Weekly surgeries - dates

Griffiths, the main contractor for South Bristol Link, is continuing drop-in surgeries in the area.

The next sesssions are:

  • Monday 18 and Wednesday 27 May, @symes building, 11.30 am – 1.30 pm
  • Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 9 June, Gatehouse Centre, 11.30 am – 1.30 pm
  • Tuesday 16 and 23 June, Cutler Road Centre, 6.30pm – 8.30 pm
  • Tuesday 2 and 14 July, Withywood Centre, 11.30 am – 1.30 pm

You can just show up if you’re a local resident and have questions or concerns about construction. Keep an eye out for posters or on this site to see where the next sessions will be held.

For questions that are not about the construction work, please email metrobus@westofengland.org

Griffiths Progress Bulletin 1 - May 2015

Letter to residents advising of telephone line relocation works

Recruitment boost for south Bristol

Over 100 people visited the Gatehouse Centre in Hartcliffe last week to check out the jobs on offer at the BS13 office of MetroBus contractor Griffiths.

David Dando, Griffiths’ CPCS Plant Tester & Trainer interviewed candidates on the day and said: “The event was a great success. I went there positive that we could find a good range of skilled, experienced and enthusiastic people and we found exactly that – from plant operators, experienced ground workers and labourers with a passion and interest in construction, right through to those wanting to begin a career in construction. I came from there very pleased and looking forward to working with the successful candidates.”

Simon Dunn, Area Manager for Griffiths said “It was great to be able to work with the local job centre and Bristol City’s Ways2Work team who did an excellent job of getting the word out to local people. Lots of candidates were from the BS13 and 14 postcodes. We feel at home in south Bristol already and we’re hosting training sessions for businesses on the Cater Business Park in the next few weeks.”

Contact the contractor

You can get in touch with MetroBus contractor Alun Griffiths, the main contractor for the South Bristol Link by:

MetroBus Facts and Figures

  • Every £1 spent on South Bristol Link results in £12.30 of economic benefits to the area
      There is no doubt that building public transport infrastructure is very expensive.  The South Bristol Link will cost £45 million to build 4.5kms of road, express MetroBus route, and walking and cycling paths. But the roads in south Bristol suffer from high levels of congestion in rush hours. Traffic congestion increases journey times for everyone and affects the reliability of public transport.  The Joint Local Transport Plan estimates that congestion will cost the area’s economy £600 million by 2016. The economic benefits of the South Bristol Link are very high. Every eligible £1 spent will result in £12.30 of economic benefits to the area – that’s nearly half a billion pounds of benefit. South Bristol wants to get moving and it badly needs improvement in infrastructure and reduction in congestion to help.
  • Preserving the lime kilns
    The South Bristol Link will preserve three historic lime kilns near Winford Bridge that are directly on its route. They are overgrown with vegetation and becoming dangerous, but not damaged beyond repair. The three linked lime kilns were built in the 19th century to convert limestone (calcium carbonate) to ‘quicklime’ or ‘lime’ (calcium oxide). North Somerset Council’s archaeologist Vince Russett said: “Quicklime had many uses from the production of mortar and wash for buildings to use in agriculture as a soil improver. The manufacture of quicklime was a time consuming, dangerous and labour intensive process - enough limestone and fuel would have to be collected and transported, loaded into the kiln and set alight. The limestone was then heated in the kiln at temperatures of up to 1000 degrees C for around 3 to 4 days.  “The kilns were built into the sloping hillside, which saved on construction costs and made it easier to load from the top and unload from the bottom. This conjoined, triple kiln arrangement enabled an almost continuous process to take place, with one kiln in use and the other two being unloaded or charged at any one time. "In many ways triple kilns were ‘old technology’ at the time of their construction and for these kilns at Winford Bridge to remain in operation well into the 20th century is all the more remarkable. Only a small number survive across the country.” The route of the South Bristol Link passes directly through the site and the new roundabout there will have the lime kilns as the centrepiece.
  • Creating habitats for wildlife
    Whenever there is construction, there is the chance that wildlife may lose habitats. The South Bristol Link is doing what it can to make sure that alternatives are available. Thirty bird boxes will be put up for birds to nest in. There are four different types of bird box to suit different species. Vegetation clearance happens outside the bird nesting season, although some species have been recorded nesting during other months so we will always take care. Any nest found will be left undisturbed until all chicks have fledged. We will put up 10 bat boxes on suitable trees along the route to encourage roosting. There will be no street lighting for the majority of the rural section of the route. A programme of moving reptiles on may be needed in some areas and a hand-search by an ecologist will take place. Any reptiles found will be removed to a safe site. Piles of rubbish and rubble will be carefully dismantled to avoid injury to the reptiles. Reptile and amphibian friendly curbs, which allow animals to bypass gully gratings, will be installed next to areas of water.  Ten places for reptiles to find refuge will be constructed, probably in mounds from branches, soil and rubble. These need to be placed on dry south-facing slopes.
  • 6 new ponds encouraging wildlife
    To make sure that there is sustainable drainage along the South Bristol Link, we need to consider flood management, pollution control, biodiversity and the local community. The creation of basins, ponds and wetlands mean that storm water can be controlled more easily and surface water from the road surface can be collected. Six new ponds will be created along the Link's MetroBus route for practical purposes as well as being beneficial to wildlife. The ponds will have shallow edges so wildlife can use it easily as well as shallow margins allowing the natural growth of vegetation. The ponds will be planted with native marginal acquatic plants and should become further colonised by a range of plants, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles.
  • Protecting Bats
    We carried out a detailed bat survey of the numbers and types of bats living around,and using the areas near, the South Bristol Link. Colliter's Brook, Hanging Hill Wood, and the railway corridor are important foraging sites and commuting routes for lesser horseshoe bats from Barrow Hospital and Clarkencombe Lodge. We are providing bat underpasses at the Colliter's Brook, and Longmoor Brook crossings so bats can continue to use their existing routes. We have planned the road bridges to allow bats to pass underneath along existing bat flightlines. Our landscape planting in these areas has been designed to funnel bats commuting along the watercourses through the underpass. Bats have been shown to readily use underpasses where conditions are suitable. We will monitor the level of bat use of these structures for three years after construction and we will share the findings with the local authority and Natural England to make sure bats are protected. We are:
    • Planting 2.9 acres of new, native, broadleaved woodland
    • Planting 4.9 acres of native tree and shrub belt
    • Planting about 3 km of hedgerow for new habitats. This is a net gain of about 2.1 km. Hedgerows will be planted with native wood species such as hawthorn, blackthorn and hazel
    • Creating more than 12 acres of species-rich grassland on highway verges and surrounding areas
    • Ensuring no street lighting for the majority of the rural section of the scheme
    • Installing 10 bat boxes
    • Creating 6 new ponds, required for drainage, but benefiting wildlife

