Tuesday, 6 October 2020

MORE CYCLEWAYS FOR YATE



A few months ago, during lockdown, Yate Town Council put together a master plan for the strategic cycle routes we need around Yate, to help people cycle (and consulted with cyclists to identify the strategic routes where it is currently trickier to cycle). We are pleased that South Glos has agreed to act on some parts of the Yate Town Council master plan. So they are currently drawing up plans for a cycleway from the B and Q roundabout to Link Road along Station Road, and from B and Q to Link Road along Kennedy Way. That would give a link to the North South Route.
We have asked them as part of the plans to sort out the McDonald's car park entrance and pilot a one way system through the car park using the Armadillo exit; and have reminded them of the urgent need to sort out the two traffic lights and mini roundabout at Church Rd which has a real pedestrian hazard. And we have put the case for having a secure covered bike park at the junction of these routes by the bus terminus for bike and ride. We have also stressed they need to consult carefully BEFORE they start doing anything - and learn the lessons from the Station Rd mess. These routes SHOULD be easier to solve without harming residents or businesses....but they need to listen and resolve the problems up front.

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Focus wins battle to tackle problem underpass.




South Glos have confirmed to John Gawn that the subway from Sundridge Park to the shops will close this coming week. They hope to start work shutting it off on 5th October ie Monday. Thanks to John for all his work with residents, the police and South Glos to tackle the problems there.

Sunday, 27 September 2020

GOV PLANS REMOVE YOUR SAY IN PLANNING DECISIONS



If you think recent decisions where South Glos planners have ignored local views were bad…. It is going to get worse. The government has published two proposals, which would remove ANY local say in a whole range of planning decisions.  Lots of things that have a significant impact on neighbours would no longer need planning permission. So no chance to have your say, no chance for South Glos to try to get improvements.  


We think this is a disgrace. We believe local communities should shape their own futures, together - not have a market based free for all in which developers can do what they like, whatever to cost to other residents. Today Lib Dem Conference condemned these anti-democratic changes  https://www.libdems.org.uk/f17-emergency


You can find out more about what the government is planning by going to  https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/changes-to-the-current-planning-system

And 

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-future

Sunday, 13 September 2020

McDonald's Chaos




Friday, 4.30pm and it is... chaos.... First full week back at school and Station Rd was completely blocked in both directions by queues for McDonalds - blocking the fire and ambulance station, right turn area and the east and west bound lanes.
We have asked the police and South Glos to work with McDonalds urgently to stop this happening again. And asked the shopping centre owners to help.
Two residents have very helpfully supplied photos - if YOU spot the problem, and can safely take a photo, please do and send it to us, as the more evidence we have, the more likely officials are to take serious action to prevent the problem.
When it was bad earlier in the year, S Glos did some monitoring, but of course McDonalds knew, so they made sure the problem did not occur. And McDonalds for a while had a sign saying no queuing back onto the road, with someone where forcing cars to move in. That needs to be restarted, and they need to act quickly whenever a problem occurs. McD's say they don't know if there is a problem. Well, there is a camera that monitors car parking entrance, run by the shopping centre owners, so could they not use that to spot if there is a backlog, or simply put in their own camera. It is not acceptable for the town centre to gridlock because of a queue for McDonalds....

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Park and Ride Planning Application in


Good news - with your help there have been improvements to the proposals but …
  • users are still going to have to cross the A432 to get to the bus stop -
  • It is likely to turn into a Council Office overflow car park
The plan is for 192 spaces, incl 13 disabled and 20 electric, one car club bay, 6 m/c and secure parking for 46 bicycles. We've attached the plans to this post.
Open from 6am to 10pm excluding bank holidays
This is much smaller than would be needed to allow for all the extra houses since the plans agreed in 2005, so there are real worries about whether it will be big enough.
Parking will £2.60 a day but free for those using the buses. So you won’t need to use the bus or train to park there. That means it is likely to get heavily used by people working in the Council offies next door, as that is desperately short of parking. So there is a real risk relatively few of the 192 spaces will be available for ACTUAL park and ride users.
The plan does show an on site bus lay-by, but there is STILL NO COMMITMENT commitment to actually getting the buses to go in so users are still going to have to cross the A432 to get to Bristol bound buses
The good news is that it WILL have a signal controlled pedestrian crossing over the A432 Badminton Rd - so we have won that battle thanks to your help in creating a strong community pressure.
You can check out the plans and add your views at
https://developments.southglos.gov.uk/online-applications/ - then put the reference P20/16166/R3F in the search box.

