Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Apparently Americans don't 'get' irony.

Here in Bristol we thrive on it.

Especially at the Zoo.

Car Park.

On the Downs.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Early Adopters

"Early adopters of new technologies are said to reap greater rewards".

At least that's what an IT guru for a large construction company once told me after I'd told him I couldn't run anything ending in .exe, because I was using an Apple Mac. Still not sure what his point was, however...

With a new government comes early adoption of some clear and sensible thinking on at least two fronts.

1. No more speed cameras.

We like this. After all, we're careful drivers when we want to be, and with the cameras gone we can concentrate on cutting up the tax dodging cyclists at speed without fear of retribution. We might even be able to take out a few jay-walkers and get away with it too.

2. No more clamping on private land.

Again, a brilliant move. We'll be able to park on anyone else's driveway without fear of intimidation and extortion.

So we're particularly impressed with these early adopters, Skodas WR08OVK and WM08EZH, who've ignored the sign promising they will be clamped, and managed to spend quality time outside an ex-IMAX without being clamped.

Here at Bristol Traffic we believe it's important that we manage to catalogue these vital new parking opportunities, as they come on-stream, so that we can sell them to the wider driving community at a later date (for a profit, of course).

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Letting down the white-van side

White vans. It's not just a great vehicle for urban use, it's a lifestyle choice. Buy one, and you are part of a community.You drive around with your copy of the sun, a stack of yellow parking tickets and the remains of a bacon butty on your dashboard, you stick one elbow out the window holding a phone to your ear -and you belong. A friendly nod to the other vans, cutting each other a bit of slack. Not just a transport options, we, the under-respected white van drivers are the ones who hold our city together. Regardless of whether its a big job or something that just needs an AA battery, taking the van out makes a statement.

Which is why we are sad to have this photograph -taken from our van- of someone clearly carrying building equipment on a bicycle up Dovercourt road.

If he'd been in a van, he'd have been one of us, welcomed. Instead, well, of course we had to cut him up while sounding our horn. He didn't have a helmet on, did he?

Friday, 27 August 2010

Anarchist Hippies

It's happening all around the world, apparently.

Graffiti. Just plain wrong.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Pedestrian plays Frogger

We like the site Fight Bad Driving ; it gives us ideas. But where do you see them denounce pedestrians? Never. The AA does, as usual, months behind us, and then only for not paying attention to our midlife-crisis sports cars or our parental-crisis 4x4s. We, are the only site prepared to come out and denounce pedestrians just for being there, in our way, on the pavement, the zebra crossings, and acting like these places belong to them, instead of us, the tax paying motorist.

We are pleased, therefore, to get a new video with commentary from Rhode Long, showing why pedestrians and bicycles together are a danger to our vehicles:

Rhode says:
If pedestrians are going to jump red lights then they should do so when there are not cyclists around. Had this one on Southmead Road been a second earlier it might have resulted in the cycle swerving into the side of my car. Dents from people pull out quite easily but a cycle is full of pointy metal pieces that will cause scratches to the paintwork and necessitate a re-spray. 
We concur. And neither of them would have been insured, would they? Did that pedestrian have a helmet? A license? They shouldn't be allowed out.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Local Parking

Gloucester Road, Pigsty Hill, call it what you like. It's got Local Shops for Local People.

And local people know where to park for free, even on busy days.

KV04MWE may not originally be from around these parts, but shows us where to park if you need some asparagus, or a punnet of strawberries.

Here we see an obviously more local car, WV06LYZ, correctly positioned to interact with the community, taking up less space on the road, and generally being more considerate whilst it's driver partakes in a leisurely latte with friends.

Almost continental.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Keeping the Abbey Wood shared use paths in good condition

Drainage Services are busy up by the MOD Abbey Wood area in the North Fringe, keeping the drainage in a bit of S. Gloucs well drained.

Some people might think that it is somewhat antisocial blocking an entire bike/foot path when the dual carriageway alongside has almost no traffic, at least not until the tailspin housing estate sells some more houses.

