Replacement railway bridge will be widely welcomed, but council says installing it (and some new bus lanes for ‘MetroBus 2’) will require a FULL CLOSURE of Gipsy Patch Lane for up to EIGHT MONTHS.
The long overdue replacement of the old railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane in Little Stoke has taken a significant step forward with the submission of a formal planning application.
The railway bridge planning application, along with three others associated with South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) proposed Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) scheme, was submitted at the end of February and, following validation, duly appeared on the council’s website on 9th March.
Once complete and services start operating in 2021, the CPME will extend part of the North Fringe to Hengrove MetroBus route which is currently being built. Passengers using the extension will be able to benefit from a direct link between Bristol Parkway Station and The Mall bus station, along a route which will pass through the former Rolls-Royce East Works site (now known as Horizon 38) and the soon-to-be redeveloped Filton Airfield site.
The second CPME planning application of local significance is one which proposes the widening of Gipsy Patch Lane on both sides of the railway bridge to accommodate new bus lanes. To the west of the bridge, the widening (along a 107m length) will result in a new bus lane in each direction. To the east of the bridge, the widening (along a 340m length) will result in a new bus lane in the eastbound direction only.
To facilitate the provision of the new bus lanes, the existing carriageway will be widened by between 7m and 9m. Works to widen the carriageway will all be within the existing adopted highway boundary, however, they will entail the removal of approximately 22 trees along Gipsy Patch Lane.
Above: Proposed new bus lanes on Gipsy Patch Lane (indicative only; refer to planning application PT18/0987/R3F for definitive drawings).
Two sets of MetroBus stops will be provided along Gipsy Patch Lane between the junction with the Horizon 38 site and Hatchet Road Roundabout. Bus stop upgrades will also be provided to two bus stops on Hatchet Road.
The existing masonry railway bridge has a height clearance of only 4m and creates a ‘pinch point’ on the local road network. The replacement bridge will be of concrete construction and will span 24m, approximately 14m wider than the current bridge. To accommodate taller vehicles, such as double-decker buses, the carriageway will be lowered by approximately 1.7m as it passes under the bridge.
The scheme also involves the demolition of a Second World War pillbox located on the western railway embankment just to the north of the existing bridge.
The new concrete bridge structure will be precast in a site compound (located in the north-east corner of the Horizon 38 site) over a period of six to nine months, in advance of the demolition of the existing bridge. The compound will be used for spoil and plant storage, general working, welfare, site offices and parking. It is envisaged it will be required to be in place for a period of 24 months during the construction works.
Demolition of the existing bridge and construction of the new bridge is now scheduled to take place during a twelve-day “possession” (closure) of the railway over Easter 2020.
The planning applications may be viewed on the SGC website, or at Patchway One Stop Shop during normal opening hours.
Direct links to the four CPME planning applications:
- PT18/0986/F | Demolition and construction of new railway bridge…
- PT18/0987/R3F | Widening of Gipsy Patch Lane…
- PT18/0988/R3F | Extension of the carriageway at North Road…
- PT18/0992/R3F | Reconfiguration of San Andreas Roundabout…
Above: Photomontage of the proposed replacement railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane, looking westwards. From planning application PT18/0986/F.
Construction schedule and details of road closures
Construction work at the railway bridge site is expected to take place between October 2019 and December 2020. A full closure of Gipsy Patch Lane will be required at this location for up to eight months between February 2020 and September 2020.
Carriageway works east of the bridge are expected to take place between July 2019 and June 2020.
Carriageway works west of the bridge are expected to take place between January and March 2021.
A closure of Gipsy Patch Lane in a westbound direction only will be required between July 2019 and June 2020.
Diversion routes, including one taking traffic along Brook Way in Bradley Stoke, are detailed in the planning applications.
This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on pages 6 & 7). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,200 homes in Bradley Stoke and Little Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.