Wednesday 28 December 2011

Xmas Greeting to the North!

We are pleased to send our fraternal greetings to residents of the Frozen Wastelands of the North, especially those of the new site "Manchester's Advanced Drivers", which is "dedicated to the drivers of Manchester who take the art of driving beyond the norm."

We will await to see whether the photographs are really of driving "beyond the norm" or merely, as they are in Bristol, driving in a way more advanced than the eighty-years-out-of-date highway code tells you

Manchester Drivers, we welcome you!

Thursday 15 December 2011

The Mayor's Motor pays the bollard tax

According to the Evening Post (so it must be true), the Mayor's Car was driven into a bollard that should have got out of the way.

We extend our sympathies to the mayor -but at least he doesn't have to resort to public transport, as he has managed to sort out a replacement. We hope the bollard has third party insurance to cover this. If it was in any way damaged, it is the bollard's fault for being in the middle of the road and not being covered in hi-viz.

If the car really is written off, it may only be remembered in its two Bristol Traffic articles, one showing secret cabot circus parking, and another by a pub.

Let us mourn it. It shall not grace our pages again,

Regarding all those very unsympathetic comments where everyone seems to be against getting a new car on the basis that buying a second ford-fiesta with a non-personalised number plate and selling the AE1 plate off would actually earn money - fails to recognise the symbolic role of the mayor. Like the Crown herself, the mayor is a powerless figurehead whose role is to attend meaningless publicity events in vehicles that reflect the fact that the UK is a fading power.

As for the comments that the mayor should be riding a bicycle, remember that Cllr Gollup is the offical evening post spokesman of the Bikelash. He does not cycle.

Monday 12 December 2011

High Kingsdown Shared Space Proposals

There are proposals afoot to turn Kingsdown by (the excellent) Highbury Vaults into a shared space. We somewhat support this.

Looking at the Lockleaze shared space, they've completey managed to eliminate the pavement area.

This avoid the problem of not being able to park right next to your front door, being forced to leave a small gap just for the sake of politeness, as the AA driving school car GD11ETF has had to do.
It also avoids the conflict between people cycling on the pavement
Where they are risk of damaging our vans

Saturday 10 December 2011

Ticketing: its for your own good

Here in St Andrews Road, Montpelier, we are shocked to see two cars getting tickets for being slightly on the pavement

slightly shocked, but not completely surprised. As there is almost enough space for someone to walk by on the inside
That will hinder passing traffic
And as can be seen here on upper Cheltenham Place, if you don't get fully on the pavement, you get to pay the wingmirror tax.

Note that vehicles in these photos include a fiat, a VW and at least one Vaxhall Astra -built in the UK to a German design.

Now that Cameron has finally stood up to the European oppressors with their plans for friendship and co-operation across countries, we hope that the owners of these vehicles will recognise the error of their ways and buy morris minors. Say goodbye to vehicles that start every morning! Say goodbye to driving over 60 mph on the motorway! these are un-British!

Sunday 4 December 2011

Bristol Saracens: the official home of Bristol Paveparking (oh and rugby)

Bristol has some rugby teams. Not well known, because they don't do much to draw attention.

Yet here, from redvee2002, we see how supportive the Bristol Saracens Rugby Team are of their community, by celebrating the art of paveparking!
Nobody can pavepark like a Bristolian. Aberdeen Cars: copy that if you can!

For outsiders, the dual carriageway on the right leads to the M5 and the Shopping Paradise that is Cribbs Causeway. It was untainted by riots in the summer as it is not within walking distance of anywhere. The bike path alongside the dual carriageway is intended to permit even poor people to come and shop. But as these cyclists, even the fit-healthy and affluent ones, cannot buy 42" 3D plasma Freeview HD televisions on the basis they can't get them home, these people just don't bring enough money to the region. Rugby spectators are far more welcome, as after the match they can head up the road and keep the economy afloat by using their credit card to pick up something expensive they didn't really need.

Thursday 1 December 2011

Pop-up shop elitism

Trend of the month: pop up shops, in empty store fronts, rent-for-the-day cafes, and around our streets. Everyone is talking about these

Except, Bristol's traditional pop-up retails are being given a harder time than ever before, as signs on Fox Road now warn you that your details will be passed on the police.

What details? That a white van with no wing mirrors pulled up? What do you expect? Have you ever tried paid-for-sex on the back of a #20 FirstBus bus? There's the half hour wait, the extra costs and the kids filming you with their phones and sticking it up on youtube later. Then you are stuck somewhere waiting for the next bus home.

