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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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Tags: Charlton Hayes, Highwood Road, roads

68 Responses to “Highwood Road: Councillors told to ignore financial implications of re-opening”

  1. Dave M Says:

    At least the survey has proved what a lot of locals have been saying, that Coniston Road is significantly busier with traffic. Where are the figures demonstrating how many passengers are on each bus that goes along Highwood Road? Most buses I see have a handful of people on which can’t be deemed financially viable surely? Regarding the increased traffic onConistion Road, there will be many more accidents in the future based on the amount of near misses I’ve also witnessed at the Windermere Road mini roundabout.

    I would also like to highlight again that it’s not just the impact on Coniston Road but also the smaller roads such as Bradley, Durban and Cavendish to name 3.

    On a previous discussion I suggested a Tag system, similar to M4 Severn Bridge, to be put in place on the bus lane to allow Patchway residents to purchase a tag to allow them access should they want to. This would be minimal cost as the technology exists and also revenue would be brought to the Council from selling the Tags each year. This additional traffic on the bus lane would also not impact the buses significantly.

  2. patchway resident Says:

    Surely thats just incompetent drivers causing near misses, not down to the road closure…

  3. Dave Tiley Says:

    This is positive news, but we will await next week’s outcome.

    A Patchway resident has recently collated further significant evidence recorded on a daily basis to prove the significant traffic increase on Coniston Road, it will be presented and is being sent ahead early for the District Councillor’s consideration.

    I’m still slightly baffled by any supposed signifance of the closed part of Highwood Road and its impact to any buses, as in reality the rest of the route is open to traffic, I cannot see the major difference that a half mile closure has on the whole system. Someone is sure to correct me!

    As locals know, the closure has had much further impact on the back roads, a Conservative Town Councillor joked at last nights meeting that half of Stoke Lodge was ready and waiting to drive up Highwood Road next week, while critics may not like that, it’s the simple truth, people from miles around have been using Coniston instead of Highwood Road in the meantime, re-opening Highwood will solve that at one stroke.

  4. Happy Says:

    Good Morning to the two Daves
    Coniston is a main road that goes through Patchway am I right in saying that,so people have to expect loads of cars using it then,most people that will use it live in Patchway or stoke lodge,people that don’t live in these areas don’t need to come that way ,so what’s the problem with that .i could never get my head around that one .
    What ever the outcome on the 16th it won’t make it any better for the people of Callicroft road will it they will still have problems getting to their road if it opens up again.
    I wish everyone good luck on the 16th because whatever happens but not everyone will welcome it

  5. Happy Says:

    @Patchway resident
    You are right it’s the drivers not the road being closed that is at fault

  6. patchway visitor Says:

    I used to be a resident in patchway and I remember even when highwood road was open coniston road was still busy, in Christmas shopping season we couldnt even get out of our street without having to wait. The traffic on coniston road is bad now just pulling in and out of the streets off coniston road, its not fair that the residents have had this done to them. Also coniston road is not really set up for the volume of traffic going through it, its a 30 mph road better suited to 20 and has speed bumps and pot holes that damage cars, there are lots of parked cars along that road and its becoming a bit unsafe

  7. Painman Says:

    @Happy
    Not everyone who lives in Callicroft Road is happy with the closure of Highwood Road.

    And although I can’t argue with it being poor drivers that cause near misses, the simple fact that there are more vehicles on Coniston Road means by default that there are more poor drivers
    #justsaying

  8. JB Says:

    Who decided on the original experiment and who paid for it?
    Did it cost £1.25million to set the experiment up???
    The increased traffic on Coniston Road has been substantial, as well as the speed at which people go.
    What used to be a 10min ride to Cribbs has now become 20mins.
    Lets think of protecting people on the Patchway estate and keep the traffic on Highworth Road.

