Thursday, 27 April 2017

Yate Spur cycle route - general support but some concerns remain

The results of the consultation on the latest parts of the Yate Spur cycle route have been published by South Glos - full details here - scroll down and click on "Consultation Feedback Statement".

This consultation - including a very busy exhibition at Shire Way Community Centre - covered Westerleigh Road between the mini-roundabout and the Common and a refuge on the Nibley Lane arm of the Nibley Lane/Westerleigh Road junction.

In brief, the responses to the consultation were very positive. A total of 67 responses were received:
  • 49 responses were in support of the scheme (73%)
  • 3 responses objected to the scheme (4%)
  • 15 responses stated no preference either for or against the scheme (22%)
The South Glos report responds to all of the points made, and many of the points have been taken into account in the final design.

Local cyclists still have worries about the plans for the Nibley Lane junction, where South Glos say "Funding limitations mean we are unable to carry out a radical remodelling of the junction.... The provision of a mini roundabout has been considered but there is insufficient space available to provide one that provides sufficient visibility without taking additional land which would increase time and costs significantly". In answer to the concerns, South Glos say "the proposals will be subject to the Road Safety Audit process which should identify any safety issues with the proposals"

The likely timing of the path works is now:
  • Westerleigh Road (Shire Way to Rodford Way) section starting July
  • Nibley Lane junction late 2017 / early 2018

That will leave two gaps:
  • Under the Rodford Elm railway arch to join the existing Westerleigh Road path to the new section - this needs engineering design that has to be agreed with Network Rail, who have already agreed in principle. Design discussions are in progress.
  • The "Westerleigh bypass" from Nibley Lane to Dodmoor Crossing. The design is being done this year, and again network rail have agreed in principle. Some land ownership needs to be clarified in case the route is not all on Network Rail land.
The gradual progress is welcome, but with some reservations about Nibley Lane junction. When the whole scheme is complete - hopefully by April 2019 - there will be a safe cycle (and pedestrian) route from Yate to the Bristol - Bath Railway Path and the Ring Road Path.


Saturday, 22 April 2017

Ram Hill Colliery Open Day

There will be an Open Day at the historic Ram Hill Colliery on Monday 29 May from 10.30 am to 4.00 pm.

You will be able to visit this 19th century mine site, with the remains of the mine shaft, horse-gin, bunkers and Dramway. You will also be able to take a walk through the Woodland area and enjoy some refreshments .

You can find the Colliery across from 1 Railway Cottages, Broad Lane, Coalpit Heath, BS36 2TY

The Friends of Ram Hill Colliery offer guided walks, and recommend sensible footware. Dogs and children must be supervised, with respect shown to this registered Heritage England site. Donations welcome.

For more information please check out or contact Liz Hillyard on 01179 236595

Friday, 21 April 2017

St George comes to Yate!

Tomorrow (Saturday 22 April) is the big St George's Day celebration at Yate Heritage Centre. It's going to be full of music, fun and interesting happenings - there's something for everyone!

Claire Young to fight General Election battle for Lib Dems in Thornbury and Yate

Well known local councillor Claire Young says she is looking forward to the General Election. She will be the Lib Dem candidate for the Thornbury and Yate constituency, working to regain the seat that was held until two years ago by Steve Webb.

Claire is currently the South Glos councillor for Westerleigh ward, and deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats on South Gloucestershire Council. She has many years of experience of helping local people and campaigning with them to get things done. Recent campaigns have included working with bus users to press for improvements to the Southmead 82 bus service, speaking up on behalf of parents and pupils about the difficulties at The Ridings Federation schools and challenging the Conservatives' poorly thought through development plans for our towns and villages.

Claire said: “Theresa May repeatedly said she would not be holding a snap election. I am ready for the challenge ahead and will be looking forward to standing up for the people of the Thornbury and Yate constituency”

Length of B4465 Westerleigh Rd to close for resurfacing

The B4465 Westerleigh Road is going to be resurfaced (surface dressing) from the top of Shorthill Road to Wapley Road just west of the Wishing Well pub.

The notice rather alarmingly says that the closure "will be operative from the 15 May 2017 for a maximum period of eighteen months. The closure however may not be implemented for the whole of the period but only when signs are in position and only for so long as is necessitated by the works which are anticipated to be of 8 weeks duration"

However the actual works will only take a couple of days, but they need the weather to be pretty dry. Hence the pessimistic timescales on the notice.

