Posts Tagged ‘rapid transit’

Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

MetroBus overspend will lead to poorer roads

Posted on Thursday 25th May 2017 at 8:14 pm by SH (Editor)

Temporary water main installed opposite the junction of Bradley Stoke Way and Woodlands Lane.

The budget for maintaining roads, cycleways and footways across South Gloucestershire looks set to be slashed by up to £1m per annum for the next eight years in order to pay for the projected overspend on MetroBus, the Journal can reveal.

As previously reported, construction costs for the £102m North Fringe to Hengrove Package MetroBus route (the one which passes through Bradley Stoke) are forecast to be more than £11m over budget when it is completed later this year.

The original £102m budget for the scheme was made up of contributions from the government (£51.1m), Bristol City Council (£20.5m) and South Gloucestershire Council (£30.5m). However, because of the way the funding is arranged, with the government contribution being fixed and South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) committed to covering 61 percent of the remainder, SGC’s increased liability as a result of the projected overspend comes in at more than £7m, representing a massive 23 percent increase on the authority’s original budget.

The discovery of uncharted gas and water mains in Bradley Stoke is one of a number of factors being blamed for the increased costs. Protester action at the Stapleton allotments site, where a new bus-only junction on the M32 has been constructed, is another, along with “additional design, planning and contract management costs”.

As a short-term measure, SGC’s Policy & Resources Committee approved, in July 2016, the use of temporary funding to cover the overspend share of £5.259m projected at that time. However, by the time the council came to set its capital budget for 2017/18, the overspend share had risen to £7m and the council’s Environment and Community Services (ECS) Committee was tasked with coming up with a plan to fund it, either by diverting resources from other projects or taking on ‘prudential borrowing’ (i.e. a loan) that would need to be serviced over a number years.

More: Interest charges would add an extra £2.9m to overspend »

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MetroBus operator announcement delayed (again)

Posted on Saturday 13th May 2017 at 6:52 pm by SH (Editor)

Artist's impression of a MetroBus stop with iPoint.

The announcement about which company (or companies) will be operating services on Bristol’s new MetroBus network has been delayed once again, this time until after the general election on 8th June, the Journal can reveal.

Last summer, a West of England Partnership spokesperson said that negotiations with potential operators were expected to conclude by mid-September (2016), but it was later revealed that talks had been delayed because of the need to consider scenarios where services on a route are run by more than one operator.

Then, earlier this year, it was stated that a formal announcement would not be made until after the Metro Mayor election on 4th May, for fear it might become a political issue – and the same reasoning is behind the latest delay, this time because of the general election.

A spokesperson stressed that any operator can choose to operate services on a MetroBus route, provided they sign up to a defined set of quality standards relating to vehicles, minimum frequencies, maximum fares etc. known as the Quality Partnership Scheme. There is no ‘operator selection’ decision to be made by the officers or members of any local council or authority.

Once the MetroBus roadworks in Bradley Stoke are completed in June, the next sign of activity is likely to be the installation of so-called iPoints at the new MetroBus stops, currently scheduled for August.

An iPoint is an information tower that is approximately 3.2 metres high and 56cm wide. These will incorporate one or two real-time information (RTI) screens, a touch screen to allow customers to buy tickets, a chip and PIN reader for payments and a smartcard reader for topping-up existing smart cards. The ticket purchasing function will supply both single tickets and smartcards.

• For more information on MetroBus, visit

More: Notable dates (key project milestones until autumn) »

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MetroBus construction: April progress report

Posted on Tuesday 9th May 2017 at 9:08 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of MetroBus construction work near Great Stoke Roundabout.

By Jim Aitken, community liaison officer at Alun Griffiths Ltd.

Bradley Stoke Way (BSW)

Continuing the finishing works for this area, areas of anti-skid surface at the junction of Orchard Gate, Woodlands Lane and Patchway Brook Roundabout will be undertaken outside of peak hours (after 7pm) during May, due to the limited space available and potential traffic impact.

Now the weather has improved, the final landscaping is taking place along BSW, creating the final profile to the verge and swale areas, and forming the embankment profiles so they may receive turfing and planting.