  9. PP Says:

    I appreciate that Coniston Rd is busier now, but I think everyone is forgetting the traffic jams every weekend, and hrs of queuing at Christmas, that happened on Highwood Lane prior to Hayes Way opening. EVERYONE who was familiar with Coniston rd and the rat runs through Patchway would turn off at the traffic lights at the top of the road. No one complained then! I would bet money that the majority of people cutting through Patchway, are Patchway residents. I don’t really see how this will reduce much if HL is reopened, unless we all stop driving?! IF it is reopened, there needs to be speed restrictions in place, and some form of controlling and monitoring it, maybe raised sections like Stoke Lane. This goes for Coniston rd too, and I think a 20mph limit should be in place throughout Patchway. I’m not dismissing anyone who wants HL reopened. But some of us are quite happy with not having a race track through Patchway, where cars and especially motorbikes reached crazy speeds day and night.

  10. Dave Tiley Says:

    There is definately some exaggerating going on regards the past traffic problems when Highwood was open and we didnt have the by-pass, yes, but only in the fact that when there was gridlock at that Xmas it was the whole northern area that went down due to motorway accidents, that can and will still happen, witness the A38 last week. However, it’s true the by-pass on Hayes has relieved the Highwood bottleneck as it’s taken some of the strain away, but equally there has been the negative knock-on to Coniston, a relief road isn’t a relief road when you close the road it relieves. Clearly there are entrenched views on both sides here, but claiming it’s only Patchway residents using Coniston is just denial, it’s coming and going from the Stokes, and much more beside, but if you wish to think otherwise so be it.

  11. steveh Says:

    I live on the Cribbs causeway end of patchway in Cedar close. Since the Highwood road has changed getting to the local shops is a nightmare. I now have to go all the way through patchway just to get milk from the Spar, it’s almost the same trip to get it from Asda. Getting to HMC garage to get any work done on my car is a pain too, along with getting tyres.

    As far as the comments go on using patchway as a rat run when Highwood road was open are concerned, I can’t say that I agree with your reasoning. Yes, residents of Patchway used these rat runs as an ALTERNATIVE to highwood road when the traffic was at a standstill, but as somebody that used these rat runs at Christmas time, I can assure you that I was not happy about having to do so.

  12. Happy Says:

    Dave I think PP is right the traffic in and around Patchway was worse at times gridlocked a lot of the time over Christmas and weeks before a long time before HL was opened

  13. Happy Says:

    @steveh
    What’s wrong with just walking to spar from cedar it’s not to far it will save on fuel

  14. Happy Says:

    Getting to Asda from cedar will be no different to before the road was shut

  15. Happy Says:

    Good luck to everyone on the 16th

  16. Dave Tiley Says:

    Happy, you need your own column on here! 😉

  17. PP Says:

    I think you misunderstood me Dave. I meant people driving through Patchway – Durban, Stroud etc – are mostly residents. I agree with Happy on the cedar – spar/asda thing though! Not sure an extra 3 or 4 mins drive can be described as a “nightmare”?! 🙂

  18. Jealous guy Says:

    I don’t know why this word “experiment” still appears. South Glos DC clearly never intended it as an experiment, but as a backdoor bit of stealth planning for Bust Rabid Transit / Metrobust. Were that not the case, the original planning for the “experiment” would have included a contingency fund to restore Highwood Road to its former state, should the results lead to an adverse conclusion – like traffic in narrow, residential, traffic-calmed Coniston Road increasing by 41%.
    Our local councils lost all sense of reason when this government money was waved at them. They stopped worrying about whether a scheme would do any good (Metrobust will do little or no good for Patchway, and will damage bits of Bristol), and concentrating desperately on making the plans fit the criteria for the money. SGDC has been caught out here, because this was clearly never meant as a temporary measure.
    Let’s make sure they know that we know.

  19. Patchway Bloke Says:

    @PP – The slightest inconvenience to some people is, of course, a “nightmare”.

    I’ve said it all before about the gridlock on Higwood Lane/A38 etc etc during peak shopping times (Bank Holidays/Christmas/December etc). The traffic generally flows better throughout the whole area.

