Archive for the ‘New Town Centre’ Category

Mixed reactions to Willow Brook Centre’s new speed bumps

Posted on Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 9:51 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of one of the new full-width speed bumps.

The replacement of a number of cushion-type speed bumps on the access road of the Willow Brook shopping centre with new, more severe, full-width bumps sparked extensive debate on the Journal’s Facebook page during March.

The reader who started the discussion remarked on the “large traffic queue” that had formed because of drivers slowing to a crawl as they passed over the “overly harsh” speed bumps, noting that this had resulted in the roundabout near the Three Brooks pub becoming blocked.

Scores of other readers added comments complaining about the severity of the bumps, expressing fears that their vehicles’ suspension and/or wheel alignment might be damaged as a result of passing over them.

Others complained about the discomfort experienced by vehicle occupants, particularly the elderly or disabled and those with sensitive medical conditions such a back pain.

On the other hand, the new bumps were strongly supported by readers who are concerned about the safety of pedestrians using the zebra crossing or have experienced issues with vehicles swerving into the centre of the road to avoid the previous cushion-type bumps.

Speed bumps were first installed at the centre in September 2011 following a series of accidents that had been attributed to speeding. The centre management later claimed that the number of reported incidents had reduced from 58 in the 35 months prior to installation of the bumps to zero in the subsequent 12 months.

Responding to a statement request from the Journal, Andy Wynn, manager of the Willow Brook Centre, said:

“The new speed bumps have been installed following a review of safety in the area, in light of a number of near misses for both pedestrians and vehicles. The speed bumps are designed to be driven over between 5 miles per hour and the speed limit of the car park, which has always been 10 miles per hour. The same make and model of speed bump is in place in several car parks around Bristol and has been for some years.”

More: Selected reader comments from our Facebook page »

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Christmas lights switch-on goes off with a bang

Posted on Tuesday 18th December 2018 at 8:16 pm by SH (Editor)

Fireworks display at the Willow Brook Centre's Christmas Lights Switch-On event.

Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre got the festive season off to a bright start on the evening of Friday 16th November with a programme of entertainment in the town square rounded off by a spectacular fireworks display.

Photo of a fire juggler.

A packed crowd enjoyed performances by Britain’s Got Talent finalist Andrew Bourn, who sang a selection of Christmas songs, and fire jugglers Loz and Marky who wowed the crowds with their daredevil act which included fire eating and firecracker whips.

Children enjoyed fairground rides and a giant inflatable slide set up in the bus stop corner of the square while food and drink stalls did brisk business throughout the two-and-a-half hour programme.

The culmination of the evening was the switching on of the centre’s Christmas lights, which occurred simultaneously with the start of a five-minute fireworks display launched from the roof of the centre.

More photographs from the event, including some great shots taken from a drone circling above the centre, may be viewed on the Willow Brook Centre’s page on Facebook.

Just a few of the comments left on the BSJ Facebook page:

  • “Brilliant, thanks to the Willow Brook and BSR for a fab Christmas lights switch-on”
  • “Kids loved it; brilliant night”
  • “Definitely best one yet! Fireworks were a brilliant addition!”

More photos from the event »

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Firework spectacular to round off Willow Brook Christmas lights switch-on event

Posted on Monday 12th November 2018 at 11:45 pm by SH (Editor)

Christmas Lights Switch-on Event at the Willow Brook Centre in 2015.

New Friday evening spot for popular festive function.

The official start of Christmas festivities at Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre will be celebrated with a spectacular firework display on Friday 16th November.

This year’s seasonal lights switch-on is set to be nothing short of sensational, with live music from Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) finalists, fire jugglers and more.

The town square will start to come alive around 5pm with music being played by Bradley Stoke Radio.

Centre manager Andy Wynn, said:

“We’ve got a build-up of music and entertainment for more than two-and-a-half hours before the official Christmas lights switch-on at 7.30pm. We’re extremely excited about all the events we have planned for the evening. This will definitely be a night not to miss!”

Born to Swing, who reached the final of BGT in 2014, will take to the stage with live performances at 5.30pm and 6.45pm. Meanwhile, at 6.15pm, fire jugglers Loz and Marky will wow the crowds with their daredevil act.

The big lights switch-on will take place at 7.30pm and will be followed by a firework display high in the Bradley Stoke sky.

Andy said:

“We’re always trying to think of ways to make the start of the Christmas season a fun, family time to bring the whole community together, so we’re delighted to have a whole evening of entertainment planned.”

More: Christmas Craft Fayre on 24th/25th November »

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Summer set to return to Willow Brook Centre

Posted on Thursday 1st November 2018 at 4:05 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of beach and flying umbrellas in the town square.

Beach lovers will be delighted with the news that Bradley Stoke will welcome back sand, smiles and deckchairs next summer.

Whilst the Willow Brook Centre can’t promise the return of the ‘summer of sunshine’, it will be reinstating its very own beach in the summer of 2019.

Thousands of visitors to the shopping centre relaxed, played and enjoyed the artificial beach that took pride of place in the town square.

Centre manager Andy Wynn said:

“We shipped in around 38 tonnes of sand, as well as dozens of deckchairs and a giant parasol to keep the little ones cool in the scorching weather.”

“It was a huge success and a real focal point for visitors who would stop and spend time in the town square. It was so popular that we knew we’d have to bring it back next summer.”

Hundreds of photos of the beach, and the dozens of suspended umbrellas that hung overhead, were posted online.

More than 1,000 people entered various competitions to win prizes at the Willow Brook Centre, by including the popular hashtag #summeratwillowbrook on social media posts.

Andy added:

“We wanted to encourage people to share their summer of fun with us and a photo competition was a great way to get everyone doing that.”

During the nine weeks of its summer promotion, the Willow Brook Centre saw visitors increase by seven percent, which is impressive as the number of people paying a visit rarely fluctuates to that extent.

Of course, the star of the summer was the Willow Brook Centre’s very own Swallows and Amazons themed Gromit sculpture, which took pride of place helping to raise money for charity.

It was the first time the centre had been involved in the award-winning arts trails from Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children’s Hospital charity which supports sick children, babies and their families.

More than £1,000 was raised in donations and sales for the appeal during Gromit’s stay at Willow Brook.

More: Centre also worked on Wallace and Gromit project with schools »

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