19th July

Posted on Saturday 15th July 2017 at 8:36 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo showing members of the Action Group standing at a bus stop.

Campaigners opposed to the construction of a new bus lane on Hatchet Road in Stoke Gifford will have another chance to persuade councillors to abandon the scheme when their 3,200+ signature petition is debated at a full meeting of South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) on Wednesday 19th July.

The proposed new southbound bus lane on Hatchet Road 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.

Local residents and councillors are opposed to the bus lane because it will require mature hedgerows and trees to be removed from both sides of Hatchet Road. They also claim it is a waste of money (costing £2m to reduce bus journey times by just 29 seconds, during the morning peak only) and say they are concerned that its construction will cause severe disruption to traffic in the area.

Their preferred alternative is to review the number of bus stops on Hatchet Road and implement lay-bys at those that are deemed necessary. This, they claim, would facilitate better traffic flow for all road users. SGC’s own figures show that such a scheme would save over £1.25m and achieve improved bus journey time savings in comparison to the bus lane option.

The Journal understands from local SGC councillors that the meeting on 19th July is unlikely to overturn the previous decision, but will instead be asked to consider whether a review of that decision should take place.

Paul Tanner, who fronts the Hatchet Road Action group, said:

“I am delighted that we have managed to get over 3,200 signatures for our petition. This reflects the widespread local support for our campaign and the tremendous efforts of so many people in the action group.”

More: Campaigners demand more openness and transparency »

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Summer concert success for Stokes Singers

Posted on Friday 14th July 2017 at 10:18 am by SH (Editor)

Photo of the Stokes Singers choir at their 'Midsummer Medley' concert.

Stokes Singers performed their summer concert, ‘A Midsummer Medley’, to an appreciative audience at Little Stoke Primary School at the end of June, writes Sue Callow, publicity officer.

With a programme including songs from films and musicals and classics such as ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ and ‘Fields of Gold’ there was something for all tastes. The Eric and Ernie classic ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ brought a smile to everyone’s face whilst the choir’s favourites were the South African folk songs ‘Shosholoza’ and ‘Thina Simunye.’ A concert would not be complete without a piano solo from Co-Musical Director Philip Lawrence and this year it was a beautiful arrangement of ‘It Had to Be You’. It was good to have the added skills of Sue Juggins (percussion), Matt (bass guitar) and Lisa Rush (flute and piano) to accompany the voices.

The evening was also a great success for Freewheelers Emergency Voluntary Service who sent a motorbike and two riders, Nick and Chris, to talk about the valuable work they carry out transporting urgent medical supplies to support the NHS. An amazing £307 was raised from programme sales and refreshment donations to help the Freewheelers with their vital service.

The choir are now taking a well-earned break until September when they meet up to rehearse for a ‘Voices for Hospices’ concert at Holy Trinity Church, Bradley Stoke on Saturday 14th October. The Christmas Concert will be at the Church of Christ the King, Bradley Stoke on Saturday 9th December. Look out for posters and details in the local press in the autumn or contact Liz on 01454 614148 for further details.

If you would like to join the choir, Liz can also give you further information about the Thursday evening rehearsals at Coniston Community Centre, Patchway. There is room for more singers in all sections and men or ladies with lower voices would be very welcome to join the baritones. Sian Walters, also Co-Musical Director, assures you of a warm welcome and the opportunity to try the choir for two rehearsals free of charge to see how you get on.

More: Choir will soon celebrate 25th anniversary of founding »

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Four-week railway closure from mid-August

Posted on Monday 10th July 2017 at 7:03 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of railway electrification work.

Residents and railway users living in north Bristol are invited to find out more about the next stage in a crucial upgrade of the Great Western mainline.

Poster advertising the Network Rail drop-in session.

Network Rail is hosting a drop-in session in Stoke Gifford on Tuesday 11th July ahead of a four-week programme of work which will take place from Royal Wootton Bassett through to Bristol Parkway between Saturday 19th August and Friday 15th September.

The upgrade will also make way for the arrival of a fleet of new, longer Intercity Express Trains later this year, bringing more seats per train and adding greater comfort for passengers. These trains will run on electric from December 2018, once the electrification project is complete.

As part of the work, sections of the mainline will be closed to passengers during this period, with Bristol Parkway also closed between 2nd and 15th September. This will allow work to begin on a new platform at Bristol Parkway as well as the extension of existing platforms at the station.

Elsewhere, flood resilience measures will be installed at Chipping Sodbury and overhead line equipment installed on 25 miles of the route in readiness for electrification.

Over the four weeks, trains will still be running using diversionary routes. Rail replacement bus and coach services will be in place for some journeys.

Many high-speed services will call at Patchway instead of Bristol Parkway and replacement buses will run between the two stations.

Rail travellers are advised to plan ahead by visiting gwr.com/bristolparkway2017 or crosscountrytrains.co.uk

Where to find more information »

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