No, never do that again.

Anyway, this shows how elitist  his pop-up shop theme is
  • stall in stokes croft selling local bread: welcome
  • Local vendors of sex: criminals
  • City-centre market selling finely curated local cheese: welcome
  • man in Picton Square selling finely curated local ganga: criminal
  • cafe selling premium fair-trade coffees imported from South America: welcome
  • street outlet selling cocaine-products imported from South America: criminal
See what we mean? Those of us who work in the sex- and drugs trades are being unfairly discriminated against.

And that's without considering that the cost of fuel has killed all the surburban customer trade, those people who would drive down from Emerson's Green and Bradley Stoke in search of a bit of low-cost sexual gratification and some recreational pharmaceuticals. That customer base has collapsed as bad for us as it did for best-buy and Cribb's Causeway.

Yet neither the local council or central government have recognised the role our industry has in Britain today. It's unfair.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Brian Rogers of Kingswood: speaking the truth

We've been a bit quiet recently. The main problem: thinking of new things to say.

Everyone has this problem. Take this well thought out letter from Brian Rogers of Kingswood.

It certainly pushes our buttons:
  1. affluent middle classes cycling
  2. holding up important people on their way to work
  3. tax-payer funded lycra clad louts
  4. sanctimonious, car-hating people
  5. fill up the car parks
That would be a good article: tax dodging affluent (actually, this is probably true), car hating, and driving to our favourite parking spaces. It would make a good article, and we have formally invited Brian to actually write for us. All he'd need is "in our lane", "red light jumping" and "speeding along too fast" and we'd win this week's Daily Mail "lycra lout" bingo.

Of course, the same day that George "coke" Osborne announces that air passenger duty won't be applied to people flying in and out of the city on private planes is particularly bad timing for the tax-payer funded text. Remember: those people who live in Monaco and fly in for three days a week may retain non-resident tax payer status, but they hold up the economy, and adding £30/week on the already outrageous cost of (tax free) jet fuel would force them stop flying in to the UK at all.

Brian needs to work on his timing a bit there.

Furthermore, a quick web search shows that he wrote pretty much the same letter  a year ago.
 irresponsible for the city council to pour tax payers' funds into a cycling track that is, well, just a hobby for a privileged and sanctimonious few?
See? The same problem we have. There's only so much orginality you can do from one point-of-vitriol. Brian is having trouble writing the same letter once a year -you can imagine how hard it us for us.
Maybe its time for the team to retire

Occupy Redland

OK... College Green is full of tents. The grass is a bit buggered. Billy Bragg has sung to the masses. The Council is letting it happen. All good.

So it's nice to see that a break away group appears to have established itself in Redland. Not on the Green, but near it.

This car, we're sure, is the new outpost for "Occupy Redland". YCZ7199. It's been here for the last three days, making quite a statement by parking in a slightly anarchistic state. On the junction of Hartington Park and Woodstock Road.

We thought of inviting the Daily Mail down, with their heat seeking cameras, to see if it was being used at night, but so far we've had nothing positive. 

Monday 21 November 2011

Using the alternative

I would like to follow the instructions, only white van man and other lazy parkers are blocking the pavement (despite the fact it's perfectly legal to park here).

Sunday 20 November 2011

Integrated Public Transport

Contributor "R" writes to us

Dear Bristol Traffic

These flats on Cotham Road South opposite the junction of Kingsdown Parade and Horfield Hill were built only a few years ago with the car in mind. The ground floor level includes garages with access across the pavement to the road. However, I wonder if the developers failed to realise just how useful garages are for keeping other things in apart from cars ?
Perhaps they did as their clever design hints at the existence of a driveway in front of the garages. This hint has not been overlooked by this tax-payer who is presumably pleased that the bus stop outside the garages gives pedestrians the satisfaction of making good use of what we all regard as an underused part of the road network.
Indeed we should applaud this as an example of "integrated public transport". I was unable to stay for long and determine the effect on pedestrians of an approaching bus.
Yours dearly,
This is a fine example of integrated transport. We also suspect that as this is in the Kingsdown RPZ, such imaginative parking will allow the resident to avoid needing to pay extra anti-motorist tax on their vehicle. 

Saturday 19 November 2011

Costa Fortune

BMWs cost a fortune. And this one, LF52XBW, parked up on the pavement on Gloucester Road today was being eyed up and photographed by more than a few people today. Hence the security looking after it.

But why was it there?

