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South Glos Council to debate Hatchet Road bus lane petition on 19th July

Posted on Saturday 15th July 2017 at 8:36 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo showing members of the Action Group standing at a bus stop.

Campaigners opposed to the construction of a new bus lane on Hatchet Road in Stoke Gifford will have another chance to persuade councillors to abandon the scheme when their 3,200+ signature petition is debated at a full meeting of South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) on Wednesday 19th July.

The proposed new southbound bus lane on Hatchet Road will form part of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) scheme, which will link The Mall at Cribbs Causeway with Bristol Parkway Station and serve the new developments planned for the former Filton Airfield site.

Local residents and councillors are opposed to the bus lane because it will require mature hedgerows and trees to be removed from both sides of Hatchet Road. They also claim it is a waste of money (costing £2m to reduce bus journey times by just 29 seconds, during the morning peak only) and say they are concerned that its construction will cause severe disruption to traffic in the area.

Their preferred alternative is to review the number of bus stops on Hatchet Road and implement lay-bys at those that are deemed necessary. This, they claim, would facilitate better traffic flow for all road users. SGC’s own figures show that such a scheme would save over £1.25m and achieve improved bus journey time savings in comparison to the bus lane option.

The Journal understands from local SGC councillors that the meeting on 19th July is unlikely to overturn the previous decision, but will instead be asked to consider whether a review of that decision should take place.

Paul Tanner, who fronts the Hatchet Road Action group, said:

“I am delighted that we have managed to get over 3,200 signatures for our petition. This reflects the widespread local support for our campaign and the tremendous efforts of so many people in the action group.”

More: Campaigners demand more openness and transparency »

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Four-week railway closure from mid-August

Posted on Monday 10th July 2017 at 7:03 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of railway electrification work.

Residents and railway users living in north Bristol are invited to find out more about the next stage in a crucial upgrade of the Great Western mainline.

Poster advertising the Network Rail drop-in session.

Network Rail is hosting a drop-in session in Stoke Gifford on Tuesday 11th July ahead of a four-week programme of work which will take place from Royal Wootton Bassett through to Bristol Parkway between Saturday 19th August and Friday 15th September.

The upgrade will also make way for the arrival of a fleet of new, longer Intercity Express Trains later this year, bringing more seats per train and adding greater comfort for passengers. These trains will run on electric from December 2018, once the electrification project is complete.

As part of the work, sections of the mainline will be closed to passengers during this period, with Bristol Parkway also closed between 2nd and 15th September. This will allow work to begin on a new platform at Bristol Parkway as well as the extension of existing platforms at the station.

Elsewhere, flood resilience measures will be installed at Chipping Sodbury and overhead line equipment installed on 25 miles of the route in readiness for electrification.

Over the four weeks, trains will still be running using diversionary routes. Rail replacement bus and coach services will be in place for some journeys.

Many high-speed services will call at Patchway instead of Bristol Parkway and replacement buses will run between the two stations.

Rail travellers are advised to plan ahead by visiting gwr.com/bristolparkway2017 or crosscountrytrains.co.uk

Where to find more information »

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Hatchet Road petition presented to council

Posted on Thursday 29th June 2017 at 12:10 am by SH (Editor)

Campaigners opposed to the construction of a bus lane along Hatchet Road, Stoke Gifford.

Residents campaigning to reverse a decision to construct a one-way bus lane on Hatchet Road in Stoke Gifford have begun the formal process to secure a debate at a full meeting of South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) after their petition passed the critical milestone of 2,500 signatures in early May.

The campaigners are opposed to the bus lane, which will form part of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) scheme, because it will require the destruction of hedgerows and many mature trees and yet bring no significant improvement in bus journey times.

Paul Tanner who fronts the Hatchet Road Action Group, presented the petition to the meeting of SGC’s Full Council on 17th May (see below).

The earliest opportunity for the matter to be debated would be at the next Full Council meeting on 19th July, but SGC officers are yet to confirm a date.

Mr Tanner says he has made a number of Freedom of Information requests to the council for unpublished reports associated with the original decision. These, he claims, further support the group’s case that the decision was made without a proper appraisal of all the options on the table.

Should the group’s actions at SGC prove unfruitful, it is planned to approach the new Metro Mayor, Tim Bowles, who, prior to his election, pledged to call for a review of the Hatchet Road section of the CPME route.

More: Paul Tanner’s speech to Full Council on 17th May»

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MetroBus survey work on Gipsy Patch Lane

Posted on Sunday 25th June 2017 at 9:22 pm by SH (Editor)

Indicative artist’s impression of proposals on Gipsy Patch Lane (looking east).

South Gloucestershire Council has announced that survey work on Gipsy Patch Lane for the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) project will begin on Monday 26th June.

The work area will be located between Station Road and the Gipsy Patch Lane/Hatchet Road Roundabout (see plan for survey extents).

The work will involve using ground penetrating radar (GPR) equipment to scan the road.  Radar waves will go through the ground and identify where underground utilities, such as gas and water pipes, are located.  No digging will be involved.  The equipment that will be used is not noisy, so any disturbance to local residents will be minimal.

Some of the survey area is on verges and not on the carriageway and this will be undertaken during the day, which is anticipated to take seven working days.

The rest of the survey work will be on the carriageway – this has been planned to take place when it will cause the least disruption and will therefore be carried out overnight between 7.30pm and 5am on three to four weeknights. There will be a requirement to close one lane at a time to undertake the carriageway survey and therefore temporary traffic lights will be used (during the above times only). Vehicles will still be able to travel in both directions but will be controlled by the traffic lights.

The council says that three full weekend closures of Gipsy Patch Lane (at the railway bridge), originally planned for April/May, have had to be postponed. They will, however, still go ahead at a later date.

A GPR survey of the Hatchet Road section of the CPME route was undertaken in February. Further investigations, involving the digging of trial trenches, were carried out in early June.

Image: Indicative artist’s impression of CPME proposals on Gipsy Patch Lane (looking east).

More info: Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (The Journal)

Source: South Gloucestershire Council via Stoke Gifford Parish Council

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