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On the road...

...or bus lanes and cycle tracks, this page is all about travel from Nailsea. But no planes (see Bristol Airport which has its own page) or boats but taxis, private car hire, cycling, coach and holiday companies as well as local petrol stations and places to get your two and four wheel vehicle repaired, fitted with new tyres and/or resprayed. It also includes on the buses timetable links and fare offers...

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POTHOLE PEEPS: Nailsea resident Emma Longstaff reported to North Somerset Council the massive pothole on Southfield Road, near to the bungalows at the end of the road. She said: “Be careful driving along this road.” Richard Billows said: “I have reported the two along Silver Street. If someone on a push or motor bike hits them there could be a fatality. I believe three people have blown their tyres on these two monsters, the one opposite Whitesfield Road I reported two years ago and it was obviously repaired badly.” North Somerset Council say on its website ‘For us to repair a pothole must be more than 4cm deep and 30cm across in the road, or deeper than 2cm and more than 15cm across on a pavement. A dangerous pothole is one in the road that exceeds these dimensions and is in a location likely to cause a vehicle to lose control’. More information here https://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/my-services/parking-travel-roads/roads-streets/road-repairs/road-pavement-repairs. The huge hole picture by Rachel is part of our Winter Walks slideshow on the Gallery 2023 page HERE. We believe it is on the public right of way farmland track at The Drove?

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SPECIAL OFFER 1: Filling up with petrol at Tout's? Get a car wash half price in January at Wraxall garage. More info here https://www.touts.co.uk/store/touts-nailsea-5/

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SPECIAL OFFERS 2: From Sunday, January 1, 2023, bus companies nationwide will introduce a £2 fare cap on single tickets. The cap will remain in place until Friday, March 31 this year. First Bus has the X5, X6, X7 and X9 on this list. However, many Nailsea passengers already ride free thanks to the senior citizens scheme introduced by North Somerset Council. The normal single fare from Nailsea to Bristol is £3.70 or return £5.

For more information:

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ROAD SAFETY: It was with some irony that on Monday, July 12, the government launched THINK! road safety campaign to encourage people driving, walking and cycling to give space and be considerate to other road users including horse riders. This comes after a weekend when police horse Rocky was seriously injured in a collusion in Beggar Bush Lane. Happily stable mate Platinum escaped unscathed and has been treated to sugar cubes by concerned officers. A police spokesman said: "Platinum has enjoyed some downtime and on Sunday he went out on patrol locally with his good pal Windsor. Early indications are really good and he seems happy and confident. We will continue to monitor him closely." All this happened just days before North Somerset Council launched a consultation into introducing a 20mph speed limit in Pill and Easton-in-Gordano but nothing for our farming community at West End which sees an endless steam of HGVs and racing car drivers! Read more on our Breaking News page sponsored by Nailsea Auto Electrical HERE

Tap on, tap off ticketless bus travel 

Metro Mayor and First to launch West of England’s first-ever ‘tap on, tap off’ bus payments.
Those who travel on the London Underground will be familiar with the scheme nicknamed TOTO which is a simple way for people to pay for their bus travel using their contactless card or device without having to buy a ticket on the bus.
Using TOTO, passengers simply tap their card or device against the reader when they get on the bus and again just before they get off.
First then work out the correct fare for each journey and ensure that customers never pay more than the relevant Day ticket fare each day they travel, no matter how many journeys they make. As customers travel more over the week, the system also ensures that each extra day costs less.
TOTO, which will be officially launched across all First West of England’s services on Sunday, July 17, thanks to funding from the West of England Combined Authority, will make bus travel in the West of England simpler, especially for new customers, with no need to know which zone you are in or which ticket to buy. 
The system also gives customers visibility of what they’ve been charged for all their journeys through a simple online portal.


PHOTO: First West of England managing director Doug Claringbold

and Metro mayor Dan Norris making use of the new

Tap On, Tap Off system in Bristol

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Community bus drivers needed 

Nailsea And District Community Transport needs more volunteer drivers to keep its eight fully-accessible fleet of vehicles on the road.
Nailsea and District Community Transport business development and IT co-ordinator Anthony Lingham said: "Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community."
Each minibus run by the group has a built-in tail lift for a wheelchair-using passenger and has space to store folding walkers and shopping trolleys.
The registered charity currently runs a dial-a-ride service from Portishead, Backwell, Nailsea, Long Ashton, Failand, Felton and Winford to hospitals, doctors, dentists and other appointments as appropriate.
It costs people who use the door-to-door service an annual membership fee of £20 plus the cost of any trip booked.
As well as a weekly shopping service between the communities it serves more than 100 day trips are organised throughout the year to a range of destinations including local attractions, pub lunches, afternoon teas and days out to the coast. 
The vehicles are based at its head office on Coates Industrial Estate in Nailsea. 

Volunteers are not paid.

Nailsea Town Council currently supports the service with a £12,000 per year annual grant.

To download an application form click HERE.

To learn more download an information leaflet HERE.

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Electric fleet to ferry passengers

Bristol Airport has invested in three additional electric Nissan e-NV200 vans to its landside and airside operations.

The new Nissan e-NV200 vans were provided by Trenton Nissan in Hull and the vehicles have previously been awarded former International Van of the Year, this brings the total number of electric vehicles on site to five.

The additional Nissan e-NV200 vehicles combines storage space, manoeuvrability, safety and will use the electric charging points installed throughout the airport.

Bristol Airport will be receiving delivery of a fully electric e-COBUS 3000 at the end of May which will have the capacity to carry up to 110 customers to and from the terminal building and aircraft.

A previous diesel COBUS will be re-manufactured and converted into a fully electric e-COBUS 3000 for the airport’s airside operations.

Both the e-COBUS 3000 and the new Nissan e-NV200 Combi vans are another step forward in the airport’s aim to achieve net zero operations by 2030.

Bristol Airport has already made three key commitments to be a net zero airfield, with net zero buildings and operate a net zero fleet of vehicles by 2030.

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Bristol Airport motor transport manager Martin Fisher said: “We are delighted to add three additional Nissan e-NV200 vehicles to our fleet at Bristol Airport.

"Sustainability is a key focus for us and we are always looking to explore different technology which can help us reduce our impact on the local environment.

"Our sustainability achievements and ambitions, which has been recognised at a global level, has always been a driver of our development and is now very firmly integrated into our business.

"This project is only one of many in where we are working on to achieve being a net zero Airport operation by 2030.”

Bristol Airport has its own page on Nailsea People community newspaper...read more HERE.

