This indpendent website, founded in January 2011, aims to bring you a comprehensive round up of stories sourced from the police, local councils and community groups in Patchway.

Information session on Patchway tunnel modernisation work

Posted on Tuesday 14th June 2016 at 3:38 pm by SH (Editor)

Network Rail information session on the Severn and Patchway Tunnels modernisation.

North Bristol residents are invited to an event to find out more about work that will soon be taking place to prepare the 130-year-old Patchway and Severn tunnels for the arrival of a new fleet of longer, faster, quieter and greener electric trains.

The event will take place at 7pm on Thursday 16th June at Patchway Community College on Hempton Lane (BS32 4AJ) and will begin with a presentation by the Network Rail project team, followed by an opportunity to ask questions.

The work is an important part of the company’s Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers and follows projects already under way in Bristol, Bath, Swindon, Didcot and Oxford to electrify the Great Western Main Line.

The upgrades required to prepare both tunnels for electrification are extensive and will involve installing conductor beams to power the new fleet of electric trains to run underneath. To install this beam in the Severn tunnel, four tonnes of soot needs to be removed and extensive improvements made to the brick work.

In addition, to accommodate the electrification equipment, the track will be lowered in the Patchway tunnel and underneath the nearby Little Stoke Farm bridge (on Station Road, near the Sort It centre), to preserve its historical architecture.

The scale of this engineering challenge together with the type of machinery required to carry out the work means that a temporary closure of both tunnels is unavoidable. This temporary closure will take place over six weeks, from 12th September to 21st October 2016.

Anthea Dolman-Gair, Network Rail’s senior programme manager, said:

“The work around Patchway, Filton and Pilning is an essential part of our Railway Upgrade Plan and will pave the way for electric trains and the benefits these will bring for residents and passengers. These benefits include faster trains with more seats and more legroom as well as less noise and cleaner air for those who live close to the railway line.”

“Everyone is welcome at our event and I’d urge anyone who wants to know more about our plans, or has a question, to come along.”

“I’d like to thank the local community in advance for their patience and understanding while we carry out these essential improvements to modernise Brunel’s railway.”

More: Network Rail site compound to be set up at Filton Airfield »

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Enforcement camera goes live on A38 bus lane at Aztec West

Posted on Monday 13th June 2016 at 10:02 pm by SH (Editor)

Bus lane enforcement camera sign on the Gloucester Road (A38) northbound approach to the Aztec West Roundabout.

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) has installed a fixed bus lane enforcement camera on the northbound Gloucester Road (A38) approach to the Aztec West Roundabout and will begin issuing penalty charge notices from 21st June.

The camera went live on 7th June, but the authority has chosen to only issue warning notices (letters) during the first fortnight of its operation.

In line with the hours of operation of the bus lane, the new camera operates Monday to Friday only, 7.30am-9.30am and 4pm-7pm.

The monitoring system uses automatic number plate recognition to identify unauthorised vehicles and generate penalty notices.

The council says that all potential infringements will be reviewed by a qualified officer and if any mitigating factors, such as needing to pull over for an emergency vehicle, are present, they will not issue a penalty notice.

Elsewhere in South Gloucestershire, bus lane enforcement cameras are already in operation at Highwood Road in Patchway and on New Road/Brierly Furlong in Stoke Gifford (both operating for 24 hours a day).

The A38 bus lane was created in 2011 as part of the £70m Greater Bristol Bus Network (GBBN) project.

More information: Bus lane enforcement cameras in South Gloucestershire

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Railway closures set to cause travel disruption

Posted on Friday 27th May 2016 at 10:32 am by SH (Editor)

Severn Tunnel electrification drilling work.

Railway passengers are being warned to expect disruption as a result of major engineering works being carried out in the north Bristol area over the next six months.

From Saturday 28th to Monday 30th May, the railway between Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway, Gloucester and Severn Tunnel Junction will be closed, with many services being amended or replaced by buses.

The closure is necessary to allow Network Rail carry out major signal improvements at Filton Bank, which is being upgraded to four tracks, allowing slower local trains to run on their own tracks without hindering or affecting the frequency of new high-speed electric trains that are to be introduced as part of Network Rail’s £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan.

A further closure associated with this work is expected to take place over the late August bank holiday weekend (27th to 29th August).

This will be followed by a six week closure of the line between Bristol and South Wales, from 12th September to 21st October, to allow the 130-year-old Severn and Patchway tunnels to be prepared for electrification.

