This indpendent website, founded in January 2012, aims to bring you a comprehensive round up of stories from the police, local councils and community groups in Stoke Gifford.

Hitachi to create 150 jobs at new train depot in Stoke Gifford

Posted on Monday 20th March 2017 at 9:50 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of an Hitachi Intercity Express (ICE) train inside the Stoke Gifford service depot.

Japanese firm Hitachi is creating 150 jobs at its newly built train service depot in Stoke Gifford.

The £80m facility, near Bristol Parkway Station, will maintain the new Intercity Express (ICE) trains which will run on the Great Western route.

Recruitment for the 150 jobs is starting now to ensure the facility is ready ahead of arrival of the new trains, which will connect London to Wales and the South West of England, entering service later this year.

Work carried out at the Stoke Gifford depot will include readying trains for passenger services. Whilst housed at the depot, trains will be serviced to ensure they are in good condition, safe and clean. Day to day tasks will include engine tests, changing wheel sets and running thorough inspections of the trains.

The new trains offer a step change in passenger experience with more seats available and modern technology.

The first wave of the new trains to be introduced on passenger services is being built at Hitachi Rail Europe’s (HRE’s) UK train manufacturing facility at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

The new roles are permanent and require people with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. As part of bringing new skills and talents into the industry, steps are being taken to attract people who have not previously worked in rail. HRE is looking to recruit from a variety of sectors such as aviation, automotive, and the military, as well as those groups often under-represented in rail such as women and young people. HRE will provide extensive training to ensure new employees meet the high standards long associated with the Hitachi brand.

More: Depot will recruit four new apprentices every year »

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Drop-in event to reveal latest plans for railway work around Parkway Station

Posted on Monday 13th March 2017 at 6:42 pm by SH (Editor)

Network Rail workers in action on a station platform.

Local residents have been invited to attend a second drop-in event to find out more about upcoming work in and around Parkway Station, as part of the project to electrify the Great Western Mainline between London and South Wales.

The event takes place on Tuesday 14th March at The Old School Rooms, North Road, Stoke Gifford BS34 8PD, from 4.30pm to 7.30pm.

Network Rail says the next phase of the work will include:

  • Stabilising the railway embankment next to the Filton line, known as the Filton East Curve
  • Setting up a compound at the Ashfield Land site, off Hunts Ground Road
  • Carrying out repairs and track work at Hatchet Road bridge

Poster advertising a drop-in event about railway upgrade work at Bristol Parkway Station.

The embankment work is due to start in April 2017 and finish in August 2017. Most of the work will take place during the daytime between 8am and 7pm. However, due to the constraints of the location, some work will need to be carried out at night.

The main compound for the electrification work in the area will be at the Ashfield Land site, off Hunts Ground Road, which will be used to store materials, and provide parking and welfare facilities for staff. Network Rail is currently setting up the compound, which is expected to be in use until February 2018.

The workforce will be taken by bus from Hunts Ground Road to another compound on New Road, from where they will access the railway.

More: Road closures required for work on Hatchet Road bridge »

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SGC rejects councillors’ appeal to reconsider Hatchet Road bus lane plan

Posted on Monday 6th March 2017 at 5:15 pm by SH (Editor)

CPME Hatchet Road bus lane overview plan.

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) has reaffirmed its intention to construct a controversial £2 million bus lane down one side of Hatchet Road, despite appeals from local councillors to put the project on hold or consider replacing it with a cheaper scheme that would avoid the need to rip out mature hedgerows and scores of mature trees.

The new southbound bus lane, approved by SGC’s Environment & Community Services (ECS) Committee in July 2016, forms 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.

With SGC’s own figures showing that the new bus lane will reduce bus journey times by just 29 seconds, and this only during the morning peak, with no improvement at other times of the day, the cost of installing it has been described by Cllr Ernie Brown, chair of Stoke Gifford Parish Council, as “economic suicide”.

Following a public meeting held last November, Stoke Gifford’s three district councillors, Ernie Brown, Brian Allinson and Keith Cranney, vowed to table a motion at the next meeting of SGC’s Full Council to “defer the decision made by the ECS Committee until the impact of the Stoke Gifford By-Pass is known”. However, no such motion was tabled at the subsequent Full Council meeting in February and the Journal understands that the councillors abandoned their plan to submit a motion when they realised it would fail due to a lack of support from their colleagues within the ruling Conservative group.

In a joint statement, the three Stoke Gifford councillors said:

“We have raised residents’ concerns with members of the ECS Committee on several occasions since the November 2016 public meeting in Stoke Gifford. In these discussions, it was made clear to us that the decision made by the committee in July 2016 will not be changed. This is despite the fact that the officer report presented to the July 2016 meeting showed that the alternative ‘option 3’ scheme, consisting of bus lay-bys without a bus lane, would cost less than the agreed ‘option 1’ bus lane scheme, and yet yield faster journey times for MetroBus vehicles.”

“The chair and deputy chair of the ECS Committee have confirmed to us that a bus lane will be added along the Meade Park side of Hatchet Road, irrespective of the impact that the opening of the new Stoke Gifford By-Pass has on local traffic flows.”

The Stoke Gifford By-Pass, known officially as the Stoke Gifford Transport Link (SGTL), is currently due to open in September 2017.

More: Letter published by parish council. Responses from SGC »

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Survey work this week on Hatchet Road as SGC continues to progress bus lane scheme

Posted on Monday 20th February 2017 at 6:24 pm by SH (Editor)

Hatchet Road, Stoke Gifford, where a new southbound bus lane is proposed as part of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension project.

Two road surveys being carried out this week will provide visual confirmation that South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) remains determined to proceed with its plan to construct a new bus lane along Hatchet Road, despite overwhelming opposition from local councillors and residents.

The new southbound bus lane, between the Gipsy Patch Lane and Ratcliffe Drive roundabouts, 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.

A survey using ground penetrating radar (GPR) equipment is to be carried out over five nights starting tonight (Monday 20th February), in order to map underground services and “help towards the preparation of the CPME plans”.

Additionally, on Tuesday (21st February) consultants working for SGC will be undertaking manual traffic counts on Hatchet Road for approximately 1.5 hours in the morning peak period and 1.5 hours in the evening peak.  These surveys are said to be needed to “inform transport modelling as part of the CPME scheme”.

A statement on the CPME page of the Travelwest website reads:

“There will be some traffic management on Hatchet Road, Stoke Gifford, beginning on the evening of Monday 20th February and lasting for five nights whilst we perform survey work on the highway. This work will be located between the Gipsy Patch Lane and Ratcliffe Drive/Sandringham Road roundabouts.”

“This work has been planned to take place when it will cause the least disruption and will therefore be carried out overnight from Monday to Friday between 7.30pm and 5am. We will need to close one lane at a time to undertake the survey and will therefore place temporary traffic lights to carry out the survey work during the above times only. Vehicles will still be able to travel in both directions but will be controlled by the traffic lights.”

More: Work does not signal start of construction, emphasises council »

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