Well, it's complicated. The bit of road that runs between the Bear Pit and Filton Avenue changes names a few times - North Street, Stokes Croft, Cheltenham Road and Gloucester Road. It's Bristol's premier cycle commute route, and home to a Bristol Showcase Bus Route. The people that inhabit the road rather like its independent feel, free, mostly, from the anodyne 'High Street' shops and outlets so pervasive of most British towns and cities. The residents tend to kick off a bit when corporate idiocy tries to impose its muscle on the local populace.

Ergo, today there was a bit of a protest outside the new Costa Coffee which is apparently illegally opening on Gloucester Road. It seems franchise holder, Stuart Montgomery, plans to ride rough-shod over Planning Law and open a new outlet here, having been refused planning permission to do so. The complication is not that he can do it, but that it is not until he does it that Bristol City Council can serve an enforcement notice*** on him to cease trading.

Local councillors Jon Rogers and Gus Hoyt turned up, along with MP Stephen Williams to register their support for the protesters in front of both HTV and the local press. The usual anarchist protesters also daubed chalk on the pavement, even after the politicians had left and the police had arrived with their CCTV van. But this is middle-class Bishopston, so no trouble.

Back to the BMW though. Why was it there?

The best suggestion I heard was by Jon Rogers, who asked, "Is it the prize for the first person to buy a coffee here?" That, of course, will allow the Council to force the apparently unwelcome franchise to close.

On a lighter note, though, there is a new, independent, Bread Stall down the road in Stokes Croft, outside the old Sofa Riot shop, not competing with any existing business except Tesco. Now even the transient student population can get decent bread without having to use a multinational minimart.

*** He recently tried the same trick in Whiteladies Road, where, we hear, an enforcement notice has been served by BCC after he opened a Costas in the former Derbyshire's newsagents premises. Of course, enforcement takes time, so business is being done.

Occupy M32: year 40

A group of protestors are camped on college green, but apart from the "whiners corner" of the Evening Post, not having much effect.

A greater group of protesters have decided to come out in numbers and bring the city to its knees. Here they are on the M32

Their protest demonstration goes all the way up to Eastville junction.
Yet the mainstream media completely ignores this, even though these protestors include BMW and Mercedes drivers -the nearly-but-not-quite-1%, whose journeys in from the suburbs are crippled by the excessive fuel taxes the state is charging in order to keep the banks afloat.
The residents of the areas near the M32 are aware of this ongoing protest against the capitalist economy, and have been spraying signs of support against the M32 itself.

If there is one criticism, this protest has been going on for about forty years, and yet it has had little effect.

Friday 18 November 2011

no, not our van

Someone emails us to say
"was this the famous Bristol Traffic Van? It drove out of Ashley Road after the light changed to block the traffic heading north to Cheltenham Road. Many of the drivers on Stokes Croft were somewhat unhappy about this, as the junction was already blocked and the driver ended up even stopping cars heading south from getting through"

No not us. It says Lloyds Pharmacy prescription delivery on the side, while ours clearly says "pornography delivery"

Sunday 13 November 2011

Railwaypath Ghost Cyclist

We've been using the term Ghost Rider to describe someone who chooses to die on a bicycle, usually by RLJ-ing. The last video of someone on a bike crashing into a pedestrian causes us to look at the rest of taypet21's video collection. This person is a threat to the rest of the city. really.

Look at this video where he crashes into someone walking down the railway path. It's like he sees the women, and rather than try and slow down, he speeds up and runs into the screaming. If this was us, we'd destroy the evidence rather than put it up on youtube

Saturday 12 November 2011

Broadmead bumping

A video reaches us of an incident at the bike path crossing rupert street to the horsefair where the cyclist crashes into the pedestrian and they both come off.

Nice swearing. If we cycled, we'd swear like that too. One point though: there are no lights controlling pedestrian crossings of the bike path, and so that highway code about giving way to pedestrians probably kicks in. The other: this was predicable. There is no point putting a camera and a horn on your bike if you aren't going to look at where people are walking and whether they are looking at you.

Friday 11 November 2011

More RLJ work on Cheltenham Road

We're going to credit this cyclist coming up Bath buildings and crossing Cheltenham Road for actually looking and only going out when it is clear to do so, and waiting at the traffic island for a gap in the other lane.

Again, being a bit fitter and climbing up the mild incline on Bath Buildings would have saved time, and if you can't climb that when what faces you straight ahead, Arley Hill, is going to hurt. Looks more like this RLJ-er is going to right turn onto the Gloucester Road bus lane though.

