Friday, 21 July 2017

Traffic delays Sunday 30 July as giant transformer on the move


On Sunday 30 July National Grid will be transporting a very large piece of new equipment to Iron Acton substation. The lorry carrying it will be 57 metres long by 5 metres wide and weigh 231 tonnes. Due to the size and weight, the lorry will travel between 10 and 15 miles per hour.

The vehicle will start from Avonmouth Port in Bristol on 30 July at 9.00, arriving at Iron Acton substation in the late afternoon. It needs to avoid hazards such as weak bridges and narrow turning points, so the route is quite indirect:

Avonmouth docks - M49 - M4 - M5 northbound to Junction 13, then returning southbound to Junction 14, where it will exit onto the B4509.

Then Cromhall, Bagstone and Rangeworthy, and then following the B4059 until it reaches Latteridge village, close to its final destination.

If anyone has questions or concerns, they can contact National Grid's Community Relations team on 0800 073 1047. They are available seven days a week 7.00 – 19.00.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Bromley Heath viaduct works from 22 July - reminder and details




We’ve already reported on the works to the Bromley Heath viaduct on the Ring Road, which will have major travel implications across our area.

Although the Government was not prepared to stump up any more cash, the West of England Joint Committee did recently agree funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership Economic Development Fund (EDF) to reduce the work from 52 weeks to 33 weeks. So the extra cash is being taken from other regional projects, it's not "new money".

Traffic management will be put in this weekend, Saturday 22 to Sunday 23 July, and the actual maintenance work will start on Monday 24 July.

South Gloucestershire Council have put together some very clear web pages on the project here

One key issue is the best routes to avoid some of the jams. For example, to get to the M32 the Winterbourne route from Yate will be better than going via Coalpit Heath. The same web page shows the changes at Winterbourne traffic lights.



Monday, 17 July 2017

Temporary speed limit on A46 at Tormarton

South Glos Council is temporarily introducing a 40mph speed limit on the A46 for 450m north of the junction 18 roundabout from 24 July for the duration of the Bromley Heath viaduct works. They have already installed traffic lights to control the B4465 junction during that period.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Yate Spur cycle route progress (and delays)

There's good news and bad news about the long-awaited cycle track between Yate and the Railway Path, the cycling "superhighway" between Bristol and Bath. At the moment the Yate Spur only comes out as far as the T junction on Westerleigh Road south of Westerleigh.
  • Westerleigh Road T junction to Broad Lane (Cornerways) - inside the farmer's field up to the former Cornerways Nursery - Construction starts this month, taking 4 months
  • Broad Lane - has already been upgraded
  • Broad Lane to Nibley Lane Corner - the "Westerleigh bypass" - being designed, awaiting funding
  • Nibley Lane Corner improvements - recently consulted about - on hold until Spring 2018 because of expected heavy traffic during the Bromley Heath Viaduct work
  • Section under railway viaduct to Westerleigh Rd mini-roundabout - being designed, awaiting funding
  • Westerleigh Rd mini-roundabout to Yate Common - on hold until January 2018 because of railway embankment work near Chedworth
Once the section alongside Westerleigh Road to Cornerways is done, there will be a continuous link from the Railway Path to opposite Wot Not at the north end of Westerleigh. We are pressing for any outstanding maintenance to be carried out between Broad Lane and Wot Not - it tends to get overgrown from time to time.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Brinsham Park Event - fun for all the family

Come and join in this Sunday 16th July in Brinsham Fields from 1.00pm till 4.00pm. Bring your dogs along for a 'Fun Dog Show', 'Tempation Alley' and a Tug of War, free treasure hunt for all the children and other activities.  See you there?

Monday, 10 July 2017

Libraries to close temporarily for updates

Yate, Thornbury and Winterbourne Libraries will be closing for 2 weeks each to install the equipment for users to access them during unstaffed hoursunder the new seven-day-a-week opening arrangements, due to start in October. Borrowers will be able to gain access ith an upgraded library card.

If your local library is closed for a few days, you will be able to access another library relatively close by. You can still make reservations and renew books online and you won’t get a fine if your book is due back while the library is closed.

The project has been designed so that neighbouring libraries will not be closed at the same time.

The closing dates are:
  • Winterbourne Aug 3 - Aug 18
  • Thornbury Aug 9 - Aug 23
  • Yate Aug 21 - Sep 5
Click here for more information about library services in South Gloucestershire.

Friday, 7 July 2017

New Youth Bus for Yate


Yate Town Council has launched a new Youth Bus sothat youth workers can get out and about and  keep in contact with local youngsters aroud the town. The bus is called the Urbie - the Urban Vehicle for Information and Education - and it replaces an older, smaller vehicle that the Town Council used successfully for many years.

Yate Town Council are very grateful for the support of local organisations and businesses including Merlin Housing Society, the Avon and Somerset Police Community Trust, Renishaw, One Stop Carriers for Causes, Sodbury and Yate Business Association and Yate and District Rotary Club.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Railway Inn site latest


As local people will know, the historic Railway Inn was recently demolished despite local objections. The pub sign now peeks rather sadly above the site hoardings.

The developers then submitted an application for outline planning permission, but South Gloucestershire Council has refused to accept this and asked for full layout details before takinga decision on the application. They have been given until July 6th to provide the extra information, or the planning officer will recommend that the application is turned down.


