Friday, 27 November 2009

Parking at bus stops

Reader Dan commented on our recent post about the new bus stops:

"Thousands of pounds are being spent on these new shelters and raised kerbs but no restriction is placed on car parking near (or even on) them. In Barnwood Road and St. Briavels Drive especially, buses cannot get anywhere near the raised kerb due to parked vehicles.

Buses have to stop in the middle of the road, defeating the point of installing the things in the first place. How about the council invest in some yellow paint as well!"

We raised this at the Yate Safer Stronger Community Group meeting, and we've got some results:

  • South Glos Streetcare have promised to paint yellow lines on the edges of the raised kerbs when they are all in (and when it's stopped raining!)
  • The police will take action if they are told about offenders - the local Beat Manager has asked people to report location and vehicle registrations

Chipping Sodbury Victorian Day is back! Friday 4 December 2pm to 9.30pm

The Chipping Sodbury Victorian Day Committee has again organised the event with the intention of improving on the fantastic success of last year.

The committee is drawn from the Sodbury and Dodington Councils, Chipping Sodbury Lions and Rotary Clubs, the Festival Society and representatives from local schools and traders.

The event starts at 2:00pm when school choirs will perform in the street along with other entertainers from two stages. Snow machines will produce the winter atmosphere and Father Christmas in his sleigh will parade through the town at 6:45pm.

The streets will be lined with stalls from local charities and organisations and include old time amusements, a traditional fairground including a Ferris wheel, Helter Skelter and children’s rides as well as Traction Engines
and traditional fairground organs. Victorian dress will be worn by many to further enhance the atmosphere.

Entertainment during the event will include school choirs, carol singers, bell ringers, Punch and Judy show, Alfredo the magical clown, brass bands, solo vocalist, the Morris Men and a best dressed window competition.

Food will be available from all the local food outlets along with the ever popular Pig Roast and stalls selling traditional Mulled Wine and Mince Pies, sweets and other fare.

As usual the streets will be lined with Christmas lights and trees decorated by local schools and nursery groups.

Also late night shopping…
... an Ideal time to get your Christmas shopping, order your Turkey, Christmas drinks or flowers

Street Closures - Chipping Sodbury Broad Street will be closed from 1:00pm to 10:00pm.
High Street, Horse Street, Hatters Lane, Wickwar Road and Hounds Road will be closed to all traffic from 4:00pm to 10:00pm.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Taxi marshal scheme for Chipping Sodbury

Those of you who went out in Chipping Sodbury last Friday or Saturday night may have seen the new taxi and street marshals in operation. The scheme follows a similar one in Kingswood. The marshals will work on Fridays and Saturdays between 10pm and 2am, maintaining a safe, orderly queue at the taxi rank outside the George, assisting the police and taxi drivers, helping prevent anti-social behaviour and crime and watching out for unlicensed taxi drivers.

Local Councillor Dave Hockey, who led a Council review into tackling anti-social behaviour, has welcomed the move. “Once our review found that a taxi marshal scheme in Kingswood was a real success I was keen to see one in Chipping Sodbury. I have been pushing for it to be operational in the run up to Christmas and over the New Year period when Chipping Sodbury will be at its busiest - the extra protection provided will I am sure be much appreciated by all involved.''

Monday, 23 November 2009

Yate & Dodington Priority Neighbourhoods - have your say

Parts of South Yate and Dodington have been declared a "Priority Neighbourhood". This means that some of the local statistics show that the area needs some extra help to improve the quality of life for local people and to make the area safer and stronger. It's a way of pointing out to council departments and other agencies that the area needs a more "joined-up" approach.

Community Drop-In sessions will be held next month. They will provide

  • A chance to help shape local priorities
  • Information about local groups, agencies and the area
  • A chance to hear the latest progress on the Yate Community Plan
The sessions are as follows:
Mon 14 Dec 6pm to 8pm at St Nicholas Church Hall, Chargrove
Tue 15 Dec 10am to 12 noon at Yate Parish Hall, Station Rd

Please come along and have your say.

