Liberal Democrats call for in-depth review to fix Yate-area transport

Local Liberal Democrats are calling for South Gloucestershire Council to launch a strategic review of transport needs in Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Dodington and the surrounding villages. The issue is being brought to this week’s meeting of the Council’s new Scrutiny Commission by the Co-Chair of Scrutiny, Lib Dem councillor Claire Young.   

Claire Young said: “Local Lib Dem councillors have long pushed for a proper joined-up review into our area’s transport needs including, parking, public transport and our road networks. Until recently we’ve been told that the Council does not have the resources to carry out a strategic transport review for the Yate-area. However, opposition councillors now have an opportunity to put significant issues like this on the agenda through the Scrutiny Commission. We hope that our suggestion will get cross-party support so that we can get on with this review and bring forward ideas to fix Yate-area transport.”  

Lib Dem Group leader Ruth Davis (Yate Central): “Claire’s proposed review has the support of councillors from across Yate, Dodington, Chipping Sodbury, and the surrounding villages. This could be a great opportunity to bring together plans to help get Yate moving. In particular, we are keen to look at new bus routes, reducing traffic through Yate town centre, and the possibility of a Park & Ride site at Badminton Road.”  


Lib Dems call for an inquiry into Primary to Secondary transition

South Gloucestershire Liberal Democrat councillors have called for an inquiry into how local schools handle the transition between primary and secondary education. This was previously identified as a major area requiring improvement by an Education Commission Report in 2014.

Liberal Democrat spokesman for Education, Cllr Ian Blair, said: “South Gloucestershire has long struggled with the problem that, despite having some excellent primary schools, many of our pupils have difficulty when they reach secondary school, and do less well than their primary school grades would suggest they should. It was a major conclusion of the 2014 Education Commission’s report that South Gloucestershire schools should create a Year 5-8 ‘learning pathway’ focusing on things like literacy, numeracy and resilience, in order to help children making the transition between primary and secondary school. We are calling for a one day inquiry to see what progress has been made in the three years since that report.”

Lib Dem Cllr Claire Young, who is bringing the issue to Council’s Scrutiny Commission said: “Anyone with children will know that the move from primary to secondary can be a big step. We need to work with schools to make sure that they are doing everything in their control to support pupils in making the jump between primary and secondary successfully, so that they can continue to build on their potential.”    


Local Councillors meet with Network Rail to discuss lack of clarity over electrification plans

South Gloucestershire Councillors Sue Hope (Cotswold Edge) and Claire Young (Westerleigh), and Chair of Acton Turville Parish Council Chris Farrell, have met with Network Rail managers to discuss the ongoing rail electrification works, and to relay the concerns of local residents.   

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Threatened IVF cuts show that our NHS is being seriously underfunded, say local Lib Dems

South Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats have launched a petition calling upon the Conservative Government to increase funding for our overstretched NHS. This comes after the news that local NHS managers are having to consider restricting IVF eligibility to women aged 30-35, in order to help close the local NHS funding gap of £80 million a year.   

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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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