But think about it. Badly drained bike paths force cyclists into the road, where they could interfere with us.
Furthermore, this particular path enables a combined bicycle and supermarket journey, in which the shopper cycles to the A4174 Sainsbury's and pushes both the bicycle and the shopping trolley home. This is not possible on on-road, vehicular cycling routes. These people should be grateful for getting such an open bit of pavement to share with pedestrians, even if we hate them on the other pavements.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Picton Square open for 4x4 parking again!

We are pleased to announce that despite the best efforts of the local street activists, someone has knocked down one of the bollards on Picton Square, so providing somewhere for vans and 4x4s to park when visiting the nearby shops.

This is technically a bike path, but, well, who cares?

Update: Quercus claims that SC51MXS is their vehicle.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Trouble on Happy Lane

We've covered the Happy Lane buildout before, a nice place for a car with a lampost to protect your wing mirrors from passing traffic on Ashley Down Road. Not so happy today though.

Something has gone into the Fiesta FD03LLW hard enough to damage the front and trigger the airbags. What could do such damage to a car safely parked on the pavement?
Further up the road, we get a hint of the probable culprit: the ever present lycra-menace on our pavements
this means
on the pavement
It is only through enforcing such rules that our parked cars will be safe.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Gary Hopkins: what do people have against him?

After the evening post denunciation, all was quiet on the Cllr Hopkins front, and down in St Werburgh's someone even stuck a painting of him up on the Mina Road tunnel.

Yet no sooner does Cllr Hopkins appear in the news boldly pushing a 20 mph zone in this part of the city, someone takes the spray can to the art
This is like pulling down statues of out of favour leaders in eastern europe -while they are still in power

Friday, 20 August 2010

Bristol Traffic and your privacy rights

A while back, we documented how selfish pedestrians trying to squeeze past Hampton House hospital staff cars parked on the pavement forced the BRI hospital van WR58UMS to drive down a bicycle only contraflow and then park half on the pavement, half on the yellow lines, and keep the door open to reduce the risk of any bicycle damaging their paintwork.

Our reporter also says that the driver warned "if a photo of them appeared on the web site, they would be prosecuted".

This raised an interesting question, one we raised with the Information Commissioners Office,  namely what are the data protection rules surrounding photographs of vehicles in public places.

We now have a response
From:  casework at ico.gsi.gov.uk
Date: Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 11:22 AM
Subject: Data Protection Query[Ref. ENQ0341761]
To: bristol.traffic at gmail.com

19th August 2010

Case Reference Number ENQ0341761

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your email.

In order to fall under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 the data concerned must be personal data; that is data from which a living individual can be identified.  Vehicles and their registration numbers in isolation from any other information are not considered to be personal data.

As such its seems unlikely that the Data Protection Act 1998 will apply to the situation you outline.  You may need to ensure that you do not include images of the drivers when these pictures are taken as this could lead you into the area of data protection.

Obviously there may be other legal issues you will need to consider but these are not matters that this office could give you advice on.

I hope this clarifies the matter for you

Yours sincerely

Louise MacDonald

Lead Case Officer


The ICO’s mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment), please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. Unauthorised access, use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted.
Communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Therefore we strongly advise you not to email any information, which if disclosed to unrelated third parties would be likely to cause you distress. If you have an enquiry of this nature please provide a postal address to allow us to communicate with you in a more secure way. If you want us to respond by email you must realise that there can be no guarantee of privacy.
Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Information Commissioner's Office for reasons of security and for monitoring internal compliance with the office policy on staff use. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you write or forward is within the bounds of the law.
The Information Commissioner's Office cannot guarantee that this message or any attachment is virus free or has not been intercepted and amended. You should perform your own virus checks.

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web: www.ico.gov.uk
So there you have it. Cars with registration numbers yes, people on their own, OK, but photographs of the drivers with the reg nos, maybe. Interesting. We shall have to consider this. Good email signature.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Found: one van wing mirror

A wing mirror was spotted in Fairfield Road last week. It's probably gone now as anyone else whose van needs an MOT soon will have picked it up and duct-taped it together enough to get through the "has two wing mirrors" part of the test.

