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Darren congratulates local Primary Schools

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, congratulated local primary schools who have seen an increase in their students meeting Key Stage Two levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Darren has wrote to each primary school in Bristol North West who saw an increase but made special mention of three schools who had seen exceptional progress.

Darren Jones MP said:

” Despite the huge pressure and budget cuts to primary education, many of the primary schools here in Bristol North West saw an increase to their Key Stage Two results. That’s down to the dedication of school staff, governors and their pupils working against the odds to make sure students get the best chance to succeed.

Three of our local schools – Oasis Academy Long Cross, Blaise Primary School and Filton Avenue Primary School saw their results in reading, writing and mathematics jump by a massive 25% or more!

Well done to each school in Bristol North West who saw an increase in their results – I know these are hugely challenging times for teachers and their colleagues so I won’t stop calling for education to get the funding it needs so every child gets the best possible start in life”.

You can follow Darren’s work on Education here.

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Darren calls for constituents to support library consultation

Get involved! Dates for your diary:

Labour-run Bristol City Council saved all of the city’s libraries from closure last year but, given the continued decline in government funding, they need our help to look at innovative ways of running the service in the future.

The council are hosting 4 events in Bristol North West to cover the libraries in our patch:

* Greenway Centre, Doncaster Road to talk about Southmead, Westbury, Henleaze, Horfield and Lockleaze libraries on: Wednesday 6 March 10 am to 12 pm or
Saturday 9 March 10 am to 12 pm.

* Shirehampton Public Hall,
Station Road to talk about Henbury, Shirehampton, Avonmouth and Sea Mills libraries on Monday 11 March 7pm to 9pm or Wednesday 13 March 10am to 12pm.

Spaces at these events must be booked in advance online. Reserve a space and find out more about the ideas gathering on:

www.bristol.gov.uk/libraryideas

 

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Darren responds to West of England Transport Study

As part of the West of England Combined Authority transport study, Darren has fed in comments from the various community meetings he hosted in 2018 on local transport needs.

 

You can read the full letter below and read about all of the work Darren has done on transport by clicking here.

 

Transport Upgrades across Bristol North West

 

I write in response to the ongoing consultation on the Joint Spatial Plan – Technical Evidence Consultation further to our ongoing correspondence regarding the urgent investment needs in transport across North Bristol.

 

As we are both aware, our constituents live in an area that will see continued significant development in the coming years. Additional housing is of course welcomed, but transport infrastructure that is fit for the future is needed at the same time.

 

This is in addition to the transport upgrades required off the back of the removal of the tolls on the Severn Bridge, the potential Bristol Arena site, expanding retail at Cribbs Causeway and the expected investment in Avonmouth following the installation of flood sea defences.

 

M32 Corridor

 

One of the proposals put forward is for a new Park and Ride at the Bristol end of the M32 motorway, adjacent to the current turning route for the Metrobus.

 

This will result in development on unique blue finger soil sites on both sides of the M32 (the Lockleaze side being in my constituency of Bristol North West). This area was rejected for development when the initial Metrobus route was agreed in 2014 for this reason. Further, it was widely believed that a Park & Ride so close to Bristol City Centre would fail to serve its purpose and that a site further North of the proposed site would better suit.

 

I support proposals for an M32 Park & Ride but I do not support the proposed location and will campaign for this to be situated further North into South Gloucestershire.

 

A4018

 

The A4018 is a major road route through my constituency travelling from the Bristol Rugby Club to the White Tree Roundabout (including Wyck Beck Road, Passage Road, Falcondale Road and Westbury Road).

 

In my multiple transport consultation meetings with constituents last year, Wyck Beck Road and Falcondale Road were identified as two key problem roads, due to frequent gridlock and associated air pollution.

 

I have long called for a new rail station at Henbury (and its eventual connection to Severn Beach to create the so called Henbury Loop) but have also called for a Park & Ride to reduce car volumes on the A4018 into Bristol. I know that we both agree that creating transport hubs with multi-modal connections is the best approach.

 

However, from the proposals it seems that drivers would need to drive through Henbury or North up the A4018 to park at the Park & Ride before getting the bus or rail connection.

 

These connections will be vital for retail workers at Cribbs Causeway and for into-Bristol flows, but will be absolutely crucial if the Bristol Arena is built at the Brabazon Hanger (due to out of Bristol drivers coming to the area).

