Archive for the ‘Transport’ Category

Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

Why do traffic lights at Aztec West show red when nobody is crossing?

Posted on Friday 3rd November 2017 at 5:08 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of traffic lights at the pedestrian crossing.

Following on from the two major gridlock incidents in August and September, a number of Journal readers have asked why vehicles leaving the Aztec West Business Park and heading north on the slip road to the A38 are held by red signals at the new pedestrian crossing, when nobody is crossing and there is no traffic leaving the roundabout on the northbound A38? It has been suggested that this is contributing to delays exiting the business park.

We put the question to South Gloucestershire Council and this is what we had back…

“The crossing lights on the A38 immediately north of the roundabout are working as intended. This is not a regular, stand-alone pedestrian crossing, these new crossings are part of a sequenced traffic signal system that includes a pedestrian crossing facility. The entire roundabout is in effect a series of signalised junctions and we have balanced priorities to aid movement of all users. When lights controlling traffic are on red, this provides an opportunity for pedestrians to safely cross the road.”

“The particular signals in question control two, potentially conflicting streams of traffic (one exiting Aztec West the other the roundabout). Red lights on the different phases should allow a merge in turn operation, but we are aware of the need to look at this in respect to alignment with the signals under Junction 16 of the motorway. We are also considering the lane signing.”

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[Forum] Botched “improvements” leave drivers stranded in Aztec West

Posted on Wednesday 2nd August 2017 at 10:40 pm by Mike DJ (Forum)

Drivers attempting to leave Aztec West this evening faced delays of up to an hour due to badly configured traffic lights.

Here are two photos showing some of the queue in Aztec West:

Traffic queue in the Aztec West business park on 2nd August 2017. Traffic queue in the Aztec West business park on 2nd August 2017.

I walked out of the business park and discovered that the huge queues were caused by the phasing of the traffic lights.

Here’s the traffic on the Aztec roundabout from Bristol followed by the traffic from Bradley Stoke:

Aztec West Roundabout. Aztec West Roundabout.

I think it’s obvious from these photos that the traffic from both these directions was very light. These photos are both captured from a (non-too-exciting) video that I took showing the sequencing of the lights. The video shows that the lights allow traffic to flow from Bristol, then from Bradley Stoke, then from Bristol, then from Bradley Stoke and then finally allow a few vehicles out of the business park.

Here’s a photo of Bradley Stoke Way showing a complete lack of queues:

Little traffic on Bradley Stoke Way despite massive queues to leave the nearby Aztec West business park.

I took the Bradley Stoke photo some 15 minutes after the others because I walked home having abandoned my car in work.

Drivers in Aztec West have been facing variable traffic conditions for months as different traffic light settings are experimented with.  The traffic this evening is probably the worst that it’s been so far. I do remember that the traffic was bad on polling day back in June but that was only a relatively minor 20 minute delay.

Mike DJ

A small selection of public tweets on the issue

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[Letter] MetroBus stops are poorly designed

Posted on Friday 23rd December 2016 at 9:57 pm by SH (Editor)

MetroBus major roadworks sign on Bradley Stoke Way.

Whilst traversing Bradley Stoke Way between Great Stoke (Rabbit) Roundabout and Savages Wood Roundabout, I noticed that the new bus stops constructed for the MetroBus scheme are not set back to allow carriageway flow for other road users when buses stop for boarding/alighting passengers, even though the verges allow ample room for this. Surely, this positioning will only lead to traffic backing up behind the buses when at these stops, especially at peak times of the day – also bearing in mind the increased traffic that will be generated on Bradley Stoke Way when the Stoke Gifford Transport Link (SGTL, a.k.a. Stoke Gifford By-Pass) is complete.

The consequences will no doubt be nose-to-tail congestion and frustration for other road users wanting to pass a stationary bus. To say nothing of the danger to pedestrians and passengers wishing to cross the carriageway at and near these stops, which are positioned in close proximity to roundabouts.

Are these stops positioned by design for the benefit of all? Surely not.

Chris Sheppard, Bradley Stoke

This letter originally appeared in the December 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 7). 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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[Letter] Bristol North Fringe heading for gridlock

Posted on Tuesday 20th December 2016 at 11:38 pm by Graham Osborn (Forum)

Indicative artist’s impression of the new railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane (looking west).

