Archive for the ‘Transport’ Category

Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

MetroBus update: “Sorry, nothing to report!”

Posted on Monday 19th March 2018 at 10:13 pm by SH (Editor)

Poster in MetroBus Shelter: "This bus stop is not currently in use by any bus service".

BSJ editor Stephen Horton comments:

Another month has passed and we still seem to be no closer to having a MetroBus service running through Bradley Stoke.

In our February magazine, we reported that MetroBus had told us that the much-postponed announcement of which company would be operating the Cribbs Causeway to Hengrove (M1) route was now expected to be made in “mid-February”.

As I write this, we are in the dying days of February and nothing has been heard. Cue the latest update from MetroBus: “We are still waiting for the operators to announce. It is their announcement and unfortunately we have no influence over when they will make it.”

Keen readers will recall that the announcement was originally expected in September 2016. It wasn’t until June 2017 that First Bus was announced as the operator of the Ashton Vale to Temple Meads (M2) route, but there was no mention of the M1 route at that time. In September 2017, MetroBus newsletters began telling us that the M1 announcement would be made in October 2017. It never happened, and MetroBus is now facing the reality that potential operators have it over the proverbial barrel.

Even assuming that an operator has committed to running the service, which it has always been intended would be on an unsubsidised basis (as least as far as its operation is concerned), uncertainty remains over when it will start. Our February magazine reported that this will now be “late summer”, although posters recently put up at some of the new MetroBus shelters in Bradley Stoke are less specific, saying only that “MetroBus services start in 2018”. Cynics will no doubt be saying: “At least they are committing to a year now!”

Many unanswered questions remain, including the ones relating to the future of the 73 service once MetroBus starts. All we know if that this will be a commercial decision for the 73 operator (First Bus) and they have told the town council it is too early to talk about it.

On the MetroBus budget front, there have been no updates for nearly a year, and with one of the planned MetroBus routes (Emersons Green to Parkway Station) seemingly now shelved and transferred to the ‘phase 2’ Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension, the suspicion is that the focus is now on avoiding further overspends by trimming functionality.

More: MetroBus factsheet – The iPoint »

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Ring Road contraflow extended by seven weeks

Posted on Sunday 18th March 2018 at 9:40 pm by SH (Editor)

Aerial view of repair work being carried out at the Bromley Heath Viaduct.

The highly disruptive contraflow system on the A4174 Ring Road at Bromley Heath which was due to be lifted by 12th March after being in place for 33 weeks will now not be removed until the last weekend in April (seven weeks later than originally planned).

Announcing the news on 5th February, just five weeks before the restrictions were due to be removed, and following numerous recent progress reports which had said the work was “on schedule”, South Gloucestershire Council blamed the delay on “unforeseen difficulties”.

The contraflow is in place to allow essential repairs and strengthening work to be carried out on one of two viaducts which carry the A4174 over the River Frome at this location.

A separate major project to provide a wider shared path and a protective barrier for cyclists and pedestrians using the viaduct is being undertaken at the same time.

The combined cost of both schemes was originally put at £5.9m with the contraflow lasting for 52 weeks, but the council was able to secure £2.8m of additional funding from the West of England Joint Committee allowing the duration to be reduced to 33 weeks. The recently announced delay means that this 19-week saving has now reduced to 12 weeks.

More: "Cost increases will be covered within the contingency budget" »

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MetroBus: Your questions answered (part 1)

Posted on Monday 19th February 2018 at 9:32 pm by SH (Editor)

Bristol MetroBus.

We invited Journal readers to ask questions about the proposed MetroBus service in Bradley Stoke (apart from the obvious one of “When will it start?”) … or about the MetroBus infrastructure (bus lanes, stops, shelters etc.) that has been installed in our town over the last two+ years.

Here are the answers we received from the West of England Councils’ MetroBus team.

Q. What time will the service stop running each night? Will there be late services for people spending the evening in Bristol?
A. MetroBus services for the Bradley Stoke route are currently due to run between 6am and midnight.

Q. Will the service be linked to the internet to allow bus timings  to be viewed in real time and with online ticket purchasing?
A. Yes. Real time information will be displayed at all iPoints and on the UK Bus Checker mobile phone app. Tickets will be available to buy online via the Travelwest site or First Group’s mTicket*.

Q. Will there be a combined bus/train/bus option for commuting or will it need to be bus all the way?
A. This is a matter for the MetroBus operators and the train companies. We are currently looking at ‘bus only’ for the launch.

Q. Why are the stops through Bradley stoke not in lay-bys, especially judging by the size of the bus stops that many people getting on/off will hold up other traffic?
A. The route is designed so that buses always have priority. The problem with using bus lay-bys is that cars don’t let them back out, which in turn leads to delays. Therefore cars will have to wait behind the bus. Because, passengers have to buy tickets prior to travel, boarding times will be kept to a minimum and delays to other traffic should be negligible. When the bus pulls away it will have maintained its position in the traffic flow and have a clear road in front of it so that it can keep to time.

Eight more questions answered, and how to ask more »

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Woodlands Lane closed to through traffic from Monday for Wessex Water roadworks

Posted on Sunday 18th February 2018 at 8:10 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a road sign informing of a road closure on Woodlands Lane.

Peak-time traffic congestion of a severity last seen during the notorious MetroBus roadworks of 2015/17 could return to Bradley Stoke for a few days in the coming week.

Wessex Water says it will be closing Woodlands Lane to through traffic for up to three days from Monday (19th February) in order to repair a defect in its network near the junction with The Park (opposite Woodlands Park).

The extent of the section closed to through traffic has not been specified but is likely to stretch from the junction with Grange Close to the entrance to Woodlands Park.

Wessex Water says temporary three-way traffic signals (operational 9am to 3pm) will be installed at the junction with The Park, so that access to this road can be maintained [for residents].

Asked if the road closure for through traffic would be effective 9am to 3pm only or full-time for the duration of the works, a Wessex Water spokesperson said via Twitter on Sunday:

“It will probably be for the duration, but unable to confirm today.”

Vehicles wishing to travel between Bradley Stoke Way and areas east of the road closure will be expected to divert via Pear Tree Road, as they did during the MetroBus roadworks when the junction of Woodlands Lane with Bradley was fully closed for 17 months and partially closed for a further 12 months. During this period, long queues developed along pear Tree Road at peak times.

Source: Information provided to the Journal by Wessex Water. Correct as of 4pm on Sunday 18th February. Contact them on 0345 600 4 600 with any queries.

First Bus says buses on its 73 route will divert via Bradley Stoke Way and Pear Tree Road in both directions. Stops on Pear Tree Road will be available for use upon request.

Photo: Road sign on Woodlands Lane (opposite Woodlands Park).

UPDATE at 2.30pm on Monday 19th February

Wessex Water says it hopes to reopen Woodlands Lane to through traffic in time for the afternoon peak today. It will remain open on Tuesday, but a further off-peak closure will be required on Wednesday to apply anti-skid surfacing.

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