Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Avonmouth from above

Here is a photo of Avonmouth docks taken in March 2009, camera focal length 55mm
All those built up areas on the edges of the docks are car parks full of cars that have been unloaded and are now sitting, awaiting purchase -purchases nobody is making.

Here is a photo of Bristol from above, focal length still 55mm. That green strip is Purdown camp; the M32 is to the right of it, Lockleaze and Horfield to the left. The proposed new north-fringe cycle city route comes through there.

Without altimeter data there is no way to be sure, but unless the plane was losing height after take-off, the amount of space dedicated to unsold cars at Avonmouth, is about the same as Horfield and Lockleaze combined.

No doubt, then the owners of Avonmouth Docks will be pleased by the announcement that the government is offering 2000 pounds for scrapping an old car when you buy a new one. Why not offer the same amount for anyone who scraps an old car and joins a car club? Or gets a year-long train season ticket? Or even, dare we say it, a bicycle?

The best bit is that it doesn't matter how bad the CO2/mile rating of the car is, any new car will do. If this was to be a green budget, then restricting it to low CO2 emission vehicles would be the way to do it.

8 comments:

mike said...

Those pictures are crazy!

SteveL said...

Thinking about the altitude a bit more, I wonder if planes do lose height when they turn -the clouds in the horfield shot do seem closer. Someone would need to play with google maps to measure the length of a known road in the centre of each shot to get an accurate estimate.

Chris Hutt said...

I've been hunting info on the scrappage scheme. The gov money is £1k to be matched by the car seller. The £1k from the seller would probably be negotiable anyway. So it's really just £1k, limited to 300,000 cars or by end of March 2010, so total cost to gov £3m but fuel duty rises 2p/litre in Sept which will more than claw that back. So net effect is that most motorists subsidise a few motorists (those who can afford to buy a new car). I think that's generally known as regressive taxation.

tag said...

For a more down to earth view of all those unborn cars, try the Portbury section of the Avon cycle way, which skirts the perimeter fence of the vast carparks in your photo. It's an alarming experience.

PeteJ said...

Complete with high wire fences to protect the poor, vulnerable cars from the ever present danger of marauding bicycles.

SteveL said...

I should add that there is a mistaken assumption in the posting: as the plane gains height, more stuff will be viewable from the window, so that the Avonmouth car park sprawl may actually be smaller than Horfield. Some measurements are going to be needed, along with a photo-shoot down at the waterfront.

Chris Hutt said...

I was puzzled about that. You don't say which picture you took first, but assuming Portbury then that would explain why it looks nearer, because it is.

The appearance of height also depends on the 'attitude' of the plane, meaning whether it was flying straight ahead or banking left or right. In the latter cases the same camera angle from the window may point down more directly to the ground (if you are looking out of the side into which the banked turn takes place). Or vice versa.

Lee said...

To Chris Hutt, I think that you'll find 300,000 multiplied by £1,000 is £300 million. Maybe you should be the next chancellor.