Friday, 17 June 2011

Tesco Stokes Croft: did FirstBus torch it?

There are lots of theories about who torched the new Stokes Croft Tesco
  1. Some squatters made petrol bombs and tried to torch the mini-mart in a protest against supermarkets.
  2. Lots of drunk people reacting to the police blocking their road home.
  3. A group of hardend "black hat" anarchists secretly infiltrated the city, created a riot and then retreated to a nearby pub, returning two weeks later to the Anarchist Bookfair to buy the Banksy memorial posters and then resell them on eBay.
  4. An active service unit of Stokes Croft street food vendors torched it as any supermarket outlet selling chicken only five days past its best-before date would raise expectations excessively amongst their existing customer base.
We have a new one: Firstbus did it. Watch this video, taken before 18:00 on a weekday, to see why.

See how the vehicles coming from Bath Buildings only have time for the front two to pull out on red before the cars coming down from Arley Hill get out and block the junction. Then Cheltenham Road gets the green light, and all vehicles heading into the city get held up -including two FirstBus buses. What is happening?

The answer is, out of camera, a parked car is blocking the bus lane. This stops buses from getting through, and it stops any car coming off Arley Hill and heading left towards Ashley Road and the M32 nipping in to it and heading off to the motorway without being blocked in the tailback stemming from the bearpit.

This holds up cars, but for the buses it is worse: it holds up the entire schedule, on which they can pay financial penalties.

This then, is who has the most to lose from a Tesco on Cheltenham Road: FirstBus management, whose company will pay fines caused by short-stay shoppers parking in their bus lane, and whose bonuses and stock options will be threatened. These people had far more to lose than Slix or Ritas, far more to gain than the anarchists could make from reselling Banksy prints. This is why we believe that the police should study their CCTV camera footage for the signs of any FirstBus bus going down this road after 11pm. Normally all FirstBus buses would be in bed by then, so any bus going down the road is clearly full of FirstBus operatives, planning to create a riot, destroy a supermarket, and so avoid penalties for late bus schedules.


Slug said...

For some unknown reason (can't think why!!!) lots of vehicles seem to like parking there now.... and as far as I can see it causes a backlog way up the A38 to the Zetland Road junction at least.

SteveL said...

Seen that too. I think the vans parking there legitimises the activity.

At least when sainsburys put their mini-mart on the zetland road junction, they made sure there was a no-parking layby for shoppers that didn't block traffic.