Archive for March, 2013

Rolls-Royce helps stage final of schools’ engineering challenge

Posted on Wednesday 27th March 2013 at 8:49 am by SH (Editor)

Opening speech at the 2013 Grand Final of the South West Flying Start Challenge.

Aerospace companies from around the South West, including Patchway-based Rolls-Royce, recently staged the Grand Final of a schools competition which aims to encourage Key Stage 3 students to take up science, technology, engineering and maths.

Over 130 pupils from thirteen secondary schools in the South West took part in the Grand Final of the Flying Start Challenge at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton last Wednesday (20th March).

The challenge began before Christmas when representatives from the companies went into schools to deliver three lessons, covering the basics of flight, testing and materials. The schools were provided with a starter kit of materials and then tasked to design and build a hand held glider, as well as a poster explaining the details of their budget and design process.

Throughout February, regional finals were held to narrow the teams down to the twelve that would compete in the Grand Final Fly-Offs. Each team that went through was allowed to bring the other participating members from their school to the Grand Final to take part in the other activities throughout the day.

The teams had to answer an engineering quiz, have their glider and poster marked by a panel of VIPs, design and build a control tower from paper, take part in a challenge to protect an egg when dropped from above and, the most exciting part of the day, take part in the Fly Off under the Concorde exhibit! The pupils and assembled VIPs were also given two exciting presentations from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Bloodhound project.

During the Fly Off, the teams flew their gliders trying to be the team whose glider flew the furthest. The longest flight on Wednesday was from the ‘Flylo’ team at Mangotsfield, Bristol, with their glider flying an impressive 26 metres.

The ‘Aero-glide’ team from Bradley Stoke Community School finished in eighth place.

More: Challenge is open to pupils in Years 7 to 9 »

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53 drivers fined for illegally using Highwood Road – in a single day!

Posted on Monday 18th March 2013 at 12:48 pm by SH (Editor)

Vehicles using the bus-only section of Highwood Road, Patchway, Bristol.

Special Constables from Avon and Somerset Police were brought in to help enforce traffic restrictions on Highwood Road in a targeted operation that took place last Friday

The road has been closed to traffic, except for buses, taxis and bicycles, between its junctions with Durban Road and Coniston Road, since October 2012. Drivers were given a month to get used to the change, with the neighbourhood team initially giving warnings rather than issuing fines.

The neighbourhood team says it has had a number of complaints from local people about motorists ignoring the new traffic regulations.

Four Special Constables ran the operation between 9am and 6pm on Friday 15th March, with support from members of the neighbourhood team. Fifty-three drivers were fined £30 for flouting the traffic order in that time.

Special Constabulary District Officer Derek Hood said:

“This was a very rewarding operation and a good example of how we can get results in targeted operations. I hope this will be the first of many.”

Special Constables are uniformed volunteers with police powers. They give up their free time to help keep our communities safe, patrolling alongside regular officers.

Related link: Police in Patchway (The Journal)

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Vox pop: Highwood Road closure

Posted on Monday 18th March 2013 at 9:26 am by Nikki Hallur

Your views: Patchway vox pop.

The closure of Highwood Road in Patchway has caused a lot of controversy. Many local people have had to change their route to work or have been affected by diverted traffic, and the petition to keep the road open has so far been ignored by South Gloucestershire Council.

So how has this change affected the daily lives of people living in Patchway? We thought it was time to ask local residents to share their experiences. Here are three responses from people in your area.

Kyle Millard.Kyle Millard: “I’m very unhappy as this road closure has made my journey to work much longer. This has just moved traffic around instead of reducing it. There’s three times as much traffic now going through Coniston Road. I think it’s OK to build new houses, but people living near Coniston Road shouldn’t be bombarded by the extra traffic.”

Claire Broadbent.Claire Broadbent: “I actually live on Coniston Road and I can tell you that traffic on that road has increased. If I go to work from nine to five then there is a lot of traffic! It isn’t noticeable at certain times of the day, but during rush hour it’s very obvious that the road has become much busier.”

Paul Buckley.Paul Buckley: “The closure of Highwood Road appears to be nonsensical because Coniston Road is dealing with too much traffic now. I think that a lot of people are taking longer routes to work, spending more on petrol (which is not good for the environment), and they’re having to rush to work, possibly going over the speed limit!”

Do you agree with the views above? Perhaps you see the closure of Highwood Road as a benefit rather than a drawback. Some people we spoke to said they liked Hayes Way (the new road between the A38 and The Mall) and didn’t mind the road closure, whilst others felt very frustrated by it. How has the road closure affected you? We’d like to hear your views and comments! Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment below and participating in the discussion!

South Gloucestershire Council is currently running a six-month public consultation on the “experimental” closure of Highwood Road. Comments can be made by post or email before Friday 19th April 2013.

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Coniston Road to be resurfaced next week

Posted on Monday 11th March 2013 at 5:59 pm by SH (Editor)

Potholes in Consiton Road, Patchway, Bristol.

A Patchway road that has been riddled with potholes for years is to be closed for resurfacing for up to five days next week (w/c Monday 18th March).

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) has announced that the stretch of Coniston Road between Rodway Road and Waterside Drive will be subject to “major maintenance works” that will involve the planing off of the existing surface of the carriageway to a depth of 50mm and the laying of a new surface.

The work will start at approximately 8am each morning and continue until approximately 4:30pm.

For the duration of the scheme, Coniston Road will be closed and a diversion route will be in place to enable the works to be carried out.

The council says that access to properties and amenities fronting the site will be available at all times and every effort will be made to keep the disruption to local residents to a minimum for the duration of the works.

Alternative routes will be signed for the duration of the works.

According to traffic regulation order notices posted in the area, the diversion route will be: Patchway Roundabout, B4057 Gloucester Road, A38 Gloucester Road, Hayes Way, Highwood Road, Coniston Road and vice versa.

More: Council plans to resurface three other Patchway roads »

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