Bypass and station plans take steps forward

March 15 2019
Bypass and station plans take steps forward

PLANS for two new bypasses and the reopening of a railway station near Yate have taken another step forward.

The West of England Combined Authority has approved £200,000 to fund studies into the feasibility of proposed roads to take pressure off the A432 to the east of Coalpit Heath and west of Winterbourne.

South Gloucestershire Council leader Toby Savage said the study into a new road near Coalpit Heath and Westerleigh would include finally connecting Yate’s so-called Road to Nowhere, an unfinished stretch of dual carriageway that was abandoned after partial completion in the 1970s, to the network.

The road is currently not open to motorists and has recently been used by film-makers, including BBC One drama Casualty which recorded a huge petrol tanker explosion there last May.

Mr Savage said the two road schemes would provide significant new links between Yate and Bristol as new housing developments were planned.

He said: “In the case of the Coalpit Heath/Westerleigh, I’m particularly happy to see that the Road to Nowhere is an important part of that study.

I’m very pleased to see that as a combined authority we are able to progress the technical work on that.

As part of those two schemes, as we’ve been able to demonstrate on other significant infrastructure improvements, not least the Bromley Heath viaduct being the most recent one, we have ensured there is appropriate and expanded provision for walking and cycling.”

A further £300,000 from WECA’s £30million-a-year investment fund will be spent on preparing an outline business case for bringing Charfield station back into operation.

Demand for rail services at Charfield could increase if the proposed MetroWest railway system to improve suburban services around the Greater Bristol area is expanded all the way to Gloucester.

A report to WECA revealed train operator Great Western Railway and Network Rail, which manages the lines, are both keen on the plans.

Mr Savage described Charfield station as “a key priority location for South Gloucestershire”, adding: “Getting on with reopening that station and getting it on the MetroWest network is absolutely critical for that northern part of South Gloucestershire.”

WECA director of infrastructure David Carter said: “All the suggestions are that Great Western Railway and Network Rail would like to extend to Westbury and Gloucester."

Picutre of Toby Savage courtesy of South Gloucestershire Council