Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Sustrans route 4 open again

Woodland road, full of walkers and bicycles

Because the roadworks are gone, the cyclists dismount signs gone, the path open. Now students can walk or cycle all the way to the university, which is on the other side of Tyndall's Park Avenue

Some people -and we know who you are- will bemoan the lack of safe crossing facilities on a busy road leading to Clifton. Given the traffic lights at the junction of Tyndall's Park Avenue and Whiteladies road, 200 metres to the right of these pictures, lack a pedestrian crossing period -and that for a route used by taxpayers as well as students- there is no reason to add any safety facilities to this crossing.

Students are young, fit and fast. On the person with luggage is going to be at risk.

Over in London, Boris wants to shave six seconds off every green man crossing. This is to reduce congestion and increase traffic flow, possibly handling the consequences of his rollback of the western congestion zone and the big-car premium tax. The official walking speed is now 1.2 metres/second. Anyone going slower that is either a tourist or someone elderly or unfit.

Over in New York, campaigners are pushing for longer crossing times, to help the elderly, advocating a speed of 0.75 metres/second.

But that is the US, with privatised health care. In Britain, with the NHS, the old, the frail and the unfit are often a net cost to society -they cost in health and pensions, and bring in little tax. Having a crossing policy that penalises the slow with death reduces the long term costs to the state, and so saves money.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Safer Routes to School

There is an initiative called 'Safer Routes to School'. It is designed to encourage children to walk to school.
As you can see, it's a collaborative scheme whereby the parents that drive their children to school help protect those that walk by allowing them a single-file route, safe from the road.

Of course, some parents are better than others at providing protection. As Volvo R748CCL illustrates.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

The council visits Lockleaze

We know that the polis only come out to lockleaze in force, but has anyone noticed -so do council vans?

Two vehicles always end up parked on the pavement when they are visiting. Why is this?

The (anonymous) contributor of this photo says that "the driver of one of the vans came out and accused me of being that Bristol Traffic person". No, they are just one of the Bristol Traffic people. Anyone with a camera is free to take entertaining photos and send them to bristol.traffic at gmail dot com. Entertaining, with non-libellous commentary.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Align and Commit

It may seem that these cars are double parking in front of a bike lane, and certainly there is a bike lane just behind, in Elton Road, which now has a google street view, one which forever documents this parking option.

If you look closely, you will see they are not blocking bicycles. The clio PE05CUH has positioned itself perfectly to stop cars turning into the one-way street, so avoiding the problems which plague Nugent Hill. It has put enough of a gap between it and the BMW parked alongside for a bike to get through.

It would be tight, because your handlebars need to get through the gap between the two wing-mirrors, which rules out ultra-wide MTB handlebars. MTB bars would still be recommended though, as after you get past the cars you will either need to bunny hop over the kerb build-out or zig-zag round the corner tightly. This will make the commute into town more entertaining for anyone, yet as they are parked cars, far less hazardous than having to deal with oncoming vehicles giving you the same amount of room, which is what you would get if you went through Montpelier in the morning rush hour.

This is not Monty, it is Bishopston; the part of town where the local residents have been successfully campaigning for the council to do something about inconsiderate cycling. Do be careful then, when solving this "problem" by hopping the kerb, that there are no PCSOs around to ticket you for abusing the pavement.

Friday, 27 March 2009


Contributor "TG" posts in a couple of pics from London, showing what innovation they have for bicycles under Boris Johnson.

First, an area where you can train for Europe cycling on the other side of the road, where a short stretch of lane switches from one side to the other. It is a pity that the photographer did not stop and video this junction in use during the rush hour, as it cold be, well, entertaining.

Elsewhere, we can see how vendor-sponsored junctions give product placement opportunites to London companies.

This reduces costs and enables more bike lanes to be rolled out.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Could you squeeze it onto the pavement a bit more please?

Here's a lovely example of crass illegal parking which plagues Bristol. Doubtless the owner has some ready made excuses, which we will now examine:

1) Its doing no harm. Sorry, but it's encouraging others to do the same. It's illegal,anti social and you have no right to use the pavement as a private parking space.