A38 south of Aztec West

Work commenced on the northbound MetroBus stop in mid-April and this should take approximately six weeks to complete.

The southbound MetroBus stop is now complete. Other works in and around the A38 southbound are planned for completion by late May or early June.

South of Patchway Brook

The new bus lane will remain closed, to allow for various ongoing traffic management switches, so that the anti-skid surfaces and road marking can be completed.

Landscaping and planting will also be carried out, as previously described for the upper section of BSW.

The additional footway by the new MetroBus stop near Aldi has now been completed.

More: Great Stoke Roundabout and Stoke Gifford By-Pass »

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MetroBus construction: March progress report

Posted on Tuesday 4th April 2017 at 8:31 pm by SH (Editor)

Aerial photo of MetroBus works on Bradley Stoke Way (taken 24th February 2017).

By Jim Aitken, community liaison officer at Alun Griffiths Ltd.

Bradley Stoke Way (BSW)

Now that the works in this area are substantially complete there remain just some small works. Anti-skid surface is to be added in key areas along BSW on the approaches to lights, crossings and roundabouts. This will be done at off-peak times during April, with some traffic management. It should take around two weeks, but is weather dependant.

A38 south of Aztec West

Road box excavation is complete and we are preparing for surfacing. Work is ongoing on the MetroBus stop with kerbing and ducting work, including further service diversions and utility slewing. There will be a temporary pedestrian signal crossing that shall be configured on the A38 crossing to facilitate the remainder of the works. A temporary public footpath is maintained around the works from Aztec West.

South of Patchway Brook

The bus lane along BSW from Patchway Brook will remain coned and closed until legally signed and commissioned, including high-friction surfacing which needs to be placed. Additional permanent speed signage will be added as speed changes from 40mph to 30mph along this route. Road signage installation is partially complete and should be completed within April. Some temporary speed signage is in place until this is completed. Landscaping sub-contractors will be working on the verges.

Ongoing minor works to complete the zebra crossing area and an additional 20m of footway construction is to be undertaken near Aldi, where pedestrians will be diverted into the closed off new bus lane.

More: Great Stoke Roundabout and Stoke Gifford By-Pass »

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MetroBus project: February progress report

Posted on Friday 10th March 2017 at 10:24 pm by SH (Editor)

The Woodlands Lane junction with Bradley Stoke Way, fully reopened after being closed for 559 days for MetroBus roadworks.

By Jim Aitken, community liaison officer at Alun Griffiths Ltd.

Bradley Stoke Way

On Tuesday 14th February, following just over four weeks of night time surfacing between the Aztec West and Patchway Brook roundabouts, and working jointly with South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) signalisation team, the traffic lights at the Woodlands Lane and Orchard Gate junctions were commissioned and switched on.

Over the next few months, small works will continue, with some traffic management as necessary to complete signage, guard rails, landscaping and adding an anti-skid surface in certain areas. This work may involve some peak-time lane closures, as and when required.

All pedestrian crossings and footpaths are open, with the exception of the footpath eastbound where Oaktree Crescent meets Bradley Stoke Way, as work continues in this area around to the A38 where, until April/May, we will be completing further MetroBus works including installation of a MetroBus stop. Pedestrians and cyclists can still cross at the Aztec West junction and use the temporary footpath around onto the A38, although it is advisable for cyclists to dismount through this section.

A38 South of Aztec West

Works have commenced from Bradley Stoke Way left around the roundabout onto the southbound A38 Gloucester Road for the MetroBus lane and bus stop. The existing toucan crossing on the A38 will also be re-sited. It is anticipated this will continue into early May due to the numerous utility assets in this area. A temporary footpath is provided outside the works area.

Whilst the bus stop on the southbound A38 is out of use, Griffiths will seek to place a temporary bus stop on Bradley Stoke Way between the Orchard Gate and Woodlands Lane junctions. This is subject to the new bus lane being open, which is at the discretion of SGC.

More: Work at southern end of BSW to last three months »

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