Parkway bridge strike brings renewed calls for pedestrian tunnel

Photo of sheared-off bus roof.
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.

Photo of double decker bus without its roof.
Double decker bus pictured after having its roof sheared off under the Parkway railway 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 (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.

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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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