Not so suicidal to be called a ghost-rider, just, well, pointless. The taxi in the ASL isn't going to run him over when the lights change as the cars blocking the hatched junction remove the option to pull out fast. Why then?

Thursday 10 November 2011

Now some Geister Fahrading on Cheltenham Road

Another RLJ-ing cyclist, here on Cheltenham Road

0:01 cars coming from Bath Buildings get to go left or right onto Cheltenham Road; cyclists can also go straight on for a contraflow.

0:12 Arley Hill gets green, cars and cyclists set off

0:14, A woman on a bicycle goes straight past the camera.

We are sure the tax dodging online press will be pleased at the gender balance of our RLJ footage, but can they at least tell the cyclists to look both ways when they run a red light? If your light is red, there are two meanings
  1. Everyone has red, it's pedestrians you are going to hit and other cyclists that will hit you.
  2. One or more lanes are green and you will become the statistic. 
Hypothesis #2 is the one they should worry about.  If our van had been in the Arley Hill ASL, our "launch on warning" system would have kicked in and we'd have pulled our foot off the clutch while texting the final message to our next delivery. Anyone cycling directly across our way, 14 seconds into her red light period is someone that the post mortem would say "she chose to die".

In Germany they have the phrase "Geister Fahrer" -Ghost Driver- to describe someone who chooses to commit suicide by driving the wrong way up an Autobahn. Here in Bristol we have the less well-off doing the same, the Geister Fahrader.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Unfit and bad judgement

We're always being accused of somehow presenting the cyclist point of view, rather than discuss the problems that RLJ-ing cyclists present. Good point. Lets run some of those videos. Before that, let's pre-empt the "when cyclists RLJ they don't endanger anyone" claim. Not so. When they run zebra crossings or pedestrian crossings they do endanger pedestrians. If they force pedestrians to hold back they may keep the pedestrians from crossing the road until the cars get a green light, so exposing them to more risk. And they completely destroy any moral high ground the tax dodgers claim to inhabit.

For the next few postings then, some RLJ-by-bike work. More than that though: some theories as to why. It can't be because they are important and in a hurry: as if they were they would be driving. There must be other reasons.

Let's start with this video at the Muller Road/Shaldon Road junction.

0:00 Filming begins on Station Lane, there are two tax dodgers here, cyclist #1 is female and in front of the filming one.
0:08 The woman on the bicycle (henceforth "cyclist #1") crosses Muller Road while the right hand approach lanes have green for both turning and going straight on. This is the 3rd or 4th set of red lights since the M32, and cars are still in speed mode and not used to red themselves. Yet she sets off, wobbling a bit, as she tries to get up the hill.

0:09-0:21 she's now got a line of cars going up the hill beside her, as she approaches a parked car she's going to have to pull out on.

0:22: now as she reaches the pullout point there's a supermarket delivery van to deal with.

0:28 Shaldon road gets its green for traffic going straight on or right (left turn has been green since 0:06)

0:40 Station Lane gets green, the other cyclist (henceforth "tax dodger #2") sets off

1:03 the woman who sets off at 0:08 gets passed by tax dodger #2.

Let's look at cyclist's #1's actions then. She set off through a red light, exposing her to risk to crossing traffic, reinforcing (clearly valid) perceptions about RLJing cyclists, and then making it harder to get up the hill because of the passing cars then the van making the pull-out that much harder.

And for what? Because tax dodger #2 reeled her in about 20 seconds. At that rate, if she was going up the hill towards UWE, what would be for tax dodger #2 a 15 minute hill climb will, for cyclist #1, be something more like a 45 minute crawl. At which rate the saving of 40s is absolutely negligible. Maybe running a red would make sense if it would save you time, but in this case it offered increase risk for no real benefit.

Why do it then? Why not just wait for green and pedal a bit harder when it arrives?

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Crash by the pump house

video up on youtube; no more details yet. This is by the Cumberland Basin flyover; that right hand lane is how you get over the bridge; the straight on lane is to the portway. There is a newly painted bike lane up to the old bridge (leading you to the Nova Scotia pub), but no give way markings for the cause.

Hope all is well.

Sunday 30 October 2011

Dirac's Antipermeability hypothesis

Dirac Road, off Ashley Down. Named after Paul Dirac, Nobel Prize winner for hypothesizing the existence of "anti matter"; something that was later proved to exist.

