‘Bypass’ site to be inspected
New Stoke Gifford link road part of new MetroBus
The site for a new Stoke Gifford ‘bypass’ is to be inspected tomorrow (Friday 16th August) by councillors charged with making a decision on its planning application.
The planning application comes a few months after the council agreed to buy up land along the route in an effort to speed up its construction.
The officially named ‘Stoke Gifford Transport Link’ – known amongst locals as the bypass – will be a new 1.6km single carriageway highway linking Great Stoke Way at the Parkway North Roundabout to the A4174 Avon Ring Road.
The new road will be used as part of the North Fringe to Hengrove Bus Rapid Transit network, which is a major new transport scheme that will be branded as MetroBus.
The SGTL will provide congestion relief in the Stoke Gifford area, providing an alternative crossing over the Great Western railway line and bypassing existing congestion bottlenecks near Bristol Parkway Station and along Old Gloucester Road and Brierly Furlong.
The bypass had been due to open over ten years ago in order to deal with the huge congestion in the North Fringe of Bristol created by large-scale new development, including the new town of Bradley Stoke.
But the scheme was cancelled when South Gloucestershire Council was run by the Liberal Democrats and a long campaign has been fought by local Conservatives ever since to revive plans for the new road.
Stoke Gifford Conservative councillors Keith Cranney and Justin Howells said:
“Many local people will remember that this link road was planned as part of the development that saw thousands of new homes built at Bradley Stoke and other nearby locations in order to ensure that there was new infrastructure put in place to cope with all these extra commuters.
But – in a moment of madness – the link road was cancelled by the LibDems, thus ensuring that this huge volume of extra traffic has had to negotiate the tiny and dangerous route under Parkway railway bridge.
This has brought misery not just to Stoke Gifford residents but everyone who has to sit in the jams and it has put at risk the large number of pedestrians, particularly Abbeywood school children, who walk under the bridge to get to school.
All these years later, it will come as a relief to local residents to see that this transport link is making progress because another route across the railway at this location is the only way to ensure that a rapid transit really is rapid.”
A decision on the planning application is expected later this month and construction of the rapid transit is planned to start in Spring 2015.