Tuesday 2 March 2010

BRT still planned for the Railway Path? Have they forgotten?

While listening to the cycle campaigners whine about features to see which one we should award a prize to, we heard one of them complaining that apparently due to pressure from South Gloucestershire council, the Bristol-Bath Railway Path is still on the route map for Bus Rapid Transit.

Now, we in Bristol Traffic don't use the path, for obvious reasons: pedestrians and bicycle routes are not for us. Readers may suspect therefore, that we are in favour of this proposal. No we are not!
We  are opposed to any plans for BRT here because we remember the whole 2008 BRT-on-RP debacle.
Within a few months of  the proposal becoming public, cunningly slipped out in a survey of transport users arranged for a weekday when all cycling representatives were meant to be at a meeting in Oxford, a joint campaign between the people living along the path, and anyone else in the city who used it, got the council to change their minds. A success for them, but a disaster for us, the pro-car pressure groups.
  1. It was only going to be for buses: no benefit unless buses got removed from other routes, yet they wanted to keep the existing bus lanes around.
  2. We don't like bendy-buses as they are harder to overtake compared to double-deckers
  3. We may not like the path because cyclists and pedestrians are always walking or cycling to and from it, but having buses go to and from it would be worse.
  4. The economics are atrocious, and it will fall to us, the road-tax and petrol-tax payer to fund it. We have enough government and banking misjudgements to pay for, thank you very much, given we live in a country whose financial problems are somewhere between Greece and Portsmouth F.C.
  5. It created the militant cycling and walking activist organisations we now have to deal with. Before: a few losers who would sit in a pub and complain about how traffic lights endanger them. After: many more losers who sit in a pub and smirk about how they get the council to fix traffic lights that endanger them.
  6. Their protest blocked the city for a day. Yes, they protested on a Sunday, but you weren't driving a minicab, being blocked on Baldwin street and when you start shouting to the cyclists about MOTs and road tax, having hundreds of protesters argue back.
  7. The Evening Post betrayed us. Day one, on our side "tough actions are needed". Soon, sob stories of walkers and cyclists on the path, from nature lovers, from other people standing in the way of progress. We can no longer trust them. Last week for example, a whole week's coverage of the parent school run and resident parking plans: no criticisms of cyclists, even in the comments. Even the B.T. Approved-commenters, the mad people who have their browsers set up to use green fonts for their comments as it reminds them most of green ink, switched sides.
The WoEP targeted the Railway Path for BRT even though the economics sucked because they felt it would be politically less controversial than anything that went near the M32. Well, they were wrong, and they created the enemy we all have to deal with today.

We do despise those path people and their park -look at out our past coverage - but it was  these BRT plans that started this mess. If the WoEP wants to finish off some old unimplemented plans, they should dredge up the Motorway-over-the-harbour plans from the late 1960s, the ones North Somerset commuters will really appreciate, not this anti-car but still anti-bicycle disaster that will only make things worse,

Speaking of the activists smirking in their pubs, some people may have heard the rumour that a member of the Bristol Traffic team will be giving a presentation at the Bristol Cycling Campaign meeting in the Cornubia Pub on Thursday March 4, 8pm. We deny any knowledge of this, and suspect that it may be someone pretending to be from our organisation to give us a bad reputation. If it is one of our team members, we hope that they denounce the troublemakers, give them some advice on how to drive, and get bought beer from the cyclists' tax-avoidance money.

1 comment:

harryT said...

Does anyone know under what statutory powers BCC and BANES own the railway path ?

Is it (i) the Highways Act as a public highway (ii) as parkland under the Open Spaces Act (iii) any other Act ?

How they hold the land will influence how you can challenge the BRT.