Commuters in the Stokes look set to be once again heading for a double dose of roadworks-induced misery after South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) announced that it is to begin work on a £2.9 million scheme of improvements to Great Stoke Roundabout (a.k.a. Rabbit Roundabout) in January next year.
The timing of the work, which will take 12 months to complete and involve lane closures and some full road closures, means that it will overlap a planned eight-month full closure of Gipsy Patch Lane due to start in March 2020.
The two work locations lie on the same east-west route between Winterbourne and the A38 and are separated by just 1.3 miles.
News of the implementation overlap came following funding approval for the Great Stoke scheme from the West of England Combined Authority (Weca) on 4th October.
As previously reported, the scheme will increase capacity at the roundabout by widening all approaches as well as improving safety for cyclists and pedestrians with the introduction of new toucan crossings. Full details are shown underneath the plan below.
A council spokesperson said:
“The area will be subject to lane closures during this work. We will do everything we can to minimise the need for full road closures but there will be times when these are essential to enable us to carry out the work safely.”
The council’s own StreetCare department will carry out the work, with specialist contractors being used as required.
Site clearance will take place between now and Christmas. Some temporary walkways will also be installed before Christmas, ready for the main construction works to commence on 6th January. Residents directly affected by these works will be notified by letter.
SGC’s Cabinet member for planning, transport and the strategic environment, Cllr Steve Reade, said:
“We are very pleased that the Great Stoke roundabout full business case has received approval from Weca. This is a significant investment at a key location in the North Fringe where we are seeing rapid housing and economic growth. Improving and widening this junction will help promote all forms of transport and will help us to keep the region moving now and in the future.”
Asked by the Journal to explain the logic in scheduling two major sets of roadworks in close proximity to run concurrently, a council spokesperson said:
“Currently, at peak times, there is often queuing on most arms of the roundabout, therefore, as funding is available now, the opportunity is being taken to complete this work. It is important that the scheme is completed prior to substantial construction of the East of Harry Stoke housing development, to improve capacity and provide the cycle and pedestrian crossing facilities.”
“Also, due to the closure of Gipsy Patch Lane, it is expected that here will be less traffic travelling east/west through the roundabout. Delaying the scheme until after Gipsy Patch Lane re-opens will mean a delay to the improvements being made.”
“Investing in these improvements and increasing the roundabout’s capacity now will help future-proof the highway network, support planned housing and employment growth in the area, and encourage greater use of sustainable travel methods.”
The scheme involves the following works:
- Localised widening and modifications to road markings on the circulatory and on all approaches to increase from two to three lanes
- The introduction of Toucan crossings on each of the four arms which are prioritised for pedestrian and cyclists, as this will be an attractive alternative to cyclists using the roundabout
- The introduction of high quality carriageway entry and exit points for cyclists which are clearly signed, coloured and marked
- Widening of shared use foot and cycle paths where possible, to a suitable width with a high quality surface finish
Reader comments on our Facebook page
CP: This is a “perfect storm” just waiting to happen. You should NEVER use “council” and “planning” in the same sentence.
JB: Why does something that looks fairly simple, cost so much and take 12 months to complete? It’s a great idea, and needed, but come on, £2.9 million! Are they having a laugh?
TB: So, they ask for residents comments … “Great idea, but please don’t do any work at the same time as Gipsy Patch Lane” … and ignore their feelings completely. Unbelievable!
MM: Muppets! You couldn’t make it up. Let’s double-up on roadworks on an already busy area of Bradley Stoke. South Gloucestershire Council: Decisions made by people who live outside of the town without any consideration of those who live in it, yet again.
CO: More traffic lights just after exiting roundabouts. More rear end stunts coming up.
JMS: Why do everything at the same time? Gipsy Patch Lane, Harry Stoke and development near Sainsbury’s – and now this! Looks like right hand not talking to the left one! Project leaders!
CM: Haven’t they just recently carried out work on [the roundabout] for the MetroBus route? How can they not think ahead and have done this work at the same time? Madness!
DP: 12 months? Jeez! On holiday last year at Lake Tahoe [it was noted that] they managed to re-tarmac the whole town within a day. Yet in the UK it’ll take us 12 months, will be over budget and probably crack and warp in a few weeks of use.
BR: Why don’t they just start by saying it’s going to take 24 months instead, so we can all be surprised if it actually did take 12?
CO: At least you will be able to get to the roundabout quicker once they widen the Gipsy Patch Lane bridge.
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 20 & 21). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
Postscript (19th November 2019)
Vegetation clearance at the site duly began in the last week of October, shortly before our November/December magazine was distributed.
Update (8th December 2019)
For the latest news on this project, visit the Journal’s dedicated Great Stoke Roundabout Improvements page.
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