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.

Off-peak traffic lights coming to Hatchet Road for MetroBus utilities investigation

Posted on Monday 24th April 2017 at 9:29 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.

Residents of the Stokes are being warned of roadworks due to take place on Hatchet Road in late April and May, in connection with the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) scheme.

An announcement on the CPME page of the Travelwest website states that the work involves digging temporary trial trenches to confirm the location of underground utilities.

The start date on Hatchet Road is dependent on another set of investigative work being completed on Gipsy Patch Lane (see link below). The work is also weather dependent.

Once work begins on Hatchet Road, there will be a  need to close one lane at a time in particular places along Hatchet Road between the Gipsy Patch Lane roundabout and the Ratcliffe Drive roundabout.  This will require temporary traffic lights between 9.30am and 3.30pm on weekdays.

The announcement stresses that vehicles will still be able to travel in both directions, but this will be controlled by the temporary traffic lights.

The work is expected to last for approximately two weeks. There may also be a need to close particular bus stops for a short period of time when contractors are digging close by. Other bus stops on Hatchet Road will remain open for use at these times.

A petition calling on South Gloucestershire Council (and the soon-to-be-elected West of England ‘Metro Mayor’) to abandon the plan for a southbound bus lane along part of Hatchet Road as part of the CPME scheme recently passed the 2,000 signature mark. Opponents say the £2m cost of the bus lane cannot be justified by the minimal journey time savings it will achieve and they object to the “unnecessary destruction of mature trees and hedgerows along both sides of Hatchet Road”.

• The imminent work on Gipsy Patch Lane will involve a temporary road closure at the railway bridge on three weekends. Read more…

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Parkway Station railway upgrade work moves to next phase

Posted on Saturday 22nd April 2017 at 11:24 pm by SH (Editor)

Platforms at Bristol Parkway Station.

Network Rail has revealed further details about work it will soon be carrying out in and around Parkway Station, as part of the project to electrify the Great Western Mainline between London and South Wales.

The next phase of the work will include:

  • Stabilising the 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 the Hatchet Road bridge

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. Network Rail says it will write again to those living closest to the line with further details before the work begins.

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.

The New Road compound was expected to be in use for occasional deliveries and to allow intermittent access to the railway during March 2017 after which it will be fully operational until 17th November 2017.

The brick arch structure of the Hatchet Road bridge will undergo repairs and reinforcement works as well as track level works. This work is planned from June 2017 to August 2017, and will involve three road closures on Saturday nights, from approximately 10pm to 7am (dates to be confirmed).

More: Track works will include renewing 2.5km of railway line »

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Group formed to “Save Hatchet Road” from “white elephant” MetroBus scheme

Posted on Monday 10th April 2017 at 9:48 pm by SH (Editor)

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

A residents’ action group formed to fight plans by South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) to install a £2 million bus lane down one side of Hatchet Road in Stoke Gifford has distributed more than 4,000 leaflets and gathered almost 1,000 petition signatures in the space of just three weeks.

The new southbound-only bus lane 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 question the cost-effectiveness of the scheme, 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 (see table below).

There are also concerns that construction of the bus lane might require the road to be made one-way for a long period of time, leading to the village being “cut off”.

The Hatchet Road Action Group was formed following a public meeting on 7th March, at which Stoke Gifford’s three district councillors said they had abandoned plans to present a motion to SGC calling on it to scrap the bus lane plan in favour of a cheaper and more effective alternative using bus lay-bys, because it was certain to be defeated, leaving them “in a worse position than now”.

Speaking at the meeting, Ernie Brown, district councillor and chair of Stoke Gifford Parish Council, said: “Having a bus lane in only one direction and for only part of the route through Stoke Gifford is a waste of time and money. It’s a white elephant.”

More: Table of time savings and costs, as presented to councillors »

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Stoke Gifford Busy Bees rated ‘outstanding’

Posted on Friday 31st March 2017 at 11:30 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of staff and children at Busy Bees Nursery in Stoke Gifford.

Busy Bees nursery in Stoke Gifford is celebrating after receiving an ‘outstanding’ rating following its latest Ofsted inspection.

Staff at the nursery, which is located in Simmonds View, say they are especially proud because fewer than one in ten ‘early years’ settings in the UK hold this rating.

The nursery received its exceptional ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted, the official body for inspecting schools, after attaining a perfect score in all four areas of inspection, namely: quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; outcomes for children; and the effectiveness of the leadership and management.

Ofsted praised the nursery’s quality of teaching, noting that: “Staff are highly committed to providing exciting and stimulating activities to promote all areas of learning. They use every opportunity to provide children with essential language and mathematical skills.”

Child development was given a special mention as Ofsted recognised that: “Children make exceptional progress from their starting points and are encouraged to become thoughtful, kind and extremely confident children who care about each other.”

Continuing their praise, within the ‘leadership and management’ assessment category, Ofsted said: “Managers are rigorous in their evaluation of the setting and are skilled in identifying priorities for improvement.”

More: Nursery managers "immensely humbled" »

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