Archive for the ‘Transport’ Category

Coronavirus crisis: Gipsy Patch Lane railway bridge replacement postponed

Posted on Friday 3rd April 2020 at 11:49 am by TH

Photomontage of the proposed replacement railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane, looking westwards

Plans to demolish the existing narrow-arch railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane and replace it with a much wider concrete structure during a nine-day railway closure over Easter have been postponed as a consequence of the corinavirus crisis.

Over the last few months, the new 4,500 tonne bridge has been gradually taking shape in the Alun Griffiths site compound within the adjacent Horizon 38 business park. It was due to be moved into position in the early hours of 15th April 2020 using a 176-axle self-propelled modular transport unit.

But Network Rail has now been forced to postpone the bridge replacement operation because of the difficulty in adhering to government guidelines on social distancing, in particular the need to maintain a separation of two metres between members of the 150-strong team working on the project.

Network Rail says it is now working with its stakeholders to try to identify an opportunity later in the year when the bridge move can take place, “subject to any future government guidance and directives”.

Gipsy Patch Lane was closed to all road users at the railway bridge for an estimated eight-month period starting on 5th March 2020. An announcement issued today (Friday 3rd April) by South Gloucestershire Council says Gipsy Patch Lane and the Station Road junction will remain closed “so Network Rail and Alun Griffiths can continue their preparatory and highways work”.

Work that was planned to be carried out in the six or so months after the new bridge had been installed over Easter includes lowering the carriageway under the bridge, regrading the Station Road junction, construction of new carriageway and pathways and installation of a new drainage pumping station.

The current project timetable shows further carriageway work, e.g. the construction of new bus lanes, being carried out east and west of the bridge until the end of 2021.

The cost of replacing the Gipsy Patch Lane railway bridge is £26.73 million. The work forms part of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) scheme, which is funded to the tune of £56.9m by the West of England Combined Authority.

Photo of the new railway bridge under construction in the Alun Griffiths site compound.

Above: New railway bridge under construction in the Alun Griffiths site compound.

More: Statement from South Gloucestershire Council »

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More speed calming measures coming soon to Stoke Lane, despite public opposition

Posted on Monday 30th March 2020 at 5:14 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of speed cushions on Stoke Lane.

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) looks set to plough ahead with the implementation of a raft of additional traffic calming measures on Stoke Lane despite a public consultation showing majority opposition to every aspect of the advertised scheme.

However, proposals to install an additional speed table on Little Stoke Lane and extend the existing 20mph speed limit on that road have been abandoned.

The overall scheme spanning Stoke Lane and Little Stoke Lane was opposed by 53 percent of the 130 respondents.

A proposed additional speed table on Stoke Lane, between the junctions with Shellmor Avenue and Amberley Road was opposed by 63 percent of respondents, but will nonetheless be implemented, along with new speed cushions at other locations.

Similarly, the creation of an extended 20mph zone covering the full length of Stoke Lane and all associated side roads will go ahead, despite being opposed by 52 percent of respondents.

The scheme as originally proposed is intended to “help reduce speeds and improve road safety”, particularly for school children walking from Patchway Community School and the following primary schools: Holy Family, St Chad’s, Stoke Lodge and Little Stoke.

Outlining future plans, a feedback report published on 21st January (more than six months after the consultation closed) states:

“The initial consultation was carried out to inform the local community about the proposed speed limit and additional traffic calming measures, and to ensure that their comments and concerns are considered at an early stage. Following a meeting with the local members from Stoke Gifford and Bradley Stoke North, it was decided that Little Stoke Lane would be removed from the scheme and, with support from the Bradley Stoke North member, Stoke Lane would continue to the next stage. The 20mph zone now will be concentrated around Stoke Lane and reduced traffic calming will be installed only on Stoke Lane.”

More: Council anticipates starting work on the scheme "in 2020" »

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Frustration over Parkway ‘MetroBus’ works

Posted on Saturday 7th March 2020 at 9:23 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Improvement works at the bus stops under way in early February.

Railway passengers who use bus services or bicycles to access Bristol Parkway have expressed frustration at the impact of bus stop improvement works that started without warning in the forecourt of the busy station on Monday 3rd February.

Passengers arriving by rail have been confronted by metres of ‘Heras’ metal fencing surrounding the bus stop area and inadequate signage directing them to two temporary stops half-way down the exit road.

Six days into the work, one frustrated passenger tweeted: “Please can you place some clear signage at Bristol Parkway advising where the buses are going to stop during the works – there’s a lot of confused people wandering around.”

Passengers arriving by bicycle found the extensive two-tier bike storage facility at the station rendered inaccessible by the works, with just a small row of “wheel grabber” racks offered as replacement. Cyclists complained that these racks of this design don’t easily allow a secure D-lock to be used and aren’t suitable for wide-tyred bikes.

More substantial and secure temporary bike racks appeared at the station during the third week of the works, but not before one frustrated cyclist who contacted the Journal had spent £700 on a fold-up bike so she could avoid having to leave her original bike inadequately secured.

No information about the scope of the bus stop work or its duration is on display at the station and passengers who made enquiries at the ticket office were told that it was “council MetroBus works and nothing to do with GWR [the train operator which manages the station]”.

However, South Gloucestershire Council’s response to enquiries made by the Journal yielded a contradictory account, with a spokesperson saying: “GWR are managing the work currently taking place at Bristol Parkway Station, which includes improvements to bus stop facilities for local services and MetroBus stops.”

More: Work is expected to take 16 weeks to complete »

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Gipsy Patch Lane: 8-month full road closure set to start on Thursday

Posted on Tuesday 3rd March 2020 at 9:15 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of 'road closed' signs and barrier at the railway bridge in June 2019.

Residents of the Stokes who use Gipsy Patch Lane to access employment, shopping and leisure facilities to the west of the railway line are being encouraged to plan ahead for an eight-month full closure of the road that is due to start on Thursday 5th March.

The road closure is needed so that a new, much-wider railway bridge can be moved into place, and for the associated highway works to be completed.

The new wider bridge will provide room for new bus lanes in each direction and shared use cycle and pedestrian pathways, as well as general traffic lanes.

The southern end of Station Road, which emerges onto Gipsy Patch Lane near the bridge, will also be closed to motorised traffic for the same eight-month period. However, pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to pass between Gipsy Patch Lane and Station Road via a temporary footbridge over the culvert that runs along the east side of Station Road.

For motorised through traffic, there will be a signed diversion route throughout the closure period. This will take motorists via Bradley Stoke Way and the A38. Additional signage will also be placed on the wider road network informing motorists of the Gipsy Patch Lane closure and advising them to use alternative routes.

There will also be a signed diversion route for vehicles to reach Station Road from Gipsy Patch Lane (and vice versa), via Little Stoke Lane and Clay Lane.

More: Closure applies to all road users, including pedestrians & cyclists »

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