Yate Town Council has raised concerns about the parking arrangements, and has urged that the new building should be made to match the historic style of nearby premises.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Picnic, Play and Plan for Woodchester Play Area - Sat 15 July, 12pm to 3pm


Dodington Parish Council are inviting local residents to a Community Picnic at Woodchester Play Area to help them plan improvements. At the moment the Parish Council only runs the infants play area, but they are negotiating to take over the larger play equipment and the open space from South Gloucestershire Council.

"We would like local people's ideas on how to make the play area better" said Cllr Paul Hulbert "So we're running a 'Picnic, Play and Plan' session for residents - and their children! - to come along and meet us"

"We would like to hear from people of all ages. We're particularly interested in what of the existing play equipment people think works well, and what doesn't. Maybe people have seen equipment somewhere else that would be good at Woodchester"

"We're also keen to get community views on priorities for where money needs to be spent. For example, should we prioritise modernising the oldest equipment, or perhaps putting a fence round the whole play area to keep dogs out? Or do the teenager facilities like the basketball net and the goal need improving?"

"Light refreshments will be provided – please bring your own picnic. We’ll even have a barbecue going so that you can cook your own food. Councillors will also be happy to discuss any other local issues people have on their minds"

For more information, please phone 01454 866546 or email dodingtonpc@southglos.gov.uk

This will be one of the Picnic and Play events coordinated by Abbotswood Action Group.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Bromley Heath Viaduct - more cash, extra public meeting, but more chaos



Back in April we reported about the works to the Bromley Heath viaduct on the Ring Road. We are pleased to tell you that the West of England Joint Committee has agreed extra cash so that the works will be speeded up, so that the project (and the traffic problems) will only last 33 weeks rather than 50 weeks or so.

However the work is likely to have massive travel implications, particularly in the rush hour. Not only for people who use the A4174 but also for people who travel through Westerleigh or use the Westerleigh Road through Codrington  or the A432 through Old Sodbury. People are going to be using very different routes to try to give the chaos a wide berth, so travel changes as far away as the A46 are being put in place, e.g. the temporary traffic lights at the A46 / B4465 junction.

Traffic management will be put in over the weekend of Saturday 22 to Sunday 23 July, and the actual maintenance work will start on Monday 24 July.

Bearing in mind that the traffic diversions and holdups will affect drivers from our area, South Glos Council has arranged two more residents engagement meetings covering the proposed traffic management measures and recommended traffic routes:
  • Longwell Primary School, Monday 10th July, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Dodington Parish Council Hall, Finch Road, Tuesday 11th July, 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Details of the project and the work involved are available at www.southglos.gov.uk/bhviaduct

Monday, 3 July 2017

Fire safety advice

South Glos Council has published some fire safety advice on its website, along with links to more comprehensive advice on the Avon Fire Service website.

Topics covered include:
  • what to do if you have a fire
  • preventing electrical fires
  • preventing kitchen fires
  • planning your escape route
  • fire safety in blocks of flats 
  • smoke alarms 
Well worth a read.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Street art project for Abbotswood underpass

Abbotswood Action Group are organising a street art project in the underpass by the precinct. The project will be led by an organisation called Paintsmiths. The dates for the project are as follows:
  • Workshops at the Youth club: Friday 7th July, Tuesday 11th of July (7pm to 9pm)
  • Workshops at the shops: Monday 24th 11am to 1:30pm and Tuesday 25th (5pm to 7:30pm)
  • Painting In the Underpass during the week of: Monday 24th to Friday 28th July
More information about Paintsmiths can be found here: http://www.paintsmiths.org/

Abbotswood Action Group would love to see anyone who is interested at the workshops.

It's actually 30 years since the previous mural was done - local people of a certain age will remember the alien with a basketball. Does anyone have any photos of it? If so, please email paul.hulbert@gmail.com - if they're prints, we would be happy to scan them and let you have the prints back.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Have your say on the South Glos Health & Wellbeing Strategy

Public consultation has opened on a new joint strategy to guide the work of the South Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) over the next four years to improve the health of everyone living and working in South Gloucestershire.

The JHWS sets out four key priorities where the Board feel their work can improve the health and wellbeing of people living and working in South Gloucestershire. These are:
  • Improve educational attainment and raise aspirations through promotion of health and wellbeing in schools and colleges
  • Promote and enable positive mental health and wellbeing at every stage of life
  • Promote and enable good nutrition, physical activity and a healthy weight throughout life
  • Maximise the potential of our built and natural environment to enable healthy lifestyles and prevent disease
The JHWS is keen to receive your thoughts and opinions on the draft strategy. This consultation is open until midnight on 21st August 2017.

Lots more information, including the draft strategy and the consultation questionnaire, can be found on the consultation website here

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Do you have a road safety concern?

Since the Area Forums were scrapped, the council needed a new way to handle the local road safety schemes. If you have a road safety concern, you can now ask the council to investigate it by submitting the Highways Investigation Request Form. You will need the support of at least one local ward member and parish councillor on behalf of the parish council.

Highways officers will assess your request to see if a viable scheme is likely. If it is, it will be added to the Local Transport Investigation List and once a year will be scored and prioritised along with all the other schemes on the list. The 15 highest scoring will be investigated.

Once investigated, three things can happen:
  1. If there is a simple, low cost solution, that will be programmed to be implemented immediately.
  2. If a more involved scheme is needed, it will be entered on the Local Transport Priority List.
  3. If no scheme is recommended, you will be told no further action will be taken.
Once a year all the schemes on the Local Transport Priority List will be scored and prioritised and given an estimated cost. The top scoring schemes will go on the council's Capital Programme for the following financial year.

You can see the current lists of possible future Investigation and Implementation schemes online. You can also see the Capital Programme for 2017-18.