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FIRST BUS X7: Here is the new X7 route of the Bristol to Clevedon via Nailsea single decker bus from Sunday, April 24. It appears to go from Backwell along Station Road turning into Trendlewood onto Link Road and then around Pound Lane before heading towards Tickenham. To download full timetable click HERE

FIRST BUS X9: Here is the new X9 timetable to download. It is the Bristol to Nailsea bus and back that goes all around the town from the Link Road, Stockway north and south, Mizzymead Road, Queens Road, The Perrings, Whiteoak Way, Hannah More Road, back to Queens Road towards the Link Road in a complete loop. The major change is no late night midweek buses...click HERE to download

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Road closures ahead alert

The A369 at Abbots Leigh is to close from Monday, April 25, for five days.
North Somerset Council needs to fell a number of diseased ash trees.
No traffic will be allowed to pass in either direction at Rownham Hill, a major route into and out of Bristol, between 9.30am-3.30pm daily from Monday to Friday, April 25-29.
Marshalls will be present to allow access to residents and businesses only.
Diversion routes will be in place by connecting the A369 to the A370 using the B3129 (Beggar Bush Lane) near Failand and the B3129 (Clevedon Road) near Long Ashton.
The public is asked to follow diversion signage.
This essential operation is due to Ash Dieback, a fungal disease which is often fatal.
A rapid decline in the health of these trees means that urgent action is needed to remove them for safety reasons.
North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon is the Independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking.
He said: "Ash Dieback is now a national problem.
“Unfortunately, there is no way of stopping the disease and it's feared it may affect up to 90 per cent of ash trees in Britain.
"We carried out a survey of all our ash trees in North Somerset last year and are now working on an Ash Dieback action plan.
“This sets out how we will deal with the issue in North Somerset, including replanting in areas where we have had to remove infected trees.
“In the meantime, these trees alongside the busy A369 have been identified by our tree officers as unsafe.
“As they pose a danger to road users, they require urgent removal.
"Due to the aggressive nature of the disease, we are unfortunately not able to restrict the removal of dangerous trees to outside the bird-nesting season as work needs to take place all year round to deal with the problem.
“I’m reassured however that an ecologist will be on site throughout the works to make sure no harm is caused to wildlife, particularly birds.
"We don’t take closure of such a main road lightly as we realise the inconvenience and disruption that it inevitably causes.
“Every effort is being made to carry out the works on time and we will communicate updates through the council’s social media channels."
The road closure is in place for all motorised and non-motorised traffic, including cyclists, horseriders and pedestrians.

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New bus timetables from April 2022

First bus new timetables come in on Sunday, April 24, until further notice.
The major change is the scrapping many late night buses and the X8 service completely.
The losers are those who like to go out on the town in Bristol midweek and hospital workers on late shifts.
And while the X7 is running hourly from Bristol to Clevedon via Nailsea & Backwell railway station linking the two communities again it is not clear if Trendlewood will have a servce.
The X9 Bristol to Nailsea via Wraxall is a half hourly service.
Early morning timetables seem the same for X7 and X9 here are late night changes:

  • X7 Bristol to Clevedon via Nailsea. The last bus from Bristol bus station Monday to Friday is at 9.15pm and arrives at Stockway North 9.52pm. On Saturdays the last bus leaves Bristol 11.15pm arriving at Stockway North 11.52pm. On Sundays last bus leaves Bristol bus station at 7.15pm arriving at Stockway North at 7.53pm. 

  • X9 Bristol to Nailsea via Wraxall. The last bus from Bristol bus station is at 9.45pm Monday to Friday and arrives at Stockway North at 10.15pm. In Saturdays the last bus leaves Bristol 11.45pm arriving at Stockway 12.16am. On Sundays last bus leaves Bristol bus station at 6.45pm arriving Stockway North 7.15pm.

North Somerset Council has awarded contracts to keep the buses running in Weston-super-Mare.
A council spokesman said: "Following recent news about the withdrawal of a number of commercially-operated bus services, North Somerset Council has announced the award of a new supported bus contract for Weston-super-Mare."
For more details go to https://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/news/council-awards-new-bus-contract-save-local-services.
And the Weston College bus run by Bakers from Monday, April 25, will stop at Claverham and Yatton on the Nailsea route.
This is at:

  • Yatton Henley Lodge (7.50am, 5.50pm)

  • Congresbury Ship and Castle bus stop (7.55an, 5.45pm)

Full route here https://www.weston.ac.uk/bus-routes-and-timetables.
For more detailed information, routes and timetables visit www.firstgroup.com/bristol.
And for timetables online go here or download our links  https://www.firstbus.co.uk/bristol-bath-and-west/plan-journey/timetables.
The little used weekly Citistar 128 Nailsea bound and 134 Weston bound is also ceasing due to a lack of demand and viability.

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X7

Download timetables here:
Monday to Friday
Saturdays
Sundays

X9

Download timetables here:
Monday to Friday
Saturdays
Sundays
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New taxi times

After 27 years working full time in the taxi industry Nailsea Backwell Taxis has announced in January 2022 it has reached a 'fork in the road' and its retiring from the 24/7 taxi world.

A spokesman said; "We will continue to provide a full daytime and national journey service."

New operating hours for local cars:

  • 4am to 6pm Monday to Friday; and

  • 5am to 2pm Saturdays.

Its national cars will continue to provide a service seven days a week.

Office hours for advance bookings are:

  • 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday; and

  • 9am to 2pm Saturdays.

There may be times when calls will be forwarded direct to a driver or its voicemail system.
If you wish to make, amend or cancel a booking outside of the new office hours please leave a message.
All voice mails are checked and responded to regularly. more information can be found on its website www.nailseabackwelltaxis.co.uk.

UPDATE: See announcement

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NO CARS: Maybe car allowed but weight restriction coming soon to Nailsea High Street, this is the image during Covid when parking and through traffic was banned while councillors wondered what to do next...still waiting in June 2022!

Electric pitstop

A leading North Somerset hotel and health club has increased the number of electric car charge points so that an increasing number of guests and members can ‘fill up’ their vehicles during their visit.

The hotel and health club at DoubleTree by Hilton, Cadbury House in North Somerset has now added a number of Instavolt charge stations and is one of the first venues in the south west to provide this service to its guest, customers and health club members.

The installation of these new EV charge stations is in addition to a trio of Tesla charging ports that were installed a few years ago on the back of a rise in electric cars usage.

These new units are available for any electric vehicle driver to use on a pay-as-you-go, no subscription basis. There’s no connection charge and all drivers do is simply tap their contactless credit or debit card and only pay for the electricity used.

Costing around £20 to £26 for a full charge, drivers will be able to add around 200 miles of range. 

Cadbury House general manager Mehmet Kandemir said: “More and more of our customers and members are driving electric cars and with petrol costs spiraling the trend for electric cars is only going to get more popular.

“As a result we need to be able to accommodate our guest’s needs to charge up during their stay and the installation of these latest EV charge stations is in reaction to this growing demand.

“We’ve always been one step of the curve in terms of our offering and this again demonstrates our willingness and ability to react to consumer demands by providing the latest in cutting edge technology."

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More than 61,000 electric and hybrid vehicles were registered in the UK in December 2021 and it’s this sales surge that has seen more and more demand for plug in ports at venues like Cadbury House.

