Friday, 31 August 2018

Railway works - trains to be cancelled, some disturbance for neighbours

Network Rail will shortly be testing and adjusting the overhead electrification equipment they have already installed. They will also be carrying out track and drainage surveys in and around Chipping Sodbury tunnel.

There will be a big impact on train services - Bristol Parkway will be closed from Saturday 15 September until the morning of Sunday 7 October, and then again on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 October. Buses will be available at Parkway to take passengers to nearby stations. When the railway is closed some trains are diverted, and buses will replace trains on certain routes. Further information can be found here and here

Disturbance for neighbours

Between Saturday 15 September and Sunday 7 October 2018 Network Rail will be working day and night, seven days a week on the railway near us, and again over the weekend of Saturday 13 to Sunday 14 October. This work will take place while the railway line between Wootton Bassett Junction and Bristol Parkway is closed.

There will be vehicles and staff on the track across the route over the three weeks. When the teams are working, Network Rail say that you may experience some disturbance but the work is not especially noisy, though all railway vehicles will sound their horns before moving to ensure the safety of staff working on the line.

They will be using their existing compounds and track access points around the clock and you will notice more activity at these sites - the Shire Way access point is one of these.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

First Bus launches new bus services for Yate

Local Liberal Democrat Focus Team members joined First Bus this morning at the publicity launch for the new "South Glos Lynx" services starting on 2nd September. The distinctive bright yellow buses, numbered Y1 to Y6, will take contactless payments - hence the "Ricardo" character in the photo.

Strangely quite a few non-local Conservatives turned up for the launch. However First Bus confirmed again this morning that they gave us the Cranleigh Court bus back because of a meeting with Yate Town Council, nothing to do with the Tory MP who as usual is trying to claim all the credit.

All the timetables are available from First Bus's South Glos Lynx web page which also explains how the new routes relate to the old ones.

You can also download their very useful leaflet with maps and timetables

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Could YOU be a school governor?

From September 2018 Yate Secondary Academy and Woodlands Primary School will be operating as two individual schools, and each school will have its own local governing body – and they are looking for people to become school governors. Here is their description of the role:

"Yate and Woodlands are happy, energetic, welcoming and inclusive schools; Woodlands has a nursery and Yate has a thriving sixth form, and there is a Hearing Impaired Resource Base for students from 3 to 19. Having joined the Greenshaw Learning Trust in September 2017 as an all-through school, rapid improvements in behaviour and the quality of teaching are significantly improving outcomes, giving all our students a better chance of success"

You can find out more on the school website:

"Each school in the Greenshaw Learning Trust is led by its own leadership team and local governing body and strong governance is key to the schools’ success – providing strategic leadership, oversight of financial and academic performance, and challenge and support for the headteacher and leadership team.

Being a school governor is an important and rewarding role. School governors apply their knowledge and skills to ensure their school does the best for all its pupils and its local community, learn about aspects of education and gain experience that will benefit other parts of their life. No particular qualifications are required and support and training is provided.

The local governing body normally meets at least six times per year and governors are asked to take on particular tasks including serving on ad-hoc committees, visiting the school and meeting with members of staff, and taking part in training and development activities.

We want our governing bodies to reflect the diversity of their school population and local community and we would welcome interest from people of all ages and backgrounds.

If you or anyone you know might be interested in joining us as a school governor, please find further information and complete and return the form at: or contact Susanne Wicks, Head of Clerking at
The Greenshaw Learning Trust is successfully supporting and improving primary and secondary schools in Gloucestershire, Bracknell Forest, Sutton and Croydon – see the Trust website:"

Monday, 13 August 2018

82 bus - campaign for real time info

Thank you to everyone who has got in touch about 82 bus reliability problems since we alerted you in June to the fact that it is sometimes missing out the Chipping Sodbury section.

At a face-to-face meeting last week your Focus Team councillors challenged First Bus bosses about this failure. They said that because the route goes through a number of traffic hot spots it is vulnerable to getting badly delayed and if that happens they cut out Chipping Sodbury and turn round at Yate.

When we asked what happens to people waiting at the Clock Tower, their reply was that the sign will switch to cancelled. So we explained there is no real time information sign there, to which their answer was that people could check their app or website! We suggested they get real - not everyone has a smart phone or knows how to use their app.

Focus Team Cllr Phil O'Rourke, pictured below, is campaigning to get real time information at the Clock Tower. That way if a bus is running so late it is going to be turned round at Yate, people can decide if it is better to walk down to Yate or catch another bus instead. First Bus are refusing to install a new real time sign at a cost of about £7k - we have suggested moving one from a stop where there are no longer any buses.

Phil O'Rourke, Claire Young and Ben Nutland
campaigning for the return of the 82 bus to
Chipping Sodbury in 2016

Friday, 10 August 2018

Success - bus campaign victory!

Great news - First Bus have listened to the concerns your Focus Team councillors raised when we met them this week and have had a rethink. The Cranleigh Court and North Road areas, which were left high and dry by the previous plans, will have a bus to Bristol.

The revised Y3 service will go along Iron Acton Way to the Brimsham traffic lights, turn into Greenways Road and then head down Cranleigh Court Road to Station Road on its way to the town centre.

Thanks to all the local residents who got involved - it's your voices that make the difference. We’ve won round one of the battle because you told us your concerns and gave us the evidence and we got in quickly to put the case to First Bus.

The fight goes on to help those living in the Halifax Road and Wellington Road area.

Save our bus - sign our petition!

Changes to the 46 and X46 buses, which many residents only heard about when we told them here and in Focus, will leave many people in North Yate without a service to Bristol.

As we reported last week, the X46 is being replaced by the Y3 and the 46 by the Y4. Although the Y services are better for some, they cut out the following parts of the old routes:

  • Cranleigh Court Road and Greenways Road from the Cranleigh Court to Church Road junctions
  • Iron Acton Way, Goose Green Way, Greenways Road from the western Goose Green Way junction to the Halifax Road junction, Halifax Road and Wellington Road from there to Goose Green Way.

Effectively First Bus are cutting services to parts of Yate so they can improve them for the Metro Mayor's village of Winterbourne!

We know many rely on this service, so we’re trying to save it. Please sign our petition at and share it with other bus users who stand to lose out.