Friday, 12 December 2008

Bristol City Council, sit up and LISTEN

Manchester has voted NO to a congestion charge.

Manchester's public transport is fucking YEARS ahead of Bristol's. The trams are excellent, fast, reliable and cheap. The buses are also pretty good (although not so cheap due to being run by First) and STILL the public voted NO by an overwhelming majority.

Our publc transport is third world in comparison to them.

Think about this.

Don't you fucking DARE try and introduce a Congestion Charge here in Bristol. The public transport is so catastrophically terrible that you can never, ever justify it.

You might plan BRT routes and "Showcase" routes - it doesn't matter. Manchester's public tranport will STILL be better and the city's residents STILL don't believe there's justification for one.


AngryDave said...

Our public transport system is shockingly shit!!!!
It is cheaper for me to run and insure my motorcycle than to use public transport, and i dont have to wait around for hours or be late for everything.

My younger brother has to use the bus to get to college, and is fed up with drivers ignoring him when he is waiting at the bus stop, and just driving past him. On monday he was running for the bus, slipped on the ground, and slid right under the bus, right in front of the driver. The driver did not even stop and just closed the door and pulled away from the stop, with my brother underneath the bus. Luckilly he was not injured and a passerby helped him, although the bus carried on it's way.

Chris Hutt said...

Dave, I think you can take it that congestion Charging is a dead duck, at least for the next 10 years.

The question is will the funding remain available for BRT and GBBN when the modal shift from cars to public transport cannot be delivered (without congestion charging).

They might try the 'parking charging' route instead, as is already being promoted, in Nottingham I think. The idea is that any major employer has to pay the Government for the parking they provide for their employees. You'll love it.

Bristol Dave said...

Chris - yes, that was referenced in one of the documents I took down from my blog (in hindsight I shouldn't have bothered, I may well put it back up again) which although slightly out-of-date (as it mentioned the BRT route running through the cycle path) highlighted a large area of North Bristol to have workplace parking charges.

This was of particular concern to me as North Bristol doesn't really have a problem with congestion (which is usually the justification used for these things), so it seems they're thinking of other ways to arbitrarily charge motorists.

As for the congestion charge - I would hope that it was a dead duck but I'm not completely convinced yet. BCC's TIF bid had strings attached of "demand management" (which is an umbrella term that can encompass pretty much anything they want, including Workplace Parking Charges, RPZ, and Congestion Charging).

Chris Hutt said...

I think BCC / WoEP have a more fundamental problem. Their whole transport strategy is based on projections of economic growth that are now in the realms of fantasy.

Without the economic growth (in fact with the reverse) there will be no urban expansions, no big population increases and no increases in car ownership and use. The latter may well decline.

So congestion will decline in intensity for the foreseeable future. So why spend masses of money that we haven't got on 'tackling' it? In short, doing nothing is definitely an option (see Venue's excellent Severn Bore column on this).

Bristol Dave said...

I agree about car usage declining. People I know (including myself!) are definitely using the car less, despite the cost of petrol dropping as it has - this is probably because we know these price cuts are temporary.

In my case, I have petrol running through my veins (can you tell? :-P) so my reasons for driving less and cycling more are purely health related - if it got more expensive to drive, I'd just make sacrifices elsewhere rather than giving up my car completely.

I'll definitely see if I can catch that Venue column, thanks for the heads-up.

AngryDave said...

Dave, i think you have hit the nail on the head, and this is why so called 'green taxes' will never work.
We need our cars (or motorbikes), and nothing will stop us needing them. All that increased taxes and high fuel prices do is mean we have to make cuts elsewhere in our lives to keep the car.
No matter how good public transport is, it is no substitute for the convenience and freedom that having our own transport offers us.
I live in Hartcliffe and work shifts, outside of Bristol, and there is no public transprt that caters for my needs. But, i dont have to sit in rush hour traffic.

Bristol Dave said...

But surely the number 75/76 buses, with their subdued and respectful patrons, suit your needs perfectly?


AngryDave said...

Dont get me started with the patrons of the 76/77 service. I grew up in Hartcliffe and still live there, and i dont remember there being so many inbred retards around when i was young.

Eriks said...

Hello Dave!
Your comment with regards to third world is quite funny!
I lived in several cities in the UK and a few countries in the world (not taking the places I have visited into account) and Bristol is certainly the worst public transport service I have experienced in my life.
How can you expect people think about the environment and CO2 emission when you can't be certain you will get to work on time? I lived in Brazil (wich is a third world country) and bus services are extremely reliable. If a bus does not turn up and you can't get to work on time, as it often happens in Bristol, you can even sue the bus company.
Bristol's transport the problem is due pure lack of administrative competence which becomes a concern not only for those who depend on public transport but for those who has any environmental conscience.