You can find out more about the process here.The links above may change as time goes on, but the links on the process page should take you to the latest versions.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Could YOU be a library volunteer?




Chipping Sodbury Library was earmarked for closure last year due to South Glos plans to save money, but following a local campaign it will now stay open on the condition that it is run by members of the community.

Friends of Chipping Sodbury Library are now looking for around 40 people to work shifts at the facility on a regular basis.

The library will be handed over to the community on the last weekend of September, with volunteers taking over running it during the first week of October.

They will work in shifts of around four hours, with the library expected to be open for 14 to 16 hours each week.

SGC are helping with some of the costs involved, including building maintenance, but the everyday job of running the library will be down to members of the community.

If you're interested, please contact the library for further details.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Picnics and Play events - Saturday 15 July 2017, 12 noon to 4 pm

Do you have neighbours you've never met? Have you ever thought it would be nice if someone organised a community get-together near where you live? Perhaps you (with help) could organise s neighbourly picnic!

Abbotswood Action Group is encouraging people from the lcal area to host a "bring and share" picnic with games and activities on your nearest green space or tarmac play area.

AAG will be happy to help with invites, encouragement and advice. They also have a small fund to help with purchases of play equipment if needed for your picnic (first come first served!)

All the picnics will be put on a map so people can wander around and enjoy different activities.

If you and a group of neighbours would like to join in, please contact Rob on 07890 569196, speak with a member of the AAG committee, or email community.aag@gmail.com

Quite a few picnics have already been registered. Dodington Parish is planning one at Woodchester Play Area, where you can give your views about improvements to the play area and meet your local councillors. Kelston Close residents and Solon South West Housing Association are running a picnic and fun afternoon at QE2 Kelston Close playing field, and lots more gatherings are already being planned.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Yate Spur cycle path - B4465 to Broad Lane Westerleigh

Work on the Westerleigh Road to Broad Lane (Westerleigh) section of the Yate Spur cycle path has now been scheduled to start on 3 July 2017. It's expected to last for four months.

This is the stretch that starts from the T junction south of Westerleigh, where they recently put in a crossing near the cottages. It will run up inside the farmer's field to what was previously Cornerways Day Nursery, the old school building.

One more small length in the bigger project!

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Free Couch to 40k Bike Course starting 1st July

Have you got a bike resting idle in your shed, garage or propped under the stairs? Do you lack confidence about your ride skills, what to wear or how to train for fitness? If so, SportsPound's Couch to 40k bike course might be right for you!

Cycling is an ideal way to build your fitness as it’s weight bearing which makes it gentle on your joints. They're going to start off with advice on what to wear, how to use your gears properly and how best to train, ride assertively and stay safe. They will also supply you with suggestions on pleasant cycling routes in South Glos.

They then take you to a closed road site to practice your skills and get used to riding. There will also the option of a bike MOT so you can check how roadworthy it is. The next part of the course is ‘virtual’ which you do at your own pace and convenience over the following 9 weeks, using a smartphone app (ypu can also log in and update your progress manually). The organisers will suggest suitable meeting points for you to get together with others and ride together from hubs around South Gloucestershire.

Finally everyone comes back together on Sunday 3rd September for our 40k ride. Starting at Page Park Staple Hill you’ll follow a traffic free route that takes you 40km (25 miles) through South Glos to Bath and return.

You can click here to find out more and to sign up or check out SportsPound on Facebook

Friday, 23 June 2017

Tern Inn planning application refused


The planning application to demolish the Tern Inn and build flats on the site and the adjacent car park has just been REFUSED. This very popular local pub and live music venue and the car park were recently classed as "Assets of Community Value" (ACVs). The pub was forced to close on 11 June because the owner refused to renew the lease, and the property has since been boarded up.

The key reasons for refusal were:
  • Taking away the pub and the car park would have a very negative impact on the Heron Way Local Centre
  • The proposal would remove the pub, listed as an ACV, without an alternative within 800 metres, which is against South Glos planning policy
  • It would also mean the loss of the Local Centre Car Park, also an ACV, without any alternative
  • The scheme would not have enough parking and delivery space, and it would push vehicles out onto the main road. The overall effect has been classed as "severe" and "detrimental to the travelling public"
The full decision notice can be seen here

So what might happen now? There are three possibilities:
  • The landowner could appeal against the decision - this is the most likely. In that case the Government will appoint an independent inspector who would hold a hearing locally.
  • The owner might submit a different scheme, and the planning process would start all over again
  • The owner might concede defeat and consider negotiating with other interested parties
This is one small step towards getting the pub and the car park back, but nothing is guaranteed. Local people and Dodington Parish Council, who have supported the campaign all the way, will need to keep up the community pressure.

You can find the Birds Resident Group on Facebook.

Yate Rocks this weekend!

The popular Yate Rocks Festival will take place in Kingsgate Park again this weekend. The main music festival 12.00 - 8.00 pm on Saturday 24 June will have a wide range of music from local bands such as Toby, Tail Lights, Uncle Buck, Limited Edition, Elevation, Atlantic, Fire Blisters, and the Yate Rock Choir.

There will be dance shows, arts and crafts, refreshments and children’s games and activities.

On Sunday morning there will be a church service from 10.30am to 12 noon, followed by a picnic in the park at 1.30pm.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Temporary closure of Yate Road


Yate Road will be closed for up to 5 days from 26th June from the junction with Armstrong Way to approximately 50m south of the road over rail bridge. That's the road that runs from the big roundabout on the Iron Acton road, heading south to join up with Stover Road.