Dirac Road is named after him. Sadly, due to the large amounts of energy involved when antimatter collides with conventional matter, they cannot put any on display. Instead they have to focus on anti-permeability, the idea of making open space opaque to people on foot or bicycle

First on this corner we can see the car making the pavement antipermeable

Nothing profound there, you can see it anywhere in the city. What is more unique is this barrier over the footpath between Dirac Road and Lilstock Avenue -which connects with the famous "farm pub path". There is a risk that people might use this so called "access point" between the two roads to get to this path -or worse, come up here and then proceed safely on foot or bicycle to Brunel Technical College (scene of the "do not cycle on the pavement" signs and the Happy Road incident), or Sefton Park Primary school.
This barrier makes that hard, so ensuring that there are few high-energy collisions between conventional matter "cars" and anti-society matter "people on foot or bicycle".

It could be alleged that this is a temporary feature while the primary access point to the Farm Pub Path -station road- is closed for roadworks. Yet look at the base of this feature: it is embedded into the concrete
The allegation can be even more firmly disproved by looking in the opposite direction, and observing that the dropped kerb is actually placed to the side of the path.
This is a permanent fixture to celebrate Dirac's work on antimatter, by showing how Antipermeability can improve things.

Speaking of which, we hear rumours of a new Antipermeability project underway in South Gloucs. We will delegate this work to the People's cycling front of S. Gloucs, as an inspection up there would involve getting stuck in traffic jams in the newly widened A4174 ring road, which is a waste of our time.

Thursday 27 October 2011

Une discourse dans le village du Montpelier

Vous savez que vous etre dans un petit village quand vous encontrez les residents engagement dans une discourse dans la rue. Les grands villes sont anonyme - ce n'est pas vrai pour villages comme Montpelier.

Aujourd'hui nous pouvons voir des residents en conversation sur le sujet de droits de passage. Est-ce-que la priorite a les autos de Bath Buildings, ou pour les voitures qui faisant la traverse de St Andrews a la Rue de Cheltenham?

Nous ne savant pas que les residents ont decidee. Notre journaliste a dit as nous "J'ai pas attende a voir qui a gagne parce-que je pourrait pas culee" [1,2]

[1] an incorrect translation of "I could not be arsed"
[2] note how the descending tax dodger flips the 20mph light on the way down, yet the BMW in front appears not to.

Sunday 23 October 2011

Forward Planing

While the lights are red, an opportunity arises to take a photo of the Seahorse Pub, a pub that used to be part of the Smiles brewery chain, but had two features that distinguished from the Brewery tap across the road: a choice of non-Smiles beers and the Smiles Exhibition didn't run out as often

Sadly, someone cycling through a red light ruins the shot. Why is he doing it.
It starts to make sense: by cruising through early he avoids the problem of getting from the left hand lane to the right hand lane while two lanes of vehicles are trying to push through.
Of course, that leaves the problem of waiting at the bottom of St Michael's hill for the lights to change. Clipped in to the pedals, he either has to unclip and put a foot down, or do a track stand.
Or there's option three: lie down and take a rest. This provides an opportunity to give his cardiovascular system and his legs the rest they need before commencing the St Michael's Hill climb

Friday 21 October 2011

Reclaiming the Streets

There's a growing scandal in the press that an undercover policeman infiltrated the group Reclaim the Streets.

While we do not approve of the activities of these tax dodgers, we can't speak highly of the police infiltrating a group of lentil-eating- ippies just because their activities brought the traffic in city centres to a halt at peak hours.

If bringing the city to a halt a peak hours by blocking the streets with your vehicle is a crime -then we are all criminals. 

Look at the scene above: the M32 after 9am on a weekday. Brought to a halt. Is this a crime? No, it's commuting. the only thing wrong here is that we can't use the hard shoulder even though everyone is only doing 15 mph.

That's one reason we don't approve. Where will they draw the line? Start with the hippies, soon they will be trying to find out who kept torching speed cameras, attending meetings of the Association of British Drivers and keeping an eye on us patriots.

The other reason we don't approve: it's a complete waste of time and effort.

Imagine the the uncover police team christmas party as they all get together and discuss how they protected the nation from its enemies, inside and out
  • "I infiltrated Real IRA and kept the Northern Ireland peace settlement alive."
  • "I infiltrated a group of drug dealers and kept 500kg of cocaine out of Britain."
  • "I infiltrated Reclaim the Streets and pedalled a human-powered sound system round Clapham."
You'd be laughed at and be so embarrassed you'd find excuses not to go to the following year's party. It's the bottom ring of undercover police work, worse even than that dire film Kindergarten Cop where Schwarzenegger goes undercover as a school teacher. At least he didn't have to cycle round south London on a three person bicycle where the one at the back powered a loudspeaker.

