Archive for the ‘Transport’ Category

Bus lane enforcement cameras go live in Patchway and Stoke Gifford

Posted on Monday 21st September 2015 at 12:24 pm by SH (Editor)

Bus lane enforcement camera signage at the junction of New Road and Brierly Furlong in Stoke Gifford, Bristol.

Two fixed bus lane enforcement cameras in South Gloucestershire are now in operation.

The bus lane enforcement cameras are located at Highwood Road in Patchway and at New Road/Brierly Furlong in Stoke Gifford. The cameras will address the abuse of bus lanes and bus gates by unauthorised traffic and will help ensure the reliability of local bus services.

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) says the cameras have been installed in response to reports from both bus companies and members of the public that the bus lanes at these locations are being abused. Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) will be issued to anyone that infringes the bus lanes and will include a secure web link to a video showing the offence.

Chair of SGC’s Communities Committee Cllr Heather Goddard said:

“The council agreed its policy on bus lane enforcement cameras back in 2013. Since then, there have been a number of high profile cases nationally where bus lane enforcement has been criticised and we wanted to learn from those before switching on our cameras.”

“We are not trying to catch anyone out, we want the cameras to be easily visible and we have made an effort to ensure that signs and road markings are as clear as possible to motorists. Hopefully motorists will avoid penalties by not driving in the lanes reserved for buses.”

An SGC spokesperson added:

“Each potential infringement will be reviewed by a qualified officer and if any mitigating factors such as needing to pull over for an emergency vehicle are present, we wouldn’t issue the PCN.”

“The monitoring system uses Automatic Number Plate Recognition to identify unauthorised vehicles and generate penalty notices. As well as ensuring that bus journeys are not delayed, enforcement will also help remove unauthorised traffic that can delay emergency vehicles.”

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Photo: Bus lane enforcement camera signage at the junction of New Road and Brierly Furlong in Stoke Gifford.

Source: Press release from South Gloucestershire Council.


Planning application submitted for North Fringe bus rapid transit scheme

Posted on Friday 28th March 2014 at 4:22 pm by SH (Editor)

Artist's impression of the NFHP MetroBus in Bristol city centre.

Bristol City and South Gloucestershire councils have submitted a planning application for the North Fringe to Hengrove Package (NFHP) MetroBus. As this section of the MetroBus route crosses the council boundaries there are two identical planning applications. All the documents are available online on the two councils’ planning portals (see links below).

The NFHP MetroBus will link areas of housing and economic growth in the North and East Fringe of the Bristol urban area with a major regeneration area in South Bristol via Bristol city centre.

MetroBus services will be fast, frequent and reliable with new, low-emission vehicles. They will provide high quality passenger facilities, information and interchanges and safe and secure access to stops. Services will run on segregated routes in some places, and will be given priority over other road users at traffic signals when running on the public highway.

The route will incorporate new bus stops and shelters, and shared cycleway and footway as appropriate. The proposals also include the construction of new highway junctions, bridge structures, drainage facilities, urban realm improvements, hard landscaping and planting.

The planning application numbers are 14/01187/FB for the Bristol City area and PT14/1004/F for the South Gloucestershire area.

Comments must be made through the official planning process. Even if someone has commented on the proposals before, they will need to do so again if they want their comments to be considered at this formal stage.

The North Fringe to Hengrove Package MetroBus is one part of a wider network of MetroBus routes across the West of England region which includes the South Bristol Link and the Ashton Vale to Temple Meads MetroBus route.

The scheme will link with the Ashton Vale to Temple Meads route as it passes through Bristol city centre, sharing routes through Redcliffe to Bedminster Bridge. Within south Bristol, the scheme will link with the South Bristol Link at Hengrove Park.

Image: Artist’s impression of the NFHP MetroBus in Bristol city centre.

Source: Press release from the West of England office.


£1.3m boost for West of England bus services

Posted on Tuesday 22nd October 2013 at 2:32 pm by SH (Editor)

Cllr Brian Allinson (left) beside a bus lane at Aztec West.

Bus users in South Gloucestershire are to benefit from a new £1.3m Government grant to help improve services in the West of England.

The award from the Department for Transport’s ‘Better Bus Area’ scheme will be used to improve services on eight routes including the A38 from Bristol to Thornbury and the A420 from Bristol to Kingswood Town Centre.

The award is being made to the South Gloucestershire, Bristol and Bath & North East Somerset councils and the funding will support measures that improve journey times and make bus travel more attractive, such as new and extended bus lanes and upgrades to bus stops.

Measures along the A38 corridor will include improvements to bus stops between Aztec West and Thornbury with provision of raised boarding facilities, new shelters and real-time information displays at some locations.

Chair of the council’s Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment Committee Cllr Brian Allinson said:

“This is another welcome boost in our drive to improve bus services for South Gloucestershire and the wider West of England.”

“Our vision for transport is to encourage a shift away from the private car to more sustainable travel options such as public transport, cycling and walking in order to reduce congestion, support economic growth and promote a better quality of life for everyone.”

“Bus services are key to this vision and small measures like enhanced bus lanes and better traffic management can make a big difference to journey times and the attractiveness of bus travel. I hope that with this funding we will see more people in South Gloucestershire and the West of England choosing to travel by bus.”

More: Strategy includes showcase routes and rapid transit schemes »

Source: South Gloucestershire Council


MP calls on council to improve local transport

Posted on Saturday 22nd June 2013 at 2:20 pm by SH (Editor)

Number 18 bus service pictured in Little Stoke, Bristol.

Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti has called on South Gloucestershire Council to do more to improve transport locally.

Mr Lopresti has made the call after supporting a number of transport initiatives but he believes the council must go further, saying:

“One of local people’s main concerns about our local area is the existing and future transport infrastructure. Public transport is an essential resource for communities; I am a regular user myself, particularly to Bristol Parkway and central Bristol and to medical appointments more recently. Central Government does not legislate on local transport issues; after all, governing important local issues such as this is why we have local councils and councillors. Instead, the Government makes available a certain amount of money for councils to spend in these areas. The Government recently legislated to remove ring-fencing from a vast amount of local authority funding, giving councils the flexibility to spend Government grants where they are needed most.”

“I believe that South Gloucestershire Council needs to do more to take advantage of this.”

The MP’s comments come after he wrote to the Chair of the Public Transport Forum, Cllr Ian Scott, earlier this month, specifically to enquire about bus services to Southmead Hospital from Staple Hill, amongst other areas currently without provision. The MP also met with First Bus on the matter and is campaigning to ensure that local people have transport links to vital services.

He continued:

“Improving public transportation in our local area is vital, which is why I have previously lobbied the Government to secure funding for the Rapid Transit Scheme and to champion a new junction on the M49. I have also been in contact with the council to support plans for a bus rail interchange at Filton Abbey Wood and I have started a campaign to re-open Filton North Station. In Parliament, I have spoken with ministers and asked questions in support of the Four Track scheme on the Filton Bank network and in favour of the electrification of the Great Western Main Line.”

“Given the new flexibility afforded to councils by the Government in terms of how central funding is spent, I would expect councillors from all areas to work with their council colleagues to put in place a public transport plan to make public transport accessible for all who need it. I am of course happy to give my support to the council in ensuring this happens.”