    The issue of course is that some people now have more traffic, while others have less. It’s unfortunate, but if you were a traffic planner you’d see the whole picture, not the view of someone who doesn’t like 4/5 mins more in the car to buy a paper and a pint of milk etc.

    In all the micro politics of people being “isolated” in Trees/Birds part of Patchway (a laughable notion IMO) – they just have to drive further…! what is ignored is that generally the traffic flow is better all round.

    Something else I can’t understand is why people from the Stokes etc insist on using Coniston to get to the mall instead of the A38 and Hayes Way (I know of people who do!!) – It’s mind blowingly stupid to do that it’s longer, speed bumps etc etc. yet they persist. Some people just adverse to any change/minor inconvenience.

    Over time hopefully people will adapt to change. It will be a massive step back for the area if the decision to close the road is reversed.

  20. Patchway Bloke Says:

    @Jealous Guy

    Let’s not kid ourselves here, Coniston Road isn’t a quiet cul-de-sac. It’s the main arterial road for Patchway estate, so it’s always going to be a route for traffic irrespective of the 41% increase since Highwood Road was closed.

    I’d argue that it was never that busy before, so 41% of “not that busy really” is now “a bit busy at peak times” but that’s anecdotal of course. A subjective view.

  21. Dave Tiley Says:

    @Patchway Bloke.

    Why will it be a massive step back for the area?

    Please explain?

    I won’t challenge but I’d like to hear why?

    A half mile strip of road closure?

    (You may ask me why I am fighting for that same half mile to be re-opened, I appreciate that, but what good is it doing? Why is it so important to you that people use Hayes Way and to a lesser extent Coniston instead of an open Highwood?)

    You know I think this decision is bonkers, fake, money-driven by builders, dubious, pointless, causing problems elsewhere etc etc etc as previous.

    Why is this such a right decision in your view, I appreciate your despair over laziness and trivialities, but after that, I’m lost on the importance of keeping it closed?

  22. Barnspee Says:

    Coniston Rd is far from being a main Rd.. But also what about Bradley Rd,Durban Rd etc.. It’s not just original Patchway residents that are being forced to use these roads,its also residents from the new estate! Durban Rd is now ten times busier and the speed that some people are driving along it is ridiculously fast and dangerous!

  23. Dave M Says:

    Coniston Road is a main road? Yes and no. It once was an arterial road but now with lacknof upkeep and some poor traffic calming measures it is hardly fit for that purpose. Add in the parking and increase in traffic and it’s actually ‘harder’ to drive around it. As I’ve always stated, it’s just as important to highlight the impact on the smaller roads and anyone claiming there hasn’t been much impact are deluding themselves to attempt to justify their points.

    I agree that poor driving causes near misses but 41% more traffic, some in a hurry due to taking a longer route, can only mean that those poor drivers will be coming around there more often.

    I do find it funny how some people justify Highwood Road closing by bringing up the ‘huge’ gridlock seen every Christmas, Bank Holiday, Summer Solstice, Chinese New Year etc My job is based around Cribbs and so I have witnessed the traffic aeound there first hand for many years. There were only occasional moments of gridlock which were actually caused through knock on effects of major accidents nearby and also the poor road system around Cribbs itself. The other instances of heavier traffic were indeed relieved by Hayes Way opening NOT Highwood Road closing. Opening Highwood Road would not instantly bring back traffic problems as Hayes Way will still be open too and it wasn’t actually a major factor in the first place.

    As people have said/asked, what benefit has the closing of Highwood Road brought to anyone in Bristol? The buses are barely occupied and ironically have to go down the dedicated section SLOWER than when the road was open to everyone.

    Lets be honest, the only people benefitting from the closure are the developers as it enabled them to build further up than originally agreed and therefore they’ll be able to fit a few more god awful looking houses in. Hope Bovis, Barratts and David Wilson are proud of building an even bigger version of bloody Bradley Stoke. Yippee!

