Posts Tagged ‘South Gloucestershire Council’

Call for action as another bus strikes Parkway railway bridge

Posted on Wednesday 16th October 2019 at 11:44 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a number 19A bus jammed under Bristol Parkway railway bridge on 10th September 2019.

Stoke Gifford councillor Brian Allinson has repeated his demand for a separate pedestrian and cyclist tunnel to be constructed alongside Parkway railway bridge following another vehicle strike incident.

The bridge is actually formed of two separate structures, a steel deck bridge to the Hatchet Road side and a brick arch bridge to the Brierly Furlong side.

While the steel deck bridge has constant height across the carriageway, the brick arch bridge has a lower clearance, both in the centre of the road and more so towards each side.

As well as the usual warning signs on and before the bridge, lines painted in the road are intended to remind drivers of high vehicles that they need to move towards the centre of the road when passing under the structure.

An incident in December 2018 saw the whole roof of a double decker bus sheared off under the bridge. There were no passengers on board the bus at the time, and the driver was reported to be “unhurt but shocked”. Fortunately, there were also no pedestrians passing along the narrow footways under the bridge; if there had been, the outcome might have been much more serious.

The recent incident, on 10th September, saw a First Bristol number 19A bus become jammed under the bridge because the driver had failed to move the vehicle towards the centre of the road where the clearance is greater. There were no reported injuries.

In addition to the dangers posed by bridge strikes, Cllr Allinson says the narrow footways under the bridge put pedestrians and cyclists at unacceptable risk on a daily basis.

Speaking at a meeting of Stoke Gifford Parish Council, Cllr Allinson said he was aware that plans for a parallel pedestrian tunnel at the site had been drawn up some years ago when the cost was estimated at £10m but following the recent electrification of the railway line this had risen to £20m.

More: South Glos Council is "assessing options" for the bridge »

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Parkway bridge strike brings renewed calls for pedestrian tunnel

Posted on Tuesday 4th December 2018 at 9:55 pm by SH (Editor)

Double decker bus pictured after having its roof sheared off under the Parkway railway bridge. The roof of a bus lies in the carriageway under the Parkway railway bridge following a bridge strike incident.

An incident in early November in which the roof of a double decker bus was sheared off as it passed under the Hatchet Road railway bridge near Parkway Station has brought renewed calls for a pedestrian subway to be created alongside the bridge.

The bus involved in the collision is understood to have been hired by GWR to transport passengers between Parkway and Temple Meads during a planned three-week railway closure.

There were no passengers on board the bus at the time, and the driver was reported to be “unhurt but shocked”. Fortunately, there were also no pedestrians passing along the narrow footways under the bridge; if there had been, the outcome might have been much more serious (see Cllr Brian Allinson’s column on page 20 of our December magazine).

In 2013, South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) agreed to commission Network Rail to investigate options for improving pedestrian safety at the bridge, since which time there have been no further announcements.

In response to an enquiry from the Journal, an SGC spokesperson said:

“We recognise the need to improve the environment for pedestrians and cyclists at Bristol Parkway’s western access and therefore a subway for pedestrians and cyclists through the embankment to the east of the railway bridge is a strongly held aspiration.”

“The work agreed by a council committee in September 2013 has been undertaken by Network Rail. This has involved the completion of feasibility and outline designs for a subway, and we also subsequently provided additional funding for ground investigations to be carried out on and near the railway embankment to help provide more certainty for future stages of work.”

“The work undertaken has shown us that the construction of the subway would be a very complex scheme due to the close proximity of the railway above. We are considering a number of potential funding mechanisms for the subway delivery and as this is ongoing we are not yet able to comment on possible delivery timescales.”

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This article originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal news magazine (on page 3). 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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Return of the Parkway goats!

Posted on Tuesday 31st July 2018 at 1:55 pm by Laura Mortimore

The seven goats grazing near Parkway station.

A herd of goats that were brought to graze behind the Park and Ride car park on Hunts Ground Road over winter and spring 2017/18 have returned to the same site.

South Gloucestershire Council has once again teamed up with local community group Street Goat to provide an area for the goats to graze. The six goats were moved to Goblin Combe by the airport in April but as they worked their way through the vegetation, it was time to find them a new place to thrive. Carol Laslett, one of the workers from Street Goat, said:

“Goblin Combe is a great site but the goats are excellent escape artists and have wandered further and further as the search for tree leaves at eating height continued! Three of them had some sort of vegetation poisoning in May time and they were lucky to get treatment and survive. So, after visiting Parkway site, it seemed prime time to get them back to where there is food in abundance for them.”

In the coming weeks, the six goats will be joined by a further four to eight goats, depending on the impact the six have made on the brambles that are currently covering the site. The new goats will hopefully include some male kids from Grimsbury Farm and the return of Betty, who had to be removed from Parkway last winter to be cared for through her pregnancy. She will hopefully be returning soon with her own kid.

The goats should be staying at the grazing site until September when they will be taken away and used for their meat. Carol explains the process:

“These goats are mainly the bi-product of the dairy industry where male kids are killed at birth, being of no use in a dairy! We are able to use a few for conservation grazing so they get a good 9 to 15 months life and then they become a meat resource for us. Their meat is better nutritionally than beef!”

More: Feeding advice for members of the public »

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Herd of goats helping to increase butterfly population

Posted on Thursday 5th April 2018 at 6:53 pm by Laura Mortimore

The seven goats grazing near Parkway station.

South Gloucestershire Council has teamed up with local community group Street Goat to enhance an area of grassland and encourage wildlife to flourish. The site, which is located behind the Park and Ride car park on Hunts Ground Road, near Bristol Parkway Station, is normally covered with brambles but is now being cleared as the goats eat their way through it.

Four goats were introduced to the patch of land in January and have been working their way through the brambles and shrubs in order to encourage more wildflowers to grow. The purpose of this project is to increase the population of the small blue butterfly (Cupido minimus), an insect which has been declining over recent years and is classified as a ‘priority species’ in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. This species of butterfly feeds solely on a wildflower called kidney vetch which grows at the site near the car park. With the goats clearing the brambles and shrubs, this makes way for more kidney vetch to grow which will then hopefully increase the numbers of small blue butterflies.

Kidney vetch is easily recognisable as clusters of small yellow flowers sitting atop little woolly cushions and the council will be able to see if the project has worked when the plants flower between June and September. To help speed up the process, four more goats have now been introduced onto the land, however, a female goat fell pregnant so she has been moved to join a herd of milking goats.  In total there are currently seven goats grazing in the area and creating space for the growth of the kidney vetch.

The goats are very friendly and members of the public are more than welcome to visit and feed them. If you would like to do so, it is asked that food given is placed in a bucket and not on the ground. They like to eat greens, such as:

  • Outer cabbage leaves
  • Kale
  • Brussels stalks
  • Broccoli
  • Carrot tops

More: Project follows similar one at Wick Golden Valley Nature Reserve »

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