Monday, 14 December 2009


If you remember Cllr Jon Rogers at Bristol City Council wrote to Cllr Brian Allinson at South Gloucestershire Council on the 17 September, nearly three months ago.

So what did Cllr Allinson's reply say? Did he reply?

Now that's a bit of a mystery because we have no idea. Certainly no copy of a reply has been received from Cllr Allinson direct, and there has been no contact with Cllr Rogers to indicate that, either he has received a reply, he hasn't received a reply, or even that he is chasing a reply.

The same old story, the wheels of local government move very slowly, or on this occasion not at all. Investigations to establish whose wheels will begin after the Christmas and New Year holiday.

A Merry Chrismas and a Happy New Year to all our readers, and to all Bristol and South Gloucestershire elected councillors and highly paid officers, get a short rest, the Campaign to ban Aviation Fuel Tankers and other HGV's from Hallen Storage Depot from North West Bristol's suburban roads, is not going away.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009


So what happened next? At South Gloucestershire's full Council Meeting on the 25 November, Members and Officers colluded to prevent the Campaign making a statement. At the Cabinet Meeting on the 7 December, a similar tactic was attempted by Legal Services, but was defeated. On this occasion our argument to speak prevailed.

The text of our statement follows,

"My name is Derek Little I represent the Campaign to ban fuel tankers from Hallen Depot and other hgv’s, from North West Bristol’s densely populated suburbs. I have previously made statements to this Council on the 20 May and 29 July.

In a report in the Bristol Evening Post on the 10 November by Lynn Hutchinson, Councillor Allinson is quoted as saying “The safety of our residents and reducing the number of accidents on the roads in South Gloucester is a priority for us”, and “There was still more to do to further cut the number of people being killed or hurt”.

Bristol knows how you achieve your objectives Councillor Allinson, you simply force your traffic into neighbouring districts. So much for the West of England Road Safety Partnership.

In your response to my statement to this Council at the last meeting on the 29 July, you say you are meeting Government targets. Sounds like the Health Service. I see that you have also recently vetoed the formation of an Integrated Transport Authority.

You also quote statistics to justify yourself. I invite you to come and see the narrow, winding roads in North West Bristol, up Hallen Road and over the narrow railway bridge, along Station Road, Henbury past the entrances to three schools, the hill past Henbury golf club into Westbury on Trym, through historic Henbury village, along the narrow Kings Weston Road past the Blaise Castle entrances, under the iron bridge, and along densely populated Long Cross in Lawrence Weston.

Compare these roads with the wide flat route to the motorway network northwards from Hallen. What would be the choice of any sane person?

You also say, and I quote, “Regardless of the circumstances behind the making of the order, the High Court appeal period has long passed and we are where we are with the weight limit”. True, but that does mean it is never possible to make improvements, bureaucratic excuses won’t wash.

It is no longer 1996, Bristol International Airport has expanded considerably, and there is currently a planning application to expand even further. Bristol City and North Somerset are moving with the times, why does South Gloucester chose to stick in the past.

In the draft of your letter dated the 16 October you said, and I quote, “I would be prepared to meet with you to discuss these issues in more detail.” But this offer was missing from the letter I eventually received. Why?, I have made no formal complaint about how you are handling the tanker issue, as far as I am concerned we are still talking.

I would like to meet with you Councillor. Until you talk I am not going away. Don’t forget every problem has a compromise solution to satisfy all parties.

Thank you".

The Chairman, Councillor John Calway, said that Councillor Brian Allinson would respond. It will be interesting to see if it takes another ten weeks.


Finally there is movement. Firstly, Councillor Brian Allinson did finally respond to our statement to the South Gloucestershire Council Meeting on the 29 July. The text of his letter dated the 16 October is shown below,

"With apologies for the delay in responding to your statement at Full Council on 29 July.

Regardless of the circumstances behind the making of the order, the High Court appeal period has long passed and we are where we are with the weight limit.

The road closure at Hallen Rail Bridge has now been removed and the temporary suspension of the weight limit in Hallen removed.

The decision to retain the existing road alignment, rather than straightening it out, was taken because it was considered that any straightening out of the alignment could result in increased vehicle speeds at a location where reduced speeds would be preferable. In addition there is no history of injury accidents caused by the pinch point and therefore its removal cannot be justified.

As you are aware, we have compared the HGV injury accident rates on two other routes with those on the route via Hallen and the A403 and have found that these two routes have a lower accident rate. You asked why we only looked at two other routes. Clearly this work demonstrates that other routes are available with lower HGV injury accidents than the route via Hallen and the A403 and the examination of other routes is therefore unnecessary.

One of the objectives of the Joint Local Transport Plan is to ensure significant reductions in the number of the most serious casualties. Based on the HGV injury accident history, the Hallen and A403 route poses a much higher risk of injury involving HGVs than the two other available routes which we have reviewed and therefore diverting HGVs through Hallen would not accord with a shared priority for road safety in the Joint Local Transport Plan.

The West of England Road Safety Partnership has been very successful in delivering the Road Safety Action Plan in the Joint Local Transport Plan and all the Government national casualty reduction targets are being met in the West of England".

Now what do you make of that?, see following post.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


Not much has happened during the past month or two.

If you recall there was a second presentation to South Gloucestershire Council on the 29 July 09, see my post 31 July. It is Cllr Brian Allinson's responsibility to respond, however two months later nothing. His response on the 8 October was,

"Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I was certainly under the impression that we had responded, If that is not the case, then you have my unreserved apologies and an assurance that I will now take the necessary action to ensure that we do so".