It's just not impressive. It's not the thing you sign up for is it? That's the really shocking thing: the government could be bothered to infiltrate these groups. We wouldn't. Especially now the Bristol Cycling Campaign have stopped holding their meetings in that room above the Cornubia Pub.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Forward Planning

We've discussed before planning strategies, such as the MiniMax algorithm, and how a limiting factor is how far ahead you plan. The planning horizon limits your options, and often the game is won by whoever plans furthest ahead.

We are perfectly happy with a planning horizon of one: what is the next thing in your way. However, we are pretty unimpressed by this video which was sent to us of a car in Clifton who'se planning horizon was zero. When a car is coming towards you, you either do two things -commit at speed or back off. What you don't do is go alongside the bicycle at 15 mph with a car coming towards you at 20 mph, as that leads to an exchange of details and some insurance premiums, especially now that tax-dodgers are starting to carry cameras and no doubt willing to supply their videos as evidence.

If you are going to overtake with oncoming traffic, put your foot down!

Monday 17 October 2011

Bristol's Secret Rat-runs

We are debating providing some coverage of Bristol's secret rat-runs, to go alongside our secret parking coverage. Today, the best way to get from Ashley Hill to the M32 -Magdalene Place

It's good to see Red Driving School WVIIUEK showing a learner driver about this road, and how to correctly position themselves to take it properly.

Careful Passing

Everyone recommends giving bicycles room when passing, -and they complain when you don't, especially when traffic islands create pinch points.

Here a vehicle on Shaldon Road, Lockleaze, demonstrates the correct way to safely pass a slow-moving bicycle at a pinch point.

Sunday 16 October 2011

Not our van: WU10JCY

Someone points us at this video as says "That you?"

No. Pink shirts and white dungarees don't suit us. Or him. We are just more aware of the fact.

Also: that van still has two wing mirrors. This video may have been made in Bristol, but whoever it is, they live in the suburbs.

update: "The initial pass was on Stockwood Lane and the chat was by the junction of Lacey Road and Stockwood Lane"

Friday 14 October 2011

Not us: we don't speak hungarian

Lovely video, people coming to the streets and saying what up to now is only printed in the Daily Mail, written in the comments, and muttered by taxi drivers between themselves.

Of course, we don't need to have a special protest to take over a bike lane -we have Stokes Croft for that.

On that topic: remember, Saturday is the official opening of the bearpit wifi zone and it's transformation into one of Bristol's premier destinations. Now all someone needs to do is paint over that bit between the bearpit and Nelson street and bring it back to its 1972 glory: Broadmead.

Thursday 13 October 2011

Oktoberfest im Ashton Court

Despite the nature of the activity -cycling- we are pleased to show
the route preview of the 2011 Ritchey Oktoberfest Bike Race.

Paul of ZeroG cycles is not actually in fancy dress, he can regularly be seen hanging round Bedminster in Lederhosen and singing bayerische beer drinking songs.

Paul will also be dressed like this for the duration of the event -we presume- and he does usually organise some (free) kids events that small children enjoy.

Be aware that Ambulance Leap has been removed so you will not be able to enjoy OktFest sitting at the picnic benches drinking Dunkel Hefe Weissen Bier and watching the MTB racers crater out in front of you.

This race marks one of the two main events taking place in the city this week, the other being the Bearpit Brunch. We shall be attending the latter, it being hosted in our team's weekend holiday home.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Stop Pedalling, Start Driving

We wish to thank the Danish subversives at for moving on from showing pretty Danish women on bicycles to showing pretty american women in cars, even if they do seem to be looking rather affectionately at the bollard-headed tax-dodger. with a slogan like "Stop Pedaling, Start Driving" you can see that their message is quite simple: grow up. You are no longer a five year old. Get a car.

We love the GM web site too, especially where it shows a pedestrian getting soaked by a passing GM SUV. It's fantastic. Not only does it show that wonderful feeling you get when you swerve into a puddle just to soak the tax-dodging pedestrians, the contrast between pedestrian and vehicle size makes it clear the real message: buy a big 4x4 or you will get run over by one. That said, GMC Sierras suck now that even in the US you pay $3.50 for a (US) Gallon). Even if you are only paying 55p a litre, if your barge does 12 MPG your cost/mile is way higher than, say ,a VW Golf 1.4T, and we not only know which is more fun, we know what depreciates faster. Not the Golf.