2) You can walk around it. Yes I can, and so can folk on their way to the RNIB (institute for the blind)centre down the street. Why should they have to walk in the road or through the dog-muck strewn gravel?. Oh, and would you mind if I parked my bicycle in your hallway?. I'm sure you can 'walk around' it.

3)I don't want my car damaged. Still doesn't give you the right to park on the pavement. If you live in the flats opposite then you should have thought about living in a narrow street before buying a car. If you work locally, others park larger vehicles legally so this excuse is void.

Pavements are for pedestrians, not cars. red car owner take note, you're just as bad.

Parking or turning?

Lovely bit of traffic calming here. As you approach, you cannot tell if it is a car pulling in aggressively or someone just parked. This forces caution, more than the dashed-give-way hints ever do.

It is only once you get close you see that WV070PW is parked, and therefore not a risk

Weekday mornings, Clifton. This is the part of the city where Carol Voerdeman is complaining that some essential freedom would be lost were it ever to embrace residents parking. Yes! the right to park with one wheel just about near a corner in a german car is an essential part of Britishness. We must stand up and fight the oppressive state now, lest this right becomes something whose loss we can only mourn!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Reflective Clothing is Bristol Cycling Chic

There are some bike sites: Copenhagen Cycling Chic, London Cycling Chic, that advocate wearing fashionable clothing as you cycle round their cities. Two things those cities have in common: Flat, near the north sea, and hence cold and windy rather than wet.

Here, waterproofs are a good year-round item to wear. We in Bristol Traffic think that everyone in the city should have a good one, ideally with reflective bits. Because even pedestrians need to be visible at night. But cyclists even more so

Take this cyclist, that is busy cycling from Bath Buildings to Arley Hill. She is wearing reflective clothing and even the bike wheels appear to be reflecting. This will make her visible to traffic, especially that going along Cheltenham Road in both directions, which they are doing while this cyclist loiters by the traffic island before sprinting over the next half of the road.

Such reflective clothing means that such cyclists will be seen when they cross a main road on a red light. This shows how safety-conscious Bristol cyclists are.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Safety Warning

There is a warning sign in the middle of the cycle lane in Stokes Croft. This could be dangerous.

But not here.

The TNT delivery van DK57EHB is stopping anyone from cycling into the sign.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Two-wheeled terrorists

I sit (or kneel, to be precise) astonished at those wacky Danes attempting to increase the proportion of Copenhagen journeys by bike from 40% to 50%. I feel sure there must be an order of magnitude problem there - 4% to 5% would be dangerously high but within the bounds of possibility - else how could Bristol, with its vast traffic problems caused by an excess of intemperate bicyclists running lights, riding over the tops of police cars, and the like have received the accolade of "Cycling City?"

Surely bizarre ideas like these have no place in sensible discourse:
the city removes snow from cycle tracks (as they call their paths) FIRST, not last (or never)
they had installed 5000 new bike racks in just the last three months
To make cycling easier and more convenient than other modes, they are promoting a so-called "green wave" system where there are essentially no traffic lights for cyclists
Madness. Utter madness.

htt city of sound for the link

The Former Bristol Bus Network

Gloucester Road on a Saturday morning. A queue of people outside the bread store. If you don't know why they are waiting, come down some time and get some of their chocolate croissants. the mini doughnuts go down well with kids, too. But plan your visit carefully if you want to come by bus.

Because that bus stop, the one with bus stop painted on the road in front of it isn't a bus stop.

There is a big sign "This bus stop is no longer in use".

Perhaps it is still there awaiting a pick up in traffic? Perhaps the advertising revenue justifies it existence. We think a sheffield rack under it would provide some dry bike parking and not inconvenience anyone at all.

As more of the FirstBus routes get shut down and rolled back, using their former bus shelters as bicycle parking would be a valuable contribution to a cycling city.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Effective Physiotherapy #2

Here on this bright morning we can see another patient for the BRI physiotherapy unit practising their leg exercises, here by carefully reversing their golf up a bike lane and hence under the archway of this building.

