Archive for August, 2013

Permanent closure of Highwood Road recommended by council officers

Posted on Friday 30th August 2013 at 9:28 am by SH (Editor)

Public meeting called to discuss the closure of Highwood Road, Patchway.

A report produced by officers of South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) ahead of a crucial committee meeting next week has recommended that the “experimental” closure of Highwood Road to general traffic be made permanent without further consultation.

The recommendation is made despite the latest public consultation on the closure showing that 89% of 221 respondents were against the scheme.

The news comes just over a year after a 4,137 signature petition calling for the road closure to be abandoned was rejected by a meeting of SGC’s Full Council.

The strength of opposition to the closure from the Patchway public was further demonstrated last week when an estimated 200 to 300 people attended a public meeting called by Chris Jenner, the community development worker for the town. That meeting was originally planned to take place in the cafe at Coniston Community Centre, but was transferred to the square at the nearby Parade shops because the numbers attending were so great (see photo above).

Many people at that meeting complained about increased traffic levels on Coniston Road since Highwood Road was closed in October last year. Other concerns raised include the number of HGVs travelling along Coniston Road and a perceived increase in accidents and near-misses.

In their latest report, officers argue that the volume of traffic using Coniston Road is actually no higher than the pre-closure situation that existed in 2008 (i.e. prior to the opening of Hayes Way, which provides an alternative route between Gloucester road and Cribbs Causeway), although the same set of data does show a 48% increase in traffic between January 2012 (after Hayes Way opening but before Highwood Road closure) and July 2013. They also note that national design guidelines suggest that the road could cope with flows more than four times present levels.

The report says there has been no significant increase in recorded accidents on Coniston Road. There is, however, no data relating to the number of HGVs using the route.

Officers warn that reversing the closure would cost the council up to £1.25 million and jeopardise government funding for the North Fringe to Hengrove bus rapid transit scheme, which is foreseen to utilise the current bus-only link along Highwood Road.

More: Convoy of vehicles will head for crucial council meeting »

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More record GCSE results for Patchway Community College

Posted on Friday 23rd August 2013 at 5:16 pm by SH (Editor)

Patchway Community College students celebrate their GCSE results.

Students at Patchway Community College celebrated with excitement and jubilation on receiving their GCSE results on Thursday morning (22nd August).

The school gained record high results in a wide range of subjects, including Maths, History, RE, Sport and Performing Arts, with the percentage of students gaining five A*-C grades increasing to 78%.

Headteacher Jane Millicent said:

“Students of all abilities have results to be proud of this year. There is nothing better than watching the students enjoy receiving their results having fulfilled their potential.”

“We are especially pleased with the large number of students who have gained the English Baccalaureate, providing them with a gateway to future academic success.”

Exceptional individual performances included:

  • Zemzem Sonmez with 6 x A* and 5 x A
  • Jay Fothergill with 3 x A*, 2 x Distinction* and 5 x A
  • Hope Richardson with 4 x A* and 5 x A
  • Kayleigh Selman with 3 x A* and 7 x A
  • Sam Ellis with 4 x A* and 4 x A

Top achievers in Patchway Community College's 2013 GCSE results.

Photo: Zemzem Sonmez (left, top-achieving girl) and Jay Fothergill (right, top-achieving boy).

Related link: Schools in Patchway (The Journal)

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Public meeting called as final decision on Highwood Road closure looms

Posted on Wednesday 21st August 2013 at 7:05 pm by SH (Editor)

"Road ahead closed" sign on Highwood Road, Patchway.

A public meeting has been called to discuss local residents’ concerns about the “experimental” closure of Highwood Road after it emerged that South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) is to make a final decision on the closure at a committee meeting in September.

The local meeting takes place at Coniston Community Centre, near The Parade in Coniston Road, on Thursday 22nd August at 7pm.

It has been organised by Chris Jenner, the community development worker for Patchway, in response to concerns raised at the Patchway Safer and Stronger Community Group meeting on 24th July.

The closure of Highwood Road to general traffic (buses and taxis are still allowed to use it, subject to a 20mph speed limit) was a key component of the outline planning permission for the development of the North Field area (now known as Charlton Hayes) and is intended to provide safe pedestrian and cycling links between Charlton Hayes and “old” Patchway.

The road was closed to general traffic on 15th October 2012, following the introduction of an 18-month experimental Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) intended to “allow the implications of the scheme to be fully considered in consultation with the local community”.

The “experimental” nature of the closure was a concession made by the council after 4,137 people signed a petition calling for it to be kept open to general non-commercial traffic, subject to a 20mph speed limit, in addition to the buses and taxis that are allowed to use it under the council’s original Highwood Road Linear Park scheme.

More: Final decision to be made at SGC meeting on 4th September »

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Patchway Community College “delighted” with A-level results

Posted on Thursday 15th August 2013 at 1:26 pm by SH (Editor)

Students at Patchway Community College celebrate their A-level results.

Patchway Community College has maintained its record A-level results from last year, with 19% of grades in 2013 being at A or A*, and 70% at A*-C.

Some fantastic individual performances included Zainab Bello with three A grades in Biology, Chemistry and Maths; Leah Tozer with three As in Drama, English Literature and Psychology; and Abigail Edwards with an A* in Biology, A in Chemistry and B in Maths.

The college’s excellence in Art and Textiles continued, with 29% of candidates being awarded A* grades.

Headteacher Jane Millicent said:

“We are delighted with the results this year, which do credit to all of the hard work and skills of students and staff. We are especially pleased to see such great results over such a wide range of subjects. Art, Biology, Chemistry, English Literature, Financial Studies and Textiles all achieved exceptionally well, with at least half of students gaining A*, A or B grades.”

“It is wonderful to see so many young people fulfilling their dreams by being able to move onto university courses, apprenticeships or jobs because of their good grades.”

Abigail Edwards’ grades secured her a place at Bristol University to study Celluar and Molecular Medicine. Twin sisters Hannah and Amy Drew were both delighted to secure their first choice places, to study Interior Design and Nursing respectively. Aghnia Mardiyah was one of several students to win a place studying Illustration, helped by her A* in Textiles and A in Art.

More: Students delighted to secure engineering apprenticeships »

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