This is why it's always so traumatic when the DVLA hits Montpelier. A lot of people run untaxed vehicles not because the tax and insurance costs have to come after the RAC home recovery breakdown cover in terms of priority, but because the MOT has rules about the number of wing mirrors and the state of bodywork of vehicles, and it is impossible to meet those requirements and keep a car in Montpelier.

The War on Motorists will not be over until the government rolls out specific MOT requirements for different parts of Britain, of Bristol. In Stoke Bishop, for example, you'd fail the test for having an old car, anything less than Group G, and 2 wheel drive would only be permitted on two seater sports toys. In Montpelier, the wingmirror rule would be waived as unrealistic.Taxis would have a special "fail if the indicators and more than one brake light work" clause.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Spirit vs Letter

There are some new houses up on St Pauls Road, Clifton. The council forced them into putting in bike parking as part of their planning permissions.

Two per front garden. Room for four bicycles.
There's just one small flaw. Anybody who spends however much these premium clifton "city" houses cost is going to want to park their cars, multiple thereof. The designers of the houses realised this, and put them as far to the side of the driveway as you could get, allowing the owners to slide two cars in to each garden, from which they can reverse out safely onto this popular road.
As they all do.
This shows the whole futility in this sustainable housing thing. If the house plans require parking to be provided and bike parking, well, the bikes get the short straw. Yet the letter of the requirements "sustainable" has been met.

It would be better to recognise the futility of this design. Anyone in Clifton who does want a bike will get a fancy one and keep it in doors. All these do is take up space and threaten car doors.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Men: bicycles are not the answer to your mid-life crises

We like seeing Bristol on TV, and right now the TV show that has coverage is the BBC's Mistresses, one that shows pretty women driving round the city having extra-marital relationships with men who are also driving round Bristol. Got that? There's a link there: cars=sex. 

This fact is important as there a lot of press right now saying that the new mid-life crisis toy is not a sports car, a motorbike or a woman half your age -it's a racing bicycle. These articles are appearing both in proper papers and socialist rags.

This is wrong.
Men: whatever issues you have in later years -  a bicycle will not solve them.

You may have seen the Tour de France, seen Andy Schleck go to-to-toe with Contador in the Pyrenees, and thought "I could do that", but sadly, you can't. You just penalise the rest of us.

Oh yes, it sounds nice, and makes for some articles showing shiny bicycles against mountain backdrops, such as here, Crater Lake, Oregon. Oh yes, you can dream of such things while stuck in the traffic jams on the A370, or the M32.

But look at those mid-life crisis cyclists. Has it really solved their problems? No, they just fill their lycra clothing too much for everyone else to enjoy, and have strange looking legs. The one on the left: drinks too much beer for that top. The one on the right, scrawny, and apparently has not only continued with his bicycle obsession, gone on to come in at #5 in the veterans category of US Cyclocross rankings, and dragged his daughter in that same obsession.

Well, it's their choice, their money you may think. But as well as damaging the family, we, the motorists suffer. You don't see it in those news articles showing the fat men gasping up the mountains, but we know. We get stuck behind them on our trips to cribbs causeway when we get held up by packs of these middle-aged lycra-louts on their Saturday training rides up the A38. We get stuck behind them on our weekday commutes when their training regime mandates mid-week rides. We get stuck behind them when they spend so much money on bikes and bits that they can't afford to drive and have to cycle to work -on our roads.

We even get stuck behind them in the mountains.

The photo above may look nice, but this is the Going to the Sun Road,  the road from the opening scene of the Shining, the only road through Montana's Glacier National Park, a road that last month the Guardian listed as one of the "must visit" roads in the US.

Yet it is somewhere a single mid-life-crisis roadie could hold up line of Recreational Vehicles, each of which could be towing an SUV carrying a quad bike and a jetski. There to enjoy nature, to bring revenue to the area, not faff around pretending they were six again. At least in the US, they recognise this and ban bicycles in summer, but that just means these people ride up illegally. Whoever took this photograph was not only a tax dodging cyclist, they must have illegally ridden up this mountain pass which is rightfully kept free for important people. Us.