  24. jen Says:

    Patchway bloke you might be able to fritter extra money away on fuel but I am not so fortunate! Four extra miles a week soon adds up. And that’s with me commuting to work on my pushbike!

    The buses regularly exceed the 20mph speed limit along the closed Highwood Road apparently to try to catch up with timetables as the companies are fined by the council if late…

    And there are still cars going to Charlton Hayes that use Highwood Road then go over the footpaths rather than go the long way round – with lights off if it’s dark. Great safety for the dog walkers and cyclists?

    See you at the meeting.

  25. Patchway Bloke Says:

    @Dave M?

    “Coniston Road is a main road? Yes and no. It once was an arterial road but now with lacknof upkeep and some poor traffic calming measures it is hardly fit for that purpose.”

    Erm. It still is. Will be, and always will be the route to get in and out of Patchway for the many.

    I try to garner debate but all I ever seem to get is that people will be worse off, slightly. Imagine that extra 3 mins in the car to buy a pint of milk etc?!?

    Wait! You not happy that Rodway Road shops dying, when they not – they are just a load of takeaways you don’t even use…..?!? (Well you do, they just deliver hey?)

    You use the idea that some kid will get knocked over soon due to all the cars. Well, to my knowledge that’s not happened yet has it?

    Every single point made to deflect why Highwood Road should stay open is basically signed by people who don’t want to drive 3/4 mins more/couple of miles.

    I repeat. If this road closure is overturned, all it will do is bring us back to where we were in 2004/5.

  26. Patchway Bloke Says:

    @Dave Tiley

    Because most of South of Patchway has been sent up the new road, is getting used to it etc.

    So to reopen Highwood Road to appease the residents of Patchway (and yes I am one) to save them from a few more mins in the car, on their way to Morrison’s etc is a clearly short sighted view.

  27. Dave M Says:

    @Patchway Bloke

    Are you ‘Happy’ as well? If not you can start a club 🙂 Anyway, what I was meaning about Coniston Road was that it’s meant to be a main road but hasn’t been cared for and needs attention to be used as a main road.

    By the way, yes children have been hit on Coniston road as well as a car overturning fairly recently as well.

    To be honest I couldn’t care less about taking another few minutes to get to Cribbs. The problem is the extra traffic around the smaller roads which are unsuitable.

    The traffic will NOT go back to how you claim it was in 2004/5 if Highwood Road is reopened because Hayes Way will still exist. It WILL NOT be the same situation and saying it over and over again will not make it True

  28. Happy Says:

    Hey don’t bring me into your arguments please this is a forum for debates on Highwood road mr Dave M not for insults

  29. Painman Says:

    I didn’t see any insults, just a mild mannered attempt at humour which was obviously too subtle for some readers.

    There have been several accidents on Coniston Road over the past few months, the most recent being the car that demolished the railings by the parade. Not to mention countless mirrors knocked off parked cars by the excessive number of ‘poor drivers’ that we have inherited from Highwood Road.

    I really can’t see how buses travelling at 20mph down the experimental bus lane can be better than the 40mph dual carriageway was and let’s be honest if it was all about the buses they’d have just made one lane on each side a bus lane. No, this was all about giving extra space to the developers at the expense of the residents of patchway and I for one have had enough!!

  30. PP Says:

    HL will never be turned back into a dual carriageway – how can it?? If you were one of the Charlton Hayes residents who back onto the road, how would you feel about it? Let’s face it, we’re never going to all agree. Though I’m glad to see it’s not just me that’s happy with the new set up! And yes, there are little digs and insults being tossed around, by people who think they’re more intelligent than the rest of us… There will always be idiots using Coniston Rd, such as the person who went through the railings a few weeks back (I saw the car – goodness knows how they got in that position!!). How do you know for sure that they don’t live off Coniston? Or that they won’t still use it to avoid the busy Highwood Lane if it’s reopened??

  31. Dave M Says:

    @All Apologies if people construed what I said as an insult. It was not meant in that way at all and as someone has already mentioned, it was a light hearted remark.