 

I therefore continue to support calls for a Park & Ride at Henbury but expect to see:

 

  • A new junction connecting the M5(N) to the Henbury Train Station and Park & Ride, to prevent out of Bristol commuters from driving through Henbury to reach these services; and
  • Road upgrades and new bus lanes along the A4018 so that buses can cut through car congestion to be on time and frequent enough for them to be used by local residents. The Wyke Road part of the A4018, including the adjacent route North to Cribbs Causeway, appears to be wide enough for a new bus route without reducing the number of lanes available to cars.

 

For your information, I have also written to Highways England to seek their advice on point (1) above.

 

GBBN2 (New Bus Networks) and Cycle Routes

This current study seems to fail to set out any proposals for bus route upgrades or new cycle lanes in my constituency.

 

We have key bus route corridors in Bristol North West that can currently hold up buses for the entire city due to traffic congestion in North Bristol and which can lead to long delays and frequent cancellations for knock on routes (for example through Lawrence Weston and Shirehampton).

 

Additionally, many of my constituents will cycle North to Cribbs Causeway or South East to Bristol City Centre for work on often dangerous road networks that have intermittent or no cycle lanes.

 

I assume that proposals for new bus routes will be forthcoming, but I would like reassurance of that alongside a clear commitment to investing in proper cycle lanes too.

 

My various consultation meetings with constituents have all resulted in a clear ask for a super-cycle highway with segregated and maintained cycle lanes between our two major economic areas of Cribbs Causeway and Bristol City Centre. For note, preference has been for these routes to be off of the major roads to reduce the impact of air pollution on cyclists.

 

Missing Areas

 

I understand that this current study is only able to consider certain projects within a certain timeframe, but a number of transport issues in my constituency are notably missing:

 

  • Southmead Hospital Transport Hub

 

The B405 (Southmead Road) is also a problem road, with workers and students commuting to major employers and the University of the West of England in Filton. Residents have concerns that this will increase with the aforementioned developments across the North of Bristol including the potential Bristol Arena. Suggestions had been previously mooted for road upgrades and/or new investment into a Southmead Hospital Transport Hub. Have these now been dropped?

 

  • Avonmouth Industrial Routes

 

I understand that further transport investment can’t be considered for Avonmouth at this stage, instead having to wait for further industrial investment expected after the installation of the flood sea defences. Is that still correct?

 

Regardless, many workers in the Avonmouth / Severnside area have to drive to work or risk their safety by walking or cycling to work. Additionally, industrial traffic continues to use the minor routes along Kingsweston Lane when they should be clearly directed along the Portway and along the existing major road routes.

 

I would like to see travel routes into and around Avonmouth to become more worker friendly and for steps to be taken to properly direct industrial transport.

 

 

  • A38/Gloucester Road

 

The A38/Gloucester Road is clearly a significant challenge, as both a major road route and a busy high street environment. However, significant traffic along this route causes air pollution concerns for many local residents and my constituents have raised questions in my consultation meetings about potential mass transit routes along this road. Please can you set out any proposals you have for this cross-border route.

 

  • RPZ Parking

 

We have started to see significant nuisance parking along the connecting residential roads attached to Stoke Hill and Parrys Lane. Whilst we expect some of this to be student related (and are in ongoing correspondence with Bristol University) we assume that a great deal of this is travel-to-work related. We should therefore do all that we can to encourage park and ride and rail usage from current and proposed sites.

 

I appreciate all of these issues don’t fall under your remit as the regional Mayor, but they do provide the context for many of the requests from my constituents which result in my demands for key transport investment. These investment requests go through the West of England Combined Authority. However, I have naturally copied my colleague Mayor Marvin Rees for his information.

 

I look forward to hearing what plans the West of England Combined Authority have for each of the above issues.

 

Darren Jones MP
Member of Parliament, Bristol North West

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Darren to host surgery for local carers

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, will be hosting a Carers-themed surgery with Carers Support Centre Bristol and South Gloucestershire on Friday 18th January.

Do you care for a friend, relative, family member or neighbour with an illness or disability? Do you need Darren’s support or would like to share your experiences so they inform Darren’s work in the future?

