News 1 November 2016
Driver admits death charge
A Yatton dangerous driver who ploughed into four pedestrians killing a teenager at Nailsea has admitted the charge.
James Bisset, aged 23, of Yatton, drove his Volvo into the people at Clevedon Road in the early hours of February 14.
Alex Gould, 18, later died in hospital and another man was seriously injured.
Bisset also admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving and possessing a Class A drug when he appeared at Bristol Crown Court.
The Volvo hit Alex and another man before striking a man and a woman and smashing into a telegraph pole.
Bisset who was given an interim driving ban and released on conditional bail will be sentenced on Tuesday, January 3.
PHOTO: Alex Gould
Bristol Water reported a 'substantial' water leak at Clevedon Road, Nailsea, on Wednesday, November 9, with residents saying 'green gunk' was coming out of their taps.
Emma Gowler said: "We habe been told we can't use water for four to five hours.....it's a lovely green colour."
The leak was opposite the ambulance station at the corner of Clevedon Road and Pound Lane.
Emma Thomas said: "I drove past about 2.30pm, it was like a river with flooding at the bottom by the fishing lake.".
And 15 minutes later Carol Gladwin said it was still gushing.
Then on Friday, November 11, driver Bob Steadman took the photo right.
He said; "They stopped the 'fountain' minutes after the photo was taken but I don't know how long it took to repair.
"Godwin Drive is a long way from the Clevedon Road so it wasn't related.
"Wales and West Utilities is replacing gas mains and it was their engineers digging up the road that must have caused the leak."
See Breaking News about how flooding caused commuter delays
Bad behaviour at skate park
Nailsea police are reporting problems at the skate park just months after in opened this summer.
Police say the £200,000 site is being daubed in offensive graffiti, littered with rubbish and there have been incidents of bullying and anti-social behaviour.
Nailsea Beat Team sergeant Mark Raby said: “I’m really keen to speak to anyone who may be able to give us information about what’s been happening in the Skate Park recently.
“We are seeing increased amounts of 'tagging' and bad language sprayed on the skate ramps, litter being dropped everywhere and I’m very sad to hear reports of bullying and anti-social behaviour.
“Parents are telling me that some younger children don’t want to use the park now because of the bullying, and parents aren’t keen due to the bad language being painted on the ramps and fences.
"This is a community resource that should be available for everyone to use and it’s being damaged and spoiled.
“Graffiti or street art can be a really vibrant addition to towns and cities when created by proper artists and located appropriately and legally.
"There is a huge difference between attractive urban art and mindless vandalism.
"Tagging isn’t attractive and in this case is includes inappropriate and offensive language, it's criminal damage.
“I will be increasing patrols in the area and the Beat Team will be targeting the park.
"If we identify those who are responsible for the damage, littering and the anti-social behaviour, we will be looking to take robust action.
“We are also in discussions with North Somerset district and Nailsea town councils to perhaps move the benches and redesign the park slightly to make it easier for parents to supervise their children, and hopefully effectively design out the issue.
"But that obviously comes with a cost element and it is a shame if we have to get to that point.
"People should be able to use the park respectfully and responsibly.”
If anyone has any information about these incidents, you can contact the beat team by emailing them online via the In Your Area pages by clicking HERE or by calling 101 quoting reference number 5216240763.
Young people helping police
UPDATE: Police are making the young person who sprayed paint at Nailsea skate park clean up the mess!
Last week officers appealed for help dealing with anti-social behaviour and criminal damage on the ramps at Millennium Park.
Police reported increased amounts of 'tagging' and bad language sprayed on the skate ramps, litter being dropped everywhere and even reports of bullying and anti-social behaviour.
Patrols of the area around the park were increased and Sgt Mark Raby was at the skate park with one of the youth workers on Saturday, November 5, to speak to parents and young people about the problem.
Sgt Raby said: “We went to the park and spent some time chatting to the children and parents, and I’m really pleased that the young people are on-board and very keen to help us sort out the issues.
“We were given information about a potential culprit for the tagging, and that young person has been spoken to and is being dealt with through Community Resolution.
"He will be cleaning up the spray paint.
“The young people, particularly the younger children and teenagers, want the park to be open to everyone.
"They don’t want it being spoiled for the majority by a small minority.
"They don’t want to feel intimidated by others and they have already been into the police station to report incidents of anti-social behaviour at the time it is occurring, which is really helpful.
“They have also said they want the skate park and surrounding area to be a 'smoke-free zone'.