This is to allow urgent repair works to be carried out on the bridge. The 7.5t Weight Restriction on the A432 Station Road between its junctions with Longs Drive and Westerleigh Road will be temporarily suspended.

The diversion route will be B4059 Iron Acton Way, B4059 Goose Green Way, B4059 Link Road, A432 Kennedy Way, A432 Station Road, A432 Badminton Road, B4059 Stover Road and vice versa.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Advice sessions on South Glos Member Awarded Funding

Last year South Glos launched the Member Awarded Funding (MAF) scheme that gives Councillors the opportunity to make awards to projects and services that benefit residents in their ward. From 1 April 2017 each councillor has an allocation of £3,000 to award to local projects and services before 31 March 2018.

South Glos is offering voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations and Town or Parish Councils the opportunity to drop-in at one of their advice sessions to meet with a Grant Officer for help and support with the MAF process, such as:
  • How to register your organisation on the grants on-line system
  • How to create or revise policies
  • How to apply to your Councillor(s)
  • How to complete an application form
  • How to apply if your project crosses ward boundaries
The sessions are being held in Room 0013 at the Council Offices, Badminton Road, Yate, BS37 5AF:
  • Wednesday 21 June 09:00-13:30
  • Monday 24 July 09:00-13:30
  • Monday 14 August 12:30-15.30
For more information please contact the Grants Helpline, Mon-Fri, 9am to 4pm, on 01454 865865 or grants@southglos.gov.uk.  The sessions are open and so please do just drop-in. However, if you would prefer to book a place, please contact the team to arrange.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Retirement flats proposed for green space in densely packed development

Councillors and residents at Normandy Drive

A development company has announced plans to build upmarket retirement flats on land at Normandy Drive, Yate, that was previously promised as community space.

Churchill Retirement Living has announced the proposals, claiming the development would meet an “urgent need” for elderly housing.

But residents who bought their homes from previous landowner Taylor Wimpey say they were told that the land would be kept for community use.

The only community space on the densely-packed development is a small nature reserve area on land that was unsuitable for building anyway, and there is no provision for children to play safely. Elswick Park is also one of the most congested areas in Yate for parking.

Local councillors are opposed to the proposals.

“We have fought hard to stop this land being built over completely, it was meant to be used by the community. There has been no discussion with local councillors about these latest plans” said Cllr Ruth Davis. 

More roadworks on B4465 Codrington road


South Glos Council will be undertaking essential works on the B4465 between 3 and 14 July. For quite a bit of the time the road will be closed at two locations:

Site ‘A’ is at Watts Barn, where works involve the installation of road gullies and a new drainage system.

Site ‘B’ is located in Codrington village itself. The works comprise of carriageway reconstruction / resurfacing. The limits of the surfacing are from the Wishing Well Public house westwards for 500m through the village.

The closure times etc are as follows:



Local premises will shortly receive a letter with more details.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Wanted - your views on bus services


South Glos Council currently subsidises a number of bus services in our area. They are now asking for your views on these in an online survey.

Printed copies will be available at all South Gloucestershire libraries and One Stop Shops and there will also be roadshow events:

Saturday 24th June, 11.00-14.00, Yate Shopping Centre
Tuesday 27th June, 10.00-14.00, Willow Brook Centre, Bradley Stoke
Friday 30th June, 10.00-14.00 The Mall, Cribbs Causeway
Thursday 6th July, 11.00-14.00 St Mary’s Shopping Centre, Thornbury
Wednesday 12th July, 08.00-10.00, Bristol Parkway Station

The consultation runs until 3rd September.

Have your say on changes to Policies, Sites and Places Plan

Following the hearing sessions on the Policies Sites and Places Plan (PSP Plan), a number of Main Modifications to the plan are now being released for public consultation. You have until 24th July 2017 to have your say using the official response form. You can only make comments on the Main Modifications, not on any other part of the PSP Plan.

The Schedule of Main Modifications, a response form, along with supporting information are available to view online here.

The Planning Inspector for the examination will consider comments received on the Main Modifications, before publishing her Report on the overall soundness and suitability for adoption of the PSP Plan.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Weekly recycling starts this week

Don't forget that from the week beginning 19th June 2017 your recycling will be collected every week. You can find out more at www.southglos.gov.uk/wastestrategy

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Rail electrification - noisy work ahead

Major electrification work will be taking place in our area from 19 August to 15 September, night and day. Some of the work will be noisy, and deliveries to Network Rail compounds along the route (e.g. Shire Way access point) will be made by road, so nearby roads will experience an increase in traffic.

The work will be on the main line from Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, to Patchway/Filton junctions, via Old Sodbury, Chipping Sodbury and Yate to Westerleigh Junction.

In addition, from 2 September to 15 September 2017, the work area will extend to include Westerleigh Junction towards Yate station, Coalpit Heath, Winterbourne, Stoke Gifford and Bristol Parkway station, up to Patchway/Filton junctions.

Network Rail say "We are electrifying the line to bring passengers quieter, more frequent and more reliable services between London Paddington and Cardiff"

The work includes:
  • Carrying out the piling required to install the foundations which will support the electrification equipment. That's the really noisy part.
  • Installing the equipment, including trackside masts and overhead wires at some locations.
  • Installing electrification equipment in Chipping Sodbury tunnel.
  • Improving flood resilience at Chipping Sodbury sidings.
  • Preparing Bristol Parkway station for the arrival of new InterCity Express trains, including the construction of a fourth platform.
How can you find out more?