To meet with Darren you must live in Bristol North West. The Bristol North West constituency covers Avonmouth, Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston, Henbury, Brentry, Horfield, Lockleaze, Aurora Springs in Cheswick Village, Southmead, Sea Mills, Coombe Dingle, Sneyd Park, Stoke Bishop, Westbury-on-Trym, Westbury Park and Henleaze.

If you’re not sure if Darren is your MP, you can check here – If Darren is your MP and you’re a carer, come and meet him!

The surgery will take place on 18th January in Southmead between 10.30 and 12.30 with 6 pre-bookable appointments available.

If you would like to find out more or book a 15 minute slot, contact Caroline McAleese, Carers Engagement & Involvement Lead, Carers Support Centre on 0117 958 9989 or carolinem@carerssupportcentre.org.uk

“In the course of my work as Bristol North West’s MP I have met many carers, including those at Henleaze-based Singing for the Brain and at my weekly constituency surgeries. I’m well aware of the challenges carers face and the dire need for more support for them , that’s why I backed the Carers Support Centre ‘carers need care too’ campaign and am hosting this themed surgery. I look forward to meeting more local carers and doing what I can to help and support them”.

 

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Darren shares concerns about 3 and 4 bus routes

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has shared updates on First Bus services that run from Cribbs through Henbury, Lawrence Weston, Shirehampton, Sea Mills, Coombe Dingle and Stoke Bishop to the city centre.

Darren said:

“I’ve been made aware of a number of on-going problems affecting the number 3 and 4 First bus routes. I shared those concerns with First and have been advised:

Having reviewed the recent performance of the service, it is evident that it has been affected by driver shortage, traffic congestion and vehicle breakdown. To address the shortage of drivers we have recruited additional staff to plug the gaps which should be demonstrating improvements from this week.

The congestion is a more difficult problem to solve, especially on the run up to Christmas. However, I have identified common sections of the route that get delayed regularly and fed this information into the commercial team that develop the timetables. They have taken this information and will take it into consideration when providing new timetables for January.

With respect to the vehicle breakdowns, our Engineering team have put an action plan in place to improve the reliability of the current crop of vehicles.

There are no immediate plans to replace the vehicles, but given the Engineering plans, I expect these to be just as reliable as a new vehicle.

Finally, please accept my apologies for the difficulty in raising concerns with First. The team that handles complaints has a new leader and location which is aimed at simplifying the process and improving response times. This is relatively new, but is already having an impact.

Hopefully bus riders on the 3 and 4 should see an improvement soon. If not, get in touch with me by emailing darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk”!

To follow Darren’s work on Transport click here.

 

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Darren holds Transport Forum

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, held a Transport Forum for constituents on Friday 19th October.

Attendees were divided into 5 groups to discuss ideas for improving: roads/congestion (particularly around Crow Lane in Henbury and in Southmead), buses and bus lanes, cycling, rail and connectivity between North and South of the constituency (Henbury to Shirehampton).

Darren said:

“Thanks to the twenty or so residents who came to Henbury & Brentry Community Centre tonight to discuss my North Bristol Transport Plan. We discussed everything from super cycle highways to new bus lanes, a park and ride and lift sharing service to train stations and reconfigured road networks. An online survey to share your views on will be available for those who couldn’t make it tonight soon”.

To follow Darren’s work on Transport click here.

 

 

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Darren shares response from council on Blaise Castle vandalism

A number of constituents contacted Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, about the recent vandalism, estimated to cost roughly £2000 to repair, to the Blaise Castle Museum’s balustrade wall.

Following these concerns, Darren contacted Bristol City Council to ensure they were aware of the range of antisocial behaviour and vandalism being experienced and witnessed by park visitors.

Darren said:

” As promised, I’ve raised our concerns about vandalism and ASB at Blaise Castle with the council. I also took a look at the latest damage for myself last week. Here’s the reply I received from the council on Friday 7th September:

“I can confirm that Blaise Castle estate has been experiencing heightened levels of vandalism over the last couple of weeks. Parks staff have made a number of reports to the police during this time & made requests for police patrols of the estate in the evenings when most of the issues seem to occur.

Estate management are currently investigating options for CCTV, the cost implications & its effectiveness in reducing crime should the option be taken. Estate management are also trying to engage with local police to try to reduce antisocial behavior and make improvements to infrastructure to reduce opportunities for vandalism”.

If you have any information on this incident, or any other crime/ASB in Blaise Castle, please call the police on 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5218 191 967″. 

