Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Clifton Expanded Parking Opportunities -consultation

Back in 2011, we looked at the Neighbouhood Partnership proposals for Clifton, adding more parking under a guise which even we were impressed by "to calm traffic". That's a great lie -one to use the next time we get told off for double parking while delivering some of our special adult entertainment products to the Clifton area.

We looked at -and supported- proposals for

It's been nearly two years and we suspected this plan had fallen by the wayside, as the traffic planning officers cornered the councillors and pointed out that the political price of adding eight to ten more parking spaces to the area wasn't worth it. Assuming unrestricted parking on Pembroke road and Hope Chapel Hill, 6 more residents (i.e. voters) would get somewhere to park overnight. If the clifton village parking added an extra four spaces, with a 2h limit, then an eight hour day would add 24 parking opportunities. That's 30 votes overall -max. Yet the political capital spent up on trying to fight the cycling city in one part of the city would be high -because you'd be having to say "we won't spend any money providing safe crossings of Pembroke Road, or the east end of Clifton Park" -issues that also matter to Clifton voters -and potentially more than 30 a day.

Good news! Over Christmas -when the schoolparents would have been away, the consultation for the Traffic Regulation Order to add these spaces has arrived!

Not only that -they propose to add a space by taking away a proposed on-road cycle parking buildout! Finally a part of the city has stood up to this invasion of bicycles, by opting to provide a short stay parking opportunity for a car instead  -leaving cyclists with some insecure bollards that only the foolhardy would use.

To invest in adding 30 parking opportunities a day over making walking and cycling safe is a bold move -one for which we congratulate the two councillors for doing! They must have felt that those thirty votes may keep the two liberal democrat councillors safe, despite the fact that their Westminster colleagues are widely derided as the useless lap-dogs of George Osborne and David Cameron, Presumably they recognised that the people trying to walk or cycle in Clifton are poor people, unlikely to live in the area -or if they do, unlikely to vote.

We in the Bristol Traffic team are overjoyed that in one part the city, the people and the councillors have finally listened to what we have  been saying since 2008; pandering to the cyclists and pedestrians is a mistake!

Looking back at the old days, when the late Chris Hutt was our Clifton Correspondent, what was the third post in our history? Photographic proof that Range Rovers didn't have anywhere to park near the schools except the pavements.

Clifton has always been a special place for us -as much a centre of the driving and parking community as Stokes Croft -albeit with less run-down vehicles-so are excited about this new proposal, part of what we now term, the anticycling-city.

We strongly encourage everyone who supports us, who wants our streets clear of tax-dodging cyclists, for us not to be held up by pedestrians trying to get over zebra crossings, to read the TRO, and respond praising it fully.

We would particularly like for respondents to draw out the proposal "to remove the cycle parking place in Princess Victoria Street (not in force on-site)". This is the best example of how this TRO represents a bold action by the residents and councillors to do something nobody else in the inner city has done -to fight back!

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