Survey work this week on Hatchet Road as SGC continues to progress bus lane scheme

Hatchet Road, Stoke Gifford, where a new southbound bus lane is proposed as part of the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension project.

Two road surveys being carried out this week will provide visual confirmation that South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) remains determined to proceed with its plan to construct a new bus lane along Hatchet Road, despite overwhelming opposition from local councillors and residents.

The new southbound bus lane, between the Gipsy Patch Lane and Ratcliffe Drive roundabouts, 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.

A survey using ground penetrating radar (GPR) equipment is to be carried out over five nights starting tonight (Monday 20th February), in order to map underground services and “help towards the preparation of the CPME plans”.

Additionally, on Tuesday (21st February) consultants working for SGC will be undertaking manual traffic counts on Hatchet Road for approximately 1.5 hours in the morning peak period and 1.5 hours in the evening peak.  These surveys are said to be needed to “inform transport modelling as part of the CPME scheme”.

A statement on the CPME page of the Travelwest website reads:

“There will be some traffic management on Hatchet Road, Stoke Gifford, beginning on the evening of Monday 20th February and lasting for five nights whilst we perform survey work on the highway. This work will be located between the Gipsy Patch Lane and Ratcliffe Drive/Sandringham Road roundabouts.”

“This work has been planned to take place when it will cause the least disruption and will therefore be carried out overnight from Monday to Friday between 7.30pm and 5am. We will need to close one lane at a time to undertake the survey and will therefore place temporary traffic lights to carry out the survey work during the above times only. Vehicles will still be able to travel in both directions but will be controlled by the traffic lights.”

“The survey work will involve ground penetrating radar (GPR) equipment to scan the road. Radar waves will go through the ground and identify where underground utilities, such as gas and water pipes, are located.”

“It is essential that we undertake this survey work to help develop our plans for the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) route. Please note this survey work is to help towards the preparation of the CPME plans and does not signal the commencement of construction. We will also need to undertake a number of ecological surveys near Hatchet Road from March onwards as well as some further investigative work on Hatchet Road during the Easter break.”

“We understand that surveys may cause disruption and disturbance to local residents and we would like to apologise in advance and kindly ask for your patience whilst this work is taking place.”

CPME Public Meeting on 7th March 2017.

According to a news item published on the Stoke Gifford Parish Council website, the traffic counts on Tuesday will “involve approximately two members of staff from [consultancy company] CH2M in hi-vis jackets stood to the side of the highway keeping count of passing traffic. No traffic management is required.”

Stoke Gifford Parish Council has called a further public meeting “to update local residents [on the CPME scheme], provide an opportunity to discuss any options moving forward, and to consider establishing a Residents Local Action Group to tackle this issue”. The meeting will take place at the Old School Rooms, North Road, Stoke Gifford on Tuesday 7th March starting at 7pm.

Photo: Hatchet Road, looking south towards the Ratcliffe Drive roundabout.

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  1. So it’s the morning of the 21st, I travelled Hatchet Road this morning(08:20am) and no council officers were visible for the Traffic count, possibly they were hiding behind a tree or something.

    Just for info I had no delay to my journey(as usual in rush hour). I travelled from Radcliffe Drive down to to Gypsy Patch lane and got to the Gypsy Patch roundabout with no traffic in front of me.
    It would be really interesting to find out where SGC got the figure for the 30 second delay as I travel this route every day and 9 times out of 10 I can get to the front of the roundabout at Gypsy patch lane with no delays.

    According to this comment(from the Bristol Post article): ‘A MetroBus spokesperson said the aim of the new bus network was to connect thousands of new homes in South Gloucestershire with a high quality transport system’.
    If this comment was really true then wouldn’t the metrobus route be better going through the back of parkway to take into account the new housing estate being built between Parkway & M32? To be honest with you SGC does not really have a clue what they are doing.
    And just for further clarification I’ll never take the Metrobus from Stoke Gifford as the route is just too far away from my house and my car will be cheaper and more convenient for travel to work or the shops. I see all this as big waste of money!