In summary - if the warning signs are up, the road is closed; if they're not, it's still open.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Wildlife in your garden and nearby - new group for Shire Way and area

If you live off Shire Way or Rodford Way, you could be interested in a new group aimed at encouraging wildlife in gardens and nearby.

Local residents Clare and Mat Woodman said "The group will be launched to give people the chance to share ideas, tips and suggestions in helping to make the area more wildlife friendly and a wonderful place to live.  From backdoor wildernesses to public open spaces we all can play a part in helping to protect and nurture our outdoor areas.  In our busy lifestyles we sometimes lose contact with nature and our projects will be a chance to step back and enjoy the basics again"

"Gaining volunteers to help put up bird feeders and nest boxes along Shire Way will be one of our many initiatives. We're going to have the first meeting of the Shire Way Conservation Group on Tuesday 9th May 2017 at 7.00pm at Shire Way Community Centre - everyone will be welcome"

"The area already plays host to a variety of birds and animals including green woodpecker, tawny owl and goldfinch.  Part of our work will be to ensure the continuing protection of these species plus the additional support needed for the declining number of bees and hedgehogs affecting us nationwide"

"In collaboration with local councils we will be actively looking to develop roadside 'micro meadows' as well as working towards projects in other areas."

Dodington Parish Councillor Paul Hulbert, who is supporting the project, said "I've always concentrated on larger scale projects like Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve, but I'm keen to find out more about these important small scale initiatives closer to home"

"As well as our gardens we have a lot of green spaces in our part of the town, perfect for wildlife. This very local initiative could also be a way for families to get even small children interested in the natural world on their doorsteps"

"This will very much be an ongoing community based project, aiming to reach out to local schools, organisations and existing conservation groups to develop awareness and support. We're hoping to get local experts to come and speak to the group"

For further details please contact either Clare or Mat Woodman by phoning 07907 733056, by emailing or by checking out Shire Way Conservation Group on Facebook.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Southmead bus improvements to include later last service

First Bus have responded to pressure from Cllr Claire Young, Dodington Parish Council and local campaigners by adding an extra bus at the end of the day, Mondays to Fridays. From 30th April, the last service back from Southmead will be at 8.30 pm (instead of 7.15 pm), calling at Cribbs Causeway at 8.45 pm and Bristol Parkway Station at 9 pm, reaching Yate at 9.26 pm.

The full timetable is available here

Please be sure to show your appreciation for this later journey by making use of it and help to encourage usage by making your family, your friends, work colleagues or anyone else you know who uses the 82 service aware of this positive change to the service.

Let's hope that the changes of service management First promised us recently will result in better reliability.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Overnight Ring Road closures this week

There will be overnight closures of the ring road this week as South Glos Council will be carrying out more resurfacing work from Tuesday 18 April to Friday 21 April.

The resurfacing will take place between the Hambrook traffic lights (Bristol Road) to the Bromley Heath Roundabout eastbound on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 April and between the Bromley Heath Roundabout to Wick Wick roundabout westbound on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 April.

This will involve overnight closure of the westbound and eastbound carriageways of the A4174 between Hambrook traffic lights/Bristol Road junction and Wick Wick Roundabout between 8pm and 6am. During the overnight closures, traffic will not be able to access part of the A4174 ring road. Full diversion routes will be in place and will be clearly signed.

The westbound and eastbound carriageways will remain fully open at all other times.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Stephen Williams for Metro Mayor

On the 4th May, we have the chance to choose a new "Metro Mayor" for our region, covering South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset, and Bristol. The Metro Mayor will have powers over important issues like transport, housing, the local economy, skills and jobs - on a par with the Mayor of London.

As a former Government minister,  Liberal Democrat Stephen Williams has the experience to be a strong voice for our area. Working closely with the local Focus Team, he understands the problems we face here in South Gloucestershire, and has set out his plans to tackle them in his manifesto. You can find out more about Stephen on his web site and Facebook page.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Find out more on recycling service changes

In the summer, South Glos Council will be launching a simplified recycling service, with weekly collections for paper, cardboard, plastics, cans, cartons and glass, alongside the existing weekly food waste collections. You will be able to put all recycling out every week.

You will still need to sort your recycling for collection but can choose to use green boxes instead of bags for plastics and cardboard or stick with your existing bags. You will be able to get extra green boxes if you need them.

Once the new service is up and running, your black bin will be replaced with a smaller one, which will still be collected fortnightly. If you have extra needs, you may be able to get extra capacity.