"They are really getting involved and taking ownership of the area.
“PCSO Andy Gatenby will be working with Nailsea Connect and the Skate Park Committee and we have some exciting plans for the new year, which we are hoping the children get involved in, including a new youth shelter.
“This is an excellent example of Police and community working together for the good of the area. It’s particularly good to see young people get involved and helping.”
PHOTOS: From top 1) tagging at skate park 2) young people and police worked together to build funds for the new facilties and 3) youngsters on scooters and skateboards at park
Access denied for travellers in wheelchairs
WTF – and I can say that because it is my website and it beggars belief that Great Western Railway has now ruled out ramps for Nailsea & Backwell station.
Yes, you heard me right, after more than a decade of campaigning much has been written about the fight for ramps to give disabled people travelling to Bristol and beyond, access to the station platforms.
And success has come so tantalisingly close in fact, at the last count with funding in place GWR told campaigners they were ‘shovel ready’.
Nailsea resident Alison Morgan who was instrumental in getting the footpath under the railway bridge widened and a user-friendly path built at Backwell Lake has been involved from the beginning.
This week she was told by GWR commercial development director Matthew Golton that installing ramps was an engineering feat too far and the project has been suspended.
Mr Golton said that although work should have started on accessibility ramps in the autumn this idea has been abandoned in favour of installing a lift – something previously considered but ruled out.
Mr Golton said: “We know that the suspension of the work on the ramps will be very disappointing…but is an issue with engineering.
“The embankments at the station have been prone to historical slippage and there is still movement within the embankments.
“This movement, less than 2mm per annum, is within industry standards and is subject to very close monitoring by Network Rail to ensure the safety of the railway.
“Nevertheless, the engineering issues posed by building ramps on these embankments has lead GWR to look again at the ramp designs and its impact.
“The conclusion reached is…the physical footprint of the ramps would still largely be on the embankments at some of the most sensitive locations, where movement has been detected.
“This gives rise to safety concerns about undermining the embankments which Network Rail and ourselves share and we cannot ignore.
“We now believe that the installation of lifts at the station would prospectively be less impactful.
“In addition, we have concluded that the gradient of the proposed ramps - 1:12 at their steepest point - while a marked improvement over the current access offer, might still offer some challenges to less able-bodied customers.”
What Mr Golton has promised is further delays and a back-to-the-drawing-board approach.
In the spring of 2017 GWR is going to conduct a ‘detailed feasibility study’ to establish ‘designs, costs, operating and construction methodology’ of a lift.
Mr Golton added: “Please be assured that we will be working really hard and as fast as we can to see whether we can attain that goal.”
Alison said: “I am naturally disappointed that the decision has been reached to suspend work on the ramps.
“I am also somewhat confused as to the reasoning behind this decision as I had been told platform investigation works were complete and that there would be no need to alter the ramp proposals and that all the necessary approvals were in place to proceed once funding was secured…and I was assured the project was fully 'shovel ready'.
“When we first contacted FGW many years ago we asked about the possibility of lifts being installed and this was considered to be too problematic as the station is unstaffed, lifts could be a target for vandals and there could be maintenance and safety issues all of which led to the ramps being designed in the first place.”
And she asks ‘will the feasibility study find a way to solve these problems?’.
The long and arduous route to installing disabled access at Nailsea and Backwell railway station was recently the subject of a television documentary.
Access For All campaigners told how they had petitioned, threatened court action, appealed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and asked for public support to get First Great Western to install ramps at the railway station which is on the Bristol to Exeter line.
The station which sits on top of a 40ft embankment opened in 1841 and has two platforms but little in the way of facilities which disappeared after years of cuts and privatisation.
Even on the National Rail website it says there is no staff available to help and no ramp for wheelchairs saying ‘steep flight of steps to southbound platform…ramped access to northbound platform steeper than 1:12 gradient, no wheelchair access available to trains’.
And even if a disabled person made it to the platform the next hurdle would be a large height difference from the train doors to the platform.
Back in 2011 everyone thought there was a light at the end of the tunnel when the government announced a £37.5 million scheme to improve stations under an Access For All Mid-Tier programme which allocated £1,023,000 to building new ramps at Nailsea and Backwell.
The works were due to start in 2013, but were delayed until 2014 due to a need to repair subsidence on the embankment and wait for works on the car park to be completed.
However, due to the delays the funding was withdrawn and today the fiasco continues…watch this space.
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