Mehmet added: “We envisage this as only the beginning of providing electric car owners the facilities they need when coming here and look forward to welcoming EV car owners from across the country.”

For further information please visit http://www.cadburyhotelbristol.co.uk/ or call 01934 834343.

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All change on the buses

Bus operator First West of England is making major changes to some of its services in North Somerset from Sunday, April 24, many affecting Nailsea.

Thinking aloud Nailsea People posted on its Facebook page: ‘Good job we are walking, running and cycling everywhere as there are some serious cuts proposed to our bus services’.

The response was overwhelming, it reached nearly 6,000 people in the first 24hrs and attracted a record number of 100 comments.

In a nutshell this is what First bus company is proposing:

  • X8 withdrawn completely removing the direct link between Nailsea and Backwell including the railway station by this bus;

  • X7 reduced evening service to finish at 8.15pm from Clevedon to Bristol and 9.15pm from Bristol to Clevedon with the loss of two later journeys on an hourly basis. This double-decker route currently goes via Nailsea Link Road but it is proposed to reroute via railway station; and

  • X9 the 8.24pm, 9.24pm and 10.24pm from Nailsea to Bristol are under threat and the 10.45pm and 11.45pm from Bristol to Nailsea will be withdrawn.

However, North Somerset Council is exploring what buses it can subsidise and save.

This is in response to huge cuts announced by commercial bus companies.

These cuts will affect routes that are failing to recover quickly enough financially with Government Covid-relief funding to be withdrawn later this year.

Subject to a successful tender process, the council's proposals would mitigate some of the worst effects of cuts.

However, the council is warning that the scale of the cuts means that it's unlikely to replace every route under threat and difficult decisions will have to be made about which services it can ultimately save.

The changes reflect the need to temporarily reduce the frequency of some services to mitigate the impact of ongoing driver shortages, and to address routes and journeys that, due to low passenger numbers, are not commercially viable.

Taken together, these changes will ensure that remaining services can be operated more reliably.

Weston-super-Mare and other North Somerset towns and villages are also affected.

The bus company said that the X8 between Nailsea and Bristol via Backwell has suffered from long standing issues with low passenger numbers.

It added: “As a result, from April 24, the X8 will cease to operate but the X7 will be re-routed to serve Nailsea and Backwell Station every 60 minutes, an improvement on the current 90-minute frequency.”

First West of England managing director Doug Claringbold said: “Despite the Government extending emergency funding for another six months, ongoing issues with driver availability mean further action is necessary beyond the changes we made at the end of January to ensure we can operate services more reliably for our customers.  

“As part of that, we must ensure our resources are focused on the areas of the greatest need, which means we’ve had to act on those services and journeys that are just not commercially viable as we plan for the end of this funding in October.

“We only reduce or withdraw services as a very last resort and the issue with low passenger numbers and the resulting viability of some services pre-dates the pandemic and will not, therefore, be resolved by any recovery in passenger numbers.”

He added: “I want everyone to be clear that we are 100 per cent committed to providing the very best possible public transport services in Weston-super-Mare and the rest of North Somerset and will continue to work closely with North Somerset Council to that end.

“This commitment is highlighted by the imminent roll-out of 27 brand new lower-emissions diesel buses in North Somerset and an ongoing driver recruitment campaign to ensure we get people where they want to go safely, efficiently and sustainably.”

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However, the council is warning that the scale of the cuts means that it's unlikely to replace every route under threat and difficult decisions will have to be made about which services it can ultimately save.

North Somerset Council leader Don Davies is the ward councillor for Pill.

He said: “Buses play a vital role serving the communities of North Somerset.

“They help residents go to work, shop and access vital services such as schools, colleges and health services.

“They're also key to our response to the climate emergency.

“However, we just don't have enough funding to replace all routes like-for-like, meaning many people may have to walk slightly further to find a bus and might need to change buses en route as there will be fewer direct links to our town centres and less frequent services across many routes. Some services will also start later in the morning or finish earlier in the evening.

“We call again on the Government to recognise this and continue to provide financial support to bus companies until passenger numbers are closer to pre-pandemic levels.

“Across North Somerset we have seen around 70 per cent of passengers return to services, underlining just how critical these buses are to our communities.”

North Somerset uses a common criteria to assess where it will step in to provide publicly funded bus services built on the following priorities:

  • Access to employment / enterprise zones

  • Access to schools / colleges

  • Access to medical and welfare facilities

  • Access to essential retail facilities

  • Services affecting disadvantaged or vulnerable members of the community

  • Social necessity

  • Value for money.

Nailsea People contacted the bus service to ask for more information and when the new timetables will be available.

We are promised they will get the information to us shortly.

It is with some irony that Nailsea People reader Derek Perkins sent us an email asking that some of Nailsea Town Council windfall from developers is spent installing more bus shelters at our bus stops.

Derek, we need to save all our services first.

And in added misery Nailsea & Backwell Private Hire Taxis company announced, ‘after 27 years working full time in the taxi industry, we have retired from the 24hr taxi world’.

Its new operating hours for local cars are 4am-6pm Monday to Friday and 5am-2pm Saturdays.

Its national cars will continue to run seven days a week which can be booked on 01275 799999.

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ON YER BIKE: Remember this from pre-lockdown days? Maybe not because Nailsea People website tends to suffer from overload. Anyway it was under the Travel dropdown menu as part of the On The Road page and we thought at the time it was such a super idea. Now the Trishaw Project is looking for volunteers as it is all systems go, so you have until Friday, April 1. Email helen.todd@nhs.net or call 01275 866764 for more details

Highway code

Changes to the Highway Code are coming into effect from Saturday, January 29 January.

The changes are being made to prove the safety of people walking, cycling and riding horses.
In total nine sections of The Highway Code will be updated with 50 news rules being added or updated.

Some of the key changes are about:
➡ Hierarchy of road users
➡ People crossing the road at junctions
➡ Walking, cycling or riding in shared spaces
➡ Positioning in the road when cycling
➡ Overtaking when driving or cycling
➡ People cycling at junctions
➡ People cycling, riding a horse and driving horse-drawn vehicles on roundabouts
➡ Parking, charging and leaving vehicles
For full details of exactly what’s changing go to www.gov.uk/dft/highway-code-changes

Image by Nick Fewings
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New bus timetables

First West of England is making some changes to its Bristol services to reflect changing customer demand and to improve punctuality and reliability on a number of key routes.

However, none have been made to the X8 and X9 services from Nailsea into the city centre which operate from end of January 2022 until further notice..

For full details of these timetable can be downloaded.

