South Gloucestershire Council’s £2.9m scheme to improve to increase capacity and improve cyclist and pedestrian facilities at Great Stoke (Rabbit) Roundabout has seen 200 tonnes of material excavated from the verge on the north-west side of the roundabout during the first six weeks of construction activity.
This work, combined with the laying of 60 metres of new kerb on the north-east side of the roundabout, has paved the way for road widening to begin.
The power supply for the new traffic signals on each arm of the roundabout has been also installed and is ready for two of the four new traffic crossings, once they have been put in place.
Meanwhile, Openreach has nearly finished work to construct a large underground chamber (around 15 cubic metres) to house telecommunications infrastructure.
In the coming weeks, the council says it will be making preparations for new toucan crossing traffic signals to be installed on the north-east side of the roundabout. Workers will also be completing the road widening element on the north-west side, ready for new traffic signals infrastructure.
The roadworks have continued to cause significant delays for motorists and buses, particularly on the Bradley Stoke Way southbound approach during the morning peak hours.
In response to criticism on social media that there often seems to be little going on at the site, a council spokesperson said:
“We are working hard to minimise any disruption while making sure that improvements are made to Great Stoke Roundabout and people can start experiencing the benefits they will bring.”
“Our current working hours on site are 7.45am to 4.30pm and we have already committed to working outside of these hours where required, so that we can deliver this project on time.”
“We have planned the work in phases so traffic moves as freely as possible while maintaining access for pedestrians.”
“Unfortunately, some disruption will be caused and we apologise for any inconvenience.”
Frequently asked questions about the scheme, answered by South Gloucestershire Council
Why is this work being carried out at the same time as the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension scheme?
We have started the work at Great Stoke Roundabout ahead of the Gipsy Patch Lane closure, however there will be an overlap which will cause a significant impact on traffic in the area. We apologise for this, but feedback from residents has told us that a condensed period of heavy congestion is preferred to stretching roadworks out over a number of years.
Will the impact of closures on other roads in the area be monitored?
Yes. We will monitor traffic in the area during the construction phase and, if some areas experience severe difficulties, we will consider implementing additional measures to help ease congestion.
Are road closures required and what will the diversion routes be?
Road closures are only expected towards the end of the construction phase, during September & October 2020, to complete the final surfacing and road marking work. We will publicise the signed diversion routes nearer the time and residents in the immediate area will be kept informed.
Source: Great Stoke roundabout improvements (SGC)
Readers’ comments on the Journal’s Facebook pages
NC: It’s a joke that council or contractor vehicles are parking on a live lane, throwing a few cones out behind them, when they have closed a bus lane for the works. Why not park a few metres away in the side road? The works should be left for off-peak travel times.
TA: Why can’t they work on all four junctions at once and get the job done? Beef that up with double shifts.
NJ: Every time I drive past all I see are men sat in plant vehicles on their mobiles.
WS: Why can’t they do what they do on mainland Europe and do roadworks at night?
TS: I don’t get the point of these works, endless disruption on a roundabout that was [previously] fine.
Photos: 1 General view of the roadworks looking north up Bradley Stoke Way. 2 ‘Bus lane closed’ sign on the southbound side of Bradley Stoke Way.
For the latest news on this project, visit the Journal’s dedicated Great Stoke Roundabout Improvements page.
This article originally appeared in the March 2020 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 26 & 27). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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