Saturday, 13 December 2014

Campaigners call for cycle path to be finished

Paul Hulbert and Claire Young launching the petition in August
Westerleigh Councillor Claire Young delivered a petition to a meeting of South Gloucestershire Council on Wednesday as part of an ongoing campaign for the completion of the ‘Yate Spur’ cycle path. The petition has so far been signed by over 300 residents from Yate, Westerleigh and further afield.

Claire said: “This petition shows there is strong support for completing the “Yate Spur” cycle path, which currently stops just south of Westerleigh but is planned to link up the village and Yate with the Bristol-Bath railway path and the wider cycle network. When it’s finished, it will provide a safe, off-road route for travelling to the Science Park at Emerson’s Green, Bristol city centre, Bath and beyond. Families will be able to enjoy leisure rides and it will make commuting to work by bike a realistic option for many more people.”

Local resident Rob Bushill spoke at the meeting in support of the petition.“There are just two ways in and out of Yate towards Bristol. Via Badminton Road, which has a lot of heavy traffic, or via Westerleigh, a narrow rat run of twisting bumpy country lanes that is so off putting and dangerous that even experienced cyclists avoid it. Yate has become an island to anyone bar the car driver, which is incredible considering that 30 plus miles of great cycleway is available just 2 miles away."

“By constructing this small but complex stretch of pathway, it will open up the shops of Emerson’s Green, the things for the family in Bath and Bristol, even provide a safer but longer route to the offices of Emerald Park and the Science Park. It’s 50 minutes to Bristol by bike, it’s a viable means of transport in the week and a source of family enjoyment at the weekends. It’s definitely not just for lycra-clad cyclists. By building these last few miles of cycleway, a huge barrier to people making those trips would be taken away.”

The Local Economic Partnership (LEP) Investment Board are due to consider further funding for the scheme at a meeting today. Claire called upon the Council to present the petition to them and lobby for the extra funding. We will continue campaigning until we have secured this vital sustainable transport link You can add your support here.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Abbotswood Christmas lights are back!

The community has rallied round to deal with vandal damage to the Abbotswood Christmas tree. Thanks to a generous donation and local volunteers, the tree is now illuminated again! Well done to everyone involved.

Solar scheme and safeguarding Park and Ride site at Badminton Road

Earlier this year, we reported that the council was proposing to put solar panels on land next to the council offices at Nibley. This week Ruth Davis, Claire Young and Paul Hulbert met officers to discuss the plans before an application is submitted. This would be a very small scheme compared to the commercial solar farms that have sprung up in the area recently, the aim being to provide electricity for the council offices.
Claire Young and Ruth Davis at the site
While keen for the council to save money in a positive way and use greener energy, your Focus Team was concerned that enough space should be left for the long-planned park and ride.This now needs to be bigger than originally planned due to all the new homes being built in Yate. The good news is that the latest plans allow for a 236 space car park, with the possibility of further spaces behind the offices. The solar panels would go on the slightly higher ground towards the back of the site in the top picture, which isn't suitable for car parking.

The site is just opposite the Badminton Road council offices
Your Focus Team is campaigning to get the park and ride built, along with other transport schemes in the Yate area. Go to  to back the campaign and share your experiences and ideas about local transport.

Get more out of your library with new mobile apps

Libraries from across the West of England work together as LibrariesWest. They've just launched free apps for iPads and iPhones and for Android devices. Using the apps you can:
  • Search the catalogue
  • Place reservations
  • Renew your loans
  • Manage your library account
  • Find your nearest library
  • Access eBooks and online resources
  • Follow LibrariesWest on Twitter
The app is available for iOS and Android devices, and Windows Phone and Kindle Fire versions will be available soon. To find out more, including the download links, go to

Thursday, 11 December 2014

First Bus services over Christmas and New Year

First Bus say that the level of service provision will vary by area, but to help travellers information has been published already, with posters on buses across the area, and a special guide for Bristol is available. 