  • X8 is a Monday to Friday service only HERE

  • X9 weekdays HERE

  • X9 Saturdays HERE

  • X9 Sundays HERE

£3k active travel grants

Funding is now available for companies, schools and community groups who want to introduce active travel initiatives.
North Somerset Council has secured funding from the Department for Transport’s Capability Fund to support a range of active travel behaviour change initiatives and infrastructure projects in 2022.
Companies, schools and community groups can now apply for up to 50 per cent match-funded grants up to a maximum of £3,000.
The grants are for on-site initiatives that will help overcome any barriers to active travel and encourage more walking and cycling.
Examples of previous grants include installing scooter pods and bike shelters at schools and hospitals, buying e-cycle fleets for staff use and installing showers to increase walking and cycling.
In 2022, priority will be given to initiatives that seek to encourage visitors, employees and local residents to make more use of the region’s new active travel infrastructure. 
Applications are welcomed for projects close to new sections of shared-use path and traffic-calmed areas, or which focus on the planned Pier to Pier section of National Cycle Network Route 33 between Weston and Clevedon.
North Somerset Council executive member with responsibility for sustainable travel Mike Solomon is the Independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking.
He said: "Sometimes, small things can prevent people choosing to walk to cycle. 
"There might be no showers at work, no covered bike racks on site or no signs pointing to traffic-free routes nearby.
"Our Active Travel grants can help solve these problems. 
"By 50 per cent match-funding your investment up to maximum of £3,000, we can help you make small changes to North Somerset workplaces, schools and community spaces, making them more attractive to people who are keen to walk and cycle."
To maximise the impact, promotion and legacy of the active travel grants, North Somerset Council officers can also support businesses, schools and community groups with a variety of offers and behaviour change activities.

These include:

  • Up to 50 per cent match-funded active travel grants (£3,000 max)

  • Free cycle and e-cycle hire for individual adults (deposits payable)

  • Free adult cycle and e-cycle confidence training

  • Free bike stands for businesses

  • Free e-cycle fleet hire for businesses

  • Free Dr Bike mechanic visits to service staff bikes

  • Basic bike mechanic courses 

  • Free Sustainable Travel Roadshows for workplace events

  • Schools Engagement officer support (grant-finding, resources, competitions)

  • Free access to Active Travel Plan software: ModeShift for Business/ Schools

  • Prize-packed active travel challenges like Love to Ride and school competitions.

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BIKiING BLOKES: Two groups one called Easy Riders and the other with go-faster stripes called the Lycra Crew set out on the first Sunday of the month to take a bike ride from Ring O'Bells pub out across the North Somerset moors. The men-only group chose a different cafe each month for a pitstop and to eat breakfast. This group led by Ricky Wilkinson.called in at the Hungry Horse at Yatton. Many of the cyclists belong to Holy Trinity church, Nailsea. More riders very are welcome. Contact Phil Williams who took the photos via his Facebook page or email Phil@christiansurfers.co.uk. The next date Sunday morning, February 6. Read more on our sports page HERE

These match-funded grants will not cover VAT and projects must be finalised with funds committed by March 2022.
The grant application form is available online at Travelwest.

Visit https://travelwest.info/for-businesses/grants-funding 
Submissions will be assessed on a rolling basis so people are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for consideration. 
For support with efforts to increase walking, cycling and active travel, email engagement officers Kerry O’Neill (for business and community settings) or Abbie Edbrooke (for schools and education) on:

sustainable.travel@n-somerset.gov.uk or call 01275 884605.

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FIRST BUS LOCAL FARES: Work locally? Children go to school locally? Don't want to get the car out when you pop to the local shops or visit your mates? From Sunday, January 23, First bus is introducing a new £1.50 single ticket that's perfect for these Nailsea journeys. Clevedon and Portishead travellers can also get cheap fares in their towns too. The fixed rate single fare includes discounts for younger travellers and students too. It will cost a flat rate for adults of £1.50, 16-21 year olds and students £1.10 and a child aged five to 15 years of 80p. To learn more go to https://www.firstbus.co.uk/.../new-tickets.../local-fares.

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Fuelled by cooking fat

Gritters across North Somerset will help keep major routes in North Somerset passable this winter in a more sustainable way.  

The six bright yellow vehicles will now run on Hydrogenerated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel as part of the council's commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. 

HVO fuel reduces the carbon associated with fuel usage by 90 per cent.  

It is produced entirely from renewable raw materials, including vegetable oils, animal fats, cooking oils, fish fats and corn oils, all of which are recovered from current industry practices and/or waste processing operations. 

North Somerset Council executive member with responsibility for roads Mike Solomon is the independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking.

He said: ” "The gritters cover a huge number of miles over the winter period so I am delighted that they will now be using a more environmentally friendly form of fuel in line with our climate emergency commitments.

"Each gritter tends to operate in its named area, so look out for Burrrrrington, Bleadon-cold, Nailski, Portispread, Weston-scooper-Mare and Sleetholm during the winter months."

The fleet are co-ordinated by highways engineers who work on schemes all year to improve the condition of the area’s roads, then become winter specialists from October to provide cover seven-days a week.

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Last winter, the gritters went out 52 times, used 2,400 tonnes of salt and gritted 9,857 miles of road.

January was the busiest month with the gritters going out 23 times in total.

Book new Driving Miss Daisy chauffeur/companion service

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Driving Miss Daisy is a new fully vetted business offering a personal chauffeur/companion service for people living in North Somerset.

Former Debenham store manager Clare Filer has swapped serving retail customers for one dedicated to helping those in the community who made need an extra  bit of support.

Clare grew up in Backwell but has lived in Clevedon for many years is determined to turn her redundancy into an opportunity.

She said: “I am thrilled to be able to offer a new service to local residents living in Nailsea, Backwell and Clevedon.

“Following redundancy in May, I decided I wanted to work within my community, supporting others to get out and about, so I purchased a franchise from Driving Miss Daisy UK. 

“I have been inspired to do this after recently caring for my mum, a Backwell resident, for the last years of her life.

“She was a fiercely proud and independent lady who wouldn’t let both cancer and kidney failure stop her from living independently.

”I have also been very involved in the care of my mother-in-law who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia at just 68 years old, a very sociable and fun lady who we have been determined to help continue live the best life possible. 

“I would describe the service as a combination of a personal chauffeur and personal assistant, with my aim to make life easier for those requiring support either with transport, at home or to get out and enjoy life!”

The variety of services including:

  • Transport to visit family and friends; 

  • Transport and companionship for attending social events / clubs; 

  • Day trips and tours, for example trips to the seaside, visiting a garden centre or shopping trips;

  • Accompaniment to, from and during GP and hospital appointments (we can accompany clients into appointments to take notes if required);

  • Help to book and get to everyday appointments (hairdressers, banks, dentist, pets to vets); and 

  • Home to holiday destinations, airport, seaport or train station drop-off and collection. 