Somehow the car Y956NLF has managed to get onto the pavement facing out -probably driving up onto the bike lane from Cotham Hill, then backing up onto the pavement at the dropped kerb. This will take careful clutch control (knee and quadriceps) as well as lots of arm/wrist/elbow work for the steering. A quick massage and stretch and the day's exercises will be complete

If the driver turns their head to look backwards, neck muscles too.

And there they are. You wouldn't notice they are there. By parking this way they do appear to be leaving room for another vehicle in front -maybe this is intentional?

(PS: please, no comments from random physiotherapists round the world hoping for some linking from our site. The comments will be deleted)

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Safety Feature

The van K329PHW parked in the bike lane just by the Stokes Croft/Ashley Road junction is making the junction safer for bicycles.

That lane is a way to die, as the left turn lane is to the right of it. If a bike turning left comes up the inside of a car which turns over it, death. If a bike tries to go straight on while a vehicle turns left, death. The safe option for this junction is to acquire and retain the entire left hand lane, then either turn left or go straight on (into the bike lane there), as appropriate. Yet the signage misleads bicycles and sets up the wrong expectation in cars
  1. By parking where it has, the van makes it clear to cyclists that they should not be in that lane.
  2. By taking up half the left turn lane, the van stops cars, buses and lorries from using that lane
  3. Therefore, it the lane becomes a bike-only lane. This is exactly what you need to get out of this junction alive.
Some people may be worried that the sudden appearance of vehicle across a bike lane and half the traffic lane may catch traffic out. This is why another vehicle is parked half on bike lane, half on pavement further back along the lane. This will push the bike out into the traffic lane, which is where it belongs.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Like a police state, only funnier

We have stated before, and we will repeat it: this site is a community effort to build a community version of an oppressive police state, with the goal being friendly and more humourous. Less "Orwell", more "George", and we will do that in partnership with Google and Yahoo!, and use logos like cuddly toys to make everything seem friendlier.

This week's contributions, then, are a New York Times article on how Apache Hadoop is commoditising Petabyte-scale datamining. It is, and you should all give the yellow elephant the respect is deserves. When we start our large-scale datamining experiments this is the tooling we will use, though for some reason the NYT didn't ask us for any quotes, or use our plans as an example use of the technology.

Meanwhile Google, provider of free storage for the blog, has just added Bristol to streetview, with a lovely photograph of a bike-on-bike collision in City Road.

View Larger Map
It appears that someone heading to Stokes Croft has gone straight into someone crossing the road on their own bike. Google have managed to snap the collision mid-wipeout, and you can just see the unhelmeted rider about to hit the ground, while the other rider, the one apparently going across the road, manages to bail out standing, which is a slick little move, though his bike does come out on the bottom of the pile, which is less good.

Given all the cars are waiting at the lights, there is distinct likelihood that the cyclist in the bristol-chic fluorescent top was running the red light. For all ghost-riders out there, remember, we only put up photos of those who get captured on film, so please carry your own helmet cameras when you choose to run-the-reds on or near the A38.

View Larger Map
If you were involved in this collision, we would love to hear the full details. Please email us at bristol.traffic at gmail dot com.

Ashton Court: spring mud

Spring: last time to enjoy the snow before next winter, and in Ashton Court, last time to enjoy the mud before the summer rains return. It's not ideal though.

It's warm and dry enough that a lot of people are coming out, out without mud tyres, instead bringing all-round MTB tyres and the optimistic belief that they can get round without getting covered in mud.

These spring mountain bikers are trying to get round the course mud free, here skirting round the deep puddles.

This is widening the trail. It was tighter during the deep winter mud season; all these people trying to stay clean are downgrading the area. They should embrace mud and set their bike up for Bristol, not dryer places like Wales.

BMX-ers: most skilled riders in the city

Why is this BMX rider hitting the berm at speed?

For the same reason his friend did it: to get the speed you need to over the jump properly.

