Archive for the ‘Transport’ Category

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Study looks at closing Parkway bridge to cars

Posted on Saturday 21st October 2017 at 9:11 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the railway bridge near Parkway Station, with a "buses and cycles only" sign superimposed.

Leaked document reveals council is looking at closing bridge to general traffic, to help speed MetroBus journeys.

Campaigners who successfully petitioned for a review of South Gloucestershire Council’s decision to construct a new bus lane on Hatchet Road, Stoke Gifford say they are shocked to hear that one of the alternative proposals being actively considered by the council includes the closure to general traffic of the Parkway Station railway bridge (linking Hatchet Road to Brierly Furlong).

The bus lane, or whatever alternative proposal might replace it, is required to support a ‘second phase’ MetroBus route known as the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME), which will link The Mall at Cribbs Causeway with Bristol Parkway Station and serve the new developments planned for the former Filton Airfield site.

The council insists that measures are needed to shorten MetroBus bus journey times and “increase reliability” on the Hatchet Road section of the route, but campaigners have argued that the bus lane scheme represents poor value for money and will only achieve minimal journey time improvements.

Their preferred alternative, which would remove the need to remove mature hedgerows and trees from both sides of Hatchet Road, is to review the number of bus stops and implement lay-bys at those that are deemed necessary.

A study note seen by the Journal and known to be in the possession of local councillors and campaigners, describes a £1.5m scheme to restrict the Parkway railway bridge to buses, taxis, pedestrians and cyclists only. This would be supported by a £6.5m scheme to widen the Winterbourne Road to dual carriageway along its full length between the Hatchet Road Roundabout and Great Stoke Roundabout (a.k.a. Rabbit Roundabout) and a £5m scheme of improvements at Great Stoke Roundabout.

The supporting elements are understood to be necessary to handle the general traffic that would need to use the soon-to-open Stoke Gifford Transport Link as an alternative route.

More: Scheme "would have a good chance of achieving funding" »

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Stoke Gifford By-Pass to open “by Christmas”

Posted on Saturday 14th October 2017 at 10:49 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo: Looking from north Highbrook Park, towards Hambrook Lane.

Commuters heading south from Bradley Stoke towards the A4174 Ring Road and the M32 could soon have a new route option open to them with the news that the currently under-construction Stoke Gifford Transport Link (SGTL, known locally as the Stoke Gifford By-Pass) is set to open before the end of the year.

The new road, which will be open to all traffic (not just MetroBus), will link Parkway North Roundabout on Great Stoke Way (A) and the A41474 Ring Road (D), close to the Holiday Inn. [See annotations on map below.]

Its construction has required the installation of two new bridges, one over the main railway line (B, near Kings Drive) and the second over the Ham Brook (C, close to the new Crest Nicholson housing development at Highbrook Park).

Contractors Alun Griffiths report that the carriageway is now fully surfaced, with the exception of the section over the Ham Brook bridge.

A MetroBus spokesperson has confirmed to the Journal that it is hoped to have the new road open “before Christmas”. The Ham Brook bridge is expected to be completed in mid-October. Work on the installation of traffic signals is ongoing.

MetroBus services on the North Fringe to Hengrove (NFHP) route, which will make use of the SGTL, will now not begin until 2018. Information on operators and the service start date “will follow next year”, added the spokesperson.

Photo: Looking north from the Hambrook Lane junction, towards the new railway bridge and Bradley Stoke.

Top: Looking from north Highbrook Park, towards Hambrook Lane.  Above: Looking north from the Hambrook Lane junction, towards the new railway bridge and Bradley Stoke.

More: Junction of Hambrook Lane and the SGTL will be restricted »

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Four-week line closure brings benefits of electrification closer

Posted on Thursday 5th October 2017 at 9:10 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of new signalling gantry being installed at Bristol Parkway.

Upgrade work on the Great Western main railway line, which necessitated the closure of a section of the route for four weeks and the closure of Bristol Parkway Station for the final two weeks of that period, was successfully completed by Network Rail in mid-September, marking another major milestone in the delivery of the Great Western modernisation programme.

The line re-opened as planned on the morning of Saturday 16th September following an extensive programme of work, which took place over a 28-mile stretch of railway between Swindon and Bristol Parkway, bringing GWR’s new fleet of Intercity Express Trains another step closer for passengers.

These brand new trains will deliver more than a fifth more seats per train and more frequent services for passengers when they are introduced this autumn.

Almost 5,000 members of Network Rail’s orange army put in more than 175,000 working hours throughout the four weeks of work, which involved the use of 14,000 tonnes of ballast, approximately 2,600 concrete sleepers, 106km of wires and more than 500 foundations for electrification.

Work to improve reliability and increase capacity has taken place at Bristol Parkway Station, including track renewals and signalling upgrades. Further vital upgrades to accommodate the new trains took place as the extension of three platforms and the construction of a fourth platform at the station got underway, due for completion at the end of this year.

Also, as part of this programme of work, electrification of the Chipping Sodbury Tunnel was completed with more than 8km of conductor rail and approximately 1,100 anchors drilled into the Victorian tunnel to support the electrification infrastructure.

This series of work has also enabled the first phase of the resilience scheme at a flood-prone area in Chipping Sodbury to be completed as part of the Department for Transport’s Flood Resilience Programme.

More: Service alterations during October 2017 as upgrade continues »

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Hatchet Road: Council concedes to petitioners’ demands for bus lane review

Posted on Friday 8th September 2017 at 11:47 pm by SH (Editor)

CPME Hatchet Road bus lane overview plan.

Campaigners opposed to the construction of a new bus lane on Hatchet Road in Stoke Gifford say they are “delighted” to have succeeded in convincing South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) that it should review its previous decision to press ahead with the scheme despite widespread opposition within the local community.

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 decision to hold a review was reached following a debate at SGC’s Full Council meeting on 19th July, which had been triggered after a petition against the bus lane passed the critical 2,500 mark.

Around 20 members of the Hatchet Road Action Group attended the meeting, led by Paul Tanner, who was given five minutes to introduce the petition prior to the debate. Three other action group members, Sue Bandcroft, Susan Kelly and James Buckingham, took the opportunity to speak during the ‘items from the public’ session at the start of the meeting.

More: Transport officers told to re-examine plans for the route »

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