Archive for the ‘Transport’ Category

£300k funding award paves the way to get MetroBus into Parkway

Posted on Wednesday 21st August 2019 at 7:53 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Bristol Parkway Station with the MetroBus logo superimposed.

A decision by the West of England Combined Authority (Weca) to allocate £300,000 towards the cost of a scheme to enhance bus/rail interchange facilities at Bristol Parkway Station has paved the way for work to begin in the coming months.

A recent report by South Gloucestershire Council, which is leading the project, says the current facilities for interchange are “dated”. Furthermore, buses can only enter the station from the western entrance, limiting the options for future bus growth and the range of services available.

The original MetroBus network, as described in the planning application for the North Fringe to Hengrove Package (NFHP) bus rapid transit scheme, included a route between Emersons Green and Bristol Parkway via UWE, but this was silently dropped during the construction phase. It later emerged that this was because MetroBus vehicles could not currently enter and leave the station via the eastern (Hunts Ground Road) entrance due to the constrained nature of the site.

More recently, First Bus boss James Freeman explained that the issue is actually one of buses coming in via the eastern entrance not being able to execute a turnaround manoeuvre so that they can go out the same way.

Opening of the station’s eastern entrance for bus use is part of the proposed scheme.

More: New bus shelters; forecourt remodelling; road realignment »

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Reflections on the Gipsy Patch Lane closure

Posted on Friday 12th July 2019 at 9:33 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Gipsy Patch Lane railway bridge on 24th June, 21 days into the closure.

Residents in the Stokes breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday 27th June when South Gloucestershire Council confirmed that Gipsy Patch Lane would reopen as planned in time for the morning peak on Monday 1st July.

The busy commuter road had been closed at the Station Road railway bridge for four weeks commencing Monday 4th June in order for BT to divert underground utilities ahead of the replacement of the bridge with a much wider concrete structure in 2020.

The bridge replacement and associated highway works are being carried out as part of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) scheme, which will provide an express bus service between The Mall and Bristol Parkway Station, also serving the upcoming development on the former Filton Airfield.

The June closure was a precursor to an anticipated eight-month full closure of the road planned for early 2020, either side of the main bridge replacement work over 12 days at Easter.

The first day of the closure proved something of an anti-climax as the anticipated gridlock failed to materialise, perhaps because motorists had heeded warnings and adjusted their journey times or maybe because Mondays is traditionally a quiet day on the roads anyway. But signs of things to come were already apparent on Stoke Lane and Little Stoke Lane as traffic tailed back to Little Stoke Park during the morning peak.

The situation was much worse the next day, Tuesday 4th June, with traffic tailed back on Bradley Stoke Way as far as the Willow Brook Centre and on Brook Way to Manor Farm Roundabout and some commuters reporting additional delays of up to 35min.

A rainy Tuesday morning on 11th June, compounded with a major incident at the top of the M32, brought more misery, with reports of it taking 30min to pass along Braydon Avenue and gridlock surrounding the mini-roundabout at the end of Stoke Lane, near the A38.

But the low point came on Tuesday 25th June when heavy rain during the morning peak brought Bradley Stoke to a standstill in all directions with BBC Bristol reporting additional delays of 35min on Bradley Stoke Way, described by one motorist as being “like a car park”.

More: Openreach (BT) thwarted by "unexpected ground conditions" »

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Consultation on extra traffic calming measures for Stoke Lane & Little Stoke Lane

Posted on Wednesday 12th June 2019 at 8:50 pm by SH (Editor)

 Photo of a traffic chicane on Little Stoke Lane. Photo of speed cushions on Stoke Lane.

South Gloucestershire Council has opened a public consultation on a swathe of additional traffic calming measures that it is proposing to implement on two busy roads through Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge.

According to a ‘statement of reasons’ published as part of the consultation, the proposed scheme is intended to encourage walking and cycling to schools.

The council says that funding has been made available to install additional traffic calming measures on Stoke Lane and Little Stoke Lane. It also wants to introduce an extended 20mph zone covering the full length of Stoke Lane and the northern end of Little Stoke Lane, plus all associated side roads.

The scheme 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.

The proposed additional traffic calming measures include speed tables, speed cushions, additional speed limit signing and road markings. A number of additional dropped-kerb pedestrian crossings will also be created.

The council says it intends to implement the proposals during the current financial year (2019/20), subject to comments received during the consultation and subsequent public advertisement of traffic regulation orders.

Anyone wishing to comment on the scheme should respond by 14th June by completing a questionnaire that is available on the council’s website.

If you don’t have access to the internet and wish to have paper copies of all the consultation documents and a questionnaire to complete, phone 01454 863958.

More: Map showing locations of proposed new speed calming measures »

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Gipsy Patch Lane railway bridge closure set to create traffic hell

Posted on Sunday 2nd June 2019 at 5:40 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a matrix sign displaying a message about the planned closure of Gipsy Patch Lane for four weeks in June 2019.

Residents across the Stokes are bracing themselves for weeks of severe traffic congestion resulting from the planned closure of a major commuter route through the area.

Gipsy Patch Lane is set to be closed to motorised vehicles at the railway bridge in Little Stoke for four weeks from Monday 3rd June to enable BT to divert its underground cables ahead of the bridge being replaced over a 12-day period spanning Easter 2020.

The new, much wider, concrete bridge will accommodate four lanes of traffic (one bus lane and one general traffic lane in each direction), along with shared-use paths on both sides of the road.

The surface of the highway under the bridge will be lowered by 1.7m to allow taller vehicles, including double-decker buses, to pass through safely.

The June closure comes ahead of a further planned eight-month full road closure at the bridge starting in early 2020.

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC), which is responsible for the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) scheme, of which the bridge replacement work forms a major part, originally said that the June closure would apply to “all highway users”. However, it was recently revealed that a route under the bridge for pedestrians and dismounted cyclists will be maintained during the closure.

Signs giving notice of the upcoming June road closure and advising motorists to “seek other routes” were put out in the week commencing 20th May. To avoid confusion, SGC says it will promote just a single signed diversion route, using Bradley Stoke Way and the A38 (see map below). However, it is widely anticipated that motorists with local knowledge and those using satnav equipment will attempt to use other diversion routes, which is likely to lead to significantly increased congestion on some smaller local roads.

More: Diversion map. Businesses open as normal. »

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