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Compulsory purchase and compensation
    We cannot advise you on compensation but these booklets produced by the Department for Transport should be helpful.
  • Can the money be spent on something else, like the Portishead railway?
    No. The money from the Department for Transport is specifically for the South Bristol Link and cannot be spent on any other scheme. The reopening of Portishead railway will take place through the MetroWest project.
  • How much will the South Bristol Link cost?
    The South Bristol Link will cost £44.5 million. - The Department for Transport are contributing £27.6m - Bristol City Council is contributing £8.4m - North Somerset Council is contributing £5.3m - Bristol Airport is contributing £3.2m
  • How long will the South Bristol Link take to build?
    About two years, we expect it to be completed by December 2016.
  • Why do we need the South Bristol Link?
    South Bristol has high unemployment and some of the most deprived communities in the area. South Bristol lacks effective transport links to Bristol city centre and the wider region. This, and the resulting traffic congestion, discourages investment in the area. It means employers locate their businesses elsewhere and discourages people from living in the area. The South Bristol Link is part of a wider integrated rapid transit scheme that will connect the south and north of the city. The South Bristol Link will encourage local jobs by improving transport links, making the area more attractive to employers and making it easier for people from South Bristol to travel to work. The South Bristol Link will also make it easier and quicker for people travelling on public transport to travel to Bristol Temple Meads Station and Bristol Airport. There are health benefits too. By reducing congestion, the South Bristol Link will reduce carbon emissions
  • What is the South Bristol Link?
    The South Bristol Link will be a combined road and rapid transit MetroBus route between the A370 Long Ashton bypass and Hengrove Park. it includes new paths for walking and cycling along its length. The South Bristol Link is part of the MetroBus network. The two other MetroBus routes are: Ashton Vale to Temple Meads This route will provide frequent services from Long Ashton Park and Ride to Bristol Temple Meads and the city centre. North Fringe to Hengrove This route will link Cribbs Causeway, Aztec West and Emersons Green with Bristol city centre and Hengrove in south Bristol. South Bristol Link route map (pdf)

Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Limited

Alun Griffiths are building the South Bristol Link section of MetroBus.