1. Network Rail are setting up a dedicated web page at www.networkrail.co.uk/westernupgrade which will be available from Monday 19 June. It contains more detailed information about the work they will be carrying out and will be updated regularly as the project progresses. It also has a useful introductory video.

2. Network Rail will also be running drop-in sessions, when members of the project team will be on hand to explain the work and answer your questions. The sessions nearest to us are:
  • Thursday 29 June, Coalpit Heath Village Hall, 4.30pm to 7pm
  • Tuesday 4 July, Ridgewood Community Centre, Yate, 4.30pm to 7pm
  • Tuesday 11 July, The Old School Rooms, St Michael’s Centre, Stoke Gifford,
    4.30pm to 7pm
  • Wednesday 12 July, Chipping Sodbury Town Hall, 4.30pm to 7pm
  • Thursday 13 July, Trinity Primary School, Acton Turville, 6pm to 8pm
  • Tuesday 18 July, Old Sodbury Village Hall, 4.30pm to 7pm
  • Tuesday 25 July, All Saints Church Hall, Winterbourne Down, 4.30pm to 7pm.
3. If you have any questions about the work, you can email Network Rail at crwest@networkrail.co.uk or call the 24-hour National Helpline on 03457 11 41 41. For updates, you can follow them on Twitter @networkrailwest



Friday, 16 June 2017

Tern Inn - flats recommended for refusal

The Planning Officer has now compiled his very detailed report on the proposed flats development on the site of the Tern Inn and car park at Heron Way. In summary, the report recommends refusal because of:
  • The effect on the Heron Way shops
  • The loss of the Tern Inn, which is listed as an Asset of Community Value
  • The loss of the car park, which is also listed as an Asset of Community Value
  • The added on-street congestion and effect on visibility 
As well as the petitions against the development, there were 309 objections to the scheme but only 3 people who wrote in to support it. There were strong objections from Dodington Parish Council, Yate Town Council, Cllr Claire Young and Luke Hall MP, plus of course the Birds Resident Group.

The report will now go to South Gloucestershire Council to decide whether to allow or refuse the planning application.

If the application is refused, the developer can appeal to a government inspector. Alternatively they might put in a different planning application for the same site.

We'll keep you posted with any news.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Temporary traffic lights coming at A46 / B4465 junction

Temporary traffic lights will  be installed shortly at Dodington Ash, where the road from Westerleigh and Codrington meets the A46. The lights are needed because this will be a major diversion route when work is taking place on the Bromley Heath viaduct on the Ring Road.

The installation work will take place between 9.30 am and 3.30 pm from now until 2 June. The temporary lights will then be in operation for the duration of the viaduct works, which will be aroind 52 weeks (or 33 weeks if South Glos find the money to work extra hours to speed up the viaduct works)

Friday, 9 June 2017

Thornbury and Yate General Election result 2017

The results of the 2017 General Election in the Thornbury and Yate constituency are as follows:
  • Luke Hall (Conservative) 28,008 ELECTED
  • Claire Young (Liberal Democrats) 15,937
  • Brian Mead (Labour) 6,112
  • Iain Hamilton (Green) 633
Many thanks to everyone who supported us, and to all those who worked so hard on our campaign.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Fair Funding for Schools campaign


Claire Young recently joined thousands of people marching for fairer funding for our schools - parents, children, teachers and fellow Lib Dems - at the Fairer Funding for Schools rally.

The Liberal Democrats would invest £6.9bn more in our schools and colleges over the next parliament, to ensure no school and no child loses out. That would mean £26m more in schools and colleges in South Gloucestershire, including £1.3m to protect the Pupil Premium, introduced by the Liberal Democrats to help the most disadvantaged children.

In contrast, the Conservative government is proposing deep cuts in many school budgets - schools with the most disadvantaged children are likely to face the biggest funding cuts. According to figures from teachers' unions NUT and ATL, local secondary schools face cuts equivalent to up to a dozen teachers. Primary schools face cuts of 1, 2 or 3 teachers.

You can look up the impact on your local school here: http://www.schoolcuts.org.uk - it's noticeable that although Claire has pledged to support the campaign against the school cuts, at the time of writing neither the Conservative nor the Labour candidates for this constituency have even responded.

Claire has been continually pressing for clarity about the situation at Winterbourne and Yate International Academies and supporting parents campaigning for better funding for schools. Please support our campaign by signing our petition at www.claireyoung.org.uk/schoolcuts

The photo shows Claire with fellow Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidates Stephen Williams and Karen Wilkinson at the Fair Funding for Schools rally.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Half term holiday activities in South Gloucestershire libraries

South Gloucestershire’s libraries have a range of fun activities planned to help keep children entertained over the half term holidays including story times, rhymetimes and crafts. All activities are free drop-ins for primary school aged children unless otherwise stated.

Find your nearest library at www.southglos.gov.uk/libraries

Tuesday 30 May

Feathered friends
Emersons Green Library, 2pm to 4pm
Crafts and activities.

All around the world in 60 minutes
Filton Library, 2pm to 3pm
Crafts and stories.

Fantastical fairy tale crafts
Patchway Library, 10am to 11.30am

A jungle jaunt
Staple Hill Library, 10.30am to 12pm
Craft fun.

Spring into summer
Thornbury Library, 11am to 12pm
Crafts and stories.

Mini beasts
Yate Library, 10.30am to 12pm
Crafts and activities.


Wednesday 31 May


Maytime mayhem and madness
Kingswood Library, 2.15pm to 3.15pm
Spring themed crafts.

Go wild
Winterbourne Library, 10am to 11.30am
Jungle themed craft drop-in.


