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.

Volunteer custody visitors needed in Patchway

Posted on Tuesday 20th September 2016 at 9:27 pm by SH (Editor)

Patchway Police Centre, Gloucester Road, Patchway, Bristol.

Wouldn’t you want someone checking on your welfare if you were detained in custody? If so, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens wants you to consider becoming an independent custody visiting volunteer.

Independent custody visiting is a vital part of the work of the Avon and Somerset Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and we are looking for people from north Bristol and the surrounding areas to join the team.

Custody visiting is the well-established system whereby volunteers visit police stations to check on people in police custody; the conditions in which they are held and that their rights and entitlements are being observed.

PCC Sue Mountstevens said:

“This is a great opportunity for someone looking for an exciting and rewarding volunteering role. In volunteering as an Independent Custody Visitor, you are enabling me to hold the police to account on behalf of local people.”

“By gaining independent insight into police custody and reporting your findings to me we can ensure policing is transparent and that local people have confidence in their police service. Do something different, become a custody visiting volunteer now!”

Visits to police stations by volunteer custody visitors are unannounced and can be made at any time. The independent volunteers check that cells and other facilities within custody such as the toilets and food preparation areas are clean.

Over 270 independent custody visits were made between April 2015 and March 2016, and of the 2,404 detainees in custody during these visits, over 1,400 were spoken to by independent custody visitors.

More: Volunteers needed at Patchway Police Centre, Gloucester Road »

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Highwood Road bus lane camera nets council more than £180k in just nine months

Posted on Sunday 21st August 2016 at 9:14 pm by SH (Editor)

Bus lane on Highwood Road, Patchway, close to the Coniston Road junction.

Nearly 6,000 fines, netting a total of more than £180,000 for South Gloucestershire Council, have been issued to drivers caught by a single enforcement camera on a bus lane in Patchway.

The astonishing statistics, verified by the Journal, were revealed after a frustrated motorist used a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to find out how much money the council is making from the camera on Highwood Road, which went live less than a year ago on 1st October 2015.

The response stated that 5,892 penalty charge notices had been issued, raising £187,539.

Derek Hunt, 49, told the Bristol Post he believes the council has deliberately made the road layout confusing and accused it of “stealing” motorists’ hard-earned cash.

He was caught using the bus lane after he failed to make the obligatory left turn into Coniston Road when driving along Highwood Road from the direction of The Mall.

The bus lane is one of two to be installed in South Gloucestershire last year. The other is at Brierly Furlong/New Road in Stoke Gifford, close to the Parkway railway bridge.

A third camera was recently installed on the northbound A38 Gloucester Road approach to the Aztec Roundabout.

In all cases, enforcement commenced after a two week grace period during which warning notices (letters) were issued in place of penalty notices.

A South Gloucestershire Council spokesperson said:

“Prior to undertaking enforcement of bus lanes, the council made a decision that the use of camera technology was the most appropriate way of undertaking this enforcement.”

“The locations where cameras were to be installed, including the Highwood Road bus lane, were reviewed to ensure that the bus lane signage and markings were appropriate and clearly visible so that drivers would be aware of the bus lane and would not be caught out. To further support this, additional signage warning of the bus lane and the enforcement of it were installed at the locations.”

More: Stoke Gifford camera nets £47,541 in same period »

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McCarthy & Stone consults on Charlton Hayes proposals

Posted on Friday 8th July 2016 at 9:32 am by SH (Editor)

Artist's impression of proposed McCarthy & Stone development at Charlton Hayes.

Local residents gathered at an exhibition at Patchway Community Centre on 28th June 2016 to discuss proposals to develop two brownfield sites at Charlton Hayes with Retirement Living apartments and high-quality Assisted Living (Extra Care) accommodation. The sites are known as MU5 and MU6 and are located at the southern end of Charlton Boulevard, close to Hayes Way.

The exhibition was held by Your Life Management Services (a joint venture between McCarthy & Stone, the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder, and Somerset Care, a not-for-profit care provider).

The early proposals that were on display will, if approved, develop vacant brownfield land, which is allocated for development in the Charlton Hayes masterplan, with around 40 one- and two-bed Retirement Living apartments and 60 Assisted Living (Extra Care) accommodation units, along with professional landscaping and car parking for residents, visitors and care providers.

Local residents and senior community figures (including elected representatives of South Gloucestershire Council and Patchway Town Council) attended on the day to view the plans, meet the development team and provide initial feedback on the proposals, which are due to be submitted formally for consideration in the coming months.

The information displayed at the consultation event may now be viewed online here: Sites MU5 and MU6, Hayes Way, Charlton Hayes

Simon Mantell, McCarthy & Stone regional managing director, said:

“The public exhibition was an excellent opportunity for us to understand the views of the local community and I would like to take this opportunity to thank people for their constructive comments and questions.”

“We have worked hard to ensure our proposals represent a sensitive development which complements the local area with high-quality materials and a design that develops this vacant part of Charlton Hayes. We believe this site is an ideal location to provide much-needed Retirement Living and Assisted Living accommodation in South Gloucestershire, which will also assist in freeing up family homes for other residents living locally.”

More: Comments may be submitted up to Tuesday 12th July »

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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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