Bypass and new station could be part of Yate's future transport
A TOWN centre bypass and a second railway station in Yate are being considered by council leaders following a major report into the area’s future transport needs.
The recommendations are from a taskforce set up by South Gloucestershire Council scrutiny commission which spent months assessing current problems, such as peak-time congestion hotspots, schemes already in the pipeline and other ideas which should be on the table.
Cabinet members have now agreed to create a cross-party group to examine the suggestions in more detail and seek the views of transport officers, town and parish councils and the local Joint Cycleways Group.
Any firm proposals would then go out to public consultation.
The task-and-finish group’s report highlighted 11 transport issues which need tackling, including the town’s bus services, the location of a proposed park-and-ride and walking and cycling infrastructure.
It said: “A route should be provided to allow through-traffic to bypass the centre of Yate, as current orbital routes feed traffic back into the centre just east of the shopping centre.
“Land should be safeguarded near the railway line in north Yate to enable the future provision of a second station for Yate.
“Reopening the right turn from Heron Way to Kennedy Way to all traffic should be looked into.
“This was restricted due to a serious accident at the junction, so it would need to be done in a safe way, eg, roundabout or signalisation.
“Consideration should be given to the provision of a town centre bus shuttle service to provide links to the shopping centre and park-and-ride site.”
It suggested this would give commercial vehicles a more direct route and two figure-of-eight services were needed — one east/west and the other north/south.
The report also called for bus lanes along Goose Green Way, more secure bicycle parking at the bus station and the introduction of a Yate travel pass, similar to schemes in Weston-super-Mare and Bath, which would serve Sodbury and the surrounding villages.
“A second park-and-ride site should be considered on the other side of the town centre, to avoid generating more traffic through the centre and on arterial routes (Goose Green Way/ Station Road).
“This should be either to the north or east of the town.”
At present, locations west of Yate have been identified for a park-and-ride, which drivers would use to park and catch a bus into Yate, Bristol or other areas, and work is taking place to establish a business case for the most suitable.
Council leader Toby Savage announced £3.5million of West of England Combined Authority money for the scheme last June.
The scrutiny commission task group’s report also asked for a review of traffic signal timings on Station Road to reduce lengthy delays at Longs Drive and Cranleigh Court Road.
On walking and cycling infrastructure, it said: “A route from development areas in north Yate to the Link Road side of the shopping centre should be a priority for improvement.”
The report prioritised upgrading routes including Yate Common to Badminton Road, maintenance of existing markings and a cycleway/path from Iron Acton to Yate.
Underpasses should be replaced with crossings, it said.
“Inclusion of electric vehicle charging points at the shopping centre, park-and-ride sites and rail station should be a priority,” the report added.
A four-hour waiting limit at town centre car parks “should remain a priority to be implemented once mitigating measures are in place”.
Liberal Democrat group leader Claire Young, presenting the report to cabinet on Monday on behalf of Yate North ward councillor Mike Drew, said: “We were looking to review the current situation, look at what is currently planned and plug the gaps.
“We came up with recommendations and are calling on the cabinet to approve the formation of a cross-party engagement/consultation group, including town and parish councils, before any public consultation.
“Yate is an area that has seen a huge amount of growth already.
“It is really key that we have that early engagement with everyone involved in the town and the surrounding area.”
Cabinet member for planning, transport and the strategic environment Steve Reade said the report was a “valuable piece of work”.
Cabinet will report back to the scrutiny commission in three months’ time on progress and again in a year to confirm which projects it intends to pursue.
By Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporting Service