    There will always be disagreements but one thing I have yet to see is anyone in favour of keeping it closed giving one valid and factual reason why it should stay closed.

  32. callicroft Says:

    patchway bloke still quoting 5 minutes longer here 10 minutes longer there,pointless arguement,its about quality of life.with houses being built everyday we need as many roads open as possible to cope with the increase in traffic, there is no valid reason to keep it shut. It is more important than milk and bread.

  33. SH (Editor) Says:

    Press release from South Gloucestershire Labour today:

    Labour slams Tory “arrogant behaviour”

    Labour councillors in South Gloucestershire are accusing their Conservative colleagues of indulging in irresponsible and arrogant behaviour for sticking rigidly to a decade-old blueprint to close Highwood Road in Patchway against massive local opposition.

    The decision on the continued closure of Highwood Road, Patchway, which has been the cause of huge local protests, will be made by the Council next Wednesday, and it seems clear that Conservative members will hark back to decisions taken many years ago to justify keeping the road closed.

    Councillors of all parties agreed a large planning application six years ago to create a bus-only lane, but Labour says that local politicians should recognise that circumstances have changed significantly over the past decade.

    Group Leader, Councillor Andy Perkins (Labour, Woodstock) says:

    “Everybody apart the Tories recognises that a huge amount has changed in the North Fringe since the original planning permission was granted. Not least that the Tories have agreed to allow Filton Airfield to be bulldozed and Green Belt concreted over for thousands of houses. The MetroBus project which is now being used as the reason to stick with the scheme was piggy-backed onto the plans years after the planning decision.

    The Conservatives seem to be on an anti-Patchway mission by wilfully ignoring the overwhelming local opposition to this road closure. The Tories want to stick rigidly to a plan which has clearly not worked on the ground, rather than sort out the problem.

    Labour councillors make no apology for listening to and representing local opinion on this matter and have voted consistently over the past couple of years to stop the closure. It has become the hallmark of South Gloucestershire Conservatives to persist with their arrogant attitude that they know best.

    Labour actually believes in localism and listening to the public. Clearly the Conservatives hold Patchway residents in contempt. Thankfully we now have a democratic decision-making system in place in the council so the Tories can be stopped. Time will only tell whether Liberal Democrat councillors stick to their localism principles or buckle under Tory pressure.”

  34. Barnspee Says:

    @Callicroft Well said! The detour is indeed a pain! But the massive increase in traffic on the small roads through Patchway is ridiculous,and far more annoying and dangerous! Not only do you have to take a detour you also have to constantly pull in to give way to cars. And when at home,hear countless cars,vans and sometimes lorries whizzing past! Do any of these people in favour of Highwood Rd remaining closed actually live on any of these Roads!?

  35. Lee Says:

    Most of the traffic that went down Highwood now goes down Hayes and still will if HR is reopened. Far as I know HW didn’t get gridlocked at Christmas like HR used to? So there won’t be any benefit to non- Patchway/Stokes residents using HR as a rat-run.

    Last month I wrote to all Councillors asking them to support the re opening of HR. I deliberately didn’t make it a party issue though the vote last year went along party lines. I’m hoping the news above isn’t a harbinger of yet more.

  36. Jealous guy Says:

    @Callicroft Well said from me too! But Metrobust is based on figures of 1 minute here, 30 seconds there, multiplied by 60 years. On such dubious claims are roads opened or closed.

    Turning right out of Hayes scares the whisname out of me. It’s like the grid at the Monaco Grand Prix, with the likelihood of a pile-up at the first corner. Whover designed it should be put there on permanent traffic directiom duty.

  37. sue Says:

    Just read all the comments and I quite agree with Calicroft, we do need as many roads open as possible especially on a Thursday when you have to try to get out on Coniston rd but find it impossible because there are rubbish collection wagons in every road.It happen to me just this week trying to take my husband to work and every road Worthing,Durban and Stroud were all blocked up.If we could all go up the bypass at least we wouldn’t have to play the guessing game of which road to try and make it through!

