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Darren shares council and government response on HGVs and trucks using minor local roads

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, shared his concerns about the on-going problems of lorries and trucks getting stuck under/damaging the iron bridge in Shirehampton (see below picture of incident on 25 10 18) and causing traffic chaos on minor roads whilst they find their way back to the main roads with the council. Darren has now received a reply from the council and news on repairs to the Iron Bridge.

The council said:

“There is already a 7.5 tonne weight limit in place along Kings Weston Lane both on the section from Long Cross to Kings Weston Road (where one of the photographs has been taken) and from Long Cross to Campbell Farm Drive.  Therefore, heavy vehicles above 7.5 tonnes should not be using Kings Weston Lane to gain access to Avonmouth.  There is also a height restriction on the Iron Bridge in the other photograph.  These restrictions do not apply to Long Cross so vehicles could legitimately use Long Cross and Kings Weston Avenue to travel from Henbury to Avonmouth. 

The main difficulty is that these restrictions require enforcement from Avon and Somerset Police, and as these restrictions have to allow for access (the weight limits are for environmental purposes and not because of any weak structures) then they would have to prove that a vehicle has deliberately driven straight through them from one end to the other without stopping and with no intention of accessing any property contained within the restriction.  The Police find it extremely difficult to enforce any such restriction because they need to see it take place, follow the vehicle through and prove that they were not trying to access somewhere along route. So whilst we have the legal orders in place to be able to stop heavy vehicles from using this road, in practice it is very difficult for the Police to stop this from happening”.

In response to the above incident, and concerns about large vehicles being told to use the wrong roads by Sat-Navs, Darren asked the Government the following Parliamentary Question:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department holds discussions with Satnav companies on the suitability of roads for certain vehicles due weight and height restrictions?

The Secretary of State replied:

The Department has had no such recent discussions.

The Department is aware that manufacturers produce special satnav devices for lorries, in order to provide them with routing information appropriate to their vehicle.

The Government has invested £3 million to help create a digital road map, with one aim being to ensure traffic keeps moving efficiently and safely on suitable routes. It includes information such as road widths, which could be used in satnavs to improve the quality and accuracy of routing advice. The map is available online at: www.os.uk/highways.

Routing guidance provided by satnavs should only ever be considered as advisory. It is for individual device owners to ensure that they use their satnavs responsibly and with a proper understanding of their limitations. It is for individuals to determine the best route for their journey.

Darren also commented on news regarding the Iron Bridge:
“A process and timetable for re-opening the Iron Bridge has now been shared by local councillor, Don Alexander, who has been working hard to push this up the council’s agenda. I am pleased to see plans set-out that will ensure the bridge re-opens for pedestrian use. Whilst I know some constituents have expressed concerns about the possible raising of the bridge, these plans will be independently scrutinised by Historic England and via the council’s usual planning process. I strongly encourage anyone with concerns or comments about the proposed bridge reinstatement to submit these at the appropriate time”.

To follow Darren’s work on Transport click here.

 

 

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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 shares concern about trucks using Iron Bridge route and minor roads

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has commented on the on-going problems of lorries and trucks getting stuck under/damaging the iron bridge in Shirehampton (see picture of incident on 25 10 18) and causing traffic chaos whilst they find their way back to the main roads.

Darren said:

“We have got to stop industrial trucks from taking short cuts to Avonmouth via Kingsweston Lane through Kingsweston and Lawrence Weston. They need to use the Portway and the motorway quality roads between Shirehampton and Avonmouth villages to get into and out of our industrial area. Not only do they not fit, but it significantly increases the risk of accidents.

I’ve written to our Mayor to ask what we can do to make this change happen”.

Update, 28.11.18: 

In response to the above incident and concerns about large vehicles being told to use the wrong roads by Sat-Navs, Darren asked the Government the following Parliamentary question:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department holds discussions with Satnav companies on the suitability of roads for certain vehicles due weight and height restrictions?

The Secretary of State replied:

The Department has had no such recent discussions.

