Archive for the ‘Transport’ Category

Highwood Road bus lane camera nets council more than £180k in just nine months

Posted on Sunday 21st August 2016 at 9:14 pm by SH (Editor)

Bus lane on Highwood Road, Patchway, close to the Coniston Road junction.

Nearly 6,000 fines, netting a total of more than £180,000 for South Gloucestershire Council, have been issued to drivers caught by a single enforcement camera on a bus lane in Patchway.

The astonishing statistics, verified by the Journal, were revealed after a frustrated motorist used a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to find out how much money the council is making from the camera on Highwood Road, which went live less than a year ago on 1st October 2015.

The response stated that 5,892 penalty charge notices had been issued, raising £187,539.

Derek Hunt, 49, told the Bristol Post he believes the council has deliberately made the road layout confusing and accused it of “stealing” motorists’ hard-earned cash.

He was caught using the bus lane after he failed to make the obligatory left turn into Coniston Road when driving along Highwood Road from the direction of The Mall.

The bus lane is one of two to be installed in South Gloucestershire last year. The other is at Brierly Furlong/New Road in Stoke Gifford, close to the Parkway railway bridge.

A third camera was recently installed on the northbound A38 Gloucester Road approach to the Aztec Roundabout.

In all cases, enforcement commenced after a two week grace period during which warning notices (letters) were issued in place of penalty notices.

A South Gloucestershire Council spokesperson said:

“Prior to undertaking enforcement of bus lanes, the council made a decision that the use of camera technology was the most appropriate way of undertaking this enforcement.”

“The locations where cameras were to be installed, including the Highwood Road bus lane, were reviewed to ensure that the bus lane signage and markings were appropriate and clearly visible so that drivers would be aware of the bus lane and would not be caught out. To further support this, additional signage warning of the bus lane and the enforcement of it were installed at the locations.”

More: Stoke Gifford camera nets £47,541 in same period »

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Information session on Patchway tunnel modernisation work

Posted on Tuesday 14th June 2016 at 3:38 pm by SH (Editor)

Network Rail information session on the Severn and Patchway Tunnels modernisation.

North Bristol residents are invited to an event to find out more about work that will soon be taking place to prepare the 130-year-old Patchway and Severn tunnels for the arrival of a new fleet of longer, faster, quieter and greener electric trains.

The event will take place at 7pm on Thursday 16th June at Patchway Community College on Hempton Lane (BS32 4AJ) and will begin with a presentation by the Network Rail project team, followed by an opportunity to ask questions.

The work is an important part of the company’s Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers and follows projects already under way in Bristol, Bath, Swindon, Didcot and Oxford to electrify the Great Western Main Line.

The upgrades required to prepare both tunnels for electrification are extensive and will involve installing conductor beams to power the new fleet of electric trains to run underneath. To install this beam in the Severn tunnel, four tonnes of soot needs to be removed and extensive improvements made to the brick work.

In addition, to accommodate the electrification equipment, the track will be lowered in the Patchway tunnel and underneath the nearby Little Stoke Farm bridge (on Station Road, near the Sort It centre), to preserve its historical architecture.

The scale of this engineering challenge together with the type of machinery required to carry out the work means that a temporary closure of both tunnels is unavoidable. This temporary closure will take place over six weeks, from 12th September to 21st October 2016.

Anthea Dolman-Gair, Network Rail’s senior programme manager, said:

“The work around Patchway, Filton and Pilning is an essential part of our Railway Upgrade Plan and will pave the way for electric trains and the benefits these will bring for residents and passengers. These benefits include faster trains with more seats and more legroom as well as less noise and cleaner air for those who live close to the railway line.”

“Everyone is welcome at our event and I’d urge anyone who wants to know more about our plans, or has a question, to come along.”

“I’d like to thank the local community in advance for their patience and understanding while we carry out these essential improvements to modernise Brunel’s railway.”

More: Network Rail site compound to be set up at Filton Airfield »

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Enforcement camera goes live on A38 bus lane at Aztec West

Posted on Monday 13th June 2016 at 10:02 pm by SH (Editor)

Bus lane enforcement camera sign on the Gloucester Road (A38) northbound approach to the Aztec West Roundabout.

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) has installed a fixed bus lane enforcement camera on the northbound Gloucester Road (A38) approach to the Aztec West Roundabout and will begin issuing penalty charge notices from 21st June.

The camera went live on 7th June, but the authority has chosen to only issue warning notices (letters) during the first fortnight of its operation.

In line with the hours of operation of the bus lane, the new camera operates Monday to Friday only, 7.30am-9.30am and 4pm-7pm.

The monitoring system uses automatic number plate recognition to identify unauthorised vehicles and generate penalty notices.

The council says that all potential infringements will be reviewed by a qualified officer and if any mitigating factors, such as needing to pull over for an emergency vehicle, are present, they will not issue a penalty notice.

Elsewhere in South Gloucestershire, bus lane enforcement cameras are already in operation at Highwood Road in Patchway and on New Road/Brierly Furlong in Stoke Gifford (both operating for 24 hours a day).

The A38 bus lane was created in 2011 as part of the £70m Greater Bristol Bus Network (GBBN) project.

More information: Bus lane enforcement cameras in South Gloucestershire

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Railway closures set to cause travel disruption

Posted on Friday 27th May 2016 at 10:32 am by SH (Editor)

Severn Tunnel electrification drilling work.

Railway passengers are being warned to expect disruption as a result of major engineering works being carried out in the north Bristol area over the next six months.

From Saturday 28th to Monday 30th May, the railway between Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway, Gloucester and Severn Tunnel Junction will be closed, with many services being amended or replaced by buses.

The closure is necessary to allow Network Rail carry out major signal improvements at Filton Bank, which is being upgraded to four tracks, allowing slower local trains to run on their own tracks without hindering or affecting the frequency of new high-speed electric trains that are to be introduced as part of Network Rail’s £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan.

A further closure associated with this work is expected to take place over the late August bank holiday weekend (27th to 29th August).

This will be followed by a six week closure of the line between Bristol and South Wales, from 12th September to 21st October, to allow the 130-year-old Severn and Patchway tunnels to be prepared for electrification.

This work will involve installing conductor beams in both tunnels to power the new fleet of electric trains that will run underneath. To install this beam in the Severn tunnel, four tonnes of soot needs to be removed and extensive improvements made to the brick work.

Mark Langman, Network Rail’s managing director for the Western route, said:

“Electrification has many long-term benefits including faster, more frequent trains and a boost to economic growth in towns and cities across the whole of the Western route and beyond.”

“I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their patience and understanding while we deliver the essential upgrades needed to prepare these tunnels for electrification and the benefits this will bring.”

As previously reported, Network Rail is also currently carrying out potentially noisy piling works in the Little Stoke and Patchway areas. This work, associated with the installation of overhead wires, is taking place on Saturday nights and is expected to continue until October.

More information:

This article originally appeared in the May 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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