  38. Canary135 Says:

    Thursdays are the best day to use the rear access lanes….it’s quicker!

  39. knackeredmum Says:

    I fail to see any benefits to forcing traffic through a housing estate. The road layout was never designed to take the volume of traffic that it now has to cope with and there is really only one way to get from one end to the other and back out so everyone has to go the sameway. Highwood road was designed and built as a n arterial route so that traffic didnt NEED to go through patchway unless someone had a purpose within the estate, hence the whole road layout through patchway. The only reason that this change has happened is to appease decelopers.
    And as for the person who commented about living next to highwood road, You knew there was a major road there when you moved in, nobody made you live there – you chose to. You also knew that any closure could be temporary SO STOP WHINGING! I hat people who move to an area then moan and want it changed.

  40. rebecca strong Says:

    A couple of years ago, I obtained under the freedom of Information Act the amount of traffic using Coniston Road and Highwood Road. before Highwood Road was closed. I recent revisited the information to see if it agrees with the South Glos report which will be discussed by councillors on Wednesday 16th at Patchway High School. In December 2008, the council surveyed the traffic at Patchway roundabout and at the traffic lights at the other end of Coniston Road. They said the peak hour traffic was 3891, this was for a 7 hour period, 7am to 10am and 3pm to 7pm. This was an average of the flows at both ends of Coniston Road. At the roundabout end it was 4765 and at the other end it was 3014. This is cars, buses , van, motorcycles and pedal cycles. Looking at flows each ways shows the majority flowing out in the morning and returning in the evening. This pattern is repeated for the 2009 census, again in December during childrens term time, with similar flow numbers.
    I would like to know when was the January 2012 census taken which shows a low flow, was it in holiday time and what were the weather conditions. similarly what about the March/April 2013 census.
    I feel South Glos have tried to paint a rosy picture rather than what it is actually like.
    That period when Highwood Road jammed up during Christmas was due lack of parking space and people were driving around looking for slots. Now there is extra parking areas.

  41. Happy Says:

    @rebecca
    It wasnt just a one off Highwood road getting grid locked at Christmas it happened all the time

  42. Happy Says:

    Just a little note to say ask why hasn’t anyone put their name down to speak at this IMPORTANT meeting tomorrow night !!!

  43. Dave M Says:

    @Happy the gridlock was rare when you actually look at the holiday period as a whole. As I’ve said in previous discussions I woek around Cribbs and was guaranteed to be on the road during the busiest times and ‘gridlock’ wasn’t that common.

    As a staunch Pro Closure, will you please furnish this debate with factually based reasons qhy Highwood should stay shut? Please don’t mention ‘gridlock’ coming back as that’s not a factual argument.

  44. Happy Says:

    Sorry but it is a fact gridlocked was very common
    And as for the road I am not fussed one way or the other closed or open !!

  45. Happy Says:

    Has anyone put their name down yet to speak at this meeting if they don’t it will be to late

  46. Dee Says:

    Please please let tonight be the end of all this about Highwood road and let’s get on with more important things in life than a bloody road

  47. SH (Editor) Says:

    @Happy: You don’t need to “put your name down” in order to speak (this is only necessary if you want to ask a question and have it answered at the meeting).

    “Any resident of South Gloucestershire or person affected by any decision to be taken by the Council, may address this meeting (for no more than 5 minutes) to present a petition, make a statement, contribute views on matters under discussion or ask a question. No prior notice is needed except for questions which should be submitted one clear day in advance.”

  48. Happy Says:

    Why is someone on Facebook saying you need to put your name down on a list to speak ,
    I’m a bit confused is anyone going to speak at this meeting then or not

  49. SH (Editor) Says:

    @Happy: I quoted from the official agenda (also referenced from the article above). Can’t vouch for anything you have read on Facebook.

