Monday, 30 April 2018

Beating the Bounds on 6th May

Yate Town Council's annual Beating the Bounds walk takes place on Sunday 6 May - an ancient tradition revived as a family walk to explore Yate Common. Meet at the kissing gate opposite St Briavel's Drive at 3 pm.

Beating the Bounds is a traditional local activity for Rogation Sunday, walking round the boundaries of the Common so that people know what they hold as a community asset. In some places they beat the bounds of an entire parish, or ride round the boundaries of larger parishes.

The Common was nearly sold off for housing some years ago, but a determined campaign by local people (many now in the Focus Team) kept it in public ownership. This gives beating the bounds of the Common a special meaning. Please bring your children to show them what a lovely area we have just on the edge of the town.

Please come and join the walk. Dogs are welcome, and if you can bring a small child even better.  As long as they are don’t mind (too much) they get turned upside down at each kissing gate/corner and then given sweets, which is the local take on the original practice of beating them with sticks and then giving them a coin.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Reminder - have your say on Local Plan

Don't forget you only have until 30th April to have your say on South Gloucestershire Council's new Local Plan at

This is your chance to have your say on how up to 1,800 extra homes can be delivered in smaller developments in our rural areas. This is in addition to the thousands of new homes already proposed in large developments at Coalpit Heath, west and north west of Yate in Westerleigh and Iron Acton Parishes, Charfield, Thornbury and Buckover.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Ring Road section closed this weekend

As the long-lasting works on the Bromley Heath Viaduct come to an end, the contraflow will be removed this weekend.

To do this safely there needs to be a full closure of the A4174 Ring Road in both directions from the Wick Wick roundabout to the Hambrook traffic lights from 8pm on Friday 27 April until 6am on Monday 30 April. Signed diversions will be in place.

Further information is available from

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Campaigners welcome new cycle path link

Cllrs Claire Young (left) and Paul Hulbert (centre)
joined cyclists Kate Kelliher, Denis Butterworth
and Bob Keen and rider Ann Fay on the new section
Campaigners who have been pushing for the completion of the "Yate Spur" cycle path are celebrating the opening of the latest section, which is designed for use by horse riders and walkers as well.

The off-road cycle path will eventually link Yate to the Bristol Bath Railway Path, opening up the cycle network to many more people. The latest section links Broad Lane, Westerleigh with the cycle crossing point on Westerleigh Road.

Paul Hulbert and Claire Young with
the cycle path petition in 2014

Cllr Claire Young, the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Thornbury and Yate, started a petition in 2014 calling for the completion of the cycle path. She said:

"It is fantastic to see another important link in this route open. Hundreds of people showed their support for completing the path by signing our petition. When finished it will make commuting to work by bike an option for more people as well as being a great way for families to get out into the countryside."

"We will keep pushing for the final sections to be completed. The link from Dodmoor Crossing to the Nibley Lane junction and the section under the railway bridge by the Shire Way roundabout will bring some of the biggest safety improvements. I look forward to celebrating the opening of the finished path."

But there's disappointing news too. Paul Hulbert, chairman of the Joint Cycleway Group, said "The JCG has just been told that the next leg - from Broad Lane to Nibley Lane Corner - will cost more than is available in the current spending round because of drainage and access problems. We've asked South Glos to look at alternative ideas and funding sources. However we have been told that some small improvements we requested on the A432 Kennedy Way will be done this financial year"

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Winter road gritting to be reduced? Have your say!

South Glos Council is consulting about which roads should be salted and gritted during icy weather - it's yet another "saving" they have identified to help cope with the reduction in grant funding received from central government.

They are proposing to reduce their fleet from 11 gritters to 9, and take 30 km of roads off the list that are salted when freezing conditions seem likely.

In our area Claypit Hill, part of Dodington Road, Gibbs Lane and Sodbury Lane would no longer be gritted.

Other nearby roads include Park lane and Perrinpit Road (Frampton Cotterell), Tormarton Road / Shire Hill / part of Marshfield Road and Ashwicke Road / St Martins Lane (Marshfield and Tormarton) and Old Down Road (Badminton)

The consultation is open until 18 June. There will be a drop-in sessions with StreetCare staff in the meeting room at Yate Outdoor Sports Complex, Broad Lane, Yate, Bristol, BS37 7LB, from 15:00 to 17:00 on Wednesday 2nd May.

You can read more and have your say on the consultation here

Monday, 23 April 2018

More buses for Chipping Sodbury - but Sunday 82 services reduced

Thank you once again to everyone who signed our 82 bus service petition. The great news is that both the 82 and X49 bus services will be extended to Chipping Sodbury from 27th May.

