BUILDING work is due to start in March next year for two new schools in South Gloucestershire.

After years of delays, builders will finally get to work on constructing a new primary school and high school in Lyde Green, opening to the first set of pupils in September 2026.

The schools will be built next to each other on the eastern end of Honeysuckle Road.

The primary school will provide a new home for Lyde Green Primary School with 420 places, while the secondary school will provide 900 places for children aged 11 to 16.

The two schools were originally due to open in September last year, but the project was hit with delays due to the pandemic and inflation.

South Gloucestershire Council bosses welcomed the progress during a cabinet meeting on Monday, December 11.

Schools hit by a 'number of false starts'

Labour Councillor Ian Boulton, co-leader of the council, said: “Lyde Green remains a missing link which affects not only the immediate vicinity but the ripples affect the whole authority.

"After a number of false starts by the previous administration, we had to effectively take a standing start to deliver these schools in Lyde Green.”

The council has now taken legal ownership of the land where the schools will be built. Fencing is also going up on the site.

Both the primary and secondary schools will be built at the same time, and opened in September 2026.

Contracts for the work are expected in February next year, with construction beginning in March.

The new schools are sorely needed due to the quickly growing population in Lyde Green, on the north-eastern edge of Bristol.

Gazette Series: Lyde Green Schools - photo by South Gloucestershire Council Lyde Green Schools - photo by South Gloucestershire Council

Concern over lack of school buses 

One knock-on effect of the delays is that children in the area have to travel a long distance to get to their school, due to the lack of local places, but some struggle due to recent cuts to bus services.

Conservative Cllr Liz Brennan said: “There is a lack of school buses in South Gloucestershire and this is impacting parents and carers in their school choices.

"For example, there is still no guarantee for long-term plans for the Winterbourne Academy school buses, KLB [Katharine Lady Berkeley’s], and Castle School.”

Several bus routes across the region were axed earlier this year, after council leaders failed to agree to raise enough money to pay for unprofitable services.

Former Conservative council leader Toby Savage said Dan Norris, the Labour mayor of the West of England, should pay more for bus subsidies; meanwhile Mr Norris said councils were responsible for this.

Gazette Series: Lyde Green Schools - photo by South Gloucestershire CouncilLyde Green Schools - photo by South Gloucestershire Council

"We’ve picked up a historic nightmare" says council 

Liberal Democrat Cllr Chris Willmore, cabinet member for education, said: “Long-term, the only solution to some of the issues is getting the Lyde Green schools open as quickly as humanly possible.

"The fact is we just don’t have enough secondary places, so people are having to make journeys they would otherwise not want to make.

“Fewer young people will have to travel enormous distances every day to school.

"The ideal is you get every school up to such a standard that everybody is going to their local school, and hopefully they live much closer and within walking distance from their schools.

“We’ve inherited a position where parents have voted with their feet historically, in relation to which schools they go to. And therefore we’ve picked up a historic nightmare.

"We’ve been doing our best to rescue school transport and buses. For example from January we’re changing the timetables for the Winterbourne buses, so that they will be better for parents.”