Archive for October, 2013

Unattended cooking leads to Cavendish Road fire

Posted on Friday 18th October 2013 at 2:37 pm by SH (Editor)

Fire engine of the Avon Fire & Rescue Service.

A kitchen at a house in Cavendish Road, Patchway has been left badly damaged after a fire started when cooking was left unattended on a hob.

When firefighters arrived on the scene shortly after 9am this morning (18th October),  they found no one at home, so had to force entry. Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus tackled the fire using one high pressure hose reel. A positive pressure ventilation fan was used to clear the smoke.

Fortunately no one was inside at the time and no one was hurt. The kitchen was damaged by heat and smoke from the fire.

It’s thought the occupant had left a pan on the hob and gone out.

One fire engine from Southmead and a second from Avonmouth attended the incident.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service would like to remind people to take care when cooking and never leave it unattended as it can lead to fire breaking out.

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Highwood Road to remain closed; traffic review promised for rest of town

Posted on Thursday 17th October 2013 at 1:12 pm by SH (Editor)

 SGC meeting to discuss closure of Highwood Road, Patchway. Overflow hall.

The “experimental” closure of Highwood Road to general traffic will be made permanent following a fractious meeting of South Gloucestershie councilors at Patchway Community College last night (16th October).

Around 500 members of the public packed into the main hall at the school with a further 200 listening via an audio link in a smaller, adjacent hall.

A report produced by council officers ahead of the meeting stated that re-opening the road to general traffic would put at risk millions of pounds of government funding for the North Fringe to Hengrove bus rapid transit scheme (now being marketed under the MetroBus banner) that will link Cribbs Causeway with Bristol city centre and South Bristol. Officers also stated that allowing the MetroBus to share the road with general trafic would lead to a fall in passenger numbers and a consequent increase in traffic congestion.

Around twenty members of the public made use of their right to address the meeting, each for up to five minutes. First up was Patchway town councillor Dave Tiley, speaking on behalf of Mayor Chris Mills, who was unable to attend. He described South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) 18-month experimental closure of the road as a “sham” used to “cycnically placate” concerned residents.

Other speakers repeated counter arguments that have been widely aired by hundreds of Patchway residents over the last couple of years, which can be broadly categorised as: increased traffic on Coniston Road; rat runs on smaller roads throughout Patchway and extra journey lengths for people living in the ‘birds and trees’ roads.

Two members of the public spoke in favour of the closure: Dave Redgewell of  the South West Transport Alliance and a cyclist from Stoke Gifford, the latter claiming that other people in favour of keeping the road opened hadn’t attended the meeting “for fear of being lynched”.

After two hours of public contributions, it was over to councillors to start their debate. Patchway district and town councillor Sam Scott proposed that the traffic regulation orders be “extinguished”, allowing the road to be re-opened to general traffic. An hour of debate followed in which opinions were split clearly along party lines: support from Labour (plus the sole UKIP councillor) and opposition from the Conservatives and Lib Dems.

More: Public unrest as outcome of vote became apparent »

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Patchway Youth Centre re-opened with a bang

Posted on Saturday 12th October 2013 at 10:11 pm by SH (Editor)

Grand opening of Patchway Youth Centre, Bristol.

Patchway Youth Centre was re-opened with a bang last month by Cllr Ian Boulton, Chair of South Gloucestershire Council.

The building, on Consiton Road, is now being run by Southern Brooks Community Partnership (SBCP), with financial support from South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) and Patchway Town Council.

Attended by scores of local residents, young people and councillors, the opening was preceded by speeches from Jack Lopresti MP, Police Inspector Bob Eveley, Tracy Allinson (SGC) and Cllr Sam Scott.

There were displays from centre users, including Patchway Judo Club and the Infinity streetdance group.

Many of the young people from Patchway who used to use the centre before it closed in April returned to meet the new youth workers and to see the new refurbishment for the first time.

SBCP  has secured funding for two creative project nights at the centre, which will be on a Tuesday and Friday evening. South Gloucestershire Council will continue to run two sessions of youth work a week – on Monday and Wednesday evenings. They have recently reviewed the way in which services for young people are delivered across the district and are keen to run open access sessions in addition to the creative activities provided by SBCP.

Patchway Town Council continues to fund both junior and detached work in Patchway through SBCP and are helping with running costs of the building.

Patchway Judo Club will continue to meet at the centre on Thursdays and Saturdays.

More photos from the opening night (courtesy of Treasure Box Photography 078169 39823).

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Highwood Road: Councillors told to ignore financial implications of re-opening

Posted on Wednesday 9th October 2013 at 7:30 am by SH (Editor)

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

In what appears to be a significant about-turn in policy, South Gloucestershire councillors who will meet next Wednesday (16th October) to decide whether to make permanent the “experimental” closure of Highwood Road to general traffic, have been told to base their decision only on “relevant transport considerations” and to take no account of the potential cost to the council.

A report prepared ahead of the meeting, which takes place at Patchway Community College (7pm start), warns that the consideration of irrelevant factors could expose the council’s decision to a challenge by judicial review.

Previous reports on the matter, presented in June 2012 and September 2013, have given considerable weight to estimated costs of around £1.25 million that the council’s officers say would be incurred in the event that the road is re-opened to general traffic.

The latest report also puts less emphasis on the risk that the government might fail to confirm approval for the £102 million North Fringe to Hengrove bus rapid transit scheme, should the road be re-opened. Instead, it quantifies the potential fall in projected passenger numbers on the bus rapid transit scheme that would result from Highwood Road being re-opened at between 7% and 10% (for the Cribbs Causeway to Bradley Stoke section of the route). This would make the scheme less attractive to bus operators and the reduction in passenger numbers would lead to traffic congestion, claims the report’s author Steve Evans, South Gloucestershire Council’s Director of Environment & Communities.

An appendix to the report reveals that an independent traffic survey commissioned by the council has confirmed previous findings that levels of traffic on Coniston Road have not increased significantly compared to those recorded in 2008/9 (i.e. before the opening of Hayes Way), although the same data also shows that levels have increased by 41% since January 2012 (prior to the closing of Highwood Road).

A petition started by Patchway Mayor Chris Mills, calling for Highwood Road to be re-opened to non-commercial general traffic, had attracted 1,069 online signatures at the time this article was published.

More info: Agenda and reports for the council meeting on 16th October

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