Our petition in autumn 2016 showed that hundreds of people wanted the 82 service to run to and from Chipping Sodbury again, so they wouldn't have to change buses in Yate. At the time we were told that wasn't possible, but we have kept up the fight. We are delighted that First Bus has finally listened.

Not all of the changes being made by First Bus are good news though. On Sundays, the 82 service drops to 2 hourly. Also the X49 will not serve Chipping Sodbury on Sundays or Bank Holidays. We will continue to campaign for better bus services for local people every day of the week.

You can check out the new timetables on the Traveline South West site

Friday, 20 April 2018

Have your say on housing for older people

With life expectancy increasing and people from the post-war "baby boom" reaching old age, the number of older people in South Gloucestershire is increasing. To help them plan for older people's housing needs, the council are carrying out a survey.

You can find out more and complete the survey via the consultation web page. The survey will run until the 27th April.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Viaduct re-opening but A46 traffic lights going

Claire Young at the traffic lights on the A46
 The good news is that the council is planning to re-open the Bromley Heath Viaduct over the weekend of 27th April.

The bad news is that this coming weekend they will be removing the temporary traffic lights on the A46 near Tormarton, at the junction with the B4465 Westerleigh Road, which were installed to manage traffic diverted by the viaduct works. To carry out the removal there will be four-way lights in operation from 8am on Saturday until 6pm on Sunday.

Many local people believe these lights have made the junction safer. With the help of all of you that have shared your views with us, we've already convinced the council to start looking into a permanent solution. If it's to happen though we need to make sure this is a high priority for funding. If you would like to see permanent traffic lights installed and you haven't already signed our petition, please do it today.

They couldn't have had the temporary lights operating during the Badminton Horse Trials anyway - this junction will be controlled by the police as part of their traffic management for the horse trials. 

The A46 junction lights have been put on South Glos's list for future investigation and assessment, but if a new scheme is put forward it won't be for ages. Please sign our petition to keep up the pressure.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Yate sports and play project grant successes

In the recent edition of Focus we promised to tell you more about the various projects that Yate Town Council has got a total of £1.4 million funding for. The success of these bids is due to a lot of local teamwork by the Focus Team councillors, Yate Town Council staff, volunteers, friends groups and residents. Here are the "main headlines":

Yate Outdoor Sports Complex (YOSC)

Yate Town Council successfully bid for funding to replace the track and athletics facilities. They raised £850,000 in total, from developers' "Section 106 money" to develop outdoor sporting facilities in the area), Sport England and by running their own fundraising campaigns. Construction begins week commencing 9th July 2018 to be completed by the end of September 2018.

Sunnyside upgrade

It wasn't very "Sunny" that day...
Yate Town Council ran a Public Consultation to find out views of local people about extending the Changing Rooms at Sunnyside Playing Field. They successfully bid for unding from S106 money to the sum of £128,205.73 to develop outdoor sporting facilities in the area. Construction will begin mid-June and be completed by 12th November 2018.
There will be two more changing rooms at Sunnyside Playing Fields which will enable:
• Female football to take place alongside male match fixtures;
• Provision of an adequate amount of changing rooms in relation to the amount of teams using the pitches and neighbouring Tennis Court facility;
• Improvement of disability access to the facility to promote inclusive sport taking place on site


Yate Town Council successfully bid for S106 funding of £89,535 to develop an informal play area on the green in Abbotswood Shopping Centre. This includes installing new equipment to expand the opportunity for children and families to engage in informal play. At the Abbotswood Apple Day the town council will give an update and talk with local people to discuss the overall plan. It is anticipated that the work will be completed by Spring 2019.

Kingsgate Park

Yate Town Council will get £72,380 of S106 money for Outdoor Exercise Equipment at Kingsgate Park. The park will benefit from the installation of Yate’s first and only set of Outdoor Exercise Equipment, which will provide a free opportunity for visitors aged 14+ to increase their fitness and strength whilst enjoying the surroundings of the Play Area and Lake. There will be a range of equipment aimed to exercise multiple areas of the body, including the ability to undertake cardio workouts at a range of levels.

A public consultation will take place at the Yate Rocks 2018 Festival and it is planned that construction will be completed by Spring 2019. This will be coordinated with Dodington Parish Council's project at Lilliput Park to avoid duplication of equipment.

Howard Lewis Park

Yate Town Council will received £49,628 of Section 106 money to develop the Howard Lewis Play Area. Following consultation with residents and pupils of the local school regarding ideas, extra equipment will be installed including a multi play unit, a basket swing and bike trail markings. Other areas of the park will also receive attention such as signage and landscaping. Construction to begin by
September 2018.