This work will involve installing conductor beams in both tunnels to power the new fleet of electric trains that will run underneath. To install this beam in the Severn tunnel, four tonnes of soot needs to be removed and extensive improvements made to the brick work.

Mark Langman, Network Rail’s managing director for the Western route, said:

“Electrification has many long-term benefits including faster, more frequent trains and a boost to economic growth in towns and cities across the whole of the Western route and beyond.”

“I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their patience and understanding while we deliver the essential upgrades needed to prepare these tunnels for electrification and the benefits this will bring.”

As previously reported, Network Rail is also currently carrying out potentially noisy piling works in the Little Stoke and Patchway areas. This work, associated with the installation of overhead wires, is taking place on Saturday nights and is expected to continue until October.

More information:

This article originally appeared in the May 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Harriers pair clinch world championship medals

Posted on Tuesday 10th May 2016 at 12:27 pm by Nikki Hallur

Bronze medal winners Kenedi Cross (left) and Vada Finniear (right) in action at the 2016 World Acrogymnastics Championships in Putian, China.

A local gymnastics club based at Patchway Sports Centre has had a major success with two of its gymnasts receiving medals at the recent Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships in Putian, China.

Harriers Acrobatic Gymnastics is a relatively small club which also trains at Little Stoke Primary School, but its gymnasts Kenedi Cross, aged 15, and Vada Finniear, aged 18, have made it big this year by winning a bronze medal in acro-gymnastics, which is performed in pairs with no apparatus. They were competing in the class for Mixed Pair Ages 13-19. The pair train at Harriers with their coach, Sarah Bateman.

The Journal previously reported on Kenedi and Vada in September 2015, when they competed in the European Championships in Reisa, Germany, but they were left disappointed as an injury prevented them from completing the competition. Kenedi’s mum, Teresa Cross, tells us that their club deserves recognition because “it has very limited facilities, with no sprung floor” which means Kenedi and Vada can only train around 12 hours per week, in contrast to the 20+ hours that is possible at larger clubs. Despite this, both competitors as well as their coach, Sarah Bateman, were selected for team GB this year. They were asked to trial for team GB last year due to their history of successes in national competitions, although they were unable to finish at the European Championships. About their success this year, Teresa says, “we were all ecstatic” as they “got back up to full fitness”.

The Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships involved 12 pairs competing in qualifying rounds over two days. Kenedi and Vada received the highest marks for balance, and secured fifth place to go into the finals. Teresa Cross says it was “nail biting” as they had to compete against the European Champions from Portugal.

More: Pair are "proud of achievements, coach and club" »

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Local students tell ‘The Story of Scrap’

Posted on Sunday 20th March 2016 at 9:54 pm by SH (Editor)

Hannah Cameron at the Cameron Balloons manufacturing warehouse.

The Story of Scrap is an adventurous collaboration between students at Patchway Community College, local charity Children’s Scrapstore, Cameron Balloons (the world leader in hot air balloon manufacturing) and Coniston Primary School in Patchway.

Taking inspiration from Brandon Stanton’s renowned ‘Humans of New York’ collection, it uses images to illustrate how Children’s Scrapstore reuses manufacturing waste (scrap) for a new lease of life as children’s play resources, achieving environmental and social benefits and saving businesses disposal costs.

The project exhibits the circular economy of scrap, and the journey of materials from their manufacture, to their intended use in business, to reuse, and eventually into the Scrapstore where they are sent out to PlayPods in school playgrounds, or made available to child minders, play groups and anyone who works with children and adults in a therapeutic setting.

The aim is to enhance creative play opportunities for all children. Local artists, students and community groups also collect materials from the Scrapstore to be used for whole new creative purposes. The work will be a portfolio piece for Patchway photography student’s A-levels, and was assigned to them in the form of a brief, treating Children’s Scrapstore as a formal client. Ella Wiles of Children’s Scrapstore, who helps develop the scrap supply network, will use the project to explain to manufacturers and members of the public the eccentric role Scrapstore plays and the need that their waste fulfils.

Cameron Balloons are one of Children’s Scrapstore’s longest running suppliers, and have been donating off-cuts from their world famous hot air balloons for over 30 years. Cameron Balloons was founded in 1971 by aeronaut Donald Cameron – developer and pilot of the first modern air balloon in Western Europe – and is now managed by his daughter, Hannah. They are the world’s largest and most experienced manufacturer of hot air balloons, and their scrap material is a firm favourite with Scrapstore customers, so it seemed fitting that they would be the focus of the supplier’s side of ‘The Story of Scrap’.

More: A-level photography students visit factory and Scrapstore »

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