Thursday 1 January 2009

Xmas Day in the Unionist Quarter

We're going to start describing the bits of Cotham, Clifton and Redland that resists the parking zones as the unionist quarter; the associated organisations as unionists. Here we see Cotham on Christmas day, with a near-complete absence of cars.

Why Unionist? First, there's those odd flagpoles popping up. Either the Daily Telegraph or UK IP is selling them off cheap, or some people have decided to make a stand. Then there's Richard Eddy of the Conservative and Unionist Party, who is leading the defence in the council chambers. And finally it is papers like the Evening Post, that have a kind of a losing-battle-old-empire feel to them.

It's not like the Unionist bits of Northern Ireland, where outsiders get hard stares and "No Surrender" painted everywhere, but this whole lets-fight-for-motorists-rights campaign has that same futile narrative to old Ulster politicians who refuse to acknowledge the existence of the Irish Republic to the south on religious grounds. Our Unionist Quarter is not that bad, although there were rumours of an Orange Order march down whiteladies road at some point in the summer.

Christmas Day would be good for a march, with all the empty space and no signs of life.

This area voted against a resident parking zone, and you can see that once the students go away, there's enough off-street parking for the remaining residents to virtually disappear. Which must take pressure for having even a 5x8 CPZ down. Student cars don't move during the day, residents either walk to work, don't drive home before 16:00, or come up with an off-pavement solution.

If the Kingsdown RPZ gets rolled out, these streets will be where the overflow vehicles end up. It won't make any effect to the availability of spaces during working hours -you can't subtract from zero- but it may have impact evening and weekends. Although not Xmas day, by the look of things.

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