Still nothing.

Then then there is Bristol Cllr Jon Rogers letter to Cllr Brian Allinson of the 17 September 09, see my post 20 September. We have seen no sign of any reply yet. There are even reports that Henbury Ward Councillors are having difficulty arranging a meeting with him.

In "Our Community" the free magazine for all the villagers of Easter Compton, Pilning and Severn Beach, October 2009, Issue 170, it says,

"Severn Road has a 7.5 tonne environmental weight restriction placed upon it. This is enforced to protect the local area. It helps lessen traffic, pollution and damage to the roads".

The result of course it that aviation fuel tankers and other hgv's, increase traffic, increase pollution and damage roads in North West Bristol. Come off it Cllr Brian Allinson, why are you deliberately targeting the densely populated suburbs of Bristol.

The same article continues, a safety weight restriction,

"This is usually enforced where structures lack strength to hold heavy vehicles ie weak bridges".

Lets not forget that Cllr Brian Allinson ignored Network Rail advice for a number of years and allowed 40 tonne tankers to use the old weak Hallen Road railway bridge by refusing to extend the Severn Road weight restriction past Hallen Depot to the South Gloucestershire boundary.

A useful quote emerged from the recent party conference season, "The steady erosion of responsibility". Your leader Cllr Allinson, time for change.

Have you noticed how political a non-political campaign is becoming? Bristol Evening Post letters 29 September and 5 October. On the 17 September, parliamentary candidates, Charlotte Leslie, Paul Harrod and Sam Townend, sat round a table together for the first time, with Henbury Ward Councillors Mark Weston and Chris Windows. More working together please.

Sunday, 20 September 2009


Thought you would like to see the text of Cllr Jon Rogers letter of the 17 September 09 to his opposite number in South Gloucestershire, he says,

Councillor Brian Allinson
South Gloucestershire Council
Castle Street
BS35 1HF

Reply to Councillor Dr Jon Rogers
Telephone 0117 92 23932


Date Thursday 17 September 2009

Dear Brian,

Tankers Using Hallen Depot

I am writing formally to request that South Gloucestershire Council extend the weight limit on Hallen Road to the boundary with Bristol.

This request follows discussions between our respective officers, and reflects current thinking on safety and the balance of road safety risks across our two authorities.

I won't rehearse the history, save to say that following a Bristol Full Council statement in April 2009 by Mr D Little, I reported that the Director of City Development would discuss the situation with his equivalent in South Gloucestershire Council with a view to finding a joint solution to the problem.

Our respective officers confirmed that extending the weight limit to the bridge boundary would allow tankers using the depot to travel along Hallen Road in either direction to rejoin the motorway network, rather than forcing them to travel only through Henbury, Lawrence Weston and Shirehampton. However this solution would still prevent any other heavy goods vehicles from accessing this route.

I am aware, following our two discussions on the topic, that there remains some resistance to any such safety changes amongst South Gloucester councillors, and would welcome your help in resolving this issue.

We have also spoken with the airport, to explore whether they may have any contribution to solving the problem.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Dr Jon Rogers
Cabinet Member for Transport and Sustainability

It is likely that this letter was handed to Brian Allinson at their meeting on Friday 18 September. As yet no minutes available, will keep you posted.

Saturday, 5 September 2009


Have you seen the letter in today's Bristol Evening Post, "Hypocritical councils must work together", and Cllr John Rogers online comment at,

"The specific challenges around the bridge at the edge of Hallen are well know to me, and I used the opportunity of the last WoEP Joint Transport Committee meeting to talk with my opposite number Cllr Brian Allinson in South Gloucestershire.

I have since met with residents in Henbury and agreed to write formally to Cllr Allinson asking that we together address this anomaly as soon as possible".

Maybe, just maybe, with Cllr Rogers support and Bristol City Council officers support, we can begin to make some progress. Certainly residents in Bristol's, Avonmouth, Henbury, Kingsweston and Westbury on Trym wards, are encouraged that at last the Council appears to be supporting the Campaign.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


A few thoughts for the holiday period.

Exactly what is this issue all about? Who is doing what and who is objecting?

It’s very simple, South Gloucestershire Council, encouraged by their Ward Councillor, are sending aviation fuel tankers from Hallen Petrol Storage Depot and skip transporters from Hallen Landfill Site, into North West Bristol’s suburban roads enroute to the motorway. This is achieved by the imposition of two weight restriction zones in Hallen which force the vehicles over the Bristol boundary.

North West Bristol residents, in Avonmouth, Henbury, Kingsweston, and Westbury on Trym Wards, object. A petition to ban the tankers and other hgv’s from Bristol’s roads, comprising 350 signatures, has been presented to both Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council.

Bristol City Council have said they support the campaign, South Gloucestershire Council have refused to take action to rectify their blatantly deliberate and selfish attitude.

This Campaign calls upon both Council’s to carry out risk assessments to determine the potential danger of a catastrophic incident occurring on North West Bristol’s narrow twisting roads and in its densely populated suburban areas, assessed against the alternative shorter direct route to the motorway through Hallen.

This Campaign calls upon Bristol City Council to take up the Department for Transport’s offer to attend a meeting with both Council’s in an attempt to find a mutually acceptable solution.