Recently, I drove to work at Filton from Bradley Stoke via Braydon Avenue (Little Stoke). I joined the traffic at the mini-roundabout at the end and queued all the way to the A38, and then from Patchway all the way to the roundabout at Filton. It took me half-an-hour to go about four miles.

The following day, I went via Gipsy Patch Lane and queued all the way along Gipsy Patch until I came to the A38, then joined the queue all the way up to the Filton roundabout; it was no quicker. My car was chucking out whatever cars chuck out for the same time.

I now read in the Journal that the former East Works site is being developed into offices, warehouses, hotels and car showrooms … so I carefully looked to see what road improvements were going to be made. Did I miss something in your article? So, let me get this straight: South Glos Council now wants to attract more businesses, as well as agreeing to build 3,500 houses on the other side of the A38 on Filton runway, but with no change to the road infrastructure? Oh yes, ‘the MetroBus’ is the answer. Well it doesn’t go my way!

I remember this happening with Sainsbury’s, Sun Life and B&Q, then the MoD and the Abbey Wood Retail Park. They all moved in with zero road improvements, so this council has history.

Filton, Patchway and the five Stokes are just going to be totally gridlocked in a few years’ time during rush hour times and it’s going to still be a nightmare for normal residents outside of those times.

It’s all very well upgrading the railway bridge at Gipsy Patch with two extra lanes for the MetroBus, but two extra lanes will be needed for cars as well, the A38 needs an extra lane, the dual carriageway from Winterbourne should continue to the A38. The only hope is that the MetroBus fails and the extra lanes can be used for relieving the already congested roads.

South Glos Council is encouraging me, and I know a lot of my friends, to think very hard about staying and living in an area which is going to be a total nightmare to go anywhere or do anything in a few years’ time. No thought has been given to how ambulances and fire service vehicles get around in emergencies during rush hour. I guess it won’t be the time to have a heart attack or house fire.

Graham Osborn, Bradley Stoke

Image: Indicative artist’s impression of the proposed new railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane (looking west).

This letter originally appeared in the December 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 7). 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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[Letter] Poor service on the X73 is driving people away

Posted on Wednesday 30th November 2016 at 5:00 pm by Andrew Oram (Forum)

A First West of England X73 bus at the Linden Drive stop in Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

Since the beginning of September, Bradley Stoke has been suffering from changes imposed by First Bus’ new timetable. The withdrawal of the X74 saw widespread concern and this has been exacerbated by the chronic reliability issues that have haunted the X73 service since the timetables were introduced.

As a community of nearly 30,000 people on the outskirts of an environmentally conscious city, one would expect public transport would be the go to option for many residents. But First Bus’ inability to offer a well timetabled and reliable service sees those people who do already use the bus becoming frustrated and looking at alternative options. All at a time when the company is in discussions to be a provider of the MetroBus service. First are losing any remaining faith people had that they can run a business that supports the city as a whole and that they care about some communities in the fringes. I, perhaps in the minority, look forward to the introduction of MetroBus but my doubts are increasing given First’s standard of service over the last two months.

Since September there has been confusion about which bus stops are served in the city centre. Drivers, timetables, bus stop signage and customer service staff have all provided conflicting information which has yet to be fully resolved. This has resulted in people being left behind at stops some days having been picked up the previous day from that very stop. Buses have simply not turned up at all on a number of occasions – with a range of issues blamed including the usual “traffic” as well as “driver shortages”. The latter proving particularly concerning with this company, that cannot manage its resources appropriately, potentially being relied upon to service a £200m flagship scheme for the city which needs to hit the ground running to avoid becoming the white elephant many opponents are forecasting.

The issues over the last two months and the inability to resolve them add further weight to arguments First have little regard for the Bradley Stoke and its express services. The X73, the now sole express link to the city centre, is timetabled as such that arriving in the city for a standard 9am start is impossible and return journeys see a gap of an hour – adding frustration to waits when a bus does not appear to schedule. It has become impossible for people to rely on First to get them to commitments such as work, childcare and connecting trains on time. The cynic in many is worried that the awful service will turn people away and lead to First arguing to remove the service.

At a time when the community should be gearing up to rely on its buses more and more, First are shaking people’s confidence and driving them away.

Andrew Oram, Bradley Stoke

This letter originally appeared in the November 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 50). 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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