Archive for the ‘Transport’ Category

Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

Council’s astonishing U-turn over left-turn ban

Posted on Saturday 13th January 2018 at 9:55 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of no left-turn signage at the Hambrook lights.

Commuters who travel between Bradley Stoke and destinations in East Bristol have welcomed an astonishing council U-turn on a hugely unpopular ‘no left-turn’ restriction at the Hambrook lights, which they claimed was adding upwards of ten minutes to their journey times.

The restriction, which applied to traffic approaching the lights on the B4058 Bristol Road from Winterbourne, had been introduced on a trial basis from Monday 13th November as part of the traffic management measures associated with the Bromley Heath Viaduct (BHV) repair works on the A4174 Ring Road.

Explaining the move, South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) said the need for left-turning traffic to join the contraflow on the A4174 was leading to “queuing along the B4058 of vehicles travelling straight ahead or turning right”. Vehicles wishing to travel eastbound on the ring road would now need to turn right at the lights and travel around the roundabout at Junction 1 of the M32.

However, in the days after the change came into force, many motorists chose to ignore the recommended diversion and go straight ahead at the lights, leading to increased congestion in Frenchay. There were also reports of vehicles continuing to make a sharp left turn at the lights once they had reached the carriageway of the A4174.

Reactions on the council’s dedicated BHV Facebook page were overwhelmingly negative, with hundreds of comments describing the restriction as “absurd” and “ridiculous” and pointing out the side effects on congestion in the wider area.

More: Council’s decision reversed after just two days »

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Stoke Gifford By-Pass opens to ALL traffic

Posted on Monday 18th December 2017 at 3:09 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the SGTL taken looking south towards UWE from the Hambrook Lane junction.

The long-awaited Stoke Gifford By-Pass, officially known as the Stoke Gifford Transport Link (SGTL), was opened to general traffic earlier today (Monday 18th December).

It provides a much more direct link between Bradley Stoke and Junction 1 of the M32  at Hambrook, avoiding the need to travel through the main part of Stoke Gifford or along the current alternative route via Old Gloucester Road and Bristol Road further to the east.

Map of the Stoke Gifford Transport Link (a.k.a. Stoke Gifford By-Pass).

The new road, which is 1.6km (one mile) long, has been constructed through open countryside to the east of Stoke Gifford (see map on right; click to enlarge). It links Parkway North Roundabout on Great Stoke Way (A) and the A4174 Ring Road (D), emerging at a junction opposite the Holiday Inn.

Its construction has required the installation of two new bridges, one over the main railway line (B, near Kings Drive) and the second over the Ham Brook (C, close to the new Crest Nicholson housing development at Highbrook Park).

Between the two bridges, the SGTL crosses over Hambrook Lane at a signal controlled junction, where traffic movements are restricted to ‘ahead only’ on both roads.

It was originally intended that buses on the Cribbs Causeway to Hengrove MetroBus route would begin using the new road as soon as it opened, but delays in the construction of other sections of the MetroBus network and the supply and installation of iPoints (information and ticket machines that will feature at all MetroBus stops) mean that the service is now unlikely to start until summer 2018 (according to a recent press release from the West of England Councils’ MetroBus team).

To access the new road from Bradley Stoke, travel south down Bradley Stoke Way until reaching Great Stoke Roundabout (a.k.a. ‘Rabbit Roundabout’). Go straight on at the roundabout and proceed south along Great Stoke Way (under the ‘Blue Bridge’) until reaching Parkway North Roundabout. Here you will find a new option to go straight on (rather than taking the previously obligatory right turn towards Parkway Station) – this is the start of the new by-pass.

A more detailed report about the opening of the new road will appear in the January issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine, delivered between 27th December and 3rd January.

Photo: SGTL looking south towards UWE from the Hambrook Lane junction (taken on 16th December as the road was prepared for opening).

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Ticket machine issues set to delay Bradley Stoke MetroBus start date

Posted on Monday 18th December 2017 at 7:22 am by SH (Editor)

MetroBus stop on Bradley Stoke Way (opposite Aldi).

There’s no official date for the start of services, so Journal editor Stephen Horton is once again left to speculate…

As I write this, more than 800 days after MetroBus construction work first started in Bradley Stoke, we seem to have finally arrived at the point when all the new sections of bus lane are complete and ready for service.

Even the “missing link” of the Stoke Gifford By-Pass looks likely to be opening soon, if not before Christmas then shortly after.

Cue increased calls for information about when the much promised new “high quality, fast and reliable” MetroBus services will start to operate here in Bradley Stoke, on the North Fringe to Hengrove Package (NFHP) route.

Assuming the various elements of the route infrastructure fall into place as promised over the next few weeks, focus will soon turn to the lack of iPoints (combined information, route planning and ticketing machines) at the MetroBus stops – equipment that is considered to be essential for the successful operation of services.

Installation of iPoints was originally supposed to begin in August, but we then heard of a decision to change supplier, meaning that they could not be piloted at selected stops until mid-October, ahead of being rolled out to the whole network over a number of months.

We now hear that the iPoints haven’t yet been delivered and are still undergoing factory tests. Furthermore, MetroBus has asked for “a few design changes” to be made, with the result that the pilot machines will most likely not be installed until the new year. We understand that Bradley Stoke iPoints will be in the third phase of installation, meaning they won’t arrive here until late February/early March.

The next question is: Do we have a company willing to operate services on the NFHP route? I’ve lost track of the number of times we’ve been told that an announcement about the operator “will be made in the next few weeks”, but that is exactly the message we were given when we asked for something to include in this article.

More: Hands tied by confidentiality agreements? »

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Update from SGC on the Aztec West Roundabout / A38 southbound widening scheme

Posted on Saturday 9th December 2017 at 11:58 pm by SH (Editor)

Sign advertising consultation on a road widening scheme at the Aztec West Roundabout.

Work on this non-MetroBus project commenced in May 2016 and was estimated to last 12 to 18 months.

In response to an enquiry from the Journal asking if it is now complete, an SGC spokesperson said:

“All of the major construction work relating to the original programme has been substantially completed within the £4.5m budget and on time.”

“A small number of outstanding items remain, including the erection of advanced direction signs, which are on order. This work will not impact traffic flows during peak times.”

“A project of this size requires the completion of a post-construction ‘road safety audit’ which has also been requested. It is hoped that the remaining items and any issues arising from the road safety audit will be completed in the new year.”

There has been a series of major faults with the new traffic signals on the Aztec West Roundabout since these were installed as part of the scheme.

A full description of the scheme, along with a detailed drawing, can be found on the council’s website at http://bit.ly/aztec-1508

See also: Aztec West Roundabout A38 Southbound Widening Scheme (The Journal)

This article originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 23). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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