Archive for January, 2015

Councillors banking on “sustainable” modes of transport to prevent gridlock

Posted on Friday 9th January 2015 at 8:57 pm by SH (Editor)

South Gloucestershire Council's transport strategy for the Cribbs/Patchway New Neighbourhood.

A joint statement by Cllrs Brian Allinson (Conservative), Pat Hockey (Lib Dem) and Roger Hutchinson (Labour), lead members of South Gloucestershire Council’s Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment Committee.

The Cribbs/Patchway new neighbourhood is set to be a major feature of the North Fringe in the coming years. By 2027 it will provide 5,700 new homes, together with a new Enterprise Area linked to Filton’s world-class aerospace sector. It’s a rare opportunity to create a sustainable, attractive new community, right in the heart of the West of England’s economic powerhouse, and it’s important we get it right.

Top of many people’s to-do list is transport, and that’s understandable. The North Fringe already has very busy roads, thanks to its vibrant economy, and the prospect of thousands of new vehicles arriving with the inhabitants of the new neighbourhood is daunting. Traffic congestion hampers economic development, reduces the quality of life for residents and harms the environment. If the new neighbourhood is going to work, we need to offer new residents viable alternatives to the private car and, ideally, we need these alternatives to be in place before they move in.

We’ll do this in a number of ways. First, we’ll ensure through the planning process that all development prioritises sustainable types of transport, such as walking, cycling and public transport, over the private car. Second, we’ll make sure that the new neighbourhood offers a genuine choice of travel modes – one size won’t fit all, and we’re investing in a range of transport options to make sure that individual needs are catered for. And third, wherever possible we’ll link transport provision to the neighbourhood’s development phases, working with developers to ensure that new residents can make the best travel choices right from day one.

More: Cycling, walking, bus and rail are key parts of strategy »

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M5 Junction 17 (Cribbs Causeway) improvement work due to start this week

Posted on Wednesday 7th January 2015 at 8:34 pm by SH (Editor)

Roadworks sign.Improvement work on the southbound exit slip road at junction 17 of the M5 is due to get under way this week.

The Highways Agency is carrying out the work as part of the Government’s Pinch Point programme, which forms part of the growth initiative outlined during the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November 2011.

According to the agency: “Pinch Points provides smaller scale improvements that can deliver big returns by easing congestion and making journey times more reliable for road users as well as helping to boost local economies and drive economic growth.”

Highways Agency Project Sponsor Dave Stock said:

“At junction 17, we will be upgrading the signs and lining on the southbound off-slip to allow traffic to move towards the Cribbs Causeway area more swiftly.”

“This will have a positive impact on the M5 in this area as well as supporting growth in the surrounding area.”

Work at junction 17 will start on Thursday 8th January and is expected to be completed by the end of February.

Narrow lanes, lane closures as well as some full closures of the slip road will be required during the work for the safety of road users and the workforce.

More info: M5 Junction 17 Southbound Off-Slip, Bristol (Highways Agency)

Extracts from the Highways Agency project page:

Why is this happening and what will it cost?
The M5 Junction 17 suffers from severe congestion and subsequent delays. Queues can form back onto the M5 Motorway in peak periods resulting in slow traffic past this junction.

The estimated cost is approximately £160k.

How will the scheme be carried out?
Will be be resurfacing the southbound off-slip road and providing new road markings and signs.

What are the benefits?
The scheme improvements will result in better lane usage. The proposals achieve wider benefits in supporting growth in the surrounding area, such as at Filton, Cribbs Causeway and Patchway.

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