Friday, 25 January 2008

Chipping Sodbury rail line - earth cleared, signalling repairs under way

Network Rail staff have worked all night and cleared the 2000 tons of soil off the line at Chipping Sodbury. Delays of about 30 minutes still apply because of the temporary signalling arrangements, but trains are now travelling at 40 mph through the affected area instead of 20 mph. Off-peak services are still every hour instead of every half hour. Hopefully full services will be resumed by Monday (just in time for the fare strike!)

The BBC update is here
and First Great Western give details of service changes here.

Apparently this section of line was due to be shut on Saturday and Sunday for engineering works anyway, so hopefully they will be able to complete all the repairs over the weekend.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Get some healthy exercise this Sunday - help out at Wapley Bushes!

The Wapley Bushes Conservation Group is meeting on Sunday at the Shire Way gate at 10.00 am. They will be doing some planting and general conservation work.

You'll need to wear wellies or stout footwear and appropriate clothing. If you would like more details please ring Paul on 01454 315851 or Isabel on 01454 313055.

You can also find out more about the Nature Reserve from the Wapley Bushes Blog.

Chipping Sodbury landslip - some trains to run tomorrow (Friday)

First Great Western hope to run some trains from tomorrow morning. Network Rail will be working overnight to remove about 2000 tons of soil from the landslip to clear the line. However trains will be delayed because of the damage to signalling equipment and except for peak time the London - South Wales service will be halved.

First Great Western's website, which has train-by-train details of service changes says "Following discussions with Network Rail, we hope to run a full morning peak service between South Wales and London on Friday. These trains are planned to run over the normal route, but the temporary signalling will result in a slower journey between Bristol Parkway and Swindon, extending the journey times by 30 minutes".

"Off peak we plan to run an hourly service only in both directions between London Paddington and Swansea, again with extended journey times of 30 minutes".

Credit where credit's due - on a day when they've taken a lot of criticism about delays and poor service, First GW's website has been providing comprehensive, up-to-date information. Well done First GW.

Chipping Sodbury rail landslip - BBC video coverage

Click here to view the BBC news report video.

Rail line blocked by landslip at Chipping Sodbury

The main London to South Wales railway line was blocked by a landslip near Chipping Sodbury at 11.15 this morning. This section of line will need to be stabilised and rebuilt, and it is expected to be closed for two days or so.

Services to and from South Wales are being diverted via Bath and Bristol and will operate every hour instead of every 30 minutes. Train services from South Wales will not call at Bristol Parkway but stop at Patchway station instead, with a coach connection linking the two stations.

More press coverage available from:

Picture - the cutting near Chipping Sodbury, some distance west of the landslip area.
(Updated 13.55 to clarify Bristol Parkway situation)

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Saturday morning fun for youngsters

Play Rangers are running sessions at the Games Area on Kelston Close playing field every Saturday morning from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm. Children of primary school age and also up to 14 years old are welcome - sessions depend who comes along.

The sessions will run until April, rain or shine (kids don't seem to mind getting wet!) and may be extended if there's a good attendance.

Cars vandalised in Bredon, Blaisdon

Cars were vandalised in Bredon and Blaisdon last weekend. 24 cars in Bredon were "keyed" and their paintwork damaged, and another 6 cars in Blaisdon had wing mirrors damaged and torn off.

Avon and Somerset Police are asking anyone with information to ring Chipping Sodbury Police Station on 0845 456 7000, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Keeping everyone in the dark

We've had a few reports in these dark mornings and evenings of near misses with cyclists who don't use lights (and it's often adults). And there was the confused cyclist we saw on Badminton Road with a white light on the back and a red light on the front. Cyclists, please check your lights - and motorists, please watch out for cyclists.

Chipping Sodbury Waitrose update

A number of people have been searching on the blog for the latest about the Chipping Sodbury Waitrose supermarket and houses project. The answer is that there's not a lot to report at the moment - the developers are still working up more detailed plans.

There will be another public exhibition at Chipping Sodbury Town Hall on 27 and 28 February, and after they've taken the next lot of public comments into account a planning application will be submitted to South Gloucestershire Council.

Flood waters

The water has gone down a couple of feet now, but even in the middle of Chipping Sodbury the river is still rushing quickly. At one point the water reached the top of the arch under the Wickwar Road bridge.

Meanwhile in Yate, residents in Cranleigh Court received calls from the Environment Agency the other day warning them that they were within two feet of being flooded.

Nothing like places like Tewkesbury, of course, but let's hope we don't get too much more rain until the current lot has drained away.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Shred your tree this Saturday!

You can take your Xmas tree to the South Gloucestershire Community Composting site at Shire Way Community Centre this Saturday (Jan 12th) between 10.00 and 12.00 am. They will shred it for you for a cost of £1, and you get a free bag of wood chips.

You can also take ordinary green garden waste there (free) and you can buy some very good compost or logs.

You can find out more about the Community Composting Project here.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Twelfth Night / Xmas tree recycling

Well, it's Twelfth Night, and traditionally we're supposed to be taking our Christmas trimmings down. So what can we do with our real Xmas trees? Can we recycle them?

The answer is yes. South Glos Council tells us:
"Provided they are not too big, then Christmas Trees may be chopped up and put into your green bin"

"Branches or the trunk should be no more than 4 inches in diameter. Please make sure that the lid closes and that all decorations have been removed"

"If your tree is too big then it can be taken to your nearest SORT IT!* Centre where it will be separated out for composting"

Thanks Streetcare for your help.

You may find that local composting schemes also accept trees.