Yet still they come, naively believing that spending money on a bicycle, some silly clothing and then pedalling round the mountains is a noble thing to do.  Then there are these "sportives", which is where hundreds of them come out and block through traffic, such as here, on the RAMROD "Ride around Mount Ranier in One Day" event.

As the cyclists block our roads -here there are even signs up to warn us of the inconvenience- the rest of society pays the price of your inability to settle into middle age with a few beers in front of the TV.

For all those men who have been spending too much time loitering around at Fred Baker's, Mud Dock or that fancy shop at the bottom of Park Street, print out this article and read the points below before you fritter away your money.
  1. The main mid-life crises toys for men are sports cars, motorbikes, and a women closer to the age of your offspring than your own year of birth.
  2. Motor vehicles -especially the open topped car, help you get that woman on the side.
  3. Motor vehicles reward those with money: the more you spend, the faster it goes.
  4. It doesn't matter how much you spend on a road bike, you will still be overtaken by the 22 year old riding a fixie one-handed while texting a friend and smoking a cigarette
  5. That student girl you were after will find that 22 year old fixie-rider cuter than you.
Think about it. Open topped fast cars have a purpose, road bikes don't. 

More on this topic another day. In the mean time, we are watching you. Act your age -get a sports car.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Coronation Road Cycle Path

The Coronation Road bike path is a source of excellent photographs. It is also an item of regular contention in the comments section of evening post articles, the key comment being "why aren't you tax dodging cyclists using it instead of holding us up", apart from when the comment is "why are you cycle terrorists trying to run us pedestrians over all the time"

Well, we sent someone on a bicycle (it's OK, it was a Sunday) to ride the route. At the Bedminster End, we can see some tourist signs clearly marking the split between the pedestrian area (on the right), and the cyclist route -the faded markings to the left.

The approaching cyclist is on the wrong side, though the presence of the Bristol Traffic van (we were unloading the bicycle) may have been a factor. Note, however, the new signs up on the walkers side showing them the route to the Malago stream/footpath/bike path. We aren't entirely sure why anyone walking or cycling would cross just there, rather than at the pelican crossing right behind the camera, and we aren't convinced that signage was something this path was short of.

Anyway, on to the path. As you can see, the presence of large trees down the centre of the path does complicate things, as do the lamp posts, the road signs and other pavement features. Fortunately, for both us drivers and those cyclists, there no 20 mph signs. This road is deliberately kept at 30 mph, because the council recognises it is a key traffic route in and out the city, especially for somerset commuters coming in on the A370, A369 or even A4/Avonmouth Road. Since the council stole the Queen's Road dual carriageway, this is a faster route to drive to the Templemeads area from the nice places out of town.

Because of its critical nature as a key traffic route, it is essential that cyclists stay out the way, yet many of them don't. This video of the cycle route shows that anyone complaining about it is a whining troublemaker who should be grateful for what they get doled out for free. It also shows that they have forgotten the time when the path stopped at every tree and diverted them roadward, not pavementward. This not only annoyed the cyclists, but could inconvenience us drivers too, so we are slightly more pleased that now it is the pedestrians who are held up.

The big problem is the trees, not only do they force cyclists to swerve into the pedestrians lane at speed, they hide the signs in the middle of the path behind them, and could increase risk at night, especially from unlit cyclists. Fortunately, the many street lights positioned in the middle of the lane reduce the risk of a cyclist not seeing any of the many pieces of street furniture. Furthermore, there are now banners up round the city encouraging cyclists not to cycle without lights to reduce the risk of them hitting any of the trees here.

Looking back, we see no alternative option for this road. As we have seen from the Muller Road build-out which attempts to provide a safe cycle route on a main thoroughfare, that just creates congestion on a key access route for the city.

A better option would be to remove this route, and ban bicycles from Coronation Road. Even if they do cycle up the path, we know later on they will be in our way, in town. Saying "No bicycles welcome here", sets everyone expectations up clearly, but this this path only does it halfheartedly.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Farm Pub Path -one year on

With the Muller Road to Dovercourt Road Bridge now all mixed up in the sale of the Dovercourt Open Space, what does this mean for the Great North Fringe Cycle Route, the showcase of the Cycling City?