Thursday 1 June

Under the sea
Bradley Stoke Library, 10.30am to 12pm
Craft fun.

Fantastical fairy tales and nursery rhymes
Cadbury Heath, all day 9am to 5pm
Drop in throughout the day for fun crafts and activities.

Carnival capers
Downend Library, 10am to 11.30am
Crafts and activities.

Spring surprise
Hanham Library, 2pm to 3pm
Crafts and activities.


Friday 2 June

Fantastical fairy tales and nursery rhymes
Cadbury Heath, all day 9am to 5pm
Drop in throughout the day for fun crafts and activities.


Saturday 3 June

Fantastical fairy tales and nursery rhymes
Cadbury Heath, all day 9am to 5pm
Drop in throughout the day for fun crafts and activities.


Some libraries will also be holding free story time and rhymetime sessions for babies and toddlers and their parents or carers to enjoy stories, action songs and rhymes together.

For more information visit www.southglos.gov.uk/childrenslibrary, follow them on Facebook.com/sgloslibraries or Twitter @southgloslibs, or telephone the libraries on 01454 868006.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Developer consults on housing at Trinity Lane, off St John's Way

Developer Cotswold Homes is asking for local people's views on a proposed housing development at Trinity Lane, off St John's Way, Chipping Sodbury (Trinity Lane is the road that goes up to the golf course)

They describe their scheme like this: "A total of 60 dwellings is proposed in a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced housing; a small number of flats and bungalows are also proposed to address local housing needs for smaller affordable, and accessible lifetime home properties"

The sorts of questions they are asking are:
  • Do you consider that open market and affordable housing are required in this location?
  • What types of affordable housing are most needed in the area (i.e. rented or shared ownership, family housing or flats)?
  • Are there any infrastructure constraints in Chipping Sodbury or wider area that the proposals should be looking to help address?
  • What recreational facilities do you think would be most appropriately incorporated into the area of public open space that the development will provide (for example play area, trim trail, ecological areas, pond etc.)?
  • Having reviewed the draft plans for the site do you have any comments on the emerging layout?
  • Do you have any suggestions with regards to the appearance of the housing put forward?
  • Would you suggest a contemporary or traditional design approach in respect to the appearance of the new dwellings?
  • Would you suggest any changes to improve the proposals?
It's a good idea for developers to carry out early consultations with the public like this, but note that this is not an official consultation - they intend to apply for planning permission during the summer. If you answer their questionnaire, please bear in mind that they are assembling evidence to make their planning application more likely to be successful.

The consultation website can be found here.


Friday, 19 May 2017

Railway modernisation - Great Western main line

GWR have told us that work to widen the platforms at Bath Spa has now been successfully completed and Network Rail have moved on to work on the track around Swindon and Chippenham.  This will affect rail services through Didcot Parkway, Swindon, Chippenham and Bristol Parkway over the late May bank holiday (27-29 May) and the weekend of 10 and 11 June.  Full details of the revised arrangements are on their dedicated web page www.gwr.com/Swindon2017

There will then be further work at Chippenham from Saturday 8 July through to Sunday 16 July.  Services between London and Bristol Temple Meads will be diverted and there will be a reduced service for Swindon and Bath Spa during this period.  More details are on www.gwr.com/Chippenham2017 where they also set out arrangements for weekend replacement services to Westbury and Melksham.

There will be additional staff at stations to help customers and they are using both traditional and social media, as well as information at stations and at ticket sales points, to highlight the changes. 

GWR say: "We want the electrification upgrade to be as painless as possible, of course we recognise that any timetables changes, however temporary, cause some inconvenience, but these works will allow us to put brand new ten car trains on this route in 2017, and the work has to be completed while we continue to run services"

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Beating the Bounds of Yate Common

After all the problems on Yate Common lately, here's some good news - an event for all the family.

Come and join the Friends of the Common and the Yate Town Mayor. On Rogation Sunday each May, an ancient custom, Beating the Bounds is practised on The Common in Yate.

The Reverend, Town Mayor, Friends of the Common and local residents will walk the boundaries of The Common this coming Sunday, 21st May 2017.

Traditionally, children are turned upside down at the corners to teach them the boundaries of their Common, which they must protect.

Beating the Bounds of Yate Common starts at 3pm from the St Briavels Drive entrance of Yate Common. The walk is suitable for pushchairs and takes about 60 to 90 minutes.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

More of B4465 Westerleigh Rd to close for resurfacing

There are going to be road works on another length of the B4465 Westerleigh Road from just west of Codrington to just east of Springs Farm.

The usual alarming notice says that the closure "will be operative from the 3 July 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 1 WEEK duration."

So one week in the next eighteen months - once again, if the warning signs are up, the road is closed; if they're not, it's still open.

The official diversion is incredibly long - via Emersons green, Coalpit Heath, Yate, Chipping Sodbury and the A46 - but that's really for heavy vehicles. Local people will doubtless know the short way round!

Monday, 15 May 2017

Many young people not registered to vote - but there's still time

Young people aged 17 or 18 are being urged to register to vote in time for the General Election on 8th June.

New figures just released by the Electoral Reform Society show that the proportion of school leavers on the electoral roll dropped by over a quarter between 2013 and 2016 – with most of these missing voters now eligible to vote in this election. Shockingly, in one parliamentary constituency 75% of young people are not on the voting register. This follows the change from registration by household, to each voter having to register individually.