  50. Dave Tiley Says:

    Yes it’s either/or to speak, you can contact democratic services if you wish now to ensure you are an early speaker, or get there early to put your name down, they would prefer upfront visibility of speakers for planning the times etc, there is a five minute limit for each speaker, and we need to avoid repeating the same points for everybody’s sake.

  51. Dave Tiley Says:

    Radio Bristol just rang to say they should have a slot on Highwood Road from 17.38 through to 17.45 this evening live from the College.

  52. Happy Says:

    Will the results be given out at tonight’s meeting !!!

  53. Happy Says:

    Well I’m off to get ready for this meeting

  54. Happy Says:

    So that’s it now closed for good .

  55. SH (Editor) Says:

    Highwood Road closure is now permanent. Tonight’s meeting as it happened:

    https://twitter.com/search?q=from%3Apatchwayjournal%20%23highwoodroad

  56. max Says:

    yes i was at the meeting tonight and saw democracy in action AH AH.Yes 300 people wasted there time as they had already made the mind up to vote no to reopening the road.No i wasn’t informed about the road close-sure or the council giving Boris the road.When the new relief road was built(bovis are proud to of built though no footpath or cycle way)thought the council was actually thinking right for a change.no need two change highwood rd just make one lane on each side a bus lane.If this is just not down to incompetence i smell a rat .to completely disregard all the evidence at this meeting when better ways to sort out the problem are there beggars belief.On the upside one man who talked to keep it shut as he cycles from stoke gifford to patchway library and think he thought the A38 should do the same won his day!democracy at last!!!

  57. jen Says:

    Closed for bad! Thanks SCG for showing us how little you regard our safety! Perhaps you could use all those security guards you managed to pay to stop the riff raff from rioting last night to patrol the crossings and keep the residents safe whilst they try to cross the road. Or perhaps you could get them to apprehend the naughty taxi driver who ignored the red light a the Charlton Hays junction on Tuesday and nearly knocked me off my pushbike!

  58. OMR Says:

    I attended the meeting held last night at Patchway Community College regarding Highwood Road. In their efforts to dissuade members of the council from making the road closure permanent the residents of Patchway joined as a community in a bid to convey the depth of feeling that surrounds this issue and the very real impact that the temporary road closure has had upon their direct environment.

    Residents were afforded the opportunity to address the council directly, as a result there were some exceptional arguments made that eloquently highlighted the communities experience on a day to day basis. One after another individuals stated ‘I live on’ this street/road in order to convey how they have been personally effected, but this should have also signalled to council members that by way of reference they too were asserting that these experiences were not isolated incidents but issues that effect the wider community of Patchway as a whole.

    Disappointingly, their pleas fell on deaf ears for at the end of the meeting the council voted in favour of making the road closure permanent. For me as an individual, listening council members espouse a politicised financially driven argument that this scheme is for the greater good of South Gloucestershire as a whole, acted only to undermine my confidence in local democracy. The democratic process in evidence last night was one driven by collective party politics, council members who voted against the reopening the highway blatantly ignored the concerns of the community of Patchway.

    In essence, council members negated to listen to the compromised proposals that would allow residents to use highwood road in conjunction with the proposed metro bus, but most significantly what was blatantly apparent was that as there evident lack of courage displayed individual council members to effectively shape local policy in a manner that realistically acts respond and reflect the needs of those they have been elected to represent.

    The semantic ritualised process presented last night designed to champion the democratic ideal, conversley worked only to weaken the democratic virtues we are all taught to hold dear. The political rhetoric and associate prevailing discourse that drives this road closure discounts the truth of the matter in that it will ultimately continue to have a dramatic impact upon the community of Patchway. Unfortunately for us as residents we have to contend with the fact that this issue is “subject to interpretation” and “whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.” (Nietzche)

  59. Andy Says:

    Lets all show SGC what we think of this, If we all block the road and cause traffic jams and the likes as a peaceful protest against there decision. If they wont listen to our voices then maybe they may listen to direct action.