Eastville Park on a Saturday afternoon. No conflict with pedestrians, dog walkers, children or anyone else.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Delivery Man

As the Credit Crunch grows from a minor liquidity issue to something that takes down countries and governments, eating out is declining. Take aways are up. Sadly, some people are unaware of the local chain, Thali Cafe, serving premium quality vegetarian curries for 6 pounds for a meal for two, and instead want pizza, delivered pizza at that. Domino's Pizza is doing OK, though cost cutting issues have forced them to replace the scooters with driver-supplied cars, which is creating a bit of a traffic jam on Cotham Hill and then Whiteladies road, as videoed by local councillor Neil Harrison

According to Neil, "the driver with his car at the back of the area by Travis Perkins needed to get out, so they had to reverse three others back out first. He then decided that he needed to go the other way and so did an eight-point turn by the zebra crossing. Note also the car parked on the pavement outside Dominos again, making it harder for people to get around on both the pavement and the road."

The other time there is a parking issue is the morning rush hour, which appears to be the time that their pizza HGVs turn up. There is not much pavement to park on, but they manage to leave just enough room for a thin person to get by.

One might think that timing the delivery van MX03WXA to come after 9am would be better for traffic and passing schoolchildren -but the driver isn't in charge, the SatNav unit in the truck will be reporting him to the central Dominos Pizza datamining facility to flag that deliveries will take longer than expected, with the driver getting into trouble if they take too long.

Of the evening cars -which does make it harder for inebriated bar and pub visitors to get home safely-, Neil says "ideas to address this gratefully received."

Well, if reversing out is the issue, it may actually be better for them to reverse in and drive out; avoids breaking that "don't reverse into a busy road" rule. Otherwise, the more people who opt to get their meals from the Thali Cafe chain, the better.

Corner-shop -sort-of

One submission to our photo documentary of corner shop parking comes from "Terry", who sends in this pic of a car pn the pavement/yellow lines by a corner shop on Moon Street, in spitting distance of Wilder House, where the council's walking and cycling team work

The shop is a painting of a corner shop, so really it should have a painting of a car parked in front of it. There is nothing of this nature on the painting itself, so this car WR06JFE is generously making it more authentic.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Free Parking in the CPZ

We all know about Bristol's prime free parking space - you just need to get there early to secure it.

But there are others - here's one of three or four at the old courts. Again, you need to get there early to nab it.

There are many others - we know some of them, but maybe you know of others.

Please feel free to comment. After all, with the help of this blog, we may be able to save the motorists of Bristol large amounts of money in these recession-hit times.

Monster Cycle

When is a motor cycle not a motor cycle? When it’s a Monster Truck!

Our St Werbian correspondent "DW" was on his way to a gig at St Georges on Wednesday the 11th of March and he spotted this amazing magic trick. This Mitsubishi Monster Truck AX56LAZ has transformed itself into a single Motorcycle and has quite neatly totally occupied the Motorcycle-only slot on Great George Street.

Better yet it’s totally jammed in by the car parking on the double yellows at the junction of Park Street.

When he came out of the gig – 2 and a half hours later – the truck was still there sans parking ticket.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009


Development is good. So I'm told.

Especially in these challenging times. Come on, it must be. It puts money into the economy, which is good. It keeps people employed, which is good.

So it's nice to see someone putting some money into the economy in Redland. Not constrained by the planning system (unlike the poor inhabitants of Clifton), and despite being in a conservation area, it makes perfect sense to spend something for the privilege to park a car in your garden. After all, an RPZ may sneak up Whiteladies Road at anytime. And it's certain that a Showcase Bus route will.

So it's refreshing to see someone bucking the trend in Sustainable Redland and paving over their garden. And dropping a publicly owned kerb. And removing unsightly paving slabs (they only crack when you park a car on them, after all). And putting in high-quality tarmac paving instead for the benefit of all.

Development. Let's all do it. For the sake of the economy.

