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Darren submits A4018 feedback

Following thousands of constituent contacts, MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones, has submitted his feedback in response to the council’s proposed changes to the A4018.

Darren had urged constituents to sign his petition calling on the Mayor to scrap the plans to the village, complete his A4018 survey and formally respond to the council’s consultation before it closed on 17th March. Darren also hosted three public meetings to gather feedback.

Darren continues to call upon the Regional Mayor to review and support his North Bristol Transport Plan, published in January 2019.

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Darren attends Library consultation in Southmead

Labour-run Bristol City Council saved all of the city’s libraries from closure in 2018 but, given the continued decline in government funding, they have asked for our help to look at innovative ways of running the service in the future. Along with constituents, Darren attended an event at the Greenway Centre in early March to talk about ideas to support Southmead, Westbury, Henleaze, Horfield and Lockleaze libraries.

Darren said:

“There were lots of great ideas about modernising our libraries across Bristol North West at the Greenway Centre with Bristol City Council. There are so many exciting opportunities for creating digital, community hubs as a central point of information, gathering and books! I am pleased to see the council thinking ‘outside the box’ and will do what I can to support this process”.

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You can find out more about the ideas gathering on: www.bristol.gov.uk/libraryideas

 

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Darren hosts third meeting to discuss changes to A4018

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones, has continued to listen the views of his constituents by hosting a third public meeting in response to the council’s proposed changes to the A4018. This latest meeting was attended by over 300 residents, taking the total number of attendees to the MP’s series of meeting to well over 600.

The packed meeting was held on Saturday 9th March in Westbury village centre and started with a video from the MP which offered an overview of North Bristol’s transport and how this will be impacted by developments taking place across the North Bristol arc, including thousands of new homes in South Gloucestershire.

The MP chose to host a series of his own meetings after hearing feedback that council-organised events were insufficient, hugely oversubscribed and poorly managed alongside many of the affected residents having not been aware of the proposals until he sent a leaflet to 10,000 homes with details of the consultation.

As part of the plans, the city council is seeking to put more shared bus and cycle lanes along the A4018 from Henbury to Durdham Downs – whilst this would help to improve the speed of bus journeys it would create ten junctions with turning restrictions on or off the main route. Highways chiefs have said this could help reduce congestion from queuing and improve traffic flow, but the MP fears the volume of restrictions will severely impact resident’s ability to get and from their homes and/or Westbury village without significant detours – therefore creating rat running and worsening congestion on residential roads. The MP also fears that the number of restricted turns into Brentry would force more traffic through already-congested routes in Southmead and only add to the poor quality of air in the area. The most controversial aspect of the plans includes restrictions into Westbury village by car.

Darren said:

“Local businesses and residents have been vocal that they fear this will have widespread impact on their livelihoods as well as the vibrancy of the village itself, and many struggling businesses will not be able to take another hit on trade. I know the council fear that without any restrictions there could be increased traffic through the village, but my constituents have told me they acknowledge this but given most of the traffic is concentrated during rush hour, often before many shops open, keeping the village as is would have less of an impact than unnecessarily closing large parts to traffic 24/7.

Over 3,500 constituents have signed my petition calling on the Mayor to scrap these changes – I’ll continue to make sure my constituents views are heard loud and clear on this issue”.

Darren continues to urge constituents to sign his petition calling on the Mayor to scrap the plans to the village, complete his A4018 survey and formally respond to the council’s consultation before it closes on 17th March.

Darren will now be pulling together the comments and concerns of the thousands of residents who have attended events or contacted his office and submitting a formal response to the consultation. The submission will be available on the MP’s website later this week.

The MP also took the opportunity remind constituents that regional transport is the responsibility of the West of England Regional Mayor, Tim Bowles and these proposals must be reflected by integration between the local authorities rather than in isolation.

Darren also continued to call upon the Regional Mayor to review and support his North Bristol Transport Plan, published in January 2019, which calls:

1-  for three new Transport Hubs bringing rail, bus, cycle hire, cycle lock-up, car parking and electric vehicle charging points together on one site. These Transport Hubs should be at the Portway Park & Ride in Shirehampton, at Henbury (next to the Rugby Club) and North of Lockleaze. The locations were chosen by darren to offset the additional traffic created by new housing and development across North Bristol.

2- The Plans also called for the new Transport Hubs to have non-stop bus and cycle lanes into and out of Bristol City Centre and Cribbs Causeway, with a review of travel to work routes in Avonmouth alongside

3- restricted access to the proposed Bristol YTL Arena from residential single roads in Henbury, Brentry, Southmead and Lockleaze. The MP has long said these roads should not be used as access routes to the proposed Bristol YTL Arena for fear it will create rat running, exceptional congestion and poor air quality.

Darren expects to see significant transport upgrades using major routes to move people into and out of developments across the North Bristol Arc and hope this plan will focus national, regional and local government on where funding should be spent.

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North Bristol Transport – explained in Darren’s video

Darren is calling on Bristol City Council to scrap controversial proposals which would see the carving up of Westbury-on-Trym village and the cutting off of Henbury and Brentry.

Under these proposals, due to the volume of turning restrictions, congestion in Southmead is also likely to be impacted.

Darren is also calling on residents impacted by proposals to Muller Road to get in touch.

You can join Darren’s dedicated Facebook Group to keep up to date with his campaigning on transport at www.facebook.com/groups/northbristoltransport

You can watch Darren’s pre-recorded 30-minute video here.

You can follow Darren’s work on Transport here.

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Darren receives update on 3 and 4 bus routes

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has shared additional 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:

” Whilst discussions of the proposed A4018 changes have been my focus, I have not forgotten about the other on-going transport challenges in Bristol North West. My team recently arranged for First Bus to attend the Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston Forum. After the meeting, First told us:

The reliability of service 3 and 4 is still challenging; but service changes planned for 28th April (bus service changes cannot take effect until after 70 days notification time) will see additional running time put into the schedule on Monday to Saturday which should improve punctuality and reliability. In addition, from the 28th April Monday to Friday additional journeys are being introduced between 14:30 and 16:00 to reflect customer demand; and help ease overcapacity.

Residents shared their desire for a direct link between Lawrence Weston and Southmead Hospital, the First rep has fed back these requests to their commercial department.

Residents also expressed concerns with the ‘Real Time Information’ (RTI) displays at bus stops and advised they were not working as they should. The First rep advised, bus stops and their associated infrastructure are the property of the council, and residents are encouraged to feedback these concerns directly. First have also agreed to share these concerns with the local authorities as there are known issues across the city. I do hope bus users start to see an improvement soon – I’ll be keeping a close eye on this over the coming months!”

To follow Darren’s work on Transport click here.

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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.