Liberal Democrat Councillors win concession for local residents on Hatchet Road widening

South Gloucestershire Council last night voted in favour of a Lib Dem amendment to rethink the Conservative Cabinet’s controversial plan to widen Hatchet Road as part of the MetroBus scheme.

The amendment, proposed by Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson, Pat Hockey, came after more than 3,000 local residents signed a petition calling for the Hatchet Road bus lane scheme to be reconsidered, due to its destructive impact on local green spaces.

Cllr Hockey’s amendment replaced a Conservative motion, which would have given a strong presumption in favour of carrying on with the scheme as planned. The amended Lib Dem motion, passed by Council, requires transport officers to reconsider all options for this part of the MetroBus route, and report back to the Cabinet in the Autumn.

Pat Hockey said: “MetroBus is an essential part of the South Gloucestershire’s infrastructure needs, but the current plan for a bus lane up Hatchet Road is not fit for purpose. A number of Stoke Gifford residents came to support their petition and spoke in compelling terms about their concerns over the loss of parkland, trees and hedgerows that would be caused by the road-widening.

“On top of this, the planned bus lane only runs one way, meaning that the MetroBus is likely to get stuck in traffic half of the time! To destroy precious green space without achieving the proposed objective of MetroBus is ridiculous. I’m glad that we were able to fight local residents’ corner and convince the Council to go back to the drawing board.”

Text of the motion as amended and carried

Council requests that the transport officers re-examine plans for the route of MetroBus from Hatchet Road roundabout to Parkway Station, investigate whether the CPME Scheme can be delivered in a different way, and prepares a paper to bring to a public Cabinet meeting in the Autumn for this issue to be discussed further which will lead to these proposals going out for further consultation.

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