Photo - Stephen Williams, Ruth Davis, John Gawn, CLaire Young and Mike Drew trying out the road crossing to get to the bus stop from the proposed car park.

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Developers rip up Ladden Gardens Local Centre master plan













Plans have now been published for the 'local centre' at Ladden Gardens. They are COMPLETELY different from the approved master plan.

The hotel and pub are gone, the 7 shops have been reduced to 1, green space is being removed and car parking put in. Instead all the space that would have been used for these facilities is going to be 3 storey flats, with only the road width and s single row of cars between them and existing houses. All the plans showing them set further back have been torn up. They are proposing to put the community building at one end, and all the parking at the other end, right outside existing houses (just to make sure you maximise disturbance to resident late night).
If YOU live anywhere on the new development, you might want to have a look and comment as this is going to be the only community facility for the whole of the new development. You can find it at: southglos.gov.uk/search-planning-applications - then put in the reference P19/14631/RM - but you will need to move fast - they only published this revised version of the plan this week and want comments immediately.
The version the developers put in last October was far far worse, and S Glos officers have done well to get as many changes as they have managed so far. Now we need to all help put pressure on to get more changes.
The Town Council has objected to the changes - when resident shave tried to get eg play area problems sorted out they are told by the planners ' oh we have to stick to the approved masterplan' but this looks like another example of one rule for residents and one for the developers - if the developers get away with ripping up the masterplan for the local centre. Their only excuse for the change is ' there is no demand for a pub or hotel' - well not right now maybe, but we need to plan for the next 50 years - and if they cannot build those right now, at least let us have it for community uses, to replace the community use of a pub and hotel.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

HALF HOURLY TRAINS FROM YATE a TORY MYTH



Remember back in June when the Tories announced half hourly train services from Yate. This is something we have been fighting to get for a long while. We were surprised, as WECA was still in the process of commissioning reports. We asked WECA whether there was now a decision. Their reply is long, but in essence, they are no further forward. The press release was just spin manufactured from nowhere.
Compare the official answer from WECA with the Tory press release.....

Stephen Williams, pictured above, who is helping us try to get WECA to deliver. commented "We need ACTION not SPIN."
They are still writing business cases and risk assessments, as they have been since 2016.The WECA reply (and it is Weca that are in charge) received today is: " The March 2019 MetroWest Phase 2 Outline Business Case identified Yate as the terminating point on the Bristol Parkway to Gloucester line for MetroWest services and increasing the services calling at Yate to half hourly, this remains a WECA commitment.
The Gloucester Extension report you reference was produced in December 2016 and the infrastructure work required for the extension is being revisited by Network Rail to validate the proposal and includes liaison with the train and freight operators. The December 2016 Gloucester Extension report did not include any timetable or Railsys modelling and therefore this needs to be considered. The report noted that the next steps should be timetable and operational assessments and this is being progressed by WECA.
As part of the operational assessment, risk assessments of the increased service frequency at level crossings on the line to Gloucester need to be undertaken. Once this has been completed and any alterations to level crossings due to safety concerns identified, WECA will confirm the programme of infrastructure works required for the revised timetable. WECA have commissioned a consultant to undertake a Transport Economic Assessment for MetroWest Phase 2 to include the extension to Gloucester to review the Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR). This will confirm our approach to ensure a robust Full Business Case is submitted for the full capital works required."