Posts Tagged ‘Bristol Parkway’

£650k scheme to get MetroBus into Parkway

Posted on Sunday 14th April 2019 at 9:42 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Bristol Parkway Station with the MetroBus logo superimposed.

South Gloucestershire Council’s Cabinet has given approval for officers to enter into an agreement with Great Western Railway (GWR) for the implementation of a scheme of improvements at Bristol Parkway that could make it easier for MetroBus services to access the station from early 2020.

The original MetroBus network, as described in the planning application for the North Fringe to Hengrove Package bus rapid transit scheme, included a route between Emersons Green and Bristol Parkway via UWE, but this was silently dropped during the construction phase. It later emerged that this was because MetroBus vehicles could not currently enter and leave the station via the rear (Hunts Ground Road) entrance due to the constrained nature of the site. This was originally thought to be due to the tight turns that the access road makes around the station’s multi-storey car park. However, First Bus boss James Freeman later revealed that the issue is actually one of buses coming in via the rear access not being able to execute a turnaround manoeuvre so that they can go out the same way.

There was never any plan for buses on the Hengrove Park to Cribbs Causeway route (now known as the M1) to make a diversion into and back out of the station. Whether this might change in the future is open to speculation, but to do so would significantly add to M1 journey times which are already bettered by the less frequent T1 service.

A council spokesperson said:

“Bristol Parkway is identified as a key bus/rail interchange for the MetroBus network and local bus services. Officers have been working with GWR to develop a scheme to facilitate enhanced interchange at the station.”

The Journal has learned that a £650k scheme has been designed, which the council will part-fund, with GWR, to the tune of £300k. As well as facilitating in-out bus movements via the Hunts Ground Road entrance, the scheme will provide additional bus stops in the station forecourt and see the renewal of the existing bus shelters.

GWR has advised the council that if a funding package is confirmed by the end of May 2019, then the project could be completed within the 2019/20 financial year, prior to the end of the its current franchise period.

Whether a commercial operator can be found to operate a MetroBus service to the station and when such a service might start remain open questions.

This article originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 14). 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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Have you received a ‘fine’ for driving through Bristol Parkway?

Posted on Saturday 16th February 2019 at 7:27 pm by SH (Editor)

Composite image showing a photo of a 'No through road' sign superimposed on a photo of Bristol Parkway Station.

Are you sure it’s not just a parking charge notice (PCN) that may have been issued in error?

Motorists who have recently received ‘fines’ in the post for what they have assumed is an ‘offence’ of using Bristol Parkway Station as a through road or ‘cut through’ are urged to double-check their notification letter to see if they have instead been wrongly accused of a parking violation.

The station can be accessed from both the west side (off Hatchet Road) and the east side (Hunts Ground Road) but is clearly signed as a ‘private road’ that is also a ‘no through road’. However, station management company Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western) confirmed to a member of the public back in 2015 that the rule was not currently being enforced (see below). Furthermore, numerous people have reported driving through on a regular basis over many years, right up to the present time, without any issues.

However, reports on social media suggest that early January saw a flood of letters sent to people who regularly drive through the station without stopping (or who only stop for a moment to drop off or pick up a passenger) notifying them of a £50 ‘fine’.

Analysis of these reports by the Journal reveals that most of the ‘fines’ relate to the period 6th to 9th December 2018 and that they have been received by people who make regular ‘through and back again’ journeys through the station, for example to take a child to school in the morning and to collect the child in the afternoon.

The clearest sign that they are, in fact, not a ‘fine’ for violating the ‘no through road’ condition can be seen in the title of the letter: ‘Parking Charge Notice’ (PCN). However, anyone overlooking this might easily be misled by the fact that the letter, instead of stating both the entry and exit times for the alleged parking offence gives just a single event time. Furthermore, the letter includes two photographs of the offending vehicle entering and leaving the car park, but does not state the locations at which the photos were recorded. Because the backgrounds of the photos inevitably look different (as there as separate cameras pointing in opposite directions at each end of the car park), the reader can easily assume that they were recorded at different ends of the car park, thereby reinforcing the assumption of a ‘drive through’ violation.

More: Check the details of your PCN online »

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Three-day closure of Hatchet Road over Christmas period

Posted on Saturday 22nd December 2018 at 7:12 pm by SH (Editor)

Railway bridge between Hatchet Road and Brierly Furlong

Network Rail is warning motorists and bus passengers of a three-day closure of Hatchet Road, in the vicinity of Parkway Station, over the Christmas period. The closure is necessary because a crane needs to be positioned in the carriageway in order to install a large, new signalling structure across the tracks.

The closure will affect local traffic which normally passes under the Parkway railway bridge across all three days, and rail passengers needing to access the station on 24th December (no trains run on 25th or 26th December).

The section of road to be closed stretches from the mini-roundabout at the North Road junction, under the bridge, to the mini-roundabout at the Church Road junction.

The closure means that motor vehicles will not be able to access Parkway Station from Hatchet Road between 6.00am on 24th December until 4.30am on 27th December and will instead need to access the station from the east via Hunts Ground Road.

Walking routes will remain in place for pedestrians. Cyclists may use the walking route, but should dismount.

Public buses will not use the station bus stops during this time. Therefore, station users will need to use the bus stops marked ‘Ratcliffe Drive’ on Hatchet Road (these are the ones north of the roundabout at the junction of Ratcliffe Drive and Sandringham Road). Anyone of limited mobility who requires assistance to travel between the bus stop and the station should look out for the taxi service that will shuttle between the two locations (on 24th December only).

There will be a phone number displayed at the ‘Ratcliffe Drive’  bus stop on Hatchet Road for people with limited mobility to call should they need assistance.

More: Details of bus service diversions during road closure »

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Three-week railway closure set to cause disruption for residents and passengers

Posted on Wednesday 12th September 2018 at 9:00 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a 110-tonne Kirow crane laying track near Bristol Parkway.

Residents living near the railway lines that run through the Stokes are being warned to expect an intensification in potentially noisy and disruptive maintenance activity as the project to electrify the Great Western mainline enters a critical phase this autumn.

The railway through Bristol Parkway will be closed between 15th September and 6th October inclusive, and again on the weekend of 13th/14th October. No trains will run via Bristol Parkway during these periods.

A Network Rail spokesperson said:

“This phase of the upgrade includes the installation of the overhead line equipment (OLE) used to hold the wires for electrification, and we will be putting up masts and wires over these three weeks in the Bristol Parkway area, from Winterbourne viaduct, through Bristol Parkway Station, up to Little Stoke, and then along the Filton East Curve.”

During these three weeks, trains will still be running, but they will be using diversionary routes. Rail replacement bus and coach services will be in place for some journeys.

Great Western Railway services between London Paddington and South Wales and Cross Country services between Bristol Temple Meads and Cheltenham will call at Patchway instead of Bristol Parkway.

Replacement bus services will link Bristol Parkway, Patchway, Yate and Filton Abbey Wood.

The three-week closure follows similar upgrade work last year, which included building a fourth platform at Bristol Parkway, extending the existing three platforms, and upgrading the track layout in the Parkway area to improve reliability and increase capacity. These upgrades will enable passengers to experience the benefits of Great Western Railway’s new fleet of electric trains, including more frequent services and reduced journey times.

More: Information for rail passengers and local residents »

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