Posts Tagged ‘West of England Partnership’

Bus rapid transit scheme gets green light from Government

Posted on Tuesday 20th December 2011 at 12:11 pm by SH (Editor)

A major transport scheme that includes the building of a Stoke Gifford by-pass and the introduction of a fast and reliable bus service between Bradley Stoke and Bristol city centre has taken a big step forward with the award of £51 million of Government funding.

Work on the £102 million North Fringe to Hengrove Package, which will also be funded by Bristol City Council (BCC) and South Gloucestershire Council (SGC), is scheduled to start in two years time, subject to successfully overcoming regulatory hurdles that are expected to include a public inquiry.

The Stoke Gifford by-pass, running from the Parkway North Roundabout on Great Stoke Way to the Avon Ring Road (emerging opposite the Holiday Inn), will provide Bradley Stoke motorists with a more direct route to junction 1 of the M32 at Hambrook, avoiding the notorious bottlenecks at the Parkway Station railway bridge and the Abbey Wood Roundabout.

Public transport users will benefit from a new bus-only junction onto the M32, where Stoke Lane crosses over the motorway, close to the Dower House.

Within Bradley Stoke, a number of new bus lanes will be constructed along Bradley Stoke Way – without reducing the number of lanes available for general traffic. For more details, take a look at The Journal’s interactive map of the rapid transit route or consult the detailed route plans [PDF, 63.7MB] submitted with the official bid to the Department for Transport (DfT).

Statutory orders for the scheme are due to be published by June next year and a public inquiry could start in December 2012. On-site work is scheduled to start in December 2013 and the new by-pass and ‘rapid’ bus service should be open/operational by December 2016.

More: South Glos Council chooses not to publish funding plans »

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Odds shift against rapid transit scheme for Bradley Stoke

Posted on Wednesday 7th December 2011 at 6:50 am by SH (Editor)

Rapid Transit Bus

The chances of Bradley Stoke gaining a fast and reliable bus service linking the town with the centre of Bristol have become significantly slimmer following an announcement made by Chancellor George Osborne in last week’s Autumn Statement.

The £97 million North Fringe to Hengrove Bus Rapid Transit Package failed to appear in a list of 20 projects winning a total of £386 million of funding from the Department for Transport, in contrast to two South Bristol schemes which together picked up £61.1 million of Government money.

The North Bristol scheme is now left in the remaining pool of 25 projects, fighting for a residual £244 million that is due to be handed out before the end of the year.

South Gloucestershire Council and Bristol City Council have jointly asked the Government for a £51.1 million contribution to the scheme but the central funding pot is now oversubscribed by 249%, up from 96% before the Autumn Statement.

North Fringe to Hengrove Package - Route Map June 2011

If the scheme fails to attract Government funding, the bus service aspect of the scheme is likely to be dropped but South Gloucestershire Council would be left to foot the full cost of the Stoke Gifford by-pass, which will still have to be constructed to support the building of 2,000 new homes on land between the Winterbourne Road and the Avon Ring Road (the ‘East of Harry Stoke’ new neighbourhood foreseen in the Council’s Core Strategy).

The by-pass, known officially as the Stoke Gifford Transport Link, will link Great Stoke Way with the Ring Road via a new bridge over the London to Bristol railway line.

More: What the scheme would mean for Bradley Stoke »

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Town Council’s shabby bus shelters to be replaced

Posted on Monday 3rd October 2011 at 9:52 am by SH (Editor)

Bradley Stoke Town Council bus shelter

Bus shelters in Bradley Stoke deemed too shabby for a prestige bus route enhanced by millions of pounds of government money are to be replaced as part of a £140,000 package of additional spending.

Local Councillors expressed concern in 2009 when South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) began ripping out many of the Town Council-owned green bus shelters and replacing them with hi-tech silver flat-roofed ones at a cost of £20,000 per stop.

Town Councillors demanded that SGC put the old shelters into storage for possible use at sites where there is currently no shelter but this turned out to be impractical due to damage caused during removal.

The West of England Partnership, responsible for overseeing the £70 million Greater Bristol Bus Network project, originally planned to leave a small number of old-style shelters along the 73 route in Bradley Stoke but has now decided to spend extra cash to replace the small number that remain in order to improve the image of ‘Corridor 4’ that runs from Bristol city Centre to Cribbs Causeway.

More: Extra money will make shelter provision “more aesthetic” »

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South Glos Cabinet approves £51 million bus rapid transit bid

Posted on Wednesday 27th July 2011 at 6:30 am by SH (Editor)

Rapid Transit Bus

South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) Cabinet has approved the submission to the Department for Transport (DfT) of a bid for £51 million of government funding towards a bus rapid transit scheme that would link link Cribbs Causeway with Bristol city centre via Bradley Stoke.

The £102 million scheme, known as the North Fringe to Hengrove Package, promises to provide a “fast, frequent and reliable public transport service linking the areas of Cribbs Causeway, Aztec West and Emersons Green with Bristol city centre and with Hengrove to the south of the city.”

Locally, the project includes the construction of a Stoke Gifford by-pass, providing a much-needed road link between the south of Bradley Stoke and the Avon Ring Road, emerging between Junction 1 of the M32 and the University of the West of England [see map].

The scheme promises to provide a ten minute frequency service on the route, using “modern, accessible, comfortable and low-emission vehicles” (tram-like ‘bendy buses’ are shown in promotional material).

When the scheme was originally proposed in 2009, it was costed at £194 million, with the DfT giving “in principle” approval for £170 million of funding with SGC and Bristol City Council making up the difference.

Since then, central government has announced a massive reduction in the amount of money available for transport projects. This led to the two local Councils submitting a revised bid in December 2010, in which costs were reduced to the current total of £102 million. In the process, SGC’s share of the total cost has rocketed from 10% (£20M) to 30% (£30.5M).

A ‘best and final’ bid will now go to the DfT by 9th September and a decision is expected to be announced in December.

If the application is successful, planning applications for the scheme will be prepared by April 2012 and a public inquiry will be held in Autumn 2012.

Construction could then start in Autumn 2013 and parts of the scheme could come into operation during 2015.

Read on for details of the latest rapid transit proposals for Bradley Stoke »

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