Councillors fear by-pass will bring increased traffic to Bradley Stoke Way

Parkway North Roundabout, Stoke Gifford, Bristol.

Town councillors in Bradley Stoke say they fear the opening of the Stoke Gifford By-Pass (planned to be completed in 2017) will result in considerably more traffic using Bradley Stoke Way, despite assurances to the contrary by experts at South Gloucestershire Council (SGC).

A presentation given to the town council’s Planning Committee in June saw SGC predicting a “marginal” increase in traffic flows along most of Bradley Stoke Way during the morning rush hour, and even a decrease in flows on some sections during the evening peak.

But committee members expressed doubt about the figures, claiming that Bradley Stoke Way would become “a relief road for the A38”, especially after the construction of thousands more homes on the Filton Airfield site.

SGC’s calculations assume a massive shift from private car usage to public transport, justified by the planned introduction of a new bus rapid transport system that will operate between Cribbs Causeway and South Bristol via the city centre.

The new service (known as MetroBus), which is expected to start in late 2017, will run along Bradley Stoke Way and connect with the new by-pass at Parkway North. After passing the University of the West of England on Coldharbour Lane, it will access the M32 at a new bus-only junction off Stoke Lane.

A new northbound bus lane will be constructed on Bradley Stoke from the Willow Brook Centre up to the Aztec West Roundabout on the A38. Shorter sections of bus lane will be constructed on the approaches to other roundabouts on the route.

A proposal from Mayor Brian Hopkinson that the town council write to SGC asking for improvements to the Patchway Brook (Aldi) and Aztec West roundabouts was unanimously supported by the Planning Committee in August.

In reply, Steve Evans, SGC’s Director of Environment and Community Services, says current highway guidelines prevent the extension of yellow boxes on the Patchway Brook Roundabout (a measure apparently suggested by Cllr Hopkinson during a site visit). Mr Evans goes on to say that the “difficulties at Patchway Brook Roundabout at peak times appear to result from the capacity issues at the Aztec West Roundabout”.

Mr Evans’ letter concludes:

“Capacity improvements at the Aztec West Roundabout remain one of the priority schemes that SGC are considering and we are working with a number of partners to help identify and realise funding to help achieve this.”

This article originally appeared in the November edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to all homes in Bradley Stoke.

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  1. I cannot believe what I am reading. You couldn’t make it up.

    Killer line here is the assumption of the massive shift from private car usage to public transport with the proposed rapid transport scheme. Indeed, the whole plan makes massive assumptions throughout its route.

    Studies show more roads just bring more traffic, which is why some campaigners oppose new roads, there is a campaigner against this bypass in Stoke Gifford. You just move the problem.

    So, with more traffic, yep, here it comes folks, why have they closed Highwood road for half a mile for this route, when we are already suffering more traffic in our back roads? Build a relief road then close the road it relieved, insane!

    Bradley Stoke SGC Councillors support this scheme, and voted down Patchway’s problems last month, now the problem is in their own back yard it’s different?

    Exceptions are Ben Walker who supported Patchway’s concerns, and Brian Hopkinson and Sarah Pomfret who avoided voting by not turning up, apologies accepted, it could be serious and personal I accept that.

    Something has to be done, we do need solutions, I accept that, but this route is creating more problems not less! I hope the bus works, I really do, make it cheap enough and people will use it, but let us use our road too! What difference does it really make??

    Anyway, rant over, but If you feel you are ignored by SGC and its officers, welcome to Patchway people’s world, hundreds at meetings, thousands by petition, concerns IGNORED!

  2. The Stoke Gifford by-pass is needed, and will greatly help traffic flows in Stoke Guifford and to a lessor extent Winterbourne. However, there will be a significant increase in traffic to use Bradley Stoke Way.

    Current public transport, and the future Metrobus will not work because too many people want the flexibility to drive. The only solution is road pricing and cheaper bus fares.

  3. I am not sure what the council is doing? Closing Highwood Road to traffic forcing it to use Hayes Way or the back roads of Patchway. Hayes Way does not seem too bad at present but there are too many roundabouts & as the houses are built (2 or 3 cars per houehold) i predict massive jams. Then you arrive at the A38 (double traffic lights, no flyover) & have the choice to take the A38 north or Gipsy Patch Lane which is a pinch point (low bridge & narrow) bottle neck @ rush hour. I try to avoid travelling during the rush hour if possible as it can take up to two hours just to get out of Little Stoke. And when the new Rovers Stadium is built & the new Asda store there needs massive investment to avoid total gridlock. I do not see any plans to upgrade the Abbeywood Round, maybe a flyover, the businesses that will benefit could pay a substantial contribution to the cost that would benefit everyone. There were plans to upgrade the Aztec West Roundabout twenty years ago & put in a flyover in but no money has been spenton it.

  4. If the assumption is that there will be significantly less traffic on the road then there is a simple solution to this.

    Make the link rd Bus/Bike only as the existing infrastructure would happily cope with decreased traffic levels, and the bus users could benefit from the shorter journey times, avoiding Bradley Stoke becoming a rat run.

    I am quite surprised they have not done this, as it does seem to fit in with the carrot/stick approach to public transport and motorists that is prevalent in SG & Bristol councils.

  5. Dave Tiley above hit the nail on the head with his first couple of paragraphs, planners have been kidding themselves for years that we will all give up our cars and jump on public transport. The reality is that there will more cars and with a new bypass to push them through our town when other roads are busy it will all become unbearable.