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Darren comments on Blaise Castle vandalism

A number of constituents have contacted Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, about the recent vandalism, estimated to cost roughly £2000 to repair, to the Blaise Castle Museum’s balustrade wall.

A spokesperson for the Police said: “Between 4pm on Sunday, August 26 and 8.45am on Bank Holiday Monday, Aug 27, offender(s) caused around £2,000 worth of damage to stonework at the Blaise Castle House Museum in Bristol. If you have any information on this incident, call the police on 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5218 191 967″.

Darren said:

“This mindless vandalism is totally unacceptable. A number of residents have already contacted my office expressing their worries about rising ASB in the park- I’ll be sharing their concerns with the council and local beat team. I am also visiting the park today (31st Aug) for my Picnic Politics event so I’ll be taking a look at the damage and speaking to park users myself. I encourage anyone with information to inform the police”.

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Darren calls on Regional Mayor to attend Transport Forum

Labour MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has continued to call for large-scale improvements to transport infrastructure in North Bristol by writing to the Regional Mayor, Tim Bowles, and inviting him to an upcoming Transport Forum.

You can reserve your tickets for the Transport Forum here.

Ahead of the Transport Forum on 19th October, Darren previously chaired a Gridlock Conferencelaunched a petition calling on Tim to commit at least £50m to a new transport fund for North Bristol and voiced his concerns about congestion with members of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Darren also encouraged the LEP to back plans to invest £50 million into his North Bristol Transport Fund initiative.

Darren said:

“Transport remains the number one concern in North Bristol and anyone who uses our roads, buses and limited local rail network knows our infrastructure can’t cope with proposed development of thousands of new homes, let alone the 16,000 additional cars a day once tolls on the Severn Bridge are removed. I am frequently told, walking is often unsafe and cycle routes are inadequate.

 My Gridlock Conference in July brought together transport providers, transport campaign groups, developers, community groups and councillors who by working together can help to develop a series of ‘asks’ for our Regional Mayor and the LEP. I now hope to build on that local knowledge and add to those ideas by hosting a constituent- focused event on 19th October.

The LEP and the Regional  Mayor have the ability to fund large-scale transport projects, which is why I’m continuing to call on them to get involved with these events and help to deliver for my constituents and for North Bristol.”

Residents can sign up to support Darren’s call for a £50m North Bristol Transport Fund for road, rail, bus, cycling and walking improvements by signing his petition here. 

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Darren raises concern at news of 16,000 extra cars on Bristol roads

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has continued to call for large-scale improvements to transport infrastructure in North Bristol following the release of information from Department of Transport that indicates Bristol can expect 16,000 additional car journeys every day following the removal of Severn Bridge Tolls.

Ahead of the Gridlock Conference Darren chaired in July, Darren had previously launched a petition calling on the region’s metro mayor, Tim Bowles, to commit at least £50m to a new transport fund for north Bristol and voiced his concerns about congestion with members of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). At the July conference, attendees discussed the gridlock hot stops across the North Bristol corridor and how they may be impacted by further developments such as the proposed expansion of Cribbs Causeway, new housing developments at Filton Airfield, the potential arena at Filton alongside the lifting of Severn Bridge Tolls. Attendees debated how a Transport Fund for North Bristol could be spent to support solutions to the congestion faced by drivers, encourage more sustainable travel and boost the area’s limited rail, bus and cycle networks.

Darren said:

“Since the announcement to reduce, and then remove, Severn Bridge Tolls, I have raised the issue of gridlock and air pollution with government time and again. I have also tried to engage with our Regional Mayor to tackle local transport.

Now we know – 16,000 extra cars are expected on our roads every single day – that’s 6 million a year – and with no thought for advance mitigation. It is no good for those responsible to say they are ‘looking into how to invest in our roads’. It also no good to just keep focusing on roads and cars!

I once again call on the Region’s Mayor, Tim Bowles, to invest in a North Bristol Transport Fund and protect the area from total gridlock by investing in road, rail, bus, pedestrian and cycling improvements.

I encourage those concerned about further traffic chaos to sign my petition calling for at least a £50m North Bristol Transport Fund: http://darren-jones.co.uk/transport-fund/.”

Local residents can sign up to support Darren’s call for a £50m North Bristol Transport Fund for road, rail, bus, cycling and walking improvements by signing his petition here.

Follow Darren’s work on transport here.