Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Kingsgate Park Christmas Event Friday 16th Dec 6pm.

Kingsgate Park Christmas Event in Kingsgate Park on Friday 16th December 2016 at 6pm.

This is an event for all the family, so please come along for a sing along, mince pie and glass of mulled wine (soft drinks will also be served)

Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas rail disruption

From Saturday 24th December until Thursday 29th December London Paddington will be closed to all rail services.

This will mean that GWR rail services will start and finish at Ealing Broadway, from where you can take the underground or a bus. However, the station does not have step-free access. So if you are travelling with heavy luggage or find steps difficult for any reason you will need to change at Reading and use services from there to London Waterloo. Unfortunately that will mean a longer journey.

You can find out more on the GWR website

Friday, 2 December 2016

Don't forget it's Chipping Sodbury Victorian Day tomorrow

Fun for all the family, 1pm to 7.30 pm. Father Christmas arrives on his sleigh at 7.15 pm!

First Bus announces cuts to Southmead bus service

First Bus has announced yet another cut to an important bus service. This time the No. 82 service from Southmead Hospital via Cribbs Causeway to Yate will lose its last journey. From 8 January the last bus will leave Southmead at 7.15 pm from Monday to Friday, almost an hour earlier and well before the end of visiting time.

This impacts people who work at Cribbs causeway too, not to mention shift workers boarding at other points along the route, and anybody who attends SGS Filton College in the evening. It makes it very hard for young people and those on minimum wage who work at the Mall, for example - their last bus will now be 7.30 pm instead of 8.24 pm.

If you use this service, please contact First and ask for the later journey to be brought back.

As for public consultation, what public consultation? South Glos Council's website doesn't even mention the early finish - it just says "Service 82 – First Bus (Southmead Hospital – Cribbs Causeway – Yate) timetable amended to improve punctuality but frequency remain the same across all days of operation, no change to route"

What's more they haven't even written to local councils (not to ours, anyway) to give notice of the changes so that we can object. South Glos Council doesn't seem to be able to do anything about it either - government cuts mean that they haven't got the money to subsidise routes or journeys that bus companies decide they don't want to run.

Flashback - it was only in August that First reduced the service frequency between Yate and Southmead, chopped the Chipping Sodbury link to Southmead and got rid of most of the services to UWE, as we reported here

Did we mention that First Bus is one of the contenders to run the MetroBus system? As and when this gets to Yate with a splendid new service, how long will it be before they begin to stop journeys that they see as inconvenient? Based on their record of cutting services in the Yate area, are they really fit to be bidding for MetroBus?

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Calling all business owners - let's hear YOUR views on Brexit

This morning our Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Claire Young was in Chipping Sodbury with Cllrs Linda Boon and Adrian Rush. They were asking local business owners what impact they thought Brexit would have on their businesses and what they were looking for in a Brexit deal to reduce any negative impacts. Some said they had already felt the impact of the slump in the pound, with the cost of imported goods rising rapidly. If YOU'RE a local business owner, please complete our survey online at http://www.claireyoung.org.uk/business_survey before 12th December.

Your views will be fed into the Liberal Democrats' National Consultation on Brexit. The Tory Brexit Government has not got to grips with the complexities of leaving the EU. The Liberal Democrats will be challenging the Government at every opportunity to make sure the concerns of businesses locally and across the country are heard.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Study into new motorway junction

At last Wednesday’s Environment and Community Services committee, it was agreed that South Gloucestershire Council would accept £500,000 funding from the Government to carry out a feasibility study into linking the M4 with the Avon Ring Road (A4174) with a new junction 18a. The study has to be completed by spring 2018.

Ahead of the meeting, Lib Dem Focus Team councillors asked officers to clarify whether this would also look at the link road to Yate proposed in the Joint Transport Study (JTS). They were advised that the offer of funding from the Department for Transport is very specifically for a new motorway junction and link to the ring road, but the study would consider interaction with other potential schemes emerging from the JTS, such as a link to Yate. They tried unsuccessfully to get an amendment clarifying this but it will have been minuted.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Time to have your say on thousands of new homes

It's now time to have your say on the proposals for thousands of new homes in our local communities.

You can find the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) consultation at: 

and the Joint Transport Study (JTS) consultation here:

We have been pressing for more information about where the houses would go and have been told repeatedly that this is a high level planning document talking about broad locations only, more detail would come in future consultations. We were therefore somewhat surprised to find at the drop-in exhibition in Chipping Sodbury a map of Yate and Chipping Sodbury with the countryside around it divided into sections and text headed “Potential Development Areas”. On further investigation, we found that maps were available for all the areas identified for housing.

The information is also available online, hidden away in a document at the end of the list of technical papers. You can find it here:

You'll need to look at page 27 for Yate and Chipping Sodbury, and page 37 for Coalpit Heath.

On the page for Yate/Chipping Sodbury it says:

  • Northwest Yate has good proximity to the rail station, Badminton Road and existing employment areas, hence there is considered potential in a broad band sweeping from fields north of Yate Town Football Club & south of Mission Road around to the B4059 and turning south to Nibley Lane and the river Frome and continuing south across the Badminton Road including fields west of the Business Park. 
  • Chipping Sodbury remains relatively compact with good proximity to the High Street from the periphery. Fields either side of Trinity Lane (north of St.Johns Way) but respecting the common and recreational facilities, and south of the railway between Dodington Road/Claypit Hill and north of Kingsgrove Common are therefore also considered to offer potential. 
  • In total it is considered up to 2,600 dwellings could be delivered in these 3 locations within the plan period.
On the page for Coalpit Heath it says:
  • Given good proximity to employment opportunities and other services in the North & North East Bristol Fringe, Yate rail station & the Badminton Road, there is considered potential on relatively unconstrained land from the rail line northwards, west of Roundways to Frog Lane at Coalpit Heath for up to 1,500 dwellings and supporting facilities
Given that west of Roundways is in the existing village, we can only assume that is a typo and they mean east.

There are also maps for Charfield, Buckover and Thornbury.

It's also important to understand that although the JSP and JTS are being consulted on together, they are two separate documents. If you want to see what they think are the transport mitigations needed to support the development, they are set out in the JSP in Table 1: Strategic Development Locations and the rationale for inclusion in the emerging spatial strategy. For the Yate/Chipping Sodbury development, those are:

  • Station improvements 
  • Metrobus 
  • Park and Ride 
  • Pinchpoint schemes and junction improvements 
  • Winterbourne Frampton Cotterell bypass 
For Coalpit Heath the list is the same, but minus the station improvements. There is no mention of the new M4 motorway junction or the link road from there to Yate being needed to mitigate the development. However in the Joint Transport Study it says: “The new road to Yate and the MetroBus extension form a package, with road space on the A432 prioritised for public transport and cycling.”

There will be another drop-in at Coalpit Heath Village Hall (The Miners) from 1pm to 7pm on Monday 21st November where you can speak to planning officers.