    The other concern is whether the proposed new bus lanes up to the Aztec West roundabout will take away lanes that could be used by all road users.

    Come on guys think it through, this is important for our town….

  6. Of course it will bring more traffic on to Bradley Stoke way, it will be all the commuters to and from Bristol and the Abbeywood area in to Bradley Stoke.

    Surely this is a better option for these commuters than sat on the narrow roads around Stoke Gifford and waiting at all the mini roundabouts in this area??

    It won’t be a perfect world but a little less stressful!

  7. It’s true that Stoke Gifford and the area around Parkway needs help, a complete bottleneck for years past the old Axa site and Sainsburys, interesting to see if this is the answer…

    Planners and officers future figures never seem to tally with the actual users and locals though. Never heard a good word about them, most think they are barmy!

    It strikes me that this latest debate indicates a disconnect between each local parish here, we in Patchway don’t believe Highwood needs to be totally closed, and now Bradley Stoke TC has concerns the Stoke Gifford traffic is merely being diverted their way, I know from gossip that even in same party camps there is no love lost between certain people in each town and parish, but we must all park (doh) our differences and work together to solve this mess soon, as with more and more development coming all around us we have to get these roads right. It should be resolved at SGC but it isn’t.

    I do wonder whether Brian Allinson is completely impartial in some of his decision making here though, he has so many hats and pies he must be swayed somewhat for Stoke Gifford and then for his transport interests, maybe he should have others contribute more locally…?

    As most have agreed, if you want to get us on buses, then get the prices down, until then the cart keeps getting put before the horse.

  8. The current traffic gridlock at A38/Aztec West and Stoke Gifford/Parkway every morning and night is created by the huge amount of homes in the Bradley Stoke/Stoke Gifford and the lack of road infrastructure.

    Adding a new link road between Aztec West and Harry Stoke, will alleviate the problems at Stoke Gifford/Parkway and help traffic to flow better but will not address address the issues at the A38/Aztec West.

    I agree with SGC that public transport must be part of the solution, and more reliable, frequent buses are needed, including network of local buses.

    Over the past two weeks the whole of North Bristol has ground to halt several times due to lorry breakdowns and accidents. Adding infrastructure will help a bit but we must take cars off the road at peak times, and sadly I see road pricing as the only solution.

  9. A lot of traffic problems would be eased if parents didn’t drive their kids to school. Every day many cars are dropping kids off on the roundabout and in the surrounding roads by BSCS. I pass many of these cars stopped in traffic, waiting to get as close to the school gates as possible or on their way back again.
    I’m sure it must be the same for the primary schools in Bradley Stoke.
    The traffic problems seems to less in the school holidays!

  10. Yes this Bypass is needed and has been for a good few years
    ok there will be a bit more traffic on BSW but that can’t be helped as most families now have 2/3 cars to a house .
    Why should these people in BS be any different from us we have cars passing our house daily as do most people on Coniston do .it just sounds like a lot of NIMBY’S again

  11. Incidentally, I see the council is also encouraging the use of public transport at Parkway station. The main car park is closed, so commuters have to use the overflow car park, which is too small. Despite parking carefully, although outside the marked bays, cars are ticketed every day for being outside the marked bays. You would have thought a little forebearance was needed during the building works but no, on top of £7 a day to park and your train fare, you can now get a parking fine as well. Is it any wonder people give up and drive to work?

  12. Well I have to say today was yet another example of how bad the traffic can get in Bradley Stoke. At 9am it took me about 25 mins to get from the south of town to the docs. Bradley Stoke Way jammed completely. Brook Way not much better. All because of a problem on the motorway.

  13. You should have tried to get to Aztec West on Wednesday around 6pm – normally a 5 mninute trip from Bailys Court took 45 mins – again accident in that area.

  14. I guess the problem is that Bradley Stoke was designed from the outset with this road in mind – problem is it never got built, so all the traffic that reaches the southern end of BS then gets diverted off to the sides to either go via Hambrook or Stoke Gifford to get back to the ringroad/M32.
    The other bit of road infrastructure that was always meant to be, but never happened, is the flyover at Aztec West. This has been left in its temporary “roundabout” guise for two decades because Northavon (then SGC) never managed to get the promised money out of the landlords of Aztec West.

  15. It never ceases to amaze me that people moan about the traffic at 9am and 6pm, it’s called “rush hour” for a reason….

    Everybody can help a little bit by changing their routine and not using their cars at this time, you could leave half an hour earlier or later to get to or from work.
    The biggest culprits though are people who drive their children to school and then moan about the fact that the reason that they do is to keep their kids safe from everyone else driving their kids to school

  16. The biggest culprits in our area are not parents but Bristols biggest employment sites

    Friends Life

    all using the same very limited infrastructure at the same time. This is compounded by the same infrastructure being used as primary access points for the M4, M5 and M32 mortorways.

    Adding another route from A38 to Ring Road avoiding Stoke Gifford will help, but the solution has to be a combination of public transport and road pricing.

    Charge people £5 a day for the right to drive past Parkway Station, use the Ring Road or the A38 at peak times and the amount of traffic will reduce as car pooling and bus take up increases.

  17. Richard – Whilst i understand you sentiments not all of us have the luxury of varying when we travel.
    The bottom line is that the current infrastructure in BS doesn’t support the volume of traffic going through it. Then again if motorists obeyed the rules of the road (ie. not entering box area unless your exit is clear on a roundabout) and showed some consideration to others then maybe traffic would flow more easily.

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