This independent 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.
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Petition launched to increase Stoke Gifford By-Pass speed limit

Posted on Friday 8th February 2019 at 7:32 pm by SH (Editor)

30mph sign on the Stoke Gifford By-Pass.

Mobile police speed cameras trap over 300 motorists exceeding speed limit in less than four months

It’s a wide stretch of road with good visibility, sweeping across open countryside for half-a-mile from its junction with Hambrook Lane to the A4174 Ring Road, yet it has a speed limit that is lower than the main road through densely populated parts of nearby Bradley Stoke.

Travelling south from Parkway North Roundabout (near Nuffield Health), the Stoke Gifford Transport Link (SGTL, now officially named Rosedown Avenue, but more commonly known as the ‘by-pass’) initially has a 40mph speed limit before changing to 30mph shortly before the traffic light-controlled junction with Hambrook Lane.

Between Hambrook Lane and the Oxleigh Way traffic lights (entrance to Highbrook Park) the road has the appearance of one which might be expected to have a higher speed limit of at least 40mph, save for the presence of street lighting columns, and it seems that many motorists are choosing to drive at or above this speed. Anyone who attempts to stick to 30mph risks being tailgated or subject to dangerous passing manoeuvres, as witnessed by one driver writing in the newsletter of the Bristol Advanced Motorists group: “Driving at 30mph, I had flashing headlights behind, then a car overtook me on the right, as another overtook in the bus lane on the left!”

However, anyone taking a chance by exceeding the speed limit risks being snared by a police mobile speed camera van, which has been paying visits to the site since September 2018. A recent Freedom of Information request has revealed that 307 notices of intended prosecution have been issued for speeding offences on this stretch of the road in the last four months. Of those threatened with prosecution, 182 have been offered the alternative of attending an education courses.

More: "Council are [setting] speed limits that won’t be taken seriously" »

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Collectors needed for Marie Curie appeal

Posted on Thursday 7th February 2019 at 9:39 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of members of the Marie Curie Five Stokes Fundraising Group.

Terminal illness charity Marie Curie is seeking the help of volunteers from across the Stokes to give two hours of their time to hand out the charity’s iconic daffodil pins, in return for donations.

The charity’s annual fundraiser, the Great Daffodil Appeal, takes place in February and March, and Marie Curie are hoping to get more people than ever wearing the daffodil pin.

This year, the local Marie Curie Five Stokes Fundraising Group will be collecting at:

  • Friday 15th February – Thornbury Tesco
  • Friday 22nd February – Bradley Stoke Tesco Extra
  • Thursday 28th February, Friday 1st & 2nd March – Cribbs Causeway Morrisons
  • Thursday 28th February – Patchway Asda
  • 28th, 29th & 30th March – Filton Asda
  • Saturday 6th April – The Mall Cribbs Causeway

Jane Marshal, fundraising group chair, said:

“I collect every year for the Great Daffodil Appeal. It is a fun and easy way to get involved in your local community whilst at the same time knowing you are making a big difference to families facing the toughest of times.”

“Could you please spare an hour or two to help us collect? If so, please contact the Five Stokes Fundraising Group on 07909 966367 or email thefivestokesfundraisinggroup@gmail.com

To find out more about what the Marie Curie charity does to help those with a terminal illness, visit www.mariecurie.org.uk or to find out more about the Marie Curie Five Stokes Fundraising Group, visit their Facebook page.

This article originally appeared in the February 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal news magazine (on page 23). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Drop-in session to address concerns over revised plans for 763 homes at Harry Stoke

Posted on Monday 4th February 2019 at 9:30 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of concerned residents gathered at a field gate near the junction of Westfield Lane and Harry Stoke Road.

Residents of Harry Stoke have expressed concern over revised plans for a proposed housing development that would see 763 homes constructed on land immediately east of Harry Stoke Road.

The greenfield site forms part of a wider area which was designated in South Gloucestershire Council’s Local Plan, adopted in 2006, for the construction of a total of 1,200 homes. Outline planning permission for the whole site was subsequently granted in 2007.

So far, only 166 of the 1,200 homes have been built, at Crest Nicholson’s Highbrook Park development further to the east. A third block of 263 homes, planned for the area immediately south of Highbrook Park, makes up the total allowed by the Local Plan.

A reserved matters (detailed) planning application for “763 dwellings, community building, nursery and retail units with parking, landscaping and associated works” on the land closest to Harry Stoke Road was submitted by Muben Investments in December 2017. However, the land has recently been acquired by Crest Nicholson, who submitted a swathe of revised plans in late November 2018. In a covering letter submitted with the new plans, Crest explains that the changes have been necessary to substitute its own housetypes. It concedes that there are many other plans that still need to be updated, but argues that these should not hold up determination of the planning application as they can be addressed through ‘pre-commencement conditions’.

Speaking at a meeting of Stoke Gifford Parish Council on 8th January, local residents expressed concern that the style of housing proposed along Harry Stoke Road had been “completely changed” and was out of keeping with the existing architecture in Harry Stoke hamlet.

Residents were also angered by the fact that the consultation period coincided with the festive break and expired before the parish council could properly consider it at a formal meeting.

One resident expressed the view that Crest were “trying it on”, while a councillor said the submission of new plans “completely trashed” the results of previous consultations.

More: Information session arranged for Tuesday 5th February »

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Local resident offers support to parents with disabilities

Posted on Saturday 26th January 2019 at 7:36 pm by Laura Mortimore

Photo of Mitch Coles with his partner, Alice, and their two children, Aubrey and Ethan.

Stoke Gifford resident Mitch Coles has been living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) since he was two years old. At the age of 18, he was told that he would not live past the age of 21. Now 26, Mitch has a partner and two children and is living his life to the fullest. He wants to show others that it is possible to parent with a disability and he provides support to those doing this through his blog ‘Two Doughnuts’.

DMD is a genetic disorder characterised by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. It is caused by an absence of dystrophin, a protein that helps keep muscle cells intact. Muscle weakness can begin at an early age, first affecting the muscles of the hips, pelvic area, thighs and shoulders, and later the skeletal (voluntary) muscles in the arms, legs and trunk. By the early teens, the heart and respiratory muscles also are affected.

Mitch now uses a wheelchair to get around and is looked after daily by a carer as he is unable to move any of his limbs.

Even with these difficulties, Mitch is still able to parent his two children, Aubrey and Ethan. He said:

“I have always wanted to have children. I knew it would be difficult and before we started our family I was worried about what I wouldn’t be able to do. Some people told us that it wasn’t a good idea, but that just made me more determined! A lot does come down to my partner, Alice, but she still gets some time to herself while I look after the kids with the help of my carer.”

“The hardest thing about parenting with DMD is not being able to do some things, such as picking my children up, taking them swimming or for bike rides. However, I can’t imagine my life without them. I haven’t let my disability stop me from having a normal life and I certainly haven’t let what that doctor told me at 18 hold me back.”

More: "There are different types of families and different dynamics" »

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