Residents of a park home site affected by the closure of a section of Woodlands Lane for MetroBus construction work have reacted angrily to the news that the road is likely to remain closed for seven months longer than originally planned.
Woodlands Park is home to around 280 residents living in 166 properties and can only be accessed from the section of Woodlands Lane that has effectively become a cul-de-sac whilst the road closure is in place.
The diversion of the no. 73 bus route along Pear Tree Road means that the bus stops on Woodlands Lane close to the park entrance are no longer served, severing a vital link for many of the park’s residents, 80 percent of whom are aged 70 and over.
Sue Haskins, secretary of the residents’ association at the site, says it can take almost ten minutes for some disabled residents to walk to the nearest alternative stops, adding that the slope up to the roundabout at Pear Tree Road presents a particular challenge for some of them. The lack of a raised kerb at the temporary bus stop on Pear Tree Road is also an issue for many, she adds.
The closure of two pedestrian crossings on Bradley Stoke Way is also causing difficulties for elderly residents who need to visit the doctors’ surgery on Brook Way.
Mac O’Reilly, chair of the residents’ association, says he can’t understand why buses can’t continue to serve Woodlands Lane, adding that there is space for them to make a U-turn at a roundabout on Ash Ridge Road, which he claims would “add only a few minutes to the journey”.
They have been in touch with their local councillor who has told them that it is South Gloucestershire Council that has determined the bus diversion route and not the operator, First.
With Pear Tree Road being gridlocked at peak hours, Sue says it took one resident nearly two hours to travel to Southmead Hospital for an appointment – leaving at 7.45am and arriving at 9.30am.
“Why on earth have they started on phase 2 (between Woodlands Lane and the Patchway Brook Roundabout) before completing phase 1 (the Woodlands Lane junction itself)? It’s sheer madness!”
Ted O’Sullivan, manager of Woodlands Park, is critical of the overall traffic management that has been put in place around the MetroBus roadworks and says he expects the disruption to get worse when the carriageway has to be raised around the Woodlands Lane junction.
“I’d like to challenge our MP, local councillor and someone from the bus company to come down here and see first-hand the effect these roadworks are having our residents,” he adds.
Photo: Sue Haskins, Mac O’Reilly and Ted O’Sullivan (back row, l-r) with other residents of Woodlands Park.
Related link: MetroBus Build in Bradley Stoke (The Journal)
This article originally appeared in the January 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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