Friday, 28 August 2015

Unhappy speeders

In our ground breaking analysis of the geographic distribution of the speeders and the 20 milers in the city,  we were picked up on for our statement "They must live very unhappy lives."

Good catch. Judging by the reaction to the post, we should have concluded "they are very angry people"

It's as if they spent a lot of time in traffic jams or stuck at the lights -blaming George Ferguson for every minute of their wasted life

We were particularly called out on our assertion that the 38% of out of town petitioners on the "right to speed" campaign don't count.

Specifically, the accusation of misinformation came about because of the T&Cs of the council's petition policy, which states
If your petition has received 3500 signatories or more from people who live, work or study in Bristol it can then trigger a full council debate [see page 5] and if this is the case we will discuss with the lead petitioner the options for enabling this to take place.
We are not attempting to misinform anyone. Look at what we wrote
Of the speeders, 38% of them don't live in in Bristol. Which means they are, as far as Bristol elections are concerned, as relevant as residents of the Isle of Wight. They don't have a vote, all they have is a whine.
See that? If you live outside the city, you are electorally irrelevant. Which may or may not transfer into the decisions about the region and its transport policy.

If you lived out of the city, you wouldn't have got a bit of a paper asking if you wanted a referendum on having a mayor —you didn't get a say. You wouldn't have got a bit of paper saying "who do you want to be mayor" —again: you don't get a say.

The fact that the council has a policy for petitions is something to cherish. The fact that they even let people from outside the city add their names shows that we do value those people who live out of town. But when it comes down to whom the council has to prioritise, it's the residents who vote for the councillors and mayors.

Everyone outside gets to make a whining sound, either in their own home, the BEP web site or their car sitting on the M32.

Is that fair? Maybe. Is it functional? Not for a region wide transport policy. But here's the problem: the N Somerset and S Gloucs councillors like their little kingdoms too much to share them.

Here we see Elf-King App Rees switching from demanding that the Clifton RPZ be removed screaming that George F is trying to dictate parking policy in Leigh Woods.

He loves being a small fish in a very small pond, and any attempt at having a broader region for  democratic governance as a threat.

Is S Gloucs any better? Well, they are very proud of the the fact that they are not quite Bristol, even to the extent of having a "Welcome to South Gloucestershire" partway along the Filton Road weekday traffic jam. Because Filton is, after all, distinct from its neighbours. But they do ask staff at the N Fringe of the city for their input on the latest bit of random roadworks.

What is not clear, though, is Why is Filton out of Bristol? . Same for those bits in N.E. Bristol. Emerson's Green, Rodway Common, etc. Part of the featureless hinterland of the city. And yet: you don't get a say —only the right to get angry about things happening in a city nearby.

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