You can find out more about the changes online and there are also roadshows across South Gloucestershire. In and around our area these include:

Tuesday 11th April, 3:30pm - 4pm,  Bradley Stoke - Leisure Centre
Wednesday 19th April,  2:30pm - 4pm,  Thornbury - Leisure Centre
Thursday 20th April.4pm - 5:30pm,  Yate - Leisure Centre
Tuesday 25th April, 10am - 2pm,  Sainsburys - Downend
Tuesday 10th May 10am - 2pm,  Winterbourne High street
Saturday 20th May, 10am - 6pm, Waitrose - Chipping Sodbury
Tuesday 6th June, 9:30am - 4:30pm, Yate Shopping Centre
Wednesday 14th June, 9am - 4pm, Willowbrook Centre - Bradley Stoke
Tuesday 20th June, 12pm - 4pm, Charfield Village Hall
Tuesday 27th June, 10am - 6pm, Waitrose - Chipping Sodbury 
Wednesday 12th July, 10am - 3:30pm,  Sainsburys - Downend
Thursday 20th July, 10am - 2pm Winterbourne High street

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Positive news on 82 Southmead bus

Campaigning last autumn for improvements to the 82 bus
After many months of campaigning with bus users for improvements to the notoriously unreliable 82 service, we are delighted to be able to report some more positive news.

Alan Barrett of First Bus attended Dodington Parish Council on Wednesday to give councillors and parishioners an update on the problems affecting the 82.

He said that at the end of April they would be transferring responsibility for running the 82 service to the team that currently runs the more reliable 46 and 47 Yate to Bristol services. It is hoped this will improve reliability.

We have also been calling for the 82 to continue to Chipping Sodbury and beyond, as it did before the cuts last September. He said that once they have resolved the reliability issues they would look again at this - and he promised to come back to the Parish Council to get their feedback on any proposals before making the final decision.

Several times he mentioned the representations we'd made at the Public Transport Forum meetings in October, when Claire Young presented a petition, and in January. Thank you again to all who signed the petition, you really helped to make an impact.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Dodington Road bridge to close for two weeks

Dodington Railway Bridge, near Chipping Sodbury School, will be closed from Monday 10 April for 2 weeks.  Network Rail will be working to raise the height of the bridge parapets and provide anti-climbing measures, all associated with the electrification of the railway line.

South Gloucestershire Council will then be working there to install 2 speed tables (long flat "speed bumps") to reduce speed on this dangerous bridge. The works have been timed to coincide with the school holidays.

The diversion route will be signposted along the B4465, A46 and A432, but "locals" will of course know some short cuts.

Flood risk plans now online

Cllrs Tony Davis and Claire Young at the flooding exhibition
At the Environment Agency's drop-in exhibition on the risk of river flooding in the Yate and Chipping Sodbury area in March, local councillor Claire Young asked them to make the plans available online for those who couldn't attend.

They have now published the plans on their website. If you would like to make comments, you can email them to

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Do some spring cleaning this weekend!

There are three local events this Saturday (8th April) where you can make a real difference to your local area.

Dodington Parish Council Spring Clean will start from the Changing Room at QE2 Playing Fields Kelston Close at 10am, and spread out around the Shire Way / Rodford Way area. Litter pickers, black bags and gloves will be provided. Everyone is welcome, though children must be accompanied by an adult.

If you’ve still got some energy afterwards, why not join in the Abbotswood Spring Clean and Planting just across the road? Starting at 11am in front of Abbotswood shops – just come along and choose something you would like to help with. As well as litter picking there will be planting, painting and lotes more to keep you busy.

Meanwhile the Old Sodbury Spring Clean will start at 10am at the Village Hall.

Bromley Heath Viaduct works - initial traffic proposals

We've previously reported on the Bromley Heath viaduct works on the ring road, which will involve the southern viaduct being closed for up to a year. South Glos council has published traffic management proposals for our area during the works.

A number of people have raised concerns about these proposals. Claire Young has discussed these with the relevant highways officer, who has reassured her that all the concerns people are raising will be taken into account when drawing up the final plans.

All public meetings are currently on hold because of the “purdah” period for the Metro Mayor election. There will however be further public drop-ins in May and June, including:
  • 6-8pm Tuesday 9th May at Frampton Cotterell C of E School
  • 10am-12 noon Saturday 27th May in Emerson’s Green Village Hall
South Glos Council has made bids to both the Department for Transport and the West of England Partnership for additional funding in order to shorten the works.

For more information about the work visit

If you have any questions please contact the council at