Clare added: “Every service booked is bespoke to the individual, some clients just require transportation, some require assistance pre and post

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DRIVE TIME: The name Driving Miss Daisy comes from a 1989 American comedy-drama film directed by Bruce Beresford and written by Alfred Uhry, based on Uhry's 1987 play of the same name. The orginal film stars Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman, and Dan Aykroyd. Freeman reprised his role from the original Off-Broadway production. The story defines Daisy and her point of view through a network of relationships and emotions by focusing on her home life, synagogue, friends, family, fears, and concerns over a twenty-five-year period. Driving Miss Daisy was a critical and commercial success upon its release and at the 62nd Academy Awards received nine nominations, and won four: Best Picture, Best Actress (for Tandy), Best Makeup, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

journey, we can wait at a destination to provide a return journey, or provide companionship at home or on a trip out, so I find out exactly what will be needed prior to the booking and send a quote for each individual service requested.

“Quotes are competitive and all inclusive, so there are no hidden costs.

“Anyone interested in finding out more about the services I offer can visit my Facebook page @drivingmissdaisyclevedon, or website www.drivingmissdaisy.co.uk or give me a call for an informal chat on 0758 712 1661.”

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Biking to LA shop

Nailsea cyclists are already finding their way over to nearby Long Ashton to visit a new bike shop.

If you’ve not heard yet, a bike shop called Bristol Bikesmiths opened earlier this year.
Situated on Lovelinch Gardens just off the main road, the bike shop is sandwiched perfectly between The Old Library restaurant and Parson’s Bakery and specialises in servicing and repair, though they also sell parts, tools, cycling goodies, bikes, scooters and more.
If you visit the shop you will usually find Timo and Matt twirling the spanners and Dan juggling the many duties of an owner.

 In the image Matt is on the left, Dan in the middle and Timo on the right.
Bristol Bikesmiths established itself in Bedminister approximately four years ago but recently opened the second shop in Long Ashton where both Timo and Dan live.

Timo is the roadie while Matt, who lives in Nailsea, is the mountain biker, but they both love servicing whatever bikes come their way.
Bristol Bikesmiths prides itself on clear communication, servicing excellence and a 24-hour turnaround time. You normally don’t have to wait that long for an appointment either.
Shop manager Timo said “It's been great to see so many regular faces, plus many new faces from the village and further afield.

“We thank everyone for their support so far and hope to see many more faces in the coming months.

“We've seen quite a few people from Nailsea already.”
If you have any questions you can contact them via their website www.bristolbikesmiths.com, via email at thebikesmiths@bristolbikesmiths.com or by calling them on 01275 219464.

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Can you fill your car with E10? 

Nailsea Auto Electrical is getting a lot of calls regarding the new petrol and if it is safe to use.

E10 (the new standard petrol) is up to 10 per cent ethanol as opposed to five per cent in E5 - the old standard petrol.

It is available at UK fuel stations now as part of the bid to cut CO2 emissions.

It's safe to use in most petrol cars made after 2011 according to government advice.

Diesel and electric vehicles cannot use E10 petrol.

Click on the link below to check your car on the government's website:

https://www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-e10-petrol.

To find out how Nailsea Auto Electrical can help you get in touch on 01275 261 005 or send them a message through Facebook or Instagram.

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On the Nailsea buses

Details of bus service changes from Sunday, August 29, 2021 can be found on the links below:

New First Bus timetable for X8 and X9 still has no buses to Backwell on Sundays and bank holidays. To download timetable click HERE.

North Somerset road news

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The A370 was closed for several hours on Friday afternoon, July 23, after a head-on road crash.

Two cars were involved and two people had already been rescued by the time the fire service arrived.

Nailsea firefighters joined Weston and Temple crews at the scene.

Another woman was trapped and it needed hydraulic cutting equipment to free her.

She was taken to hospital by land ambulance although the air ambulance and other emergency vehicles were in attendance.

Ian Thompson lives nearby and he said the road was closed for a long time.

He said at the time: “There is an accident investigation on site.”

“The accident was blocking drives including the one to Bridget and Chris White’s farm - they run the pork stall at Nailsea farmers market.

“I don't suppose residents can get out.

“This was the second accident in two weeks, the other was a vehicle fire at the other end of Cleeve which took out power and fibre cables foe several hours.

“The verge and hedge plus a National Grid pole took the brunt of it and still visible.”

Neighbour Amanda Ward said: “It did make eating at al fresco in Cleeve very quiet on Friday night.”

  • And in another road incident nearby on Sunday morning cyclist Angela Daynes alerted Nailsea People to a fallen tree on Brockley Lane, Chelvey. She said: “Not sure how to report it as I'm out on a cycle but was worried about leaving it unreported until I get back home!” Amanda took the photo, thanks.

  • Tickenham Parish Council is conducting a questionnaire on traffic its village. Parish councillors want to assess the views of residents a survey which will form the basis for discussion at an open meeting later in the year. The survey which needs to be completed by the end of August is on the parish council website here: https://tickenham-pc.org.uk/traffic-survey/.

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A maintenance scheme to improve the A370 Long Ashton Bypass starts on Monday, August 2.

The scheme will see a full programme of maintenance works carried out overnight between 8pm and 6am for five nights.

The road will be closed between the junctions with the A4174 Colliters Way and B3130 Clevedon Road so crews can work safely.

Works taking place will include gully emptying, grass cutting, tree clearance, lining and signage replacement.

A diversion route will be in place as there will be no access to Bristol via the A370 while these night-time works are carried out.

North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon is the Independent ward councillors for Hutton and Locking.

He said: “This is a busy route in and out of North Somerset and closing it overnight will allow us to carry out important works to improve the route.

“We’ll be using the closure to carry out various essential maintenance works at the same time, therefore making the most effective use of the road closure."

“We appreciate that a night closure on a busy route will cause some inconvenience, but we carry out works overnight when traffic volumes are lower, to minimise disruption and avoid peak travel times.”

The cost of the works is £56,000.

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PARKING PRANK: Nailsea MicroPub boss Mark Ashman said: "There is some prankster going around Nailsea thinking they are funny by sticking these on car windscreens. If you see one of these just ignore it and check your number plates and tyres for any damage." Fake parking tickets can be bought from many online joke shops and are usually placed on vehicles illegally left in public places. Pranksters have targeted drivers up and down the country but this one is a first for Nailsea. The ticket says it is issued by Bourgh Council and asking for a fee of £90 with a 50 per cent discount if paid within 30 days. The actual website does not exist. Nailsea People has its own 'bad parking' page HERE featuring those who use the pavement to leave their cars

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Motor car is not God, say council

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The general message in a 90-page document issued by North Somerset Council the week is 'get on yer bike'.

And although Nailsea doesn't actually get too much of a mention the council statement 'we are determined to debunk the common misconception that the higher the access for motor vehicles and parking outside local shops, the increased economic vitality' makes you think closing the High Street to through traffic is probably the direction it is all heading.

It continues 'the evidence on the increased footfall, income, vitality and general attractiveness of local shopping streets and areas that have strong pedestrian, cycle and public realm is staggering. We should not make the false assumption that prioritising access by cars will deliver economic success, where more often than not, this is just not the case'.