Claire Young, Liberal Democrat candidate for the Thornbury and Yate parliamentary consituency, said:

"This election is about the type of country we want to live in, a chance to change Britain's future. Young people will be living with the results for many years to come. It's vital that they get a say in that future"

"Whatever your age, if you haven't already registered, you need to do so before 11:59pm on 22 May if you want to be able to vote in the General Election on 8 June. You can do it online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote - you may need to have your National Insurance number at hand to prove who you are"

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Tern Inn - have your say again

It's time to have your say - again - on the latest ideas for the Tern Inn and car park. The developers still want to build flats on the whole site, but now they are offering a community cafe as an alternative to the pub.

The cafe idea is sketchy, to say the least. It would not provide the community functions that the Tern Inn currently hosts. No evidence is provided that such a cafe would be viable, and there is no analysis of how the various activities currently hosted by the pub could realistically be run in a cafe setting.

We suspect that the cafe proposal is set up to fail, and if it is allowed we speculate that there would be a later proposal to turn the cafe back into residential dwellings.

We still think that the entire proposal should be rejected, and that the site should be maintained as it is currently used - the pub and the associated car park.

Over to you now - what do YOU think? Please submit your comments, even if you've already commented on the origina; plans. You can do this online here - search for Heron Way. Click on the top result - the one that says 28 flats - then click on the "Make a Comment" button. You can read what other people have said by clicking on the Documents tab.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

It's Rogue Trader Week!

The police are asking all Neighbourhood Watches (and observant locals) to help them. They are asking that you give them information on anyone currently working in your neighbourhood, especially anyone doing driveways, roof repairs and garden work.

Whilst the vast majority of workmen are legitimate they are targeting those whose intention is to provide a poor service at an inflated cost, and who are looking for the potential to steal cash and valuables. Please give them any details you can provide of those working in your area, especially descriptions and registration numbers of vehicles and the people driving them.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Warning to dog owners

During the bank holiday weekend local vets dealt with a number of dogs with symptoms of poisoning. Three of those dogs had been at Wapley Common. In one case the vet suggested that the dog had eaten something natural like very mouldy food, mouldy poop etc. We have established that at least two of the dogs had eaten poop in the same location, the picnic field. So we now suspect that this was from an infected animal. The area has been checked and nothing else has been found, and no weedkiller etc is used in the area.

There have been some other cases in the wider area recently. In one place - not Wapley - some chicken carcasses had been thrown out on public land. Elsewhere at least one dog tried to eat something that looked like dog food, and was immediately violently sick. Add to this the number of common plants that are poisonous to dogs, all we can suggest is that owners keep a very close eye on what their dogs might try to eat while they are out and about.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Update on M32 Eastville viaduct works

Since starting work at the end of March, contractors have been making good progress with the removal of the central reservation barrier at the Eastville Viaduct on the M32. Over the last two weeks they have been removing the worn-out barrier.

They are now working to remove covers and install steel plates to 49 manholes and inspection chambers to provide a flat surface on which the new concrete central barrier can be placed.

They now moving into a new phase of work, with the overnight traffic management changing from the beginning of May. Instead of being closed between Junctions 2 (Fishponds) and 3 (Bristol City Centre), the M32 will be closed southbound from Junction 1 (Hambrook) and Junction 3 (Bristol City Centre). A fully signed diversion taking traffic via the A4174, A38 Gloucester Road and the A4044 Bond Street will be in place instead.

The closures mostly affect the southbound carriageway, but there may be times where they need to close the northbound carriageway too.

To keep updated with the closures of the M32, please visit www.trafficengland.com. You can also follow @HighwaySWEST on Twitter for updates.

If you have any concerns or issues regarding these works you can contact the Highways England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000.

Caravan crime risk

A few nights ago there was an unsuccessful attempt to steal a caravan in Ram Hill, causing damage.  The thieves then returned and tried again. Once again they were unsuccessful but caused even more damage in their attempt. A caravan was also stolen in Rangeworthy recently so it could be the same gang going around.

We suggest that neighbours be extra vigilant, noting details of any suspicious persons or vehicles - perhaps particularly those equipped with towbars, and report any suspicious activity to the police. If a crime is in progress then use the '999' system. It would also be wise to check your existing caravan and trailer security.

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 www.ramhillcolliery.org.uk 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 clare_woodman@yahoo.co.uk 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 mark.goldingay@environment-agency.gov.uk

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 www.southglos.gov.uk/bhviaduct

If you have any questions please contact the council at bhviaduct@southglos.gov.uk

Monday, 20 March 2017

Nibley Lane to close for cleaning Wed 29 March

Nibley Lane, between its junction with Badminton Road and its junction with Westerleigh Road, is expected to close for cleaning from 9.30am until 2.30pm on Wednesday 29th March.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Future of the Over 50s Forum

The South Glos Over 50s Forum is for all residents who are over 50 years old. They are now holding meetings around the area in a bid to reach out to more people. The upcoming meetings locally are:
  • Tuesday 28th March, 10am to 12 noon - Thornbury Methodist Church, High Street, Thornbury
  • Thursday 30th March, 2pm to 4pm - The Ridgeway Community Centre, Station Road, Yate
For more information, email southglosover50s@gmail.com

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Abbotswood Clean-Up Day 8 April, wildflower preparation 25 March


There are just 3 weeks to go until the Abbotswood Clean-Up Day on Saturday, 8th April at 11 am.  As well as the usual litter picking, Abbotswood Action Group and friends are hoping to trim shrubs, paint benches, plant plants and generally make the area more attractive.  The more people that come along, the more can be achieved so please spread the word.

Next Saturday - 25 March from 11 am - they will be preparing for wild flower planting near the underpass by lifting the turf. Your help would be very much appreciated!

