Posts Tagged ‘transport’

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Park Street could become part-pedestrianised

July 30, 2009

Park Street and the Clifton Triangle could become partly-pedestrianised “shared space” under plans being considered by Bristol’s council bosses.

It would mean no form of transport having priority, with pedestrians and cyclists sharing the road equally with buses, cars and motorbikes.

A similar scheme operates in parts of Ashford in Kent; the forecourt of Temple Meads station is also largely shared.

Park Street: a shared space?

Park Street: a "shared space"?

Jon Rogers, the Lib Dem cabinet minister for transport, said: “If you have a shopping street like Park street, the idea of everybody going slowly down that street, all being careful of each other, has some attractions.

“A lot of the time, cars don’t travel more than 10-15mph round the city anyway. Journeys tend to be stop start and people don’t make much progress.

“If we could do away with all the traffic lights in that area and people just made a gentle and careful way through those areas, you may find the time it takes to get between the Victoria Rooms down to the St James Barton roundabout might be less than it currently is.”

But the idea has already come under fire from Conservative leader Richard Eddy. He told Jones The News: “All too often, as with Prince Street, we’ve seen the Lib Dems default position has been to make life even more difficult for those trying to work and shop in Bristol.

“We are not a city that can afford to take this heavy-handed approach to the motorist, particularly in recession.

“The Lib Dem administration seems to be making life much easier for cyclists, and that’s something I support, but not at the expense of every other road user.”

The report to be considered by the council cabinet on Thursday afternoon claims the idea would “truly reflect [Bristol’s] Cycle City aspirations.”

The Park Street plan, along with other proposals for improvements to roads around the Colston Hall and East Street in Bedminster are being considered because money will shortly be available for infrastructure projects from the Department for Transport.

Council bosses are also considering building a new pedestrian bridge betwen the end of King Street and Redcliffe Street, to use money given by property developers.

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Bristol “should have free loop bus” in centre

June 29, 2009

The councillor in charge of Bristol’s transport system says we need to be “more ambitious” in improving the city’s transport system and should not rest on “old prejudices” about the way things work.

Jon Rogers is proposing to change the way buses run in the city, so that all routes go in to the centre, terminate there and turn back on themselves, returning via the same route.

He said: “We could have buses coming in to the centre and then going back out on the same route.

“You might have green buses coming down Whiteladies Rd, you might have red buses coming in and out on the Gloucester Rd and so on.

“Other cities do it and Bristol should be raising its sights and setting our ideas higher than we currently do.

“We tend to moan about our buses and moan about our buses. We should be looking for some solutions rather than focussing on the problems.”

This is different from the current system in which all buses go to the centre, but many routes then continue after a break and often a change of driver.

To make it work, he wants to see a free shuttle bus running in a loop between Cabot Circus and Queen Square to help people switch buses.

Jon Rogers proposes the free bus could be paid for by the council, or by local businesses who would benefit from shoppers being able to get around the centre more easily.

He also acknowleded the city’s bus system would remain poor while fares remained high. But he said the city faced difficulties reducing fares because of obscure government subsidy rules.

He said: “I’m looking for some innovative ideas in how we can reduce costs for the average passenger not just the concessionary passenger.

“My firm belief is that if off-peak fares were lower the buses would be fuller. If the buses were fuller there would be more profit for the bus companies but also a better service for the passengers.

Martin Jones interviews Jon Rogers

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Avonmouth roads “couldn’t cope” with new waste plant

June 22, 2009

An Avonmouth councillor claims the road system couldn’t cope if a new £40-million waste treatment and recycling plant is built in the area.

Conservative Spud Murphy has hit out at plans by New Earth Solutions to build the plant, claiming they are a “non-starter”.

New Earth has been given a multi-million pound contract by the four former Avon councils to process their wheelie bin waste.

Avonmouth

Avonmouth

Presently, everything in black bags gets sent to rot in landfill sites. This releases methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Instead, New Earth proposes to recycle and compost up to 80% of the area’s black bin waste by mechanically sifting it at a new plant, and then recycling recovered material as appropriate.

That could save the local councils and council tax payers as much as £44m, because they have to pay fines to the European Union for every tonne of waste that is landfilled.

Planning permission has not yet been granted for the facility, but it seems likely to meet strong local objection.

Avonmouth councillor Spud Murphy said: “Avonmouth does not have good road links. It can’t cope with the normal traffic, even before the recession. There are queues miles long.

“The recession means there are no containers coming in and out at the moment, but when it does pick up they just won’t be able to cope.”

He also expressed concern about possible pollution. He said: “These things start off nice, clean and tidy, but then you get rubbish blowing all over the place like any other waste depot. You’re also bound to get some pollution so I don’t think this one is a goer.”

But Peter Mills from New Earth claimed to #SITE_NAME# the site is appropriate. He said: We’ve chosen a location which is well fed from the motorway. And, as you know, Avonmouth is designated for industrial use.

“We are also located very close to Bristol City Council’s Avonmouth depot so a lot of the vehicles bringing waste to our facility will have been those returning to the depot anyway.

“We are hoping to build this depot with a marginal increase in traffic movements. Those movements will be controlled and they will only be using the industrial routes into the facuility and will not need to travel through housing areas.”

Audio: Martin Jones interviews Peter Mills of New Earth Solutions

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Aussie visitor shocked by rude Bristol bus driver

February 4, 2009

An Australian visitor to Bristol says she’s “shocked” at the rudeness of the city’s bus drivers after a First driver refused to help her find her stop.

Amy Wilshire had only been in the UK two days when she tried to get a bus from Brentry Hill to the Centre on Monday.

She told us: “I was trying to get to the centre, to St Augustine’s. But having been in the city only two days I had no idea where I was going.

“I asked the driver once I had bought my ticket if he could tell me where the stop was. But he simply laughed at me and said no. I thought he was joking at first but it turned out he was serious.”

Amy was helped by a female passenger who took pity on her and showed her where to get off the bus. But she says it was not the kind of welcome she was expecting.

Amy said: “I was really taken aback. I was very shocked that someone wouldn’t take five seconds to help someone else out who was new to the country.”

First told us that drivers were not required to help able-bodied passengers find stops. But a spokeswoman said: “We’d hope that staff would do what they could to be helpful to passengers where they can.”

She added: “”We were sorry to hear this visitor to Bristol was disappointed by the service she received. If she would like to contact us directly with further details we would be happy to look into it.”

Below: Martin Jones’ report on the story