While agreement on a weight limit is fairly universal some traders will still have to be persuaded if measures are taken further.

There are proposals for a cycle route from the town centre to Nailsea & Backwell railway station to provide 'a direct high-quality route, segregated where possible' and another from Engine Lane to Nailsea town centre with a segregated path along the north side of Queens Road and transition points to continue route along Mizzymead to town centre are included.

One of its stated aims is 'we will design and build infrastructure to give priority to pedestrians and cyclists over vehicular traffic and segregate paths away from traffic wherever possible. This will transform our transport network from spaces where people are ‘able’ to walk and cycle to environments in which they are ‘invited’ to walk and cycle...we will, as part of our Active Travel Neighbourhood programme, use a package of measures to prioritise walking and cycling, reduce vehicle dominance and improve public open space in town and village centres'.

And this will bit will please the Trendlewood people 'we will work with the police to identify the most appropriate tool to encourage drivers to slow down. These include Community Speedwatch, vehicle activated signs, mobile safety camera enforcement and static safety camera installation'.

And it concludes that the council is committing to its vision statement of ‘making walking and cycling the natural choice for a cleaner, healthier and more active North Somerset.’

The photos of the juggernaut in High Street taken this by Nailsea MicroPub

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boss Mark Ashman which we are told is a daily occurrence with even acement mixer trundling along was spotted this week.

To achieve the council aim it would need to implement:
• at least one Active Travel Neighbourhood pilot schemes per year (with a detailed review and prioritisation of each enabling the most successful to become permanent the following year)
• at least two 20mph zones per year
• at least one High Street or district centre active travel improvement scheme per year.

Nailsea Youngwood Lane 450-home development has a cycle/walking link to the railway station included in its planning permission.

The study concludes with listing 10 additional background papers/studies!
To read the North Somerset Active Stategy by downloading HERE.

Council leader supports walking and cycling

Ambitious plans to make it easier for residents to choose active travel options locally have been given the green light.

North Somerset councillors adopted the Active Travel Strategy at a full council meeting on Monday, July 19.

The strategy sets out plans to develop more opportunities during the next 10 years to ‘make walking and cycling the natural choice for a cleaner, healthier and more active North Somerset’.

The strategy aims to achieve a number of benefits locally including safe and frequent active travel to improve public health, a positive impact on carbon emissions, support for the local economy and development of active travel neighbourhoods.

North Somerset Council leader Don Davies is the Independent ward councillor for Pill.

He said: "If we're to be successful in encouraging more people to leave the car behind and travel more frequently using active travel modes, we have to make them an attractive choice.

"We have already made great progress in North Somerset with a significant increase in walking and cycling journeys in the three years before the pandemic, with a sustained increase in people opting to get out in the saddle or on foot over the past year.

"We have set an ambitious target of increasing walking and cycling trips by at least 300 per cent by 2030.

"This ambition will focus us on ensuring that the North Somerset transport network and its users are contributing to carbon neutrality as much and as soon as possible."

By delivering the strategy, North Somerset Council will help to create and reshape environments that provide equal access for everyone and not just those with access to a car.

"There will be less dominance by the motor car to create greener, safer and more active environments for local people, businesses and visitors.

"The benefits of increased active travel to both physical and mental health

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are clear, but the strategy also hopes to boost the local economy by encouraging shorter journeys and increased trade with local businesses.

A public consultation on the strategy was conducted between November and January 2020 -21.

91 per cent of respondents agreed that an increase in active travel is needed to help North Somerset reduce its carbon emissions from transport. 77 per cent of respondents agreed that more should be done to give priority to pedestrians and cyclists over private motor vehicles wherever possible.

The strategy is available on the council's website.

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First Bus issued this advice:

Wearing masks

We are following government guidance and recommend all customers wear a face mask whilst on board. Please remember that this is a personal choice and not everyone may wish to wear a mask.

Ventilation & Cleaning

We will continue to ensure that all windows are left open for additional ventilation in addition to our enhanced cleaning regime which will remain in place to keep you and others around you safe.

Social distancing

All seats will be in use from Monday, July 19, and our buses will return to full capacity making sure we can take you to where you need to go.

Paying for your journey

Where possible avoid the use of cash and continue to use contactless on board or buy in advance using our mobile app.

For more information please visit our website here https://www.firstbus.co.uk/help-and-support/coronavirus-information.

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Let us transport you...

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A Nailsea coach company which moved to Felton during the pandemic has lots of summer trips on offer.
The business which was began in 1947 by funeral director Arthur Davey, and named after his wife Iris and her favourite flower, has moved seven miles up the road from its former base at Clevedon Road.
Its core business includes transport for schools, community groups and companies with holidays and day trips also on its timetable with large, medium and mini coaches available.
Blue Iris Coaches which employs between 10-12 employees and runs 12 vehicles is open for business but sadly not in Nailsea its ancestral home.
The slogan says: 'Let us transport you...' to book call 01275 851121, email enquiry@blueiris.co.uk or go online at https://blueiris.co.uk/.
Summer trips link is https://blueiris.co.uk/day-trips-summer-2021/.
Its full address is now Unit 2, Park Farm West Lane, Winford, Felton, North Somerset, BS40 9UD.

Random sample for Mori road survey

Now here is an opportunity as 3,300 random North Somerset residents are being asked their views on the council's highways and transport services – from the condition of roads and footpaths to the quality of cycling routes and facilities.

The survey is being run by The National Highways and Transport (NHT) Network a collaboration between local authorities across England and parts of Scotland with a common agenda – service improvement.

The answers will then be compared with the views of others from across England and Scotland in this year’s National Highways and Transport Public Satisfaction survey.

North Somerset Council is one of 111 local authorities to sign up to the standardised survey that will ask participants up and down the country exactly the same questions, whether they live in Southampton, South Tyneside or North Somerset.

The survey, which is being run for the 14th year, is the largest collaboration between local authorities offering the opportunity to compare results, share in best practice and identify further opportunities to work together in the future.

The questionnaire will be sent by Ipsos Mori to a minimum random sample with local and national results to be published in late October. As the survey is based on a sample, residents who receive a copy are urged to take part to ensure the findings are representative of the full range of local views.  

Residents who receive the questionnaire can complete the survey online using a short URL link printed on the front of the questionnaire, where they will be required to enter a unique code before completing the survey.

North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon is the Independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking.

He said: “Our roads perform well on the annual highways and transport survey and we have made real progress providing an efficient network in recent years. 

“We want to keep improving so that our network caters to all needs, offering everyone the chance to share our roads however they choose to travel - whether by car, or increasingly on foot, by bike or using public transport. 

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“The environment is also vital to us and we’ve set an ambitious aim of making North Somerset carbon neutral by 2030.