The Department is aware that manufacturers produce special satnav devices for lorries, in order to provide them with routing information appropriate to their vehicle.

The Government has invested £3 million to help create a digital road map, with one aim being to ensure traffic keeps moving efficiently and safely on suitable routes. It includes information such as road widths, which could be used in satnavs to improve the quality and accuracy of routing advice. The map is available online at: www.os.uk/highways.

Routing guidance provided by satnavs should only ever be considered as advisory. It is for individual device owners to ensure that they use their satnavs responsibly and with a proper understanding of their limitations. It is for individuals to determine the best route for their journey.

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 slams government changes to electric car incentives

Darren Jones MP has slammed the government’s removal of financial incentives to purchase plug-in hybrids and electric cars.

Darren Jones MP said:

“Firstly, the government should be ploughing far more investment into public transport and cycle networks to get people out of their cars and reduce air pollution. But, if people are going to drive (and in some places it’s currently a necessity because of the lack of integrated public transport) there should be continued incentives to buy a electric or plug-in hybrid car.

The RAC and AA motoring groups have said removing these incentives is a backward step, and the SMMT trade body called it “astounding” – I agree!

I’m all for incentivising other types of environmentally-friendly vehicles but that should not come at the expense of electric and hybrid cars! If the government is serious about meeting its emission targets and getting diesel and petrol cars off our roads by 2050 (at the latest), it must continue to fund incentives that support that endeavour. I’ll be tabling a Parliamentary Question to ask what assessment the government made reference the impact of this policy change before announcing this decision”.

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Darren shares response from council on Iron Bridge closure

A number of constituents have contacted Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, about the continued closure of the Iron Bridge in Shirehampton following damage caused by a lorry hitting the historic bridge back in November 2015.

Following these concerns, Darren attended a ‘Save the Iron Bridge’ event in January to support the concerns of residents and since site inspections were undertaken in April 2018, has contacted Bristol City Council to ask for an update.

Darren said:

“I know many of you, like I am, are rightly concerned about the continued closure of the Iron Bridge. The bridge is an iconic and vital connection between Kingsweston and Blaise Castle Estates and I have been in touch with your local councillor, Don Alexander, who is continuing to champion this issue at the council.

We’ve been advised by cabinet lead, Councillor Mhairi Threlfall, that since the inspections undertaken earlier this year, the council has now drawn together the works information required for bridge dismantling and removal, as well as the information to support a Listed Consent Application to enable these works to take place. A Heritage Statement is now required as part of the Listed Consent Application and that’s expected in late September. Planning permission is then required alongside a tender process to select the company who’ll undertake the works.

Based on these steps, Councillor Threlfall has advised she would expect the council to be able to undertake the required site works early in the next financial year“. 

 

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Darren gets no vaping on buses assurance

Darren asked the Science and Technology Committee chair about a report into E-cigarettes which they had both worked on. The report received considerable media attention, including from some who suggested that it recommended allowing vaping on buses. Darren had this to say about the clip:

Many of you contacted me because you were concerned that a committee I sit on, the Science and Technology Committee, had recommended allowing vaping on buses. That’s not actually the case – we were misreported.

Watch me getting clarity on this from the Committee chair below.

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Darren asks Leader of House of Commons about Bristol traffic gridlock

It’s been announced that tolls will be removed from the Severn Bridge. Darren wanted to know how the Government are preparing for the increase in traffic they’ve announced will happen after the tolls are taken off – especially given Bristol’s existing congestion issues.

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Darren gets no vaping on buses assurance

Darren asked the Science and Technology Committee chair about the E-cigarette report they had worked on together. The report got considerable media attention, including some suggesting that it recommended allowing vaping on buses.

Here’s what Darren had to say about the below clip:

Many of you contacted me because you were concerned that a committee I sit on, the Science and Technology Committee, had recommended allowing vaping on buses. That’s not actually the case – we were misreported.

Watch me getting clarity on this from the Committee chair below.