Saturday, 17 March 2018

South Glos bus services to get upgrades to reduce emissions

The government’s Clean Bus Technology Fund has awarded major grant funding to South Glos Council which will be used to cut emissions and improve air quality.

The money will be used to retrofit emissions reductions technology on the 78/79 service buses that run from Thornbury to Bristol, via Filton and Cribbs Causeway, the X46 which runs from Yate to Bristol, via Winterbourne, and the 47 which runs from Chipping Sodbury to Bristol via Downend.

All 81 buses will be upgraded from Euro IV/V standard to Euro VI, which is the best environmental standard available and will cut the release of harmful Nitrous Oxides from these buses by up to 94 per cent.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Planning to travel by train at Easter?

Network Rail have warned us that they will be carrying out their largest ever resignalling project this Easter, from Friday 30 March to Tuesday 3 April, in and around Bristol Temple Meads. The aim is to improve reliability and increase capacity to meet growing demand. No trains will run to, through or from Bristol Temple Meads during this time.

While this is bad news for those planning to travel over Easter, they promise that in the long run it will mean fewer delays and faster journey times, and enable an increase in trains from 2019. Passengers will benefit from almost twice as many trains between Bristol and London Paddington from 2019.

You can find out more on the Network Rail website.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Call for regeneration action on west fringe of Yate

Local councillor Claire Young has called upon South Gloucestershire Council to kick-start the regeneration of the “western gateway to Yate.”

Although on the edge of Yate, most of the industrial estates are in Westerleigh and Iron Acton Parishes. With the Conservatives proposing thousands of new homes in the area, it's vital we have the jobs to go with them and an improved Yate station that links all the different forms of transport together.

The recent sale of Stover Road Trading Estate and the development of the new Local Plan make this the ideal time to look again at this issue. Claire has asked the Leader of South Glos Council to bring together the owners of all the trading estates and involve local councillors in the process. He was non-committal but your Focus Team will keep pressing for action.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Superfast broadband update

This is the latest update from Connecting South Gloucestershire, a government supported programme bringing faster broadband across South Gloucestershire where it is not economically viable for commercial companies to provide it:

Work is progressing well and over the last month we’ve delivered fibre in Almondsbury, Chipping Sodbury, Downend, Thornbury, Totteroak and Wickwar.

Once fibre has been laid, residents should contact their chosen Internet Service Provider (ISP) directly to see what broadband speeds and packages are available to them.

Important: Not all premises within these areas will get fibre as part of this phase of work and broadband speeds will not automatically improve. Individual householders should check options via the Openreach website and where appropriate contact their chosen ISP directly. There are useful sources of information to guide you through this process on our website

Wayleave, road closures, weather and ducting

The last month has highlighted just how complex a task installing fibre can be.

We’re working hard with local residents and land-owners to gain access to privately-owned land we need to cross to install fibre in a number of areas across South Gloucestershire. This is a time-consuming process, which in some cases has required Openreach to seek legal permissions via a Wayleave.

We’ve also had to gain permissions to close a road which will allow us to deliver broadband to parts of Codrington. We’ve made good progress here and work to complete the deployment is ongoing.

Similarly, on Sodbury Common we have encountered additional work required on some ducting. Again, this work is underway and due to be completed very shortly.

Phase 3: broadband is coming to even more areas

Last July, we secured additional investment to bring ultrafast and Next Generation Access broadband to approximately 4,300 additional homes and businesses in South Gloucestershire by the end of 2018.

Our partner, Openreach has now confirmed which areas will be included within this phase of work. As with previous phases, not all premises within postcodes will be upgraded and individual householders/businesses should check via the Openreach website.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Upper Chalkley Lane in Horton/Hawkesbury - update from South Glos

It's not good news. South Glos tell us:

"We have completed a detailed survey of this road after possible subsidence issues were found before Christmas. There is a slippage and we need to carry out significant reconstruction works to make the road safe. Work will start imminently and we aim to complete the works and reopen within 14 weeks"

"Upper Chalkley Lane will remain closed to traffic until the reconstruction is complete. Access only, pedestrians, cyclists and horseriders can continue to use the road. Diversion in place. We apologise for the inconvenience caused while we carry out these emergency repairs"
The diversion is shown below.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Residents and councillors spring clean on Cambrian open space

 Despite overnight rain, residents and councillors turned out on Saturday morning to spring clean the newly public open space behind Cambrian Drive.

Back in December, Yate town councillors finally won their long fight to save the land from developers. The Town Council managed to buy the land for just £35,000 and immediately opened it up to the public.

Residents who had helped the councillors fight a series of applications to build on the land joined councillors for a spring clean.

John Ford, Mayor of Yate (in blue overalls rather than chain of office!) said "It was a brilliant morning, the best turn out we have  ever had for a spring clean.  We had residents of all ages, from 8 to 80. I want to thank everyone who helped"

This is the first phase of restoring the site for public use, with planting to follow, and further work cutting back brambles and overgrown hedges.  The event collected bag after bag of litter from the hedges and brambles. They cleared the path right back to the kerb, adding about 2 ft to the width of the path, and cut back brambles to try to make the path more accessible.

Tackling loneliness - information evening 20 March

A recent survey by Contact the Elderly showed that a third of people had noticed a lonely older person in their community and been concerned, and 40% did not feel confident that they knew how they could help.

South Gloucestershire Disability Network are hosting an information evening for community members to find out:
  • How to approach this situation
  • What you can do to help
  • What schemes exist to help isolated people locally
The event will take place on Tuesday 20th March at Chipping Sodbury Town Hall. Registration starts at 6pm, after which attendees can have some nibbles and a look around stalls of local organisations should they wish. The main event will start at 6.30pm, to end around 8.30pm.

The event is aimed at businesses, workers, volunteers and members of the community who have, or might have, contact with lonely people, but who may not be sure what they can do to help. The aim is to increase confidence and provide some new skills in approaching situations with potentially lonely people, as well as provide attendees with information about schemes which may be of use to others in the community – for example First Contact and Community Connectors.

Booking is essential via Eventbrite.