Archive for the ‘Transport’ Category

“Unforeseen ground conditions” lead to need for more overnight piling work at railway bridge

Posted on Monday 13th January 2020 at 7:10 am by SH (Editor)

Photo of night-time piling work at the bridge.

Contractors working on the railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane in Little Stoke will be working overnight and on Saturdays and Sundays for the next seven weeks in an effort to make sure the site is ready for a planned nine-day closure of the railway line over Easter.

In a letter sent to stakeholders last Friday (10th January), South Gloucestershire Council revealed that piling work to construct foundations for the replacement bridge has been affected by “unforeseen ground conditions”.

Until now, the majority of the potentially noisy piling work has been carried out during the day, but the council says Network Rail and its contractor Alun Griffiths Ltd now need to extend their working hours with an increase in the number of overnight shifts and weekend working.

Piling was originally due to start on 14th October 2019 and last approximately three months, meaning that it would now have been nearing completion. It was also stated that overnight piling would be required for no more than 18 nights and any weekend work would take place only on Saturday mornings.

In reality, piling commenced three weeks later than planned on 4th November 2019, with 8am to 5pm shifts being used on both Saturday and Sunday 14th/15th December 2019.

In the revised schedule, for approximately eight weeks from last Monday (6th January 2020), contractors will be working the following shifts:

  • 7.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday
  • 5pm to 3am Monday to Friday
  • 8am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday

Work to be carried out will include piling and the construction of the new bridge in the adjacent Horizon 38 compound.

More: Council’s Environmental Health Team to continuing monitoring »

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Station Road closed for two weeks from Monday (13th January)

Posted on Sunday 12th January 2020 at 8:44 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a road sign informing that Station Road will be closed for two weeks from Monday 13th January 2020.

A section of Station Road in Little Stoke, from its junction with Gipsy Patch Lane northwards, is to be closed for approximately two weeks from Monday (13th January).

The closure is required to enable Network Rail and its contractor Alun Griffiths Ltd to continue with the piling work which has been taking place at the railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane.

The Journal understands that Gipsy Patch Lane will remain fully open during this period, although some delays should be expected due to the occasional use of stop/go boards to control traffic flowing under the bridge.

All businesses on and near Station Road, including Patchway Station and the Sort It Centre, will be open as normal.

A diversion route for vehicles, to reach Station Road via Little Stoke Lane and Clay Lane, will be in operation and will be fully signposted throughout the junction closure.

Drivers are warned that access to businesses located at the southern end of Station Road will involve travelling under a bridge with a height restriction of 4.2 metres (near the Sort It Centre).

Pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to access Station Road directly from Gipsy Patch Lane during the closure.

The closure of Station Road was originally scheduled to start last Monday (6th January) but was postponed by the contractor. Public notice of the postponement only appeared on the project website two days later, on Wednesday 8th January.

A spokesperson for South Gloucestershire Council said:

“Whilst we are doing everything we can to minimise the impact of this work, we apologise for the inconvenience that the Station Road/Gipsy Patch Lane junction closure may cause and any effect on journey times.”

“Please note that dates and timeframes may be subject to further change depending on ground conditions or adverse weather.”

More information:

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Replacement railway bridge takes shape as road closures loom

Posted on Sunday 5th January 2020 at 8:05 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the replacement railway bridge under construction.

Barely visible to passing traffic, the giant concrete structure that will soon replace the narrow Victorian railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane is slowly but surely taking shape within the adjacent site compound of Network Rail’s contractor Alun Griffiths (see photo, above).

Assuming all goes to plan, the completed 4,500 tonne replacement bridge will be manoeuvred into position during a nine-day closure of the railway line currently scheduled to commence on 11th April.

Ahead of this, a planned eight-month full closure of Gipsy Patch Lane, at the railway bridge, is due to commence in March. The precise date is still to be revealed, but online traffic planning tool One Network suggests it will be 5th March 2020.

Piling work to create foundations that will support the new bridge at its four corners began on 4th November 2019. It appears to be running a little behind the originally announced schedule, but the project team insist that the overall scheme remains “on time”.Photo of a giant bored piling machine working on the south-west corner foundations.

At the time of writing in mid-December, the initial sheet piling was nearing completion on all four corner sites and bored piling had begun on the first (south-west) corner (see photo, right).

The first phase of overnight piling took place from 2nd to 5th December and weekend work, including piling, on 14th/15th December.

The piling work is expected to continue until the end of January, with construction of the new bridge continuing until the end of February.

No piling or construction work will take place between 24th December 2019 and 1st January 2020 inclusive.

As we went to press, it was announced that the junction of Station Road and Gipsy Patch Lane will be closed to all vehicles for approximately two weeks from Monday 6th January. Pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to access Station Road via Gipsy Patch Lane during the closure. A signed diversion route for vehicles to reach Station Road via Little Stoke Lane and Clay Lane will be in operation.

More: Temporary traffic signals to be trialled at Braydon Avenue »

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New trains to run non-stop between Bristol Parkway and Paddington

Posted on Friday 6th December 2019 at 7:07 pm by SH (Editor)

A GWR branded Hitachi IEP train pictured at Bristol Parkway in July 2016.

Additional train services will help reduce the fastest journey times between Bristol Parkway and London Paddington to just 68 minutes when GWR introduces its first wholesale timetable change since the 1970s from Sunday 15th December.

GWR’s Intercity Express Trains (IETs) will take advantage of infrastructure improvements to run to a fully electric timetable between Bristol and London for the first time.

Two additional ‘super-fast’ services in the morning and evening peaks will operate from South Wales to Bristol Parkway and then direct (non-stop) into London Paddington, giving three trains an hour on the route at these peak times. Consequently, customers will need to be aware that, unlike at present, not all London-bound services will call at Swindon and Reading.

GWR says it plans to extend these extra peak time trains to operate throughout the day from May 2020.

The fastest journey times between Bristol Temple Meads and London Paddington will similarly be cut to 1 hour 19 minutes, 17 minutes faster than is possible today.

One downside is that there will be fewer off-peak trains between Bristol Parkway and Filton Abbey Wood once the new timetable comes into operation.

Regular users of all GWR’s train services are being advised to check their new journey times ahead of the timetable change as around three-quarters of journey times will be different from how they are today.

Improvements carried out at Bristol Parkway Station in support of the introduction of the new trains and timetable have included the opening of a new (fourth) platform and extending the length of the three existing platforms.

West of England mayor Tim Bowles said:

“This is great news for the West of England and will help people switch from cars to public transport, reducing congestion and improving the air we breathe. The new timetable will support the new rail services we have planned across the region through MetroWest and it’s great to see even more investment in both track and train.”

More information: Timetable changes 2019 (GWR)

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 29). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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