Friday, 16 April 2010

BRI Hospital Parking access

We sent one of our expendable cyclists out there to see whether the new anti-bicycle, anti-pedestrian features would stop cyclists trying to use the pavement on Southwell Street. We hoped so, because it would discourage them from trying to cycle to the University, taking up valuable space on our streets. Sadly, our experiments -on a Sunday- showed that it is still technically possible for a bicycle to do it.

Of course, were it a weekday, when the main road option is blocked off, and the street full of pedestrians, attempts to cycle this way would create exactly the kind of bike/pedestrian conflict that we always complain to the Evening Post about as proof the cyclists are selfish criminals.

Some other findings.
  1. The painted pedestrian bit on the road really is meaningless: vehicles know that it is a road, and anyone walking on it is a tax dodger without any insurance -and that they have chosen to die.
  2. There's no way to get a wheelchair back up on the pavement, what with the dropped kerb being blocked off.
We don't care about the first of these, pedestrians should not be there. Disabled people? Interesting. In the video they carry on along the road, but remember, on a weekday, the barrier will prevent this. This raises some interesting questions about who owns the road.
  1. If the road belongs to the council and has been blocked by the hospital then the barriers are probably technically not-legal. This is a pity, as anyone who owns a driveway will be watching this case and hoping they can put barriers up on their bit of pavement, so that they can pull in more easily without worrying about passing schoolkids.
  2. If the road now belongs to the hospital, then it's just fallen foul of disabled access legislation and there's a risk that someone might grass them up to the DWP for falling foul of the Disability Discrimination Act.
Either way, it amuses us. Our biggest fear is that the council will now take a look at this problem, explore which bits of pavement are theirs, and not only force open this road, but take away the parking on the other side. We get lots of visitors to this site using the keywords "BRI Parking", presumably because when you get an invite to visit the BRI, the leaflet on getting to the hospital includes no details on parking. Instead it covers how to get there by bus and train, the timetable for the free bus from the station, where the bus station is. What the leaflet doesn't cover is where any free parking for the hospital is. Unlike the suburban hospitals in the city, like Southmead and Frenchay, there are no half-empty residents streets nearby, not on a weekday, and the council and hospital both refuse to provide free parking for visitors. This is unacceptable.

Many political groups in the city have asked us for our endorsement. So far, the UKIP transport policy appeals the most.
  • We like their plans to raise speed limits on M-ways to realistic speeds, though think 80 mph isn't that realistic -haven't they done the M5 northbound run recently? 90 is more honest.
  • We like their idea of introducing the turn-on-red rule, as it ensures that bicycles and pedestrians can't view a green light as a safe time to move. Walking and cycling are too dangerous in modern cities.
  • We like their idea of making free parking in hospital parking areas possible, though they aren't as strongly behind it as the SNP are, so we doubt that the BRI will benefit.
  • We like their proposal to remove all licensing issues on taxis other than roadworthiness, though we don't believe they have noted that taxis and minicabs have special MOT requirements: indicators and brake lights should be optional.
Our favourite option is their ability to make no cycling signs enforceable:
10.9 Local authorities should be given additional powers to enforce a ‘cyclists dismount’ or ‘no cycling’ regulation where there are safety concerns – such as on busy roundabouts, junctions or bus lanes, or where the road would be too narrowed by cycle lanes and cause unacceptable delays to traffic.
That's lovely. Where the road is too narrow for bike lanes, and the bikes would hold up cars by being in the way, ban them! Yet just before that, they say they approve of cycling for leisure

10.8 Cycling on safe cycle routes, lanes, tracks and trails should be actively encouraged, particularly as a leisure pursuit.
This is so wrong! Leisure cycling still encourages people to ride a bicycle, out there, singing Edelweiss or whatever families do on bicycle rides. No, leisure cycling is a crime. Stamp it out. Fortunately, they do that on page 33 where they propose re-opening the Yatton - Cheddar line, stolen by the cyclists and called "the strawberry path".

If there is one big flaw in their paper, they use metric measurements such as tonnes and metres as soon as page six. If they want to be free from EU interference, they should get rid of these EU counting systems and go back to yards, feet and lbs. Indeed, let's get rid of decimal values, go back to pounds, shilling and pence. Decimalisation is EU interference in our money!


Adam said...

It was quite difficult getting the free bus there at 3.40am Wednesday morning last week, so we had to use the car. Not easy driving when your partner is in labour and head butting you with each contraction.

You also have to move your car from the drop off point park in the car park, get the appropriate parking ticket bought from the machine, back inside and get it swapped for a 5 day pass by the staff at the delivery suite which they fill in with all your details by hand for you, and then back out and placed in your windscreen as soon as you have got your partner / wife safely inside the building, even if it means chancing missing the birth of your child. It's a great system and one that hundreds of parents to be enjoy every month during their labour.

SteveL said...

Well, we must congratulate you for not only having a new addition to your family, but for getting a parking space in the area on a weekday!