Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas from your Focus Team

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from your local Focus Team.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Diversion and road closure - Manor Road (Iron Acton / Rangeworthy / North Yate)

Construction of the new footway on Manor Road, between Chaingate Lane and Tanhouse Lane (click for map), is due to start on 4th January (weather permitting) and is expected to take 4 weeks to complete.

Unfortunately, due to the narrow width of the road, Manor Road will need to be closed to motorised vehicles for the duration of the works, although a pedestrian and cyclist route will be maintained. An alternative route using the B4058 and B4059 will be signed for diverted vehicles. The existing bus service will continue, but will take the following diversion route:-

Manor Road (North) – Chaingate Lane – B4058 – B 4059 – North road (including a U turn south of Tanhouse Lane) – Yate town centre.

The island at the junction of the B4058 and Chaingate Lane will be removed to enable buses to make the necessary movements.

Xmas and New Year bus services

First Bus have announced their services for the holiday period:

Christmas Eve - 24 December
Normal service
Christmas Day - 25 December
No service
Boxing Day - 26 December
Sunday 27 December
Normal Sunday service
Monday 28 December
Normal Public Holiday service
Tuesday29 December
Normal Saturday service
Wednesday 30 December
Thursday 31 December
New Year’s Day - Friday 1 January
Normal Public Holiday service
Saturday 2 January onwards
Normal service

Bath Park and Ride services

The Newbridge, Lansdown and Odd Down Park and Ride services will not be operating on Sunday 27 December and Friday 1 January. A Sunday service will operate on Monday 28 December and a Monday - Friday Service will run on 29, 30 and 31 December. The University of Bath Park and Ride will not operate throughout the Christmas Period.

Bristol (Bath Road) Park and Ride - Service 904

This will not operate on 25, 26, 27 December and 1 January. A Saturday service will run on Monday 28 December and a normal Monday-Friday service will run on 29, 30 and 31 December.

School and college services will not run at all over the Christmas period.

Full details are on the First Bus website here.

Rubbish and recycling collection update

Thanks to icy roads and pavements, delayed starts and traffic problems, the problems with bin collections continue. Because Saturdays are already being used to catch up on Christmas public holidays, SITA won't be able to use them to catch up on the weather-related delays.

Therefore black bin and green box collections are being prioritised for collection before Christmas Day, but green bin collections are being suspended, except for households on the food waste trial.

If you are awaiting a collection, please leave your black bins and green boxes out if it is safe to do so, otherwise take them in and put them out again by 7.00am each morning.

At this stage the Sort It Centres remain unaffected by the weather.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

New Council offices - cycling and pedestrian links

As well as consulting on parking restrictions around the new Council offices on Badminton Road, the Council are asking for your views on improvements to cycling and pedestrian facilities in the area. You can find more information online.

Maybe this is also an opportunity to sort out the confusing Stover Rd junction layout - we've seen people coming from Yate turn right too early and meeting Stover Rd traffic head-on.

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Police appeal for witnesses following fatal road traffic collision in Old Sodbury

Police in South Gloucestershire are appealing for information following a fatal road traffic collision in Old Sodbury on Friday.

At around 6.45pm on Friday, December 18, a Peugeot 107 was in collision with a wall on the A432 Badminton Road, between Chipping Sodbury and Old Sodbury.

An 86 year-old woman was taken to Frenchay Hospital by ambulance but later died in hospital.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to contact the Collision Investigation Unit on 0845 456 7000

Friday, 18 December 2009

South Glos - holiday changes to refuse and recycling collections

South Glos Council has announced the following changes to refuse and recycling collections over the Xmas and New Year period:

If your collection should be:  
 It will now be:                    
 Friday 25 December
 Tuesday 29 December
 Monday 28 December
 Wednesday 30 December
 Tuesday 29 December
 Thursday 31 December
 Wednesday 30 December
 Saturday 2 January
 Thursday 31 December
 Monday 4 January
 Friday 1 January
 Tuesday 5 January
 Monday 4 January
 Wednesday 6 January
 Tuesday 5 January
 Thursday 7 January
 Wednesday 6 January
 Friday 8 January
 Thursday 7 January
 Saturday 9 January
 Friday 8 January
 Monday 11 January
 Monday 11 January
 Tuesday 12 January
 Tuesday 12 January
 Wednesday 13 January
 Wednesday 13 January
 Thursday 14 January
 Thursday 14 January
 Friday 15 January
 Friday 15 January
 Saturday 16 January

Normal collections will resume week commencing Monday 18 January.

Please put your bin and or recycling boxes out by 7.00 am on the day of collection. If your collection is missed on the due day, please leave your bin out for collection on the following working day.

Extra Rubbish

For the first black bin emptying after Christmas, up to 3 bags of additional waste (side waste) will be collected alongside your black wheeled bin. This is a one-off service for that one day only. This concession does not apply to your green bin. If you have too much cardboard for your green bin, flatten it, fold it and keep it for your next green bin collection.

SORT IT!* Centres (Household Waste Recycling Centres) will be closed on  Saturday 26 December Friday 25 December,and Friday 1 January.

Bulky Waste Collection will be suspended from 24 December 2009 until Monday 4 January 2010.