  2. Well I did not see anyone doing a traffic count yesterday ie Monday. Also last I arrived back on Ratcliffe Drive bus stop at 8.01 pm and saw no traffic light working or even getting ready to instal. I was on the 19 bus from Kingswood. I wish we knew the time of the observers so that we can keep a check.

    I will be at bus stop in Ratcliffe Drive in order to catch 19 to Kingswood and all I hope is that men in high viz jackets. They must remember that here rush hour often starts at about about 4.30 pm and often will on until well after 6.30 pm.

    I know that even if the counters stated that the area is totally gridlocked and no traffic moving those at South Gloucestershire who work and also planners will still insist that the bus lane but go ahead

  3. Tuesday night caught the 19 bus to go to Kingswood and did see two men in Highviz jackets standing at the bottome of entrance to Parkway Station.

    Arrived back at20.01 at the Ratcliffe Drive bus stop and again DID NOT SEE any traffic lights. Will report again about the activity

  4. Hi Alan,

    Thanks for the feedback. I think the council need questioning again on this. Why take the traffic flow from Parkway when the bus lane will be between Radcliffe Drive and Gypsy patch roundabout??
    Parkway is likely to be more busy due to the focal point of the station. For me the traffic measurements should have been taken at a point between Radcliffe Drive & Gypsy Patch roundabout. It is likely the flow of traffic would have been reduced compared to Parkway roundabout due to the people going to Parkway as well as the people turning by the Co-Op.
    It looks to me like the council are trying to bulk up the results of this survey.

  5. Why would you make a bus lane after you have built a bypass to release traffic from that exact road. Do you expect traffic to continue to be heavy during rush hour and thus admit the bypass is a failure before being completed or do you only want to remove all green space around Stoke Gifford to reduce house prices in favour for commuters using the train station.

    The local government is meant to be for the local people.

    The traffic currently never stops, just reduces in speed, which actually is safer when there is also increased pedestrian and cyclist traffic at that time.

    Network rail is currently surveying alternatives to the railway bridge on Hatchet Road to increase safety and flow for pedestrians and cyclists, possible a separate tunnel I guess as they are surveying the ground beside it.

    The disruption of building a bus lane means they will need to start after the bypass is finished and will probably equal a year or few of 30 second delays, depending if it takes as long as the bus lane at Bradley Stoke has.

    What they could do is build some bus stops on hatchet road by the park that allows traffic to pass safely, as often see impatient drivers pushing past to oncoming traffic to save 10 seconds.

    They also could improve bicycle access from hatchet road to cycle path in park to encourage all cyclists to use it.

    And they could repair muddy boggy bottlenecks in park to encourage
    Pedestrians away from busy roads also. This would cost very little, just dumping stones essentially in a planned and accountable fashion to raise pedestrians from soil and allow better drainage.

  6. I can only ask the question, are they desperate to do this now before the bypass is ready, as they have access to money to do from Metro Bus project currently, and they do not want to miss the opportunity?

  7. @M Gosling, There’s no money left in the North Fringe to Hengrove Package (NFHP) MetroBus pot. SGC’s share of the projected final overspend on that project is £7m.

    The CPME project (estimated cost £35m) will be funded from the West of England LEP’s Economic Development Fund, subject to approval of the final business case in spring 2018.

  8. The SG bypass should have been a dual carriageway, as a single carriageway it most likely will end up as a bottleneck.
    Metro is already overspent, we could save approx £1.5m by adopting a cheaper lay-bys option along Hatchet Road plus the removal of one set of traffic lights will also aid traffic flow.
    Please come and voice your opinion at the public meeting on the 7th March, venue – StMichaels Old School rooms, time 1900. Your three SG Ward Councillors now need your support to convince SGlos to review their decision and possibly opt for the more economic, with the same time benefits option.

  9. Hilarious…

    Smoke some of your own now Allinson!

    Lots of love, Mr not so Angry now, thank you Brian, from Patchway Island…

    On yer bike!

  10. I only looked this up today after seeing an evidently disgruntled, and not terribly polite, woman holding up a sign opposing this to passing buses.

    That alone makes me support it.

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