If there is one complaint about the advert it is this: there is nowhere near the University of Bristol to park, not now the area is all resident parking. We even hear rumours that Cotham will go the same way. What does that leave? It leaves the University of the West of England with its 20+ designated car parks as Bristol's premier university for important people.

On, one more thing: the US had to step in to save it from bankruptcy in 2008, and the US and Canadian governments own have 43% of the company's shares. This is not just a company, this is the US government.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Sponsored by Firstbus

For this week we are sponsored by FirstBus:

Anything negative we have ever said about firstbus, including the apparent inability of FirstBus to join up their bus departures with the hourly arrival of trains from London are now denied. We have never said these things.

Credit to Stockwell Pete, who is also being sponsored by FirstBus: best bus service between the city centre and Stockwell. Apparently they are even going up to Henbury again.

Monday 10 October 2011

Big Hello to R242AAC: roundabout jumper

We've had this video for a while, but been keeping quiet about it. Why? because there is a limit of six months for charging anyone for any dangerous driving/careless driving offence, and this driver has been successfully avoiding all attempts by the police to contact him. While that creates a new offence, "failing to report who was driving at the time an offence was committed", again, that has a limit.

This is profound. It means if you can hide for long enough, you can even get away with nearly running over a family at a roundabout.

The video and email came to us from "S":
I have a video of a near miss by a car that failed to stop for me and my nine year old son at a roundabout.
We are cycling up Cotham Road, about to go down over the roundabout to Cotham Hill. Cotham Road is calmer now the zebra crossing is in, and as you can see, the few cars passing on the bank holiday gives my son a wide berth, which is appreciated.

As we approach the roundabout, at 08:00 on 29 of April, I get my son in the correct place to go over, check that nothing is pulling out and we set off. I can hear the sound of a car approaching from the left, from St Michael's Hill, so I warn my son that this this car on the left is the next hazard we are going to worry about -as you can hear in the commentary.

As we get partway over, I pull ahead of my son, to make sure the approach car sees us slows down in good time.

However, instead of looking, instead of slowing down, this car pulls straight out onto the mini roundabout. If I had been about 50cm further ahead, I would have been hit, and if my son had been about 1.5m ahead of where he was, he would have been hit.
The car registration was R242AAC, I repeat this phonetically multiple times after the incident, along with the date and time, and at 1:12 in the video you can see the registration number, along with the Honda logo and the Accord model name.

The driver was a white male, with -I believe -brownish hair. He saw me and waved mildly apologetically as he continues through the junction without slowing down, continuing down Hampton Road. I follow him briefly enough to confirm the registration number, then turn back to see my son.
We are impressed not just by the driver's bravery in pulling out on what can be a busy roundabout without looking, but in their successful attempt to avoid what are apparently repeated attempts by the police to contact the driver, as with a video like this it would be pretty hard to deny your car was there.

We hope that nobody in the Bristol Area manages to spot this dark blue Honda Accord registration number R242AAC, that is R242 AAC and then immediately contacts the Avon and Somerset police on the phone number 101. All readers of this blog must keep an eye out for this car and make sure there are no cyclists in the area, to defend this bold driver from the menace caused by militant troublemakers who video their journeys round the city and complain about such minor things like nearly being killed.

The fact that if you hide for six months you can avoid prosecution is a new one to us. We look forward to using that technique ourselves in the near future.

Sunday 9 October 2011

Free parking in the Bristol City Centre

Reader "OJ" writes in:
Dear Bristol Traffic,

Thank goodness the menace of pavement cycling is finally getting the attention from the nationwide media it deserves.

These vehicles (LM11VNX and LS10KTN) have selflessly parked up in the best place to give live satellite feeds of people illegally cycling past.
Thank goodness for our broadcast media.

Saturday 8 October 2011

Secret Colston Street parking -handy for the BRI

"OJ" drops us a note

Dear Bristol Traffic,

I have discovered a great place to park my 4x4 for free, 2 minutes away from the Centre. There's a lovely wide pavement outside the Colston Almshouses on Colston Street, and as N864HWP shows, no traffic warden cares if you park there.

The only drawback is that (see 2nd photo), some of the space has been reserved for road tax dodgers. I could have easily parked my Hummer behind W381XKX, but for the fact that someone had put (unused) bike racks on the pavement there. The thing that's really frustrating me is that I bet cyclists ride onto the pavement to use these racks.
It's good to hear that no traffic warden cares, though we must hope no passers by with mobile phones dial up the Parking Services control room on +44 117 903 8070 and report the golf, as that pavement is possibly covered by the yellow line rules. The bit by the zebra crossing: go for it!