We have no idea. What we can do is check out the key destination of the route to date -the Farm Pub- and see how it's use has changed since we visited it last year, before the path was officially open. Has the opening up of more bicycle access increased the number of people who cycle there?

Well, there are a couple of bikes by the dogs at the entrance.

Two more people lining their wheeled UN/EU-conspiracy vehicles to an empty bench
In the rest of the garden, yes, every bench in use appears to be used by cyclists, many of whom must have nipped over for a pint or four of Doom Bar Beer.
Given the amount of tax you pay on beer, it's probably defensible: money saved from fuel can go towards beer, and at the outrageous tax rate there it evens out. And if they go there on the bike path they aren't taking up road-tax funded roads. But has enough extra beer tax revenue been raised by this single pub been adequate to pay for the path?

The other issue is that with the pub full of these cyclists, why would we, the motorists, drive there? Have they gained customers, or only chased away an equivalent number of motorists? And if so, who spends the most per evening? Us, the wealthy citizens forced by anti-motorist laws to only have 6-8 pints before driving home, or them, the tax-dodging cyclists who aren't harassed by drink driving legislation which the new coalition has failed to roll back, despite their promise to end the war on motorists?

Friday, 13 August 2010

Friday Brain Teaser (5)

The mansions of Redland, a conservation area.

It's Friday the 13th.

What could possibly be behind this?

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Secret Cotham Hill Parking

We like Cotham Hill. Some interesting shops, you can go up it fast out of term time, and there usually somewhere to park. But not always. Sometimes you need to think outside the box. Or a least, think of a differently shaped box. A red one, with four wheels on the front, perhaps, like the Vectra KD03LRV.

Subtly positioned on the corner, there is still enough room for pedestrians to get past.
Looking at the other side, you can see that the council thoughtfully provided a drop down kerb on the buildout to assist with this parking option.

The real problem is the parking on the road is all short stay: one hour. It ensures that there is turnover, but if you want to spend some more time -say a quick session at the Cotham Hill pub- you can't use them. The pavement, well, you can park there as long as you want.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Dovercourt Road -less forgotten?

There's an interesting sentence  in the council proposal to sell off the Dovercourt Open Space
it could be used in conjunction with the redevelopment of adjoining sites if proposed in the future.
Not wanting to do research ourselves, one of our reporters drove their van to the bottom of Dovercourt Road, the cul-de-sac where nothing happens, and waited for a pedestrian to come by, where we doored them (pavement side) and asked them some questions as they recovered. The open space area is to the left of this photo, incidentally.

Apparently the plan is to sell of the Muller Road bus station, knock down the three bungalows you can see behind our white van, and open up a direct link between Dovercourt Road and Muller road, instead of the turn off and traffic lights you have to deal with today. Looking up the road (open space on the right) you can see there is room to put your foot down here.
This finally gives people a reason to drive down this road. Fast. Normally the only visitors are outsiders who don't see the small turnoff that leads to the city and carry on down at speed. We know this as Josh Hart used this road as his sample of "a quiet road" in his comparison of three roads of equal widths and different traffic rates: Dovercourt Road, Filton Avenue and Muller Road. This was the road where people knew their neighbours across the road, where they talked to each other, something so unusual it made the national press, as well as the local magazine.

Josh's survey showed this road only gets 140 vehicles/day, which leaves them out from the vibrant heart of the city.
The opening up of this road to through traffic would let Josh write a followup paper, showing how social relationships change when a road that was a quiet cul-de-sac suddenly becomes busy.

It also has some very interesting implications for the North Fringe route. The cycle path was planned to bridge over the stream, meander through the open space and then the cyclists can turn right onto this dead end road. But if the Muller Road terminal really does go away
  1. This won't be a quiet turning any more, it will be turning right over through traffic.
  2. The road won't be quiet
  3. They may reroute the bike path
Frankly, we think they should just kill the bike route plan now. With direct car access to Muller Road there's no need for it,; the crossing of the former open space just reduces its resale value. And, with a nice fast route all the way to the rugby grounds, why cycle? Why not drive up? Park and walk, or, if we can get that historical access to Abbey Wood sorted out, drive all the way up to the MoD site?

