Details of proposed Bradley Stoke parkrun published ahead of town council debate

Route of proposed parkrun in the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve, Bradley Stoke.

Details of an application made by local representatives of parkrun UK to hold two weekly running events in Bradley Stoke’s Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve have been published on the town council’s website.

The application has been made to South Gloucestershire Council (SGC), which owns the nature reserve and will make the final decision on whether or not to grant permission, but the town council, along with other interested parties, has been invited to submit comments.

Consultation on the application was originally due to end on 20th June, but has been extended so that the town council can discuss the matter at its meeting this Wednesday (22nd June).

In its application, parkrun UK says it seeks “shared use of the course”, with runners being instructed to “respect other park users and give way if necessary”.

A 5km timed run for adults would take place at 9am every Saturday, with a 2km run for children being held at 9am on Sundays. If attracting similar numbers to the recently closed Little Stoke parkrun, the Saturday event might be expected to see as many as 300 runners using the nature reserve.

Both runs would start on the path beneath the bridge where Bradley Stoke Way crosses over the Stoke Brook and finish nearby on the path that leads down into the nature reserve on the north-east side of Bradley Stoke Way.

The routes would see participants running in both directions along the path between Brook Way and the ‘duck pond’, with the adult runners additionally using the path between the ‘duck pond’ and a point just short of the footbridge behind Bradley Stoke Community School.

The application states that parkrunners are encouraged to walk, jog, cycle or take public transport to events, or car share where possible. Those driving to Bradley Stoke parkrun will be directed to the Willow Brook shopping centre, with the agreement of the centre management. Participants will be asked not to use the leisure centre car park or residential streets for parking.

When the application was last discussed by the town council at its AGM on 11th May, many councillors were less than enthusiastic, expressing concerns about the runners potentially damaging paths in the nature reserve and causing a hazard for other users. The meeting resolved that a video/photographic record of the route should be carried out to assess the state of the paths before the first run takes place and then again after six months.

Wednesday’s meeting of Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC) takes place at the Jubilee Centre BS32 8HL, starting at 7pm. Residents may have their say during a 15-minute session at the start of the meeting. Town councillors may be contacted via the Council Members page of the BSTC website.

Image: Proposed route of the 5km Saturday parkrun in the nature reserve (sequence is: Start → b → a → c → a → e → b → a → c → Finish)

More information:

Contact details for SGC Community Spaces team regarding the parkrun UK application to use the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve:

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  1. In my experience the parkrun runners are anything but considerate to other users, so I really do not think that this route is appropriate. I used to drop my child off at the community hall when the run was held in Little Stoke and it would often be the case that we couldn’t use the footpath to enter the hall until every single runner had past. I am not saying we should have had any priority over the parkrun runners, but I do think it demonstrates that their level of cooperation with fellow users could be questionable.
    Given the amount of runners involved I do not think the paths around the nature reserve provide sufficient space for runners and the general public.

  2. Update in the July 2016 BSJ magazine:

    The 22nd June [BSTC] meeting resolved to request (again) that SGC carry out a widespread consultation with the residents of Bradley Stoke (on a postcode basis) before any final decision is made. Councillors also expressed concerns about car parking in residential streets and requested that the final decision be made by elected SGC councillors rather than officers.

    The Journal understands that should permission be granted, the parkrun could start as soon as two weeks after the decision.

  3. In response to an enquiry from the Journal, a spokesman for South Gloucestershire Council said (on 6th July 2016):

    “We are still in ongoing discussions with the applicants regarding this event.”

  4. South Gloucestershire Council has informed us today (22nd September 2016) that the organisers of parkrun have yet to sign the proposed agreement for use of the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve.

  5. @DS, We emailed the local parkrun ambassador a couple of months ago asking for an update, but received no reply.

    In any case, the event is unlikely to start before the Wessex Water sewer works currently taking place in the nature reserve are finished.

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