Wednesday 14 December 2022

Being Built On What Was Filton (3)

Three (Un)Wise Men(tions)!

Not all the way!
The cunning plan is to re-open as far as Henbury, not all the way to Avonmouth. The stop shown as North Filton will miraculously, in true pantomime fashion, turn from pumpkin to Brabazon station!

fbb needs to be mentally Athletic with his Charlton
Wrong again! The picture of Charlton Station on the Henbury loop line was, of course, Charlton Kings near Cheltenham. Thanks to correspondent Andrew for making fbb a bit more depressed at old age! Not really - just incompetence.

Get brain en-gauged!
Wrong yet again! In his piece about gauge changing, fbb got it all wrong. The narrow gauge section is at the Montreux end, the standard gauge at Interlaken. Correspondent Paul suggests that the change may well be made at or near Zweisimmen.
This looks like a gauge-changer in the platform "road".

And So ... A Bus For Brabazon
When Bristol's MetroBus started, concern was expressed that route M1 did not serve Bristol Parkway station, surely an obvious and sensible calling point? 
Early maps showed a definite spur off the M1 route, which later became a grey dotted line and then disappeared completely.
Complainers were told that work on the road access from the M1's pink route to the station was necessary but that the service would start as soon as possible. It never did.

Hold that thought as we look a little closed at Brabazon. It is, of course, far more than just the trendy Arena as revealed yesterday.
When complete Brabazon will be, effectively, a small town filling the whole area of the Filton runway. It is a vast acreage with the Brabazon Hangars (Arena to be) there near the bottom centre. This aerial view is orientated conventionally with north at the top.
This is part of the possible development looking south (ish) towards the hangars.
Recent revisions to the plans include an extra 1,000 homes. Note that is extra! and along that bright coloured straight road through the middle, we are offered a brand new MetroBus route.
This time we are looking  north with the Arena  bottom left and the main A38 running south to north (and, conveniently, north to south) on the far right.

Note that according to this map, the MetroBus route doesn't quite make it to the Arena or station - your nearest stop is at the northern edge of Brabazon Park.

Or is it?
South Gloucestershire Council, in whose territory the whole caboodle sits, has been presenting a map for the route for some considerable time.
The map shows the route starting at Bristol Parkway, then turning north and west to go under the new Gypsy Patch Lane bridge ...
... expensively built but a bit better for double deckers than its predecessor!
The M4 route then crosses the A38 and serves Brabazon - but note that it is now shown as dipping down from the spine road to call AT the new station ...
... before finding its way to the Cribbs Causeway shopping mall (hell?) bus station. Here it will join the existing M1.
It has just been announced that First Bus will operate the new M4 from next month and they have posted a summary description on line but no map.

Service m4 Cribbs Causeway – Bristol City Centre. New service, operating every 20 minutes during the main part of the day on Monday – Saturdays, with buses every 30 minutes during the evening. Buses on Sundays will run every 30 minutes, with an earlier finish. The new timetable and route map will be available to view here soon.

Don't overdo the information, First!

A couple of "normal" bus routes are being cut back offering the M4 as a replacement, but with a change at Parkway; not popular.

Travel West (a consortium of local authorities delivering "joint" publicity) has published its own map. This shows the service as running from Bristol city centre to Parkway, duplicating the M1 to Harry Stoke.
The white on blue is hard to read on this poor quality jpeg map but Parkway station is at the red dot, actually a small B R logo. Or is it orange? 

This leaves the existing M1 route and uses the wiggly Hunts Ground Road ...
... which was the main reason "why parkway could not be served" by the MetroBus network.

Well from January it will be!
It is very much the "back way in".

The M4 then proceeds to Brabazon in theory - but it doesn't, because Brabazon isn't there yet!
For now the M4 will use Hayes Way ( CREAM ) ...
... to get to Cribbs Causeway.
Note that the blue M4 map shows the buses eventually running along the spine road and not calling at the new Brabazon station - again.

It will be at least 2026 before the station opens, so we may find out then. Possibly!

The new M4 only manages a 20 minute frequency, which is very weak compared with the existing M1, M2 and M3. But it will need to be a lot better when the Brabazon community really gets going.

Any bets as to when that might be?


 Advent Calendar Day 14 

Notable Nazarene? Or Not?

Of the four books in the Bible that tell the story of Yeshua ben Yusuf (a k a Jesus) only two are interested in his birth. 

Matthew : 2 chapters out of 28
Mark : no mention
Luke : 2 chapters out of 24
John : no mention

Luke tells us about the shepherds whilst Matthew is the Wise Men man.

Apart from one incident when the boy was aged 12 ...
... we hear nothing of the "Notable Nazarene" until he is aged 30. Here is Luke's snippet (expurgated by fbb):-

When the Passover festival was over, they started back home, but the boy Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. His parents did not know this. They did not find him, so they went back to Jerusalem looking for him. They found him in the Temple, sitting with the Jewish teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard him were amazed at his intelligent answers. His parents were astonished when they saw him, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you.”

He answered them, “Why did you have to look for me? Didn't you know that I had to be in my Father's house?” But they did not understand his answer.

So Jesus went back with them to Nazareth, where he was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. Jesus grew both in body and in wisdom, gaining favour with God and people.

What is really notable about the first Christmas is how little the average nosher, boozer and celebrater actually knows of "the story". 

Read Luke's account of the shepherds ...
... and then Matthew's account of the later visit if the Magi (up to two years later!) ...
... and you can't help thinking that something very strange but very important was happening.

And of course the virgin birth is impossible! It is absolutely and incontrovertibly impossible in human hands. BUT ...

... for a God who is outside of our space time continuum and unrestricted by our science and technology it is absolutely possible.

And that, above all, is CHRISTmas.
 Next Inustry/Politics blog : Thursday 15th December 


  1. The m4 being every 20 mins will leave the m3 as also every 20 mins, as the m4 will be replacing alternate m3 journeys, I e. the short m3 trips which currently operate only between the City Centre and UWE will become m4.

  2. Charlton Halt was very short lived. This is what the excellent Railway and Canal Historical Society's 'Railway Passenger Stations' (a free download!)
    CHARLTON near Bristol [GW] op 9 May 1910 (W D Press 10th); HALT; clo 22 March 1915 (co n RAIL 235/535); reop for
    engineering staff 1 April 1917 (RAIL 253/535); removed for line doubling but stops made at CHARLTON TUNNEL WEST END or
    FILTON WEST JUNCTION until deleted from wtt 2 April 1917.

  3. I can only hope that the "back way" to Bristol Parkway will have some of the speed bumps removed