The specifics in Bristol  (including Yate and Chipping Sodbury)

·        In the run up to Christmas buses will operate normal timetables until Christmas Eve
·        On Christmas Eve most night buses in Bristol city will run until around 2am.  There will be no buses after this time or on Christmas Day itself. Some journeys on buses to and from Bristol will not operate after midnight on Christmas Eve.
·        No services on Christmas Day
·        On Boxing day the following will run in and around Bristol: Services 1, 2, 6/7, 24, 39, 40, 42, 43/44/45, 46, 47, 48/49, 70, 73, 75/76, 78, 90, 376,  X2, X6, X8 and Service A1 but special timetables will be in operation,
·        Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 December: normal Saturday and Sunday timetables
·        Between Christmas and New Year some services will be operating normal Monday to Friday timetables, while others will use Saturday schedules on Monday 29, Tuesday 30 December and New Year’s Eve.  Travellers are advised to consult the special guide
·        On New Year’s Eve, all Bristol night bus services will operate running throughout the night as per normal.  
·        On New Year’s Day, as on Boxing Day, some special timetables will be in operation.
·        On Friday 2 January buses will mostly operate Saturday services, but some routes (the same as those which operated between Christmas and New Year) will run normal Monday to Friday schedules.
·        From 3 January all buses will revert to their normal timetables.

The specifics for all other services, ie those in and around Bath, Wells, Weston-super-Mare, Frome, Corsham etc
·        In the run up to Christmas buses will operate normal timetables until Christmas Eve
·        On Christmas Eve, buses will operate as normal although Service 39 (Bath – Bristol) will finish earlier than normal. Specifically the last bus from Bath will leave at 2300 hours, while the last from Bristol will leave at midnight.
·        There will be no buses on Christmas Day.
·        On Boxing Day, Sunday services will operate on the three Park and Ride services in Bath, while a special timetable will be running on Service 39 (Bath – Bristol).  Some other services from outlying areas to Bristol will also run, for instance Services 46, 47, 376, X2, X6, X8 (using special timetables).
·        Normal timetables will apply to Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 December, while on Monday 29, Tuesday 30 December and New Year’s Eve, Saturday timetables will operate in most instances (the exception will be on Service A2, Corsham’s Service 10 and Frome’s Service 30, which will run normal Monday to Friday timetables)
·        On New Year’s Day some buses in and around Bath will run, using special timetables. In Bath the following will operate Services 5, 10, 13, 14, 39, 178 and 376.  
·        On Friday 2 January, buses will mostly operate Saturday services, but some routes (the same as those which operated between Christmas and New Year) will run normal Monday to Friday schedules.
·        The special Bath timetables are available here

·        From 3 January all buses will revert to their normal timetables.

More details are available from the First Bus web page here

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Please save those stamps!

Most of our local charity shops collect used stamps - foreign, UK commemorative or just plain "ordinary" stamps - and sell them on to dealers. Please keep all those stamps you get at Xmas or indeed any time of year and take them in.

Alternatively you can drop them off to Paul Hulbert at 35 Blaisdon (he's collecting them for Cancer Research) or leave them at Dodington Parish Council for him to collect.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

South Glos budget consultation - have your say!

South Gloucestershire Council is currently consulting on its budget, council tax levels for next year and its overall savings plan. The council asks council tax payers their views each year before agreeing its budget and council tax. This is your opportunity to comment on the council’s priorities, its council tax and proposals to improve services and increase efficiency. You can tell them your views on these important areas by completing their survey (also available to download) or contacting them - for more details visit Council Budget and Savings Consultation

The Council has to make difficult decisions and the Lib Dem Focus Team wants to make sure this is done as fairly as possible. We want to protect the most vulnerable, work with you to find new ways of doing things and we want to know what you think are the most important services to save. Please take part in this consultation. Your comments here would also be welcome!