Product placement policy

As one of the leading media outlets in the city, we are often asked what our product placement fees are.
1. Individual contributors are free to mention any local vendors of food, alcohol or other items of interest, with or without money or gifts in kind changing hand. If someone were actually to pay any contributor for a product placement, we could start think about tax deductable expenses, which could include cameras, computer bits and review visits to stokes croft massage parlours

2. We will also gladly advertise local companies and organisations that come to our attention. Here, for example, is a van WN05ZVB, from David Fear Electrical, across the bike lane at the top of Nine-tree hill.

That is David Fear Electrical Ltd, Back Stoke Lane, Westbury on Trym, Bristol, BS9 3QT, tel (0117) 962 1787, according to the information painted on the side of the vehicle.

No fee was taken for this placement.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Driveway engineering

We know that drives, even demi-drives are invaluable. They are the only way to use your car and park legally near the house on your return, if you live within walking distance of the city: Southville, Clifton, Cotham -same problem.

Getting a driveway, that's the problem. Montpelier has its pavement parking problem precisely because their gardens aren't deep enough for driveways, while in Clifton the driveways are there, but the conservation/listed building/terrace rules are biased against it.

How then do you get hold of one, how do you buy a parking space? Here's one way, and it's documented by the Clifton and Hotwells Improvement society, so it must be true. And there is a history up on the Planning Site, though without enough details to be sure. Treat this story with a pinch of salt -if we had the full documents we'd be more accurate.

Once upon a time, there was a house, in Richmond Park Road, Clifton. This is a Grade II listed terrace, and as part of the guidelines for consistent terraces, driveways are not allowed. This is why their 1997 application 97/00975/L was refused, "formation of new off-street parking space". Similarly, the 1997 application 97/03124/L was refused for "Widening existing access to form vehicle access", as was the similarly titled application 97/03125/H. There were two appeals made on the topic of these refusals in 1998, apparently withdrawn.

What also happens in 1998 is an Enforcement Enquiry, when the council suspects something is going on without them knowing. This is 98/30274/OTHER, "Unauthorised tree works. Change of use to flats." The case is closed -no details on the outcome of this or any other enquiry.

Everything goes quiet. In 2000, there's an enforcement enquiry. 00/30090/LB, "Works to front wall and installation of gate posts". Case Closed.

Again, silence.

Then in 2003, 03/02123/LA, Alteration to front boundary wall to include widening of opening and provision of new wrought iron gates and railings. This is the fun one -but sadly the documents aren't up online. According to local society, the need to get a double-width push chair in and out of the garden meant that the residents requested a wider entrance. It was granted, subject to condition(s). Again, those conditions aren't online. But the key thing: a wider gate is now allowed.

Yet what happens next? Enforcement enquiry 03/30519/OTHER, Possible creation of parking space. There is some suspicion that the newly widened gate is wide enough for a car to fit, and that people are doing just that with a SmartCar.

Apparently, the push chair turned out to have a motor. It still needs access to the road, hence the other Enforcement Enquiry, 03/30687/LB, Dropped kerb for possible creation of vehicular access, the council having the suspicion that the household, while nobody was looking, dug up the pavement and inserted a dropped kerb. Again, case closed. If there were secret plans to build a car parking area here, either it wasn't picked up, or allowed.

All is quiet on the parking space front until 2005 and 05/30059/CONSRV, Removal of front wall and creation of hard standing, -perhaps the owners have discovered the limited value of a SmartCar, and need something bigger.

Today, a Ford Escort and lots of notes asking people not to even consider parking nearby, "No parking, access required 24 hours".

It's a shame the planning site doesn't answer the question is this driveway and dropped kerb legal? If it isn't, there's probably nothing to stop anyone parking their own car in front of the driveway, at least when it isn't occupied by a car. It would be an amusing experiment, best done with a car you don't value, as we know that parking issues in Clifton can lead to fights. Perhaps someone from St Werbugh's can move a festival campervan there.

The other question is: how much money has the owner spent since 1997 to get this parking space. The applications, the appeals, the applications for a push-chair width gate, the hardstand, the dropped kerb, the handling all the enforcement enquiries. There is no way that the Keep-the-Parking-Free campaign can can say that a resident parking zone will deflate the value of a house, given how much it is clearly worth to these people -people whose house backs onto the Keep-the-Parking-Free central office.