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Motorist Persecution on Southwell Street

Southwell Street, a road "enclosed" by the hospital for parking. It gets the pedestrian and cyclist activists foaming at the mouth.

But what about is drivers? Is it any good for us? Look at the signs.

These parking bays are not
designated for public parking
you will be fined if you park here.

Then look towards Kingsdown. The road is closed, the slipway chained off, and on the pavement, they've stuck up bollards and gate things to stop us parking there even if we could get through.
We don't care that you can't walk down a pavement because of the things they've stuck up, we don't care that the gate stops cyclists. But if it doesn't even help us, the motorist, what exactly is the point of all these features?

Those walking/cycling people mutter on about sixty years of post-war motor-vehicle-centric city design, they go on about institutionalised motorism, but look at this road. You can't drive through it, you can't park on it. The only people who appear to benefit are the three or four UBHT vans that park on what was formerly a pavement. That's not institutionalised motorism -or if it is, it's a pretty mediocre implementation.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Selfish Cyclists

Frankly, we dispair.

Bristol City Council's endless persecution of motorists continues unabated, and their onslaught of cycle orientated facilities is now even affecting pedestrians.

Look at this photo. The council have installed new cycle parking on the pavement in Gloucester Road which not only means that pedestrians are inconvenienced, but it makes it much harder for the driver of 4x4 LWP28 to park up on the pavement.

To cap it all, an inconsiderate cyclist has chained their bike to the incredibly useful and highly necessary post erected as part of the Showcase Bus Route initiative, further depriving pedestrians and car owners of valuable pavement real estate.

When will it end?

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Kingsdown RPZ trouble.

Lots of fun following the Kingsdown RPZ plans. Apparently the local councillor is getting lots of hate mail. We think he should be grateful for the publicity, and considering how much grief his colleagues got on the Sainsbury's Ashton Gate proposal, be glad it's not death threats.

Anyway, the plans are going ahead. Some places may be removed as parking options. Even before the zone is rolled out, someone is ticketing cars parked on non-double-yellow lined pavements, such as here on Spring Hill. Now, this is a narrow road, and with the steps on the pavement either end it's hard to negotiate when there is a car in the way, but this is the summer holidays. The kids are out. This is a lovely bit of traffic calming, yet T198NEF gets to pay a parking ticket, for parking in a way that wouldn't raise an eyebrow in Monty, except the distance from the wall, the two wing mirrors and overall bodywork state would say "outsider". Here on a weekday in Kingsdown, it says "resident".

This is where we differ in our opinions from the No Group. They say "everything just about works, keep parking free". But does it work?  Because it doesn't take that many tickets on your car to justify the cost of a residents permit. So parking isn't really free, is it. It's only free if you don't get caught. That's like saying driving round is free because you don't need a tax or MOT. Yet those DVLA cameras watching us, watching the entries to the city, driving round the back street, find us, eventually. 

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Learning by example

Good to see people are already starting to learn by example and use the very effective "block the contraflow" method of parking as demonstrated in the local rag this week. Red Toyota Yaris WP57LFT has not only found somewhere very convenient to park on Stapleton Road, they've also managed to plug the entrance to the contraflow to Kensington Park. They've actually gone one better than the original example too by also managing to park across a double dashed give way line across a junction and on a double yellow line all at the same time. Sending the clear message once again that we're really not going to stand for the ongoing war on motorists and there's nothing you can do to stop us.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Bacon Roll opportunities off Muller Road

At last there is a use for the widened pavement on Muller Road -part of the North Fringe Cycle Path, which is still ongoing.

The sign lets passing motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists know the current cost of a bacon roll at the van round the corner, in front of B&Q. As you can see, this is popular. The van itself is the one in front, two Sita vehicles behind it, more in the B&Q parking area.

And there's the problem, see. Parking. This van and its customers need more space than this side road can provide. What to do?

Well, when we turn the camera round 180 degrees, we get an idea.