"Transport accounts for a significant percentage of local carbon impact, so it’s crucial our roads, footways and cycleways are the best they can be so residents have the option to safely switch to more sustainable modes of travel. 

“Findings from the survey are vital in helping us to understand how our transport network performs in a national context, so we can identify what we’re doing well and where we can improve, working toward another year of high network performance.”

The network provides an environment in which members can measure their own performance, compare with their peers and identify areas for improvement.

Latest Nailsea bus timetables

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First Bus says passenger safety and comfort on board is priority.

During lockdfown local authorities relaxed time restrictions on concessionary passes so pass holders can travel at any time of the day.

This was primarily aimed to assist travel to and from the vaccination centres like Ashton Gate.

If you hold a North Somerset Council concessionary pass the restrictions will be relaxed until Friday, June 18.

As government restrictions ease more people will be travelling.

This means you may have to sit next to a fellow passenger.

From Sunday, May 16, there may be changes to some services but as far as we can see it is Bristol and Weston-super-Mare buses.

On this page are all the current timetables for buses to and from Nailsea.

Passengers are encouraged to use the First Bus App which can track your bus live on a map and down capacity.

Bus Passengers

Top travel tips:

  • Face coverings: Always wear your face covering on board our services unless you are exempt according to government guidelines.

  • Getting on and off the bus: Please be patient while getting on and off and do not queue in the aisle or next to the driver. If you are able, please sit upstairs when possible leaving lower deck seats for those less mobile.

  • Paying for your journey: We request where possible that customers pay by contactless or buy in advance on our mobile app which also helps keep our buses running on time.

  • Ventilation: Please leave windows open for additional ventilation.

To download a timetable which is current until further notice click on bus numbers on this page.​

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X6-X7 Saturdays except public holidays
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Bike buddies get onboard

A way for seniors and people with limited mobility to feel the wind in their sails is by being a passenger on an electric powered trishaw.

A trishaw a bit like a rickshaw a small, light vehicle with three wheels for carrying people or goods, and pedalled by the operator.

Someone in Nailsea came up with the brilliant idea being pioneered by Tyntesfield Medical Group of putting together a group of 'bike buddies' to take people on rides around the town.

It is fast becoming a global phenomenon and a way of those with good fitness levels to interact with people not so spritely..

Have a look at this website HERE to learn more and if aged 18+ email helen.todd@nhs.uk for more details about volunteering.

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Festival Way crossing improvement

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BEFORE

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AFTER

Festival Way cycle route runs from Nailsea to Bristol and is used by commuters to the city and those who like to enjoy the North Somerset countryside on two wheels or two legs.

And now to make the route safer a crossing for people both walking and cycling has been installed on the popular Festival Way by the B3128 at Ashton Court Estate.

The project has been delivered by North Somerset Council, working with the walking and cycling charity Sustrans.

Sustrans identified the crossing near Ashton Court Estate as a priority for improvements after a nationwide audit of the National Cycle Network.

The charity subsequently allocated £140,000 of Department for Transport funding to North Somerset Council to deliver the safety improvements.

The new signal-controlled Toucan crossing creates a suitable place for all path users - including those with adapted cycles, tandems and cycle trailers - to safely cross the high volumes of traffic on the B3128. 

The improvements will connect the Festival Way to Bristol, and to the recently built traffic-free route through Ashton Court.

North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon is the Independent councillor for Hutton and Locking ward.He said: “The Festival Way is a popular, key route. It brings North Somerset residents to Ashton Court and on into Bristol and allows Bristol residents to access the North Somerset countryside and towns on foot or by bike.

“We are very pleased to have collaborated with Sustrans on this project, which will improve the safety at an important and well-used point on our walking and cycling network.

"Giving more people the infrastructure and opportunity to lead healthy and active lifestyles will help us meet our goal of becoming a carbon neutral district by 2030.”

Sustrans head of partnerships Jon Usher said: “We’re really happy to see this scheme completed.

"As one of our Paths for Everyone projects, the work aimed to make this traffic-free route more accessible, safer, and more enjoyable for all.

“Enabling more people to walk, scoot, wheel or cycle for their everyday journeys is essential to tackling the climate emergency across the West of England.

“By providing this improved crossing, North Somerset Council is taking an important step towards making active travel an attractive and real alternative to jumping in the car.”

As well as the new crossing, visibility has been increased on this stretch of road by removing low-level vegetation and raising the crown of some sycamore trees.

This is to help people using the crossing, and those driving on the road, to see one another.

Additional funding from the Joint Local Transport Plan met the total cost of the scheme.

Cyclists

Free cycling lessons

Life Cycle UK offers free adult cycle skill sessions for anyone living in North Somerset aged 18+.

Each lesson is tailored to the rider and moves at their pace.

Whether it’s help finding the safest route to work, tips for tackling tricky junctions, or general road skills, the sessions can help adults onto two wheels.

Anyone interested in these three-hour training sessions can find out more at www.lifecycleuk.org.uk/cycle-training

Life Cycle UK is a registered charity that was founded in 1999 and now works with 9,000+ people a year.

It believes that cycling has a central role to play in improving individual lives, local communities and the environment. 

Its mission statement says: 'The bicycle doesn’t contribute to congestion, pollution or the general degradation to our urban environments.  It allows people to travel easily, conveniently and cheaply to access jobs, education, services - and to visit friends, engage in community life and feel connected to their surroundings.  It is an affordable from of independent travel accessible to most able bodied people, and some disabled people; it offers a non-weight bearing form of exercise, allowing people of all ages to keep physically active; and it helps people maintain good mental health." 

Increasing levels of cycling has a key part to play in tackling the Climate Emergency, Air Pollution Crisis and Obesity Epidemic.

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Patent Pending

Catalytic converter. Exhaust system of a

A Nailsea car mechanic has invented a security device to stop thieves stealing catalytic converters.

And Nailsea Auto Electrical boss Rick Hand has applied for a UK patent for his AntiCat System.

Rick said: “Our AntiCat System attaches to the catalytic converter and to an audible alarm to deter the thief from stealing the part of a vehicle’s exhaust which contains precious metals.

“Damage caused by thieves trying to strip a catalytic converter can caused insurance claims of between £2-3,000 according to the AA and in the worst-case scenarios have seen motors written off entirely.

“With so many North Somerset victims we have taken it upon ourselves to come up with a solution.”

A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants by catalyzing a redox reaction.

The brazen thieves appear to target cars parked on driveways and favour Honda, Toyota and Lexus models.

There have been reports of thefts of this type in Ashton Vale, Backwell, Long Ashton, Nailsea, Yatton, Weston-super-Mare and beyond.

Rick added: “For £169 we can fit our anti-theft device.”

But it isn't all dash cams and batteries for this motor business which offers a  door-to-door service.

With the best in diagnostics, knowledge and lots of patience there isn't much mechanical they can't tackle.

Nailsea Auto Electrical can be contacted by phone on 01275 261005 or via by Facebook messenger.