  60. Paul Says:

    Just wondering if our local MP, Jack Lopresti was present at the meeting last night to see the passion of the Patchway residents? If not I suppose he was out opening up some new business in the local area rather than looking after his constituents !

  61. Gordon Says:

    I was at the meeting last night and was simply staggered by the number of people in attendance.

    I find it simply incomprehensible that the council sat there, “listened” to the evidence from the people of Patchway and then proceeded to make the most ill informed decision possible.

    The arguments that the decision was made back in 2002 and there was no opposition at the time simply doesn’t hold any credit. Until the ‘exhibition’ at the church in Stoke Gifford several years ago, nobody in Patchway even knew about this closure scheme, but evidently then it was too late to reverse the decision.

    As a Patchway resident that bought my house in Cavendish Road in 2006 (so apparently after the plans had been approved) I find it incredible that the local searches that were completed as part of the conveyancing process didn’t highlight to me the fact that the main road servicing the estate was to be closed. Had I known about this, then I wouldn’t have been so keen to relocate here and would have looked elsewhere for somewhere with better road links to the motorways.

    I fully suspect that the planning process was completed in a very clandestine manner such that this ridiculous plan could be rail-roaded through with no real chance for opposition.

    Having become totally disillusioned with national and local government over the last 15 years I was hoping that my faith in democracy and common sense might have been restored at the meeting last night, however I like many other people will probably now feel that there is actually no point whatsoever in taking an interest in local issues or politics.

    The entire process is fundamentally corrupt and geared against the residents of this community. It really is no surprise when there are falling turnouts for local and national elections when the people really don’t have any influence of what ultimately happens anyway.

  62. Happy Says:

    As I have said before closed or open I will go alone with what ever happens I might not like it (And yes it does effect me)but for some to say to we should break the law just because they want a road open is stupid @Andy
    most of the people I know that are moaning are about cars going passed their homes because I know people that live by the parade that don’t even need to use Highwood road but are complaining, to me that doesn’t make sence.
    I think people did a fine job trying to change the Councillors minds but it wasn’t to be,( those councillors will have to remember at election time).

  63. Andy Says:

    @Happy, if councilors wont listen to voices what other action do you suppose we have left?
    The voices of the Patchway people are not being listened too so some sort of action needs to be taken. A peaceful protest is the best option i can think off. Its not just about the road anyway, if people just give up and accept this decision then who is to say what is next. The council will make decisions and think people wont stand up to them.

  64. Patchway Bloke Says:

    Common sense has prevailed. The micro politics of the disaffected few have been weighed against the greater good of the many.

    Sadly you’ll all just have to accept the change now.

    @Andy. Are you really prepared to break the law because of increased traffic noise outside your house? Really?

    I’m staggered.

    I agree with that cyclist too. There are many people who either support the closure, or at the very least are apathetic to it. The vocal “community” of Patchway Estate lost. Time to put it to bed and move on ladies and gentlemen.

  65. Betty Goodfellow Says:

    If there are as many people for the closure Where were they last night I counted 2 who spoke, and as for the cyclist he does not live in Patchway and only came for the Library.
    We new before we went last night that the councilors would not change there mind it would cost them to much.
    Hopefully Patchway will think long and hard when it comes to election time we were sold out.

  66. callicroft Says:

    i think if that dopey cyclist had to cycle from the far end of patchway through the estate to the library he might have had a different attitude,unfortunately patchway bloke is right it is time to move on,the decision has been made.i will remember when i come to vote at the next election,as a matter of interest has the metro link money been granted or as one of the councellors said the money is pie in the sky,if so and the money is not forthcoming could we bring the subject up again and make another attempt to get it open.

  67. Patchway Bloke Says:

    @Callicroft

    You said I was right, time to move on.

    Ed? How about you close this topic then? Send debate to the other topic?

  68. SH (Editor) Says:

    If you have a comment about the meeting that took place on Wednesday 16th October, please submit it on this new story:

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

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