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.

Local Poppy Appeal for 2017/18 launched at Parkway Station

Posted on Thursday 2nd November 2017 at 2:08 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of branch members at the Poppy Appeal launch.

The Stoke Gifford branch of The Royal British Legion (RBL) launched its 2017/18 Poppy Appeal with a ceremony in the foyer of Bristol Parkway Station on Friday 27th October.

The branch was pleased to welcome a special guest, Chelsea Pensioner Michael Allen, who cut a ceremonial ribbon to mark the start of the local appeal. Mr Allen retired from the army in 1982 following 25 years of service with the Royal Engineers and the Royal Military Police.

The ceremony was also attended by World War Two veteran Michael Kendall (Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order), Parkway Station manager Linda Swainger, Jack Lopresti MP (RBL branch vice-president) and representatives of several local groups including 1st Stoke Gifford Scouts, 2nd Stoke Gifford Rainbows, ATC North Bristol Squadron, Bristol Adventure Sea Cadets and Bristol RBL Riders (motorcyclists).

Parkway Station is one of the main sites for the branch’s fundraising efforts, along with the Asda store in Filton, Sainsbury’s in Stoke Gifford and the Willow Brook Centre in Bradley Stoke.

Money raised through the Poppy Appeal goes to the RBL’s Welfare Fund, which is used to give help and support to serving and ex-service personnel and their families.

If you or someone you know needs help from the RBL, please contact the national helpline on 0808 802 8080.

The RBL has has a drop-in centre at 60 Union Street, Bristol, where people can call in for advice and information on the charity’s support and community services.

The Stoke Gifford branch has raised £50,000 for the Poppy Appeal in each of the last two years. It is always looking for volunteers for its work; if you are interested, please contact John Moloney on 07802 535591.

More information: Stoke Gifford RBL on Facebook

• More photos on Facebook and Flickr

More: Details of Local Remembrance parades and ceremonies »

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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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Counting the true cost of the Forty Acres traveller encampment

Posted on Friday 13th October 2017 at 8:34 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of reinstated boulders at the Hatchet Road access gate to Forty Acres.

Local councils in the Stokes have been counting the cost of a recent unauthorised traveller encampment in the Forty Acres area of Stoke Gifford and considering measures for increasing security at vulnerable sites.

Around thirty traveller caravans and associated vehicles entered Forty Acres after a lock and chain was cut on the vehicular access gate from Hatchet Road, opposite Meade Park, on 9th August. The travellers were eventually evicted by bailiffs on 18th August after Stoke Gifford Parish Council obtained and served a court order.

A meeting of the parish council on 12th September was informed that the legal costs associated with the securing the eviction, including legal advice, court charges and bailiff fees, were estimated to be in the region of £2,500.

Local residents were commended for assisting the parish council with litter picking and clearance work after the travellers had left, but it was nonetheless still necessary to use the services of South Gloucestershire Council’s grounds maintenance team to remove large quantities of white goods, mattresses, green waste and general rubbish that had been left behind, at a cost of just over £3,000.

Questions were asked about why boulders which had previously protected the Hatchet Road entrance to Forty Acres had been removed a number of years ago and never replaced. It is thought that this happened when either the Environment Agency or SGC were working on the site but no conclusive answers were forthcoming. Needless to say, the boulders have now been reinstated.

More: Bradley Stoke town clerk injured in repelling traveller vehicles »

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