Recycling Christmas Trees  

Provided they are not to big, then Christmas Trees may be chopped up and put into your green bin. Branches or the trunk should be no more than 4 inches in diameter. Please make sure that the lid closes and that all decorations have been removed. If your tree is too big then it can be taken to your nearest SORT IT!* Centre where it will be separated out for composting.

What do do with Christmas cards and wrapping paper

Unfortunately many Christmas cards now have plastic or metal tinsel etc attached to them - if so, they cannot therefore be recycled as part of the normal collections services.

As in previous years, the Woodland Trust is promoting a Christmas card recycling scheme via certain major retailers. This year W H Smith, Tesco, T K Maxx, Sainsbury's and Marks and Spencer will be taking part in this project. Thanks to public participation in this scheme, last year 93 million cards were kept out of landfill.

Please check with the relevant stores as to whether or not they are offering this service. Some local charity shops may also take used cards.

Wrapping Paper

As with Christmas cards, the metal tinsel, glitter, etc attached to it act as a contaminant and render it unsuitable for recycling, so wrapping paper should go in the black bin.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Reminder - get involved in improving health services

A quick reminder that the South Gloucestershire LINk (Local Involvement Network) now has a website where you can find out how to get involved in improving health and care services locally. On the site you can find out more about the LINk and all the events it is organising.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Have your say on parking restrictions around new Council office

South Glos Council have announced plans to introduce waiting restrictions on roads around their new Badminton Road Council offices.

Claire Young and other local Councillors recently met officers to discuss plans to tackle the impact on traffic of the new offices. With just over 300 parking spaces for around 700 desks, there are worries that employees will park on local roads despite attempts to encourage them to use other forms of transport.

The Council's answer to this is to introduce parking restrictions and they want to hear your views now. For more information and to make comments, go to the consultation on the South Glos website. Let Claire know what you think too by emailing

Culverhill Special School "outstanding" - OFSTED

Good to see that Culverhill Special School, Kelston Close, Yate has received an "outstanding" OFSTED report, with particular achievements in maths amd sports.

More detail from the Gazette here.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Please save those stamps!

Most of our local charity shops collect used stamps - foreign, UK commemorative or just plain "ordinary" stamps - and sell them on to dealers. Please keep all those stamps you get at Xmas or indeed any time of year and take them in.

Alternatively you can drop them off to Paul Hulbert at 35 Blaisdon (he's collecting them for Cancer Research) or leave them at Dodington Parish Council for him to collect.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

South Glos profiled on new Government website

The new "Onesite" website pulls together statistics from a range of sources to give an overall picture of major councils. South Glos's page is here.

It's pretty up to date - for example, it talks about the proposed Priority Neighbourhood status for West Yate and Dodington - though the text sounds rather complacent at times.

Worryingly certain important information seems to be "not applicable", for example:

  • "Congestion - average journey time per mile during the morning peak"
  • "Local bus and light rail passenger journeys originating in the local authority area"
  • "Supply of ready to develop housing estates"
It's all information that is available elsewhere, scattered across many documents, but it's useful to have it all in one place.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Banks to scrap cheques?

The banks will be voting on 16 Dec about scrapping cheque system by 2018 (see Times article here) - an announcement about it is expected in January. At the moment about 1 payment in 25 is still made by cheque in the UK.

Cheques are inconvenient for banks because they cost more to process than electronic transactions. But how else will one individual be able to send payments to another safely? And do you want to be forced into setting up yet more direct debits?

Small companies are also against stopping the cheque system because of the extra costs they would incur. Apparently the banks have already decided to scrap payment guarantee cards from 2011 - anyone remember them telling us about that decision? Surely that will increase the risks for small tradesmen accepting payments from customers.

The postal order system is also likely to be affected because the secure version - the crossed postal order - can only be paid into a bank account or a PO savings account, unless it's used to pay a bill at a post office. So effectively it's a cheque. Unless of course the Post Office decides to scrap postal orders at the same time?

If you think cheques should stay, please sign the 10 Downing Street petition here.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Yate tunes up for Christmas

Yate Shopping Centre has been getting into the Christmas spirit, with their usual excellent decorations and children queuing up to see Santa.

Today was made extra special by a performance of carols and seasonal musicby Dodington Parish Band. This friendly local band welcomes players of all standards - please check out the Dodington Parish Band website for more details.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Rodford Way fatal accident - update

The Rodford Way crossing was the main item of discussion at last week's Yate Safer Stronger Community Group meeting. South Glos tabled a report at the meeting giving background and listing actions they are taking:

  • Schools road safety education - continuing at all local schools
  • Tackling anti-social behaviour - a CCTV dome has now been erected near the newsagents, and a multi-agency meeting is being arranged
  • Subway maintenance - graffitti removal, cutting back undergrowth at entrance
  • South Glos asked for local people to work with S Glos to help improve usage of the subway, but they did not seem to have heard of the Abbotswood Action Group

South Glos reckon it will take a few months for their measures to have their full effect. It was agreed that a new survey of pedestrian movements would be done around the anniversary of the last survey (27 April 2009), the results to be reported to the following Yate SSCG meeting (June?), the report to be circulated BEFORE the meeting this time.

South Glos's stance is that the safest way to cross Rodford Way is via the subway, therefore the problem is to persuade people to use the subway. When we have the results of the next survey we can see whether there has been a significant increase in the proportion of people using the subway. In the meantime the Rodford Way Crossing will remain one of the Yate Safer Stronger  Community Group's three key priorities.