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For current timetables for X8 and X9 from Nailsea via Wraxall or Backwell to Bristol and back click HERE
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RESTORATION ROADSHOW: A classic car fan in Valley Gardens, Nailsea, has parked his C-reg Ford Capri in the road minus its wheels but plus road tax and insurance. From a distance it looks as if it is on skis but once fully restored the vehicle could be worth thousands of pounds. The 1980s vehicle is fastback coupe built by the Ford Motor Company between 1968-1986, designed by American Philip T. Clark, who was also involved in the design of the Ford Mustang. It used the mechanical components from the Mk2 Ford Cortina and was intended as the European equivalent of the Ford Mustang. The Capri went on to be a phenomenally successful car for Ford, selling nearly 1.9 million units in its lifetime. A wide variety of engines was used in the Capri throughout its production lifespan, which included the Essex and Cologne V6 at the top of the range, while the Kent straight four and Taunus V4 engines were used in lower specification models. Although the Capri was not officially replaced, the second-generation Probe was effectively its replacement after the later car's introduction to the European market in 1994. While Ford marketed the car as ‘Ford Capri – The Car You Always Promised Yourself’, the English magazine Car described the Capri as a ‘Cortina in drag’. An iconic 1980s Ford Capri made famous in The Professionals and Minder was reputed to have sold for £45,000 by The Sun newspaper in 2018. We can't wait to see what the fully restored Nailsea car looks like...STOP PRESS: We are told the road tax has run out and they are coming to take it away...need a tow truck as it is can't be driven! STOP PRESS 2: It has been removed by tow truck

Firefighters driving ambulances ends

SWASFT 3 - Ross Morgan and Chris Attree.

Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) concluded its additional support to South Western Ambulance Service (SWASFT) with the final wave finishing at weekend.

During the 18 weeks of support, staff from AF&RS provided 238 shifts driving ambulances and responded to 787 incidents – including more than 80 category one incidents. 

Throughout the course of the support, 32 staff from wholetime, day crewing, on-call and corporate staff drove two additional ambulances based at Nailsea fire station and co-located at SWASFT’s Bristol Ambulance Station.

Those involved were added to a weekly shift rota and the support was spread out across the organisation to ensure AF&RS maintained operational availability.

The move followed an agreement between the National Employers, National Fire Chiefs Council and the Fire Brigades Union to support local authorities and the NHS.

AF&RS station manager and volunteer lead Iain Campbell said: “Working with SWASFT throughout this difficult time was a fantastic opportunity for our staff and the service, but also meant we could support our blue light colleagues in a new and proactive way.

“We know that SWASFT’s modelling showed they would need extra resources during COVID but our staff put themselves forward in unprecedented ways to help, support and ensure there were adequate resources to deal with demand.

“We are incredibly proud of the ways in which we responded.

“The good feeling from the public during this time has been amazing and it’s been great for us to be able to offer this support to a fellow Service at this time.

“This situation has shown how flexible and committed our staff can be when striving to protect our communities during exceptional times and how we can collaborate and strengthen each other.

“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with both organisations learning a lot about the other, how we both work and ways in which we can continue to strengthen.

“I would also like to thank the staff that supported this from a logistics point of view – Lee Comley and Victoria Williams-Locke – who worked tirelessly to ensure it was a success.”

SWASFT was the only trust in England which approved fire service support to drive on blue lights and already some on-call firefighters have secured roles with the organisation as Emergency Care Assistants (ECAs).

 

Support statistics:

  • Staff from AF&RS responded to a total of 787 incidents

  • Staff from AF&RS provided 238 shifts

  • Firefighters picked up additional safeguarding work such as fitting a deaf patient with pillow devices

  • From the first support request on in mid-March, trucks were on the road within just 15 days

  • Not one staff member developed symptoms of COVID

  • 12 members of staff will remain trained in case of a second spike

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Yatton on-call firefighter Michelle Crossman said: “This has been an incredible time and I am so happy that I was able to support.

“As on-call firefighters, we are often at the heart of the community and this was just another way in which we could support and assist.

“I learnt a lot from my time with SWASFT and hope partner with the organisation more in the future.

“We worked very well together and it is easy to see the benefits this brought to both organisations."

In March, SWASFT formally requested the five South West fire and rescue services to provide ambulance drivers as part of its Covid-19 response.

SWASFT invested in a fleet of 15 additional ambulances, which were driven by 45 volunteer firefighters across the South West 24/7.

From mid-April, they attended lower priority calls with ECAs, but from the end of June, they worked alongside paramedics to respond to all categories of emergency.

The firefighters, wearing their usual uniform, responded to more than 4,500 incidents during the first three months of the scheme.

SWAFST interoperable capabilities resilience officer Derek McCullough was responsible for setting up the scheme.

He said: “We are extremely grateful for the invaluable support we’ve received from all the region’s fire services since April, which has truly benefitted our service to patients.

“This partnership has been a really positive experience for both emergency services.

"AF&RS has helped to make a significant contribution to our patient care and our ability to respond to increasing demands on our service.

"Their support and teamwork has helped to make this project extremely effective.”

Tacks on Nailsea roads wreck tyres

​The malicious vandals who scattered screws, nails and tacks on Nailsea roads appear to be back - for the third time after a space of several months.
In January this year motorists in Orchard Road, Southfield Road and on Trendlewood reported punctures due to metal tacks being scattered along their roads.
In April 2019 at least seven cars suffered flat tyres after nails and tacks were strewed along nearby residential roads.
Neighbours in Chapel Barton, Cherry Road and Orchard Road recovered handfuls of the nails of various lengths which damaged their vehicles.
On Sunday, September 6, it appears the nail sprinkler was back in action.
Hundreds of nails were collected from Union Street, Chapel Barton and Orchard Road.
More than 8,000 were reached on the Nailsea People Facebook page with many saying their vehicles had suffered flat tyres.And more than 55 left comments - here is a selection.
Kris Miller said: "I was in Nailsea last night, got up this morning to a flat front tyre, it has a large nail in it, could just be a coincidence of course!"
Matthew Day said: "This type of stupidity can prove fatal for motorcyclists."
Natalie Thorogood said: "My mum had a nail in her tyre today. Looked like one of these too."
Chris Perry said: "I'm not a builder but these look like nails used for roofing felt ... any roofers missing some nails?"
Paula Heasman-Walsh said: "Hmm, interesting, we live on Orchard Road and my husband had a flat tyre last week. My car was one of those affected last April."

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Leanne Bessell said: "I was affected back in April. I didn't realise more people were hit."
The matter is being investigated by police and Neighbourhood Watch has distributed warning letters in the affected areas.

UPDATE: Police are following up on CCTV showing a suspect seemingly caught in the act of showering nails on the road


NAILSEA NAILS: Photo of nails collected from Orchard Road, on Monday, September 7

Nailsea and District Community Transport

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