(please let us know if you found this article interesting and amusing. It's a bit longer than normal, but funny enough that it merits coverage. If you like it, we will explore some of the other tactics needed to get a driveway past an anti-car council).

Sunday, 15 March 2009


Some drivers really are considerate. As X869BHR illustrates.

By not taking the soft option and parking half on a pavement and half on a cycle lane (which inconveniences both pedestrians and cyclists), instead the car is positioned half in the cycle lane and half in the road. Which probably inconveniences cars and large cyclists.

Thin cyclists (but not tricyclists), however, may continue to use the cycle lane - protected from Gloucester Road's motorised traffic. Which is really considerate.


I'm old. I'm grumpy. I used to be a punk (probably still am).

I still have a lot to do with live music in this city. So I go to many gigs - mostly in Stokes Croft. One of the better parts of this fair city. I've never had an issue here, and nothing has ever happened to my bike in that part of town. It feels like a really friendly place late at night (but I am a big bloke - so maybe others would disagree).

Unfortunately, some gigs happen in the 'Strip', which I'll define as Corn Street to Blackboy Hill - it takes in The Centre, Park Street and Whiteladies Road too.

These gigs are generally fantastic - Mr Wolf's, Mother's Ruin, Start The Bus, The Folk House, St George's, The Cooler - all in or close to the 'Strip'. These venues exist outside the normal constituency of 'The Strip' (by which I mean tacky clubs, 2 for 1 drinks, etc., etc.).

They are rather special - and are mostly ignored by the binge drinking gangs of [insert whatever type of person you dislike wandering around at 01:30 in the morning here].

The deal for me, though, is that if I want to go to one of these gigs I have to interface with these people sooner or later. Usually later. I usually do it by cycling up Park Street, quite late and quite quickly. Simple.


I did it a couple of weeks ago - taxi to The Cooler, then walked home at about 23:30. Awful. No wonder some people are scared to go out at night!

I did it tonight. Cycled to the centre, into Start The Bus, great gig, out at 01:00 to find my bike (watched over by CCTV and bouncers) had been vandalised and the front wheel removed. Probably in the docks by now. So dragged the carcass of my bike home. Past the other vandalised bikes at every other 'Cycling City' Sheffield stand provided by our Council.

58 (yes 58) times the same stupid comment was made, by an oaf, or gang of oafs, about a missing front wheel as I carried it up Park Street! Morons.

Lucky for me I'm slightly older than I used to be. Violence did not feature tonight. But I am livid.

I wonder if city centre CCTV actually works?

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Ofsted Revisited

In an unprecedented response to our Ofsted Report , it seems that motorists from all over the country are flocking to Bristol to prove that we're not the only city with a literacy problem.

Last month it was Essex and Reading. This month Birmingham's BX54FVC,

GV57LWM from the 'Garden of England' ,

and CF04HLD from South Wales

all prove they are as illiterate in their particular areas as we Bristolians.

Interestingly, though, they have researched the exact location featured last month, so they can obviously read a map.


Friday, 13 March 2009

Corner shops = corner parking

We think everyone needs to stop being "surprised" by the fact that wherever you have a little grocery shop or newsagent there are vehicles parked outside -regardless of what the signs say. Just as we've all grown used to the drive-in-free parking superstores, so the little shops in the city have to meet those same expectations -and the only available parking outside such shops will be yellow lines, zebra crossings and the like -short stay parking only, because everywhere else will be occupied by commuters and residents.

It does mean, of course, that when companies like Tesco apply to build another Tesco Express outlet, the reality of customer access has to be taken into account. Rather than pretend that double yellow lines will ensure that all customers come to shop by sustainable transport, all those lines will do is ensure that there is a low-cost short stay parking area for customers in a hurry.

Here we have Tesco Express Clifton, approaching it from the side. The no-parking signs are here to ensure that there is visibility at an otherwise dangerous junction. Today, though, it provides somewhere for the Tesco HGV WX05GXL to unload.

