Archive for the ‘Transport’ Category

M1 MetroBus service frequency set for another downgrade from January

Posted on Wednesday 27th November 2019 at 9:07 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the very first timetabled M1 MetroBus to enter Bradley Stoke arriving at the Patchway Brook southbound stop.

The operating frequency of the flagship M1 MetroBus service, which links Bradley Stoke with Cribbs Causeway and Bristol city centre, looks set to be reduced for the second time in just over four months, the Journal can reveal.

No formal announcement has yet been made by First West of England or its sub-contractor Bristol Community Transport, but the following brief statement about the M1 service has appeared today (27th November) on the Travelwest website:

[With effect from 05/01/2020]

“Monday to Friday frequency reduction from ‘every 10 minutes’ to ‘every 15 minutes’.”

“Additional peak journeys between The Centre [in Bristol] and Patchway Brook [near Aldi in Bradley Stoke].”

“Saturday frequency reduction from ‘every 10 minutes’ to ‘every 20 minutes’. No Changes on Sundays.”

At the time of writing, no timetables were available for the revised service.

When it started on 6th January 2019, the M1 service ran every 10 minutes between 6am and midnight (Mon-Sat) and every 20 minutes between 9am and midnight on Sundays.

However, from 1st September 2019, the Monday to Friday off-peak and Saturday daytime frequency was reduced from ‘every 10 minutes’ to ‘every 12 minutes’. At the same time, the Monday to Saturday evening frequency was reduced from ‘every 10 minutes’ to ‘every 20 minutes’.

In contrast to off-peak times, passenger numbers at peak hours remain high and a small number of additional morning peak journeys were introduced from 15th September 2019 on the route section between Patchway Brook and Broadmead. These journeys are run using vehicles which aren’t MetroBus-branded.

Photo: The very first timetabled M1 MetroBus to enter Bradley Stoke arrives at the Patchway Brook southbound stop at 9.12am on Sunday 6th January 2019.

UPDATE (28th November 2019)

First West of England says new timetables will be available on its website from Friday 6th December 2019.

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Great Stoke Roundabout improvement works to run concurrently with Gipsy Patch Lane closure

Posted on Tuesday 19th November 2019 at 8:29 pm by SH (Editor)

 

Photo of Great Stoke Roundabout (a.k.a Rabbit Roundabout).

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.

More: "Investment … will help future proof the highway network" »

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Autumn bus issues haven’t been solved

Posted on Friday 15th November 2019 at 4:50 pm by SH (Editor)

A T1 bus at the Savages Wood southbound bus stop on Bradley Stoke Way.

Autumn often brings with it an increase in complaints about local bus services and this year has been no exception, despite the introduction of “improved” services, such as the T1 and M1 MetroBus since summer 2018.

The T1 Thornbury to Bristol express service, which passes along Bradley Stoke Way, only runs every half hour but is favoured by some users over the more-frequent M1 as it is scheduled to get them to the city centre faster. This is because it accesses the M32 at junction 1 rather than going into the UWE campus and using the new bus-only junction. However, traffic congestion on the A38 between Thornbury and Aztec West at peak times has meant that the T1 buses can be full by the time they arrive at the Great Meadow stop in south Bradley Stoke.

Meanwhile, the off-peak frequency of the M1 MetroBus may have been reduced, but it seems the peak hours service is becoming more and more popular. Since 15th September three extra M1 journeys have been added between Bradley Stoke and the city centre in the morning peak. However, it seems this is still not enough as there are reports of buses being full by the time they reach the Great Stoke stop near the north end of the Stoke Gifford By-Pass.

There have also been reports of M1 buses being held up in congestion on the A4174, on the approach to Coldharbour Lane.

Recent discussions on the BSJ Facebook page:

See also: Your tweets about bus service issues (The Journal)

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 33). 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.

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Rabbit Roundabout improvement works to be concurrent with Gipsy Patch Lane closure

Posted on Wednesday 9th October 2019 at 10:17 pm by SH (Editor)

Annotated plan of proposed improvements at Great Stoke Roundabout.

Work on a £2.9 million scheme to increase capacity and improve safety at Great Stoke Roundabout (a.k.a. Rabbit Roundabout) will start this autumn and is scheduled to take 12 months to complete, South Gloucestershire Council has announced.

The work will require lane closures as well as some full road closures (when deemed essential for safe working).

The timing of the programme, which will overlap an eight-month full closure of nearby Gipsy Patch Lane due to start in March 2020, is likely to lead to criticism that the council has once again scheduled multiple major roadworks to run concurrently at locations in close proximity within the Bristol North Fringe.

Overlapping works in recent years have included:

  • MetroBus route construction work being carried out concurrently at multiple locations on Bradley Stoke Way between September 2015 and November 2017
  • Aztec West Roundabout and A38 improvements works being carried out concurrently with MetroBus works on Bradley Stoke Way from May 2016 to November 2017
  • Traffic light renewal at Abbey Wood Roundabout being carried out concurrently with a one-month full closure of Gipsy Patch Lane in June 2019
  • Resurfacing at Abbey Wood Roundabout being carried out concurrently with a full closure of Hambrook Lane in September 2019

A recently published feedback report on the public consultation carried out on the Great Stoke Roundabout proposals in February and March 2019 shows that 75 percent of the 125 respondents supported the scheme “as a whole” with 52 percent believing that it will “improve journeys in future years”. No amendments to the scheme appear to have been made as a result of the consultation.

Image: Consultation plan [Click to enlarge; view hi-res version: PDFJPG]

Look out for a more detailed report on the upcoming works in the November issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine.

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