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Update on railway bridge replacement Gipsy Patch Lane

South Gloucestershire Council logo

South Gloucestershire Council - 16th September 2020

The following is a letter from South Gloucestershire Council giving an update regarding the railway bridge replacement on Gipsy Patch Lane.

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to update you on the railway bridge replacement work taking place on Gipsy Patch Lane, as part of the Cribbs Patchway metrobus extension (CPME).

The CPME is a £57million investment to reduce congestion and improve journey times for all road users in your area by providing a new quick, reliable public transport system and a realistic alternative to travelling by car. CPME is funded by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth Fund.

As part of CPME, Network Rail and their contractor Alun Griffiths are working on behalf of South Gloucestershire Council to deliver a new railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane. The wider bridge will provide room for new bus lanes in each direction and shared use cycle and pedestrian pathways, as well as general traffic lanes.

The bridge move on Gipsy Patch Lane was due to take place over the Easter period but because of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and government guidance concerning social distancing Network Rail had no option but to postpone the work along with a number of other schemes across the wider rail network.

Gipsy Patch Lane bridge replacement

The bridge replacement work will now take place from late evening on Saturday 24 October to the early hours of Saturday 7 November. During this time Network Rail, and its contractor Alun Griffiths, will be working continuously, night and day, to remove the track and overhead line equipment, demolish the existing bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane, move the new bridge into position and reinstall the track and overhead line equipment.

The planned work will involve the use of heavy machinery and noisy activities, such as excavation and further piling. The work will take place around the clock to allow as much work to be completed in the shortest possible time. Network Rail will work to minimise the disturbance and will put in place a number of noise mitigation measures such as acoustic barriers. All deliveries and construction equipment needing access during the work will enter via the A38 and the construction site on the west (non-residential) side of the bridge. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused by this work.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Network Rail is regularly reviewing its contingency plans to mitigate as much risk as possible from Coronavirus. However, the project team will be guided by any future government advice or directives and in the lead up to and during the works the situation on local lockdowns will be monitored.

The works will be carried out in compliance with the latest government guidelines for the construction industry. At present they include following social distancing, where tasks are not able to be undertaken with social distancing appropriate PPE will be provided. Network Rail and Alun Griffiths have arranged additional welfare and extra cleaning provisions and there will be dedicated marshals on site at all times who will ensure controls and standards of cleanliness are maintained. Temperature checks of all personnel will also be taken on arrival to site.

We understand there is a great local interest in the CPME project but everyone should continue to practice social distancing to reduce the risk of spreading Coronavirus. People must follow government instructions on social distancing, which currently say people should not gather in groups of more than 6 people. Therefore, we would kindly ask that you do not visit the construction site, including the railway bridge area, on Gipsy Patch Lane to watch work taking place or interact with the workforce. Any questions or issues you may have can be raised via the Network Rail 24-hour helpline on 03457 11 41 41.

Train services

The bridge move will involve the closure of the railway line between Bristol Parkway and Newport from Sunday 25 October to Friday 6 November (inclusive). During this time train services in the area will be altered and buses will replace some trains. If you are planning to travel please check carefully before doing so.

For further details, please visit nationalrail.co.uk or GWR.com/Bristol.

Patchway Station

Between Sunday 25 October and Friday 6 November (inclusive) no trains will call at Patchway Station. However, rail replacement buses will run between Bristol Parkway, Patchway, Severn Tunnel Junction and Newport.

Parking suspensions will be in place at Patchway Station during this time to enable the rail replacement buses to turn. If you need to travel, customers are advised to park at Bristol Parkway instead. Additional parking enforcement patrols will be carried out in the Station Road area.

Gipsy Patch Lane closure

Once the new bridge has been moved into place and the railway line has been reopened Gipsy Patch Lane will remain closed to all road users to enable further works on the carriageway. The road closure is expected to last until July 2021.

This work will include:

  • Demolition and excavation of the existing carriageway underneath the bridge
  • Re-grading the junction with Station Road to tie-in with the new carriageway level
  • Utility diversions underneath the new cycle and pedestrian pathways
  • Installation of new surface water drainage system, including pumping station
  • Installation of new street lighting
  • Construction of new carriageway and pathways
  • New traffic signs, road markings and landscaping/planting

Network Rail will work towards reopening a route for pedestrians and dismounted cyclists beneath the new railway bridge as soon as possible. We will update the wider community when this is available.

The signed diversion route for motorists will remain via Bradley Stoke Way and the A38. A number of pedestrian and cycling diversion routes are also available. More information on these can be found on our project website www.southglos.gov.uk/cpmetrobus.

Pedestrian access and shuttle bus service

The footpath under the railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane, which has provided access to pedestrians and cyclists over the summer, will close on the morning of Monday 28 September. The closure is in preparation of the bridge replacement works.

When the footpath closes Network Rail will reinstate the shuttle bus service for pedestrians needing to access either side of the Gipsy Patch Lane railway bridge. This service will be free of charge and will operate for the duration of time the railway bridge is closed to pedestrians.

The shuttle bus will start operation on Monday 28 September and will run weekdays, weekends and will also be available overnight. See the project website for full timetable details.

The shuttle bus service will be operated by Stagecoach who are paying special attention to the items passengers come into contact with - handrails, bells, seats and poles - to make sure they are regularly and thoroughly cleaned. Please remember, the wearing of face coverings on public transport is compulsory.

A number of pedestrian and cycling diversion routes are also available during the closure. Details of these can also be found on the project website.

Network Rail and its contractor Alun Griffiths will be working towards re-opening a route for pedestrians and dismounted cyclists. We will update the wider community when this is available.

Station Road junction closure

The Station Road junction with Gipsy Patch Lane will also remain closed to vehicles after the railway line reopens. Pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to access Station Road via Gipsy Patch Lane.

The Station Road junction closure will enable Gipsy Patch Lane to be excavated down to the required new carriageway level, for new utilities and new drainage infrastructure to be installed and for the Station Road junction to be excavated down to tie-in with Gipsy Patch Lane.

The diversion route for vehicles to reach Station Road will remain via Clay Lane and Little Stoke Lane. Please be aware that access to businesses to the southern end of Station Road is restricted by a footbridge with a height restriction of 4.2 metres.

Further information and future updates

Dates and timeframes may be subject to further change and we will continue to keep the community up to date.

For further updates follow our Facebook group www.facebook.com/sgloscpme and keep an eye on our webpage www.southglos.gov.uk/cpmetrobus. We would also encourage you sign up to our newsletter, which you can do by visiting our webpage.

If you have any questions on the work taking place on Gipsy Patch Lane, please call the Network Rail 24-hour helpline on 03457 11 41 41.

Whilst we are doing everything we can to minimise the impact of this work, we apologise for the inconvenience this work may cause.

Yours faithfully

Richard Gillingham Cribbs Patchway metrobus extension Project Sponsor South Gloucestershire Council

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