Following the frustrating news revealed in our May magazine that the railway bridge at Gipsy Patch Lane may not reopen to motorised traffic until December (and then only one way), the last month has seen a slew of announcements relating to highway works east of the bridge, between the junctions with Little Stoke Lane and Station Road.
Construction work to upgrade two existing bus stops to MetroBus specification, which required a westbound road closure, was completed in early May. The new shelters and iPoints will be installed later.
The widening of Gipsy Patch Lane in order to construct a new bus lane requires the installation of a new drainage system on the north side of the road. This work began on 4th May and will continue, through several stages, until July. Temporary traffic lights are in use, restricting the road to single-file traffic along Gipsy Patch Lane between the Stokers pub and the eastbound dual carriageway section of Gipsy Patch Lane.
On the south side of the road, Western Power Distribution (WPD) has begun work to divert a major power cable. The council says this work will allow it to plant as many replacement trees as possible following the felling of 20 semi-mature trees earlier this year. This work, which involves digging a trench and laying a new cable and duct in it, section by section, is on schedule to be completed in early June.
Also on the south side, Bristol Water will be diverting a major water pipe. This will follow on from the work being undertaken by WPD and will involve digging a trench and installing a new pipe. The work was scheduled to begin on 1st June and last approximately eight weeks until the end of July, with working hours from 8am to 5pm, proceeding east to west in stages.
Along Smithcourt Drive, the new pipe will be laid in sections of between 50-75 metres in the carriageway for approximately four weeks from 1st June, with road remaining accessible. From the corner of Gipsy Patch Lane and Bush Avenue to the Stokers pub car park, a road closure will be required, however, access will be maintained for residents and patrons of the pub. This phase of the works is planned to start from 28th June and will last for approximately four weeks.
Back on the north side, a temporary traffic regulation order has been published for an anticipated two-month closure of Gifford Crescent starting on 5th July. The closure is required for the installation of highway drainage attenuation pipes in the triangular grassed verge area adjacent to Gifford Crescent. Further details will be made available nearer the time.
The council has recently announced that temporary wooden fencing is to be installed during August in the southern verge of Gipsy Patch Lane, along the length of the ‘east of bridge’ work area. This is being done “to provide some aesthetic screening from the construction works”.
An outline programme of work being carried out at the railway bridge itself is shown below.
Additionally, Network Rail will be carrying out further planned work to pack stone under the tracks (tamping) overnight on 12th/13th June and 7th/8th August. This is needed to optimise performance, increase the life span of the track and, ultimately, ensure the safety of passengers.
Alun Griffiths programme of work at the railway bridge:
- Fencing to railway boundaries
- Completion of highway drainage installation
- Commence utilities installations
- Complete utilities installations
- Commence kerblines
- Commence pumping station Installation
- Surfacing to eastbound side of carriageway
Key milestones from the project programme (May 2021):
- One-way reopening for traffic under the bridge: Autumn 2021
- Completion of roadworks at the bridge: December 2021
- Completion of highway works east of the bridge: June 2022
- Two-way reopening for traffic under the bridge: Late 2022
- Completion of highway works west of the bridge: December 2022
More information and related links:
- Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (SGC)
- MetroBus Extension Build (SGJ)
- Photo album: Gipsy Patch Lane Railway Bridge Replacement (SGJ)
This article originally appeared in the June 2021 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on pages 10 & 11). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
Track work completed
UPDATE added 17th June 2021.
Statement from South Gloucestershire Council:
“Weekend overnight works which have been undertaken by Network Rail in May and June on the track to optimise performance, increase the life span of the track and ultimately ensure the safety of passengers have now been completed. That means there will be no further work in August as had been initially planned.”
Gifford Crescent closure
UPDATE added 19th June 2021.
From Monday 5th July the straight stretch of Gifford Crescent directly off Gipsy Patch Lane needs to be closed until the highway widening works are complete in 2022. The circulatory part of Gifford Crescent where the shops are located will remain open and pedestrian/cyclist access will be maintained. The closure is initially needed for the installation of highway drainage attenuation pipes in the adjacent triangular grass verge area to support the forthcoming highway widening works on Gipsy Patch Lane, and then it is needed for the westbound one way system along Gipsy Patch Lane which is planned to be implemented this autumn. If the drainage works are completed earlier than anticipated then we will open Gifford Crescent in the interim. The diversion route will be via Little Stoke Lane and Kingsway and will be signposted.
The Gifford Crescent junction with the Gipsy Patch Lane service road needs to be closed as part of this, so users of the service road will need to access/egress via the junction to the east directly onto Gipsy Patch Lane.
Following the closure of Gifford Crescent the following (named) stops will not be served by the Stagecoach number 12 service:
- Bush Avenue (on Gipsy Patch Lane; eastbound towards Bristol Parkway)
- Bush Avenue (on Gipsy Patch Lane; westbound towards Severn Beach)
- Kingsway Roundabout (on Gipsy Patch Lane; westbound towards Severn Beach)
- Kingsway Roundabout (on Gifford Crescent; southbound towards Bristol Parkway)
The number 12 service will divert via Little Stoke Lane and will continue to serve all stops along Kingsway in both directions. This diversion is likely to remain in place until the Gipsy Patch Lane highway widening construction works are complete.