And behind that, a dairy truck SF05KHU. There is only room for one customer to park between the two vehicles.

Looking from the other road, you can see that visibility it totally nonexistent. The dairy HGV is partly on some zebra crossing lines, the Astra going past it has to be partly in the oncoming lane, and the car turning into this road will have to get about half-way out before it can see what is happening.

It is impossible to blame either of the HGVs for parking here. This is the only place they can park to unload their foodstuffs into this Tesco Express outlet. The underlying problem is the decision of Tesco to put in an outlet here -because they have prioritised their revenue above road safety in the city. It's different spreadsheets, see. Tesco don't have to pay parking fines on any ticketed customers; they don't suffer if someone walking, cycling or driving round gets injured. All they care about is the customer segmentation and the fact that BS8 is a high-revenue postcode where they lack any significant retail presence.

Somewhere in Tesco central will be a GIS mapping system showing the revenue opportunities of every postcode in the country and highlighting those areas where the customers are some distance from a Tesco outlet. When combined with their loyalty-card data, they can even datamine which Tesco outlets do have customers from this area, then look at the contents of their shopping trolleys to see if the BS8 customers who do shop at the Tesco Golden Hill store buy more high margin items than other customers, and so decide which items to include in the portfolio of goods to put on the shelves of the mini-outlet. Then the same HGV that delivers round to the big stores gets directions on its satnav, pops over Clifton, unloads a few crates, and then pop off to the next destination.

This is something other areas in the town that are having issues with Tesco's plans need to include in their opposition to those plans -there is no way that you can safely have multiple HGVs delivering on aggressive schedules without seeing things like this. We see it Clifton. We see it on Bedminster's "pedestrian" road, where Tesco have to park to unload as their vehicles are too big to unload round the corner. Knowle will get to see it soon too.

This then, is our photo submission topic for the week. Vehicles taking advantage of the corners of corner-shops to park there while they pop in to shop. Send the pictures to bristol.traffic at gmail dot com, and we'll discuss why parking there is so important.

Pavement Blockweed

I have an allotment. Keeping the weeds under control requires prompt and regular attention: failure to deal with weeds can make them extremely hard to eradicate, and many spread rapidly, popping up suddenly in other places due to fast growing underground suckers.
Vehicle parking seems to have parallels: This is Upper Cheltenham Place, Montpelier prior to 'pavement blockweed action day'

As detailed on this blog the aggressive attack on this 'pavement blockweed' led to weed free pavements (below)

....though neither bike nor pedestrian have adjusted to the new weedfree space and prefer to use the road. The pedestrian in particular seems to be wandering in a state of shock)

The purge lasted for around 10 days, then as always the green shoots reappeared...

and in three weeks it was fully regrown.

The local police unit are no doubt doing their best but the growing season is upon us:
it takes a lot of resources to keep weeds under control. On neighbouring Ashley Road, patrolled by a different police unit, a lack of weeding over the winter has allowed the pavement blockweed to take hold in several places:

This weed W659VGC has been allowed to take root here for five days without any attempt to uproot it. Possibly this is the front garden of the flats next to the pelican crossing but fortunately hasn't yet spread onto the zigzags, which are there for the safety of those crossing the road.
Similar weeds (Y403WDO) have taken root outside the Criterion pub -the manager clearly isn't a gardener.

We do not resource the police to do pavement weeding more than occasionally, which is why we also pay the council to do it. Bizarrely, some people have been complaining that Bristol City Council Parking Services are completely useless at dealing with this problem. Really? Seriously? Obviously, its the Allotment office we should be calling.
So what are the options?
The traditional approach is to spray with chemicals: Not for me, I prefer organic approaches, but in weeding terms that means dig it out. No thanks.
I like the permaculture approach: call it a 'Pavement Blockweed Control Workshop'.
All you have to do is provide free cider, decide to work with nature instead of against it and watch your friends cover it with fruit bushes, comfrey and nasturtiums.