Work on a scheme of major improvements at Great Stoke Roundabout (a.k.a. Rabbit Roundabout) is running three months ahead of schedule and is now expected to be completed by October, says South Gloucestershire Council.
Starting in January 2020 and originally planned to take 12 months, lighter traffic volumes during the coronavirus lockdown have allowed the council to bring forward some of the later phases of the project.
Work at the site has continued throughout the pandemic, with the council emphasising that its roadworks teams are classed as key workers and have been following “all current health and safety and government advice”.
As previously reported, work began with the Bradley Stoke Way arm of the roundabout, with 200 tonnes of material being excavated during the first six weeks of construction activity.
Prior to the start of lockdown on 23rd March, the reduction of the Bradley Stoke Way southbound approach to one lane and removal of the bus lane resulted in serious traffic congestion during the morning peak and badly affected the reliability of the M1 MetroBus service.
At the end of April, the council reported that phases 1 & 2 of the scheme had been “nearly completed”. These two phases involved widening the Bradley Stoke Way southbound approach to the roundabout from two lanes to three, realigning underground cabling and street lights, and installing dropped kerbs and a pedestrian island ready for new Toucan crossings.
Work on phases 3 and 4, involving similar widening works on the Great Stoke Way (Parkway) side of the roundabout, commenced in May, with lane closures expected to be in place until August.
It was also announced that start of phase 6, on the western side of the roundabout (B4057 Winterbourne Road), was being brought forward from September to take advantage of the quieter roads.
In the first week of June, it was reported that the Bradley Stoke Way arm of the roundabout (phases 1, 2 and 5) had been fully completed, enabling the new shared-use footway/cycleways on Bradley Stoke Way to be opened up “to help with social distancing”.
Work on phases 3, 4 & 6 was reported to be going well, with a council spokesperson saying:
“Due to the lower volumes of traffic currently on the roads we have been able to keep our temporary traffic management in place 24/7 instead of removing it each day, which has enabled us to complete works quicker than originally planned.”
The spokesperson added:
“We are aiming to bring forward the resurfacing work on the roundabout to August, followed by installation of the new traffic signals in September.”
“We are aiming to have the new roundabout layout in place in time for the new school term in order to benefit from improved capacity and provisions for pedestrians and cyclists. Depending on traffic levels, we currently expect to be fully finished on site by October.”
The latest update in mid-June confirmed that work on the B4057 west of the roundabout had been completed and work had now started on the B4057 to the east, meaning that all phases of the scheme are now either completed or under way.
The council’s statement concluded:
“The construction aspects of the scheme are now due to be finished by the end of July, ahead of schedule. Throughout August, we will carry out resurfacing and install new road markings in on the approaches and the roundabout itself. This will involve overnight road closures and we will publicise details of these as soon as possible.”
Rabbit Roundabout: Improvements being implemented
- Increasing all approaches to the roundabout from two lanes to three
- Widening and changes to road markings on the roundabout
- Toucan crossings on each of the four arms of the roundabout, prioritised for pedestrians and cyclists
- New entry and exit points for cyclists to help them navigate the roundabout with clear traffic signs and road markings
- Widening of shared use cycleways and footways
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2020 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 10 & 11). 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.
Update from South Gloucestershire Council (22nd July 2020)
The remaining work we need to complete is resurfacing the carriageway on the approaches and on the lanes around the roundabout. To do this safely, we need to close these sections of the roads. To minimise disruption, we will carry out all resurfacing work overnight.
The closures will begin on Wednesday 5th August and will be in place Monday to Friday 8pm to 6am until Friday 28th August.
The roundabout will be closed to through traffic from all directions. A signed diversion route will be in place. Access to all properties will be maintained for the duration of the works.
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