Bradley Stoke motorists who need to access the A4174 Ring Road and M32 motorway were given an early Christmas present on Monday 18th December when the long-awaited Stoke Gifford By-Pass, officially known as the Stoke Gifford Transport Link (SGTL), was opened to general traffic.
The news will also be warmly welcomed by residents of Stoke Gifford “village”, as it is hoped that the new road will help reduce the flow of traffic along Hatchet Road and Brierly Furlong, which currently suffer from severe congestion during the morning and afternoon rush hours.
The new road, which is 1.6km (one mile) long, has been constructed through open countryside to the east of Stoke Gifford (see map below). It links Parkway North Roundabout on Great Stoke Way (A) and the A41474 Ring Road (D), emerging at a junction opposite the Holiday Inn.
Its construction has required the installation of two new bridges, one over the main railway line (B, near Kings Drive) and the second over the Ham Brook (C, close to the new Crest Nicholson housing development at Highbrook Park).
Work on the road began in August 2015, when Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd set up a site compound near Parkway North Roundabout. A major milestone was reached when beams for the new bridge over the railway were installed in May 2016. However, the project suffered delays in recent months due the late completion of the second new bridge, over the Ham Brook.
It was originally intended that buses on the Cribbs Causeway to Hengrove MetroBus route would begin using the new road as soon as it opened, but delays in the construction of other sections of the MetroBus network and the supply and installation of iPoints (information and ticket machines) mean that the service is now unlikely to start until “summer 2018” (according to a recent press release).
At a tree planting ceremony staged to commemorate the opening of the new road, which will forthwith be known as ‘Rosedown Avenue’, Cllr Matthew Riddle, leader of South Gloucestershire Council, said:
‘This is a very exciting day for the region. MetroBus has built a road that will bring significant improvements to the region. It will take traffic away from unsuitable residential roads and provide local businesses with a long awaited direct route from Aztec West to the M32 and the city centre. The planting of a tree is highly symbolic. The MetroBus project is about sustainable transport for the future. It’s about tackling congestion, improving air quality and making the region a better place for us, our children and grandchildren to live. The planting of trees along the road creates a daily visible reminder of our environmental responsibilities.”
The new road will, in due course, provide access to the proposed East of Harry Stoke New Neighbourhood (the area lying between the SGTL and the M32, where it is foreseen that 2,000 new homes will be constructed by 2027). Planning applications for 1,617 of these are currently under consideration. These are additional to the 1,000 new homes planned, and in part already built, at Highbrook Park.
Photo: Cllr Matthew Riddle plants a tree to mark the opening of the Stoke Gifford Transport Link on Monday 18th December 2017.
This article originally appeared in the January 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on pages 28 & 29). 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.