Station Road reopening delayed for the fourth time in four months

Photo of road signage at a works site near a railway bridge.
The junction of Gipsy Patch Lane and Station Road will now remain closed until 28th April 2023.

The anticipated reopening date of the Station Road junction on Gipsy Patch Lane has been put back for the fourth time in as many months, this time by up to six weeks.

Network Rail and its contractor Balfour Beatty have been carrying out work to extend the north-eastern wing of the new bridge in order to stabilise the adjacent railway embankment.

When the work began in mid-November 2022, project sponsor South Gloucestershire Council said it expected it to be completed by Wednesday 21st December, but the estimated completion date later slipped to Thursday 19th January 2023.

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It soon became clear that the revised date wasn’t going to be met – leading to another slippage – this time to 24th February 2023, with the council blaming “unforeseen factors” for the additional delay.

The February deadline was also missed, with stakeholders being informed more than a week later that the work would now “complete by the end of March”.

Photo of an extended wing on a railway bridge.
The newly cast extension to the bridge wing is the lighter-coloured section behind the white barrier (pictured on 30th March 2023).

Now, just a day before the end of the month, stakeholders have received another letter stating that, despite the work being carried out having “progressed well”, the Station Road junction needs to remain closed to motor vehicles for up to a further six weeks.

Signs at the site have been updated to show an end date of Friday 28th April 2023, which is four weeks from tomorrow.


The letter sent to stakeholders today reads:

“The work, being carried out by Network Rail and its contractor, has progressed well. The work to extend the retaining wall is complete. Other works including the majority of backfill and preparation for the relocation of street lighting columns has also been completed.”

“Unfortunately, there remains some outstanding work concerning utilities in the area. The work, which involves extending a power cable, needs to be completed by National Grid. We have been informed that this work will be completed within six weeks, however, Network Rail are working closely with National Grid to get this work carried out as soon as possible.”

The closure of the bus lane and footpath along Gipsy Patch Lane and the closure of the Station Road junction to vehicles needs to remain in place until this utility work is completed.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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On a more positive note, the letter adds that Network Rail will reinstate pedestrian and cycle access between Gipsy Patch Lane and Station Road from this weekend (1st/2nd April 2023).

Despite the council saying at the start of the work that pedestrian and cycle access would be maintained, this has not been the case for over four months now. When the Journal asked for an explanation back in January, we were told by the council that they were not aware of this and would “contact Network Rail to request that access is provided”. Nothing further was heard, despite a reminder from our side in February. However, today’s letter to stakeholders says:

“Network Rail were unable to [provide access for pedestrians and cyclists] sooner because of the requirement for a safe exclusion zone around mobile machinery.”

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Anyone who has questions about this work can call the Network Rail 24-hour helpline on 03457 114141.

Related links:

Reopening now due mid-May

UPDATE added 3rd May 2023.

Photo of works at a road junction.
The road closure at the junction of Gipsy Patch Lane and Station Road in Little Stoke is continuing beyond the latest advertised end date of 28th April (as per signage on site). This photo taken on 2nd May.

Cllr Keith Cranney shared the following information on social media on 30th April 2023:

The enclosed statement has been issued by the CPME Project Team.

This email is an update on the embankment work Network Rail are carrying out on Gipsy Patch Lane.

National Grid were on site this week and successfully extended the power cable.

Network Rail and their contractors are now continuing with the remaining work, which includes reinstating all streetlighting, finishing the embankment regrade and completing the highway and footpath construction.

It is expected that the Station Road junction, the Gipsy Patch Lane bus lane and the shared use path will be reopened by the middle of May.

There will be a further update next week.

Thank you for your continued patience.

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At the time of writing the above information has NOT been shared with the media or published on the South Gloucestershire Council’s CPME project website or Facebook page.

When the Journal visited the site on Tuesday 2nd May, the signage was still showing “road closed until 28th April”, however the Station Road junction remained closed to motorised vehicles (see photo above).

The bus lane under the bridge remains fenced-off, i.e. is still in use as the site compound.

The website is now showing an amended completion date of 15th May 2023.

Pedestrian and cyclist access to Station Road was restored at the beginning of April, as forecast.

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