Brinsham Fields
Consultation is vital to getting funding on this scale!
Earlier this year, Yate Town Council began work on the project to enhance Brinsham Park. The works are part of a long term aspiration to improve the rest of the play area, in line with the new housing development taking place nearby. YTC were awarded £25,370 to develop and enhance the play area further. Construction is starting this month to create a fort, sandpit play area and an outdoor trampoline. The work should be be completed by the middle of May.

Member Award Funding (MAF)
The magnificent Ridge Sculpture was funded by MAF money

Yate Town Council has launched a ‘Yate Ageing Better Project’ to establish the needs of the fast
expanding ageing community of Yate. The Council is working together with Age Concern. The first steps have been to launch a new lunch club and Men in Sheds. They have been awarded MAF funding totalling £2156.73 to fund this project, which will be launched this summer with a public consultation to seek the opinions and experiences of those who are involved in existing groups and activities as well as identifying any additional interest and/or hobbies.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Mud success

Focus Team members Louise Harris, Claire Young and Paul Hulbert check
out the rocks they picked off the road - all big enough to crack windscreens
Good news for anyone driving on Westerleigh Road or walking along the pavements - the mud and stones are being cleared and tipping stopped until further notice.

Local people were horrified when tipping started at Beech Hill Farm three weeks ago, leaving the roads strewn with mud and debris. Claire Young raised it with the council's planning enforcement team and since then has been continuing to share residents' complaints with them and Street Care, the team that looks after our roads. She also wrote directly to Keyway, the firm carrying out the tipping.

When Claire spoke to the Head of Street Care last week he told her that Keyway had been told to get a sweeper and team of workers with shovels out that day to clear the roads, otherwise the council would do the job and charge them for it. Even by the time this picture was taken the situation was much improved and as you can see a sweeper was in action (we were photobombed!)

Now someone has been out with a pressure washer hosing down the pavements and a sweeper has been cleaning all the roads around and leading to the land fill. Keyway have confirmed to Claire that they have closed the tip until further notice - but there's a lot more landfill to be done.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Mud firm told to clear it up or pay

The company doing landfill at Beech Hill (the other side of the railway from Chedworth) and spreading all the mud up Westerleigh Road has been told to clear it up or pay for South Glos to do it.

After Focus Cllr Claire Young intervened, South Glos Streetcare put their own sweeper out on Friday and Keyway have been told to get a sweeper and a team out with shovels to clear the road today or the council will do it and re-charge them for it.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Annual Abbotswood Clean Up Day Saturday 14 April - please come and help!

It's less than a week now until this year's Annual Abbotswood and local area Clean Up Day. Last year about 50 people, of all ages, took part and the weather was brilliant.

AAG does things across the whole local area (much more than just Abbotswood) and takes in an area of Yate from Witcombe to the West, Shire Way to the East and Badgeworth to the South as well as Abbotswood, Chargrove and Hardwicke.

As numbers and equipment allow people are encouraged to litter pick wherever you would like to in the area, or you can do do painting and planting near the shops and St. Nix Church. There will even be free refreshments to keep you going!

Maybe you could come with your street or nearest park in mind? We really hope to meet you there this coming Saturday, 14th April from 11 am until 3 pm.

Do please pass the invitation on too your friends, neighbours and family. Everyone is very welcome.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

New high speed bus service to improve Yate commuting

Focus Team members at the timetable display in Yate Bus station

A proposed new bus service looks set to bring major improvements to commuting from and to Yate. At the moment there are big gaps in the high speed direct services in the rush hour. There are slower services of course, but even they only go to Bristol Bus Station and don't serve the central business area, Harbourside and Clifton.

After discussions with Yate Town Council, First Bus are now planning a new route three times an hour and going as far as Colston Street in the City Centre. It will serve South Yate as well as the Shopping Centre.

In 2016 Yate Town Council produced the Let’s Get Yate Moving report, analysing the town's transport problems and proposing solutions. It was their report and the supporting evidence that convinced First Bus that the service would be viable.

“We have been campaigning on it ever since, lobbying to get parts of it implemented,” said Cllr Chris Willmore "And now we’ve won the battle of getting into Bristol”

First Bus have submitted their route application to the Traffic Commissioners, and all being well the new service will start in the summer. More details of the route, stops and timetable will be available closer to the time.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud

The part of Westerleigh Road alongside Chedworth is getting plastered with mud from the works on the other side of the railway arch at Beech Hill Farm. They are supposed to have wheel washers, but if they are there, they're not working very well! There's a road sweeper going up and down but it's not dealing with the situation properly.

There is mud all along the Chedworth pavement and on roads up to half a mile from the site. What's more they're not sticking to the agreed HGV routes - lorries are coming in down Westerleigh Road. Cllr Claire Young of the Focus Team has raised this with the relevant officers at South Gloucestershire Council, who have promised to investigate.