Friday, 17 March 2017

82 bus service problems continue - but new evening journey promised

Local resident Ian Muirhead with
Cllrs Claire Young and Paul Hulbert

Your local Focus team has been campaigning for a more reliable Southmead Hospital 82 bus service with a later bus back. Some buses have been manned by drivers who don't know the route and rely on passengers' directions - one tried to drive into the Ministry of Defence by mistake. Many of the buses on this route are old and leak water onto passengers when it rains.

Sadly, we are still regularly receiving complaints about late running and cancelled buses, as covered by the Gazette newspaper this week. However there is some good news - from 30th April there will be a later journey for people returning from Southmead Hospital and the Mall at 8.30 pm.




Thursday, 16 March 2017

Help with tree planting and litter picking at Wapley Bushes




There will be a tree planting, litter picking and conservation morning at Wapley Bushes on Saturday 25th March 2017 from 10am until 12 noon.


We will be planting some young trees in the woodland and doing a "spring clean" of the Nature Reserve and Common.

Meet at the Shire Way entrance to the Nature Reserve. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Litter pickers, black sacks, disposable gloves will be provided. Please wear walking boots or wellies.

Yate, Chipping Sodbury and Dodington Community Engagement Forum 27 March

The next Community Engagement Forum for Yate, Chipping Sodbury and Dodington (which includes the rural part of Dodington Parish) is at 7pm on Monday 27th March at St Nicholas Family Centre, Abbotswood, Yate BS37 4LG.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Every Little Helps for local causes


Bags of Help is Tesco’s community grant scheme  where the money raised from the 5p bag charge is being used to fund thousands of local projects.

This month the choices at our local Tesco include two very valuable projects in our area:
  • The Armadillo Youth Venue and Cafe are aiming to create a green sporty space featuring fruit and veg growing boxes to promote healthy eating
  • St Nicholas Under 15 Girls Football Team hope to buy winter kit and football equipment to keep their players warm and dry while training.
If you find you need to buy a 5p bag, please consider using your token to support one of these very valuable causes.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

New shelter at Yate Station

Lib Dem Metro Mayor Candidate Stephen Williams met
Yate councillors Mike Drew, Sue Walker and Ruth Davis and
 Parliamentary Candidate Claire Young to discuss further
improvements at Yate Station

Passengers at Yate railway station will soon be able to buy their tickets in the dry, thanks to a new shelter that is being installed over the ticket machine and kiosk. The roof could be treated with anti-solar glare material to make it easier for passengers to see the screen on the machine.

Your Focus Team has been campaigning with local rail users for improvements at the station for many years, after winning the battle to get it re-opened in the 1980s. Last year Yate Town Council submitted a funding bid for a shelter for the ticket machine and met South Glos transport officials to push for action.

Last week Stephen Williams, the Liberal Democrat Metro Mayor candidate, met rail campaigners at the station to discuss further improvements. As Metro Mayor, Stephen would push for extra trains and carriages to tackle the overcrowding at Yate, as well as re-opening stations like Charfield.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Bristol to Chipping Sodbury Night Bus to stop running

First Bus have decided to stop running the weekend 47A Night Bus service from Bristol through Downend, Frampton Cotterell, Coalpit Heath, Yate and Chipping Sodbury after the end of April. This means that the services at 1.31 am and 3.31 am Saturday and Sunday will stop, and the last bus will be 11.35 pm from Bristol Bus Station.

These late night buses have in the past been supported by town and parish councils along the route, but now First have have doubled the amount of money they want as a council subsidy, and the passenger numbers have fallen - on average only 13 passengers are using each bus.

Other bus companies have been contacted, but they wanted even more money to run the service. It's just not economic any more - councils would have been paying First a subsidy of £6 for every passenger journey. Many young people now use the internet to arrange their own lift-sharing and prefer that to the bus.

This service has been running for more than ten years. We're sorry to see the end of it, but if you add up the subsidy and the £4 bus fares for 4 people, it comes to more than the cost of a taxi. At £6 subsidy per person First have simply priced the bus off the road.

In recent years this service has been supported by Yate Town Council, Dodington Parish Council, Downend and Bromley Heath Parish Council, Frampton Cotterell Parish Council, Mangotsfield Parish Council, Sodbury Town Council and Westerleigh Parish Council.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Living well with Dementia

A meeting for people who may or may not be affected by dementia and their carers and families will be held at Ridgewood Community Centre, 244 Station Road, Yate BS37 4AF at 1.30 pm on Wednesday 15 March 2017.

The guest speaker will be Dr Judy Haworth, Dementia Specialist (NBT) and there will be other specialist speakers.

If you wish to attend, please notify Ms. Liz Wilkie on 07593 980538 or 01454 319886 by 10 March.

Monday, 27 February 2017

M32 closures

From 20th March for 11 weeks there will be night time southbound closures of the M32 to enable the central reservation barrier over the Eastville Viaduct to be replaced.

To try to minimise disruption, the contractors will carry out the work between 8pm and 6am Monday to Friday, so the M32 will remain open in both directions during the day. At night the southbound carriageway will be completely closed. There may also be times when they need to close a section of the northbound carriageway too, but these times are not yet finalised. They will be liasing with contractors on other nearby projects, such as MetroBus.

Unfortunately they won't be able to lift the 40mph restrictions when this work is complete because futher work needs to be carried out on the viaduct parapets.

If you have any queries or comments about the works and would like further information, please contact the Highways England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000 or by email: info@highwaysengland.co.uk.