There is more information on Priority Neighbourhoods on the South Glos website.

Campaign launched against threat of 1000 homes on green fields around Chipping Sodbury

A campaign has been launched (link to Gazette report) against proposals for a huge new housing site that would increase the size of Chipping Sodbury by 50%. The development, on green fields to the East of Chipping Sodbury, would include over 1000 new houses, new community buildings (including a doctor’s surgery, new shops and possibly a primary school), a business park and new road access.

Steve Webb MP and local Lib Dem councillors have pledged to join local residents to fight the proposals, highlighting the impact on roads, flooding and the local landscape.

Commenting, Steve Webb said:

"House building on this scale will have a devastating effect on the local community and the local environment. Residents already suffer problems with flooding and this development would make matters much worse. Local roads cannot cope with the strain of at least a thousand more cars and in the absence of a decent public transport system there will be gridlock on roads through Yate and Sodbury. When a full planning application is submitted, we will ensure that all local residents can make their views known to the Council so that this totally inappropriate development can be rejected".

Councillor Linda Boon (Lib Dem, Chipping Sodbury) responded to the proposed development, saying:

"The proposed development would have a serious impact on the local area and I aim to make sure that the voice of residents is listened to. The environmental impact of the new development is particularly serious and could have catastrophic consequences for current residents by exacerbating the already serious problem of flooding in the area. The project is unsustainable and would dwarf the existing town and local community”.

Town Councillor Adrian Rush commented that:

“A housing site of this size and scale will have a disastrous impact on the stunning landscape surrounding Chipping Sodbury. The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – a place of abundant wildlife and striking scenery – is cherished by local communities. As well as ruining the current views for Chipping Sodbury residents, the housing site would be taken close to the edge of the Cotswold Hills, scarring the landscape and creating an eyesore for those trying to enjoy its walks across the Cotswold Way.”

Residents who wish to be kept informed about the campaign can send their name and address to or can write to Steve at Poole Court, Poole Court Drive, Yate BS37 5PP.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Opening of Yate Health Centre delayed

The opening of the new Yate Health Centre, seen on the left behind the newly opened library, has been delayed due to a problem with the ventilation.

It is now hoped it will be opened in late January/early February, once the problem has been investigated and fixed.

Bus stops are like buses - there'll be another one along in a minute...

As part of a Government-funded scheme, many of our local bus shelters are currently being replaced.

The new shelters will have raised bases to help people who have difficulty getting up onto buses, and they should all be big enough to accommodate wheelchairs, anticipating the newer types of buses with ramps that will come in the future.

What's more, the shelters will have displays with real-time information about when the buses will arrive - another government scheme is paying for most of our local buses to be fitted with sensors so their position is known.

There have been some problems, however - despite agreement to replace shelters one-for-one, the enclosed shelter at Blaisdon - the first one to be replaced on Shire Way - was replaced by an anorexic open design. We've been promised that it will be changed - in fact we stopped the contractor working until South Glos agreed this.

Other problems have happened in Yate. Shelters have been put in the wrong way round, so that they don't shelter people from being splashed by the traffic, and in one place the shelter has been set so far back that you can't get a double buggy past it.

It appears that everything is being done in a rush, and that South Glos has very little control over its contractor - we're watching them carefully and will be chasing up any deficiencies.

Our town and parish councisl have spent quite a lot of money on bus shelters over the years, and are very concerned that the replacements should really shelter people from the elements. Don't know about you, but we would rather keep dry than know exactly when the next bus is coming.

Shire Way and Bredon resurfacing works

There will be major resurfacing works between 4th and 11th December affecting Shire Way, Yate from the Edgeworth junction down to the Westerleigh Rd mini-roundabout, plus Bredon from the entrance to the second junction.

They will be planing off the existing surface, then resurfacing. Traffic will be controlled by temporary traffic lights, with work starting around 8.00am each morning and run until 5.00pm.

South Glos has sent out letters to households most directly affected, including the advice "Alternative routes are advised for the duration of the works". That could be difficult - Bredon is a cul-de-sac! But no doubt they'll be sensible about it.