There's a bit of a stream, then a large amount of space. Unused space. Well, technically it's parkland, but as the council say, "it is little used other than by dog walkers" . They say that in the document which discusses selling off the site for development.,
Possible open space disposals in the Horfield and Lockleaze Neighbourhood Partnership Area.

In Horfield Lockleaze, two spaces have been identified as low value and are proposed for disposal. In some cases the value of a space could be improved by its partial development, allowing housing to be built facing onto the space and providing natural surveillance to the remainder. Then, what is often a poorly and misused backland site, can become of greater value to the local community and attract more people to use it.

See that? An underused bit of green space can be be made useful by development. Because a big wide bit of greenery, without housing overlooking, it's too scary to visit. We don't propose housing though, we propose expanded car parking for the bacon buttery van.

There you have it then. Wasted greenery -grass and trees- which could be redeveloped.

There's just one small flaw in the plan. As they say in their document
Planning permission has been granted for a cycle route through this space to connect Dovercourt Road with the road alongside B & Q and from there to Muller Road, this includes a long bridge over the stream. This will effectively divide the space into two.
Yes, while the parks team have been busy working out how to save the council money by selling off parkland, those road-tax-funded cycle route planner people have been busy getting a cycle route designed here with a bridge going over the stream. Oh, the irony! We relish in it! There they were, thinking they designing a nice route to cycle through greenery, using Bristol Council land over the railway land option -because it would be easier- when someone else was trying to work out how best to sell off the land, and, because there currently isn't any cycle traffic through here apart from the odd MTB-er who does the stream at the top, ignoring the extra throughput planned. We laughing, obviously, while the locals and cyclists are probably wailing and gnashing their teeth. Just think -if people drove onto this parkland for picnics, like they do on The Downs, it wouldn't be up for sale!

What do we think? Well, those people who like a bit of greenery and a bike lane through it ought be dropping a note to the Lockleaze Voice people, saying, how do we stop this? But we, well, we are thinking how best to salvage what could turn out to be a completely wasted foot/bike bridge. Our solution: use the bridge to get to and from the bacon roll van! Our road tax, put to use!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

The Kingsdown RPZ

As many readers will know, Kingsdown and some bits of Cotham have voted to become residents parking only.

When the plan is rolled out, it will be illegal for a non resident to park discreetly up on the pavement, the way N982WCF is doing on Kingsdown parade on a weekday.

Question is, will the residents be allowed to park on this pavement? That is, will the RPZ markings make these pavements locals only. If that's the case, then maybe Montpelier will follow them after all.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The mayor visits

Lovely story behind this photo -click on the link to get the full details from Gothick Matt on Flickr of his encounter of the Mayor's car 

What's impressive is not just that this is the second sighting of the car AE1 in our database, but that the photographer took the photograph because. as a Bristol Traffic reader, they've started to appreciate the things people have to do to park their car in the city -here on double yellow lines on a roundabout partially blocking the bike access.  We welcome such audience participation and are glad that Matt didn't cause any bother.

Incidentally, part of the Big Society theme is that we too may have our own elected mayor, "our own, personal, Boris". In the past, we have suggested that Carol Vordeman would make a good elected mayor. Since then we've moved on: the second tier former celebrity we want to rule us, to fix this city is Noel Edmonds! We support Noel Edmonds and his taxi for our own, local Boris!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Bicycles on Nugent Hill. Again.

One day in the week, our drive up Nugent Hill was interrupted by this woman pushing a bicycle with a small child on it up the road.

Madam, if you are going to push the bike up a hill, could you make it Ninetree Hill, which, having already been closed to cars, is not disrupted by a cyclist walking up it.
Later on in the week, something worse. The entire road closed while officials -in hi-viz- make some film shoot which apparently required no adults in the shot, and cars blocked from this road while these teenagers pretended to play.

Such media coverage will only reinforce the myth that teenagers should ride bicycles and roads are a safe place for them to do it. It is a an affront for our TV licensing tax to be frittered away on pro-cycling propaganda!

Still, if there is one thing that takes the edge of this offence, it's the Copenhagen Cycle Chic people complaining their roads were taken away for car adverts.  That evens things out.