Friday 7 October 2011

No eye contact - even if they insult you for RLJ-ing

The rule of junctions is that if you don't acknowledge the other people on the road, they aren't there, so you have done nothing wrong.

Usually its done when you block a junction or a roundabout. Today, something different: a cyclist RLJ-ing the Cheltenham Road/Bath Buildings Junction.

For some reason, the camera crew aren't impressed by this and not only shout to get their attention, they are mildly abusive -which the tax dodger in the viewfinder ignores. 
Next they will be writing in to the Evening Post to complain.

As to why the cyclist jumped the red light, some possibilities spring to mind:
  • they were in too much of a hurry.
  • their visibility of Arley Hill was restricted due to the large lorry blocking the pedestrian crossing.
  • their life is empty and meaningless and a bit of danger makes it more precious.
  • their brakes don't work and the way they came off the pavement forced them into this action.
  • they're an idiot
  • all of the above.
Well, they are now famous. Purple-topped mountain bike rider: welcome to Bristol Traffic!

(08:44 correct video embedded)

Tuesday 4 October 2011

The last days of summer at St Georges Park

Contributor "NT" mails us this lovely photograph of autumn sunshine
Hello, I was cycling down Park Crescent adjacent to St George's Park at 5:30pm this evening and saw some inspired parking - I thought you might like to see it and maybe share it on the blog.

Given that the weather is about to go from heatwave to blizzards very shortly I'm sure the driver was just trying to save precious seconds in parking their car properly and walking the width of Park Crescent to reach the grassy haven of the park; this way they got straight into enjoying the last of the unexpected sunshine the second they stepped from their car.
Yes, we think WR58JXK is making the most of the late summer evenings, though we wouldn't park under trees ourselves -can make the roof and windscreen sticky. Better to use the wide green space behind it.

Saturday 1 October 2011

The school run

Look at these disgusted Hotwells parents fed-up with the way people park outside their school. 'Stopping on zig-zags is dangerous and selfish' says the sign, and we agree. With a little more effort GL07OTS could have parked entirely on the build-out, and not on the bit that says 'KEEP CLEAR'

Friday 30 September 2011

Helmets, hi-viz and tax for pedestrians.

In amongst the various ePetitions for making parking outside someone's house illegal, and for the many cyclist ones, making cyclist pay for the road, we are the only organisation to campaign for pedestrians to be better equipped for our cities. Cutting and pasting from someone else's proposal, we have one of our own.

In our petition., we say
Other road users have to pass tests to prove they are competent to operate a vehicle on the public highway. Pedestrians however are at the most risk and from any age they can walk around without any training, they are often wearing ipods and flout the rules of the roads e.g not stopping at traffic lights and crossing the road. I propose that all pedestrians must undertake training and be insured before riding on the road to protect themselves and others. They should wear hi-viz clothing and have helmets for their own safety

Some people will think we are taking the piss or something but not so: it's for their own safety.

Look at this scene from the Stokes Croft/Ashley Road junction.

A pedestrian crossing the road nearly gets hit by a taxi waiting for the lights to change in the middle of their road -past the ASL and not blocking it, we note. This taxi that manages to turn in front of the oncoming traffic by putting their foot down as soon as the lights go red & orange -and were it not for the pedestrian, would be on their way safely sprinting down the 20mph road to east Bristol.

Look at that pedestrian
  1. Dark clothing, hard to spot: no hi-viz anywhere
  2. No helmet.
  3. No insurance/tax disk.
  4. Probably no third party liability for damage caused to the front of cars.
  5. Moving really slowly.
The taxi driver narrowly manages to avoid running them over as he accelerates down Ashley Road, and has to sound his horn to make them move faster. The tax-dodger seems a bit upset by this.

Stop this menace to our roads!

Everyone should sign our petition now! We have three signatures already!

Thursday 29 September 2011


It's important to remember that our white vans are the lifeblood of the city. This is why we think the government should treat us like farmers, airlines and buses and give us tax free or tax discounted fuel.

You can tell we are important in a number of ways
  1. We are in a rush
  2. We are on the phone a lot
Here you can see FP54DYU doing both at the same time while finally escaping from the tangle of streets in Montpelier, here on Brook Road, where you can make the most of the 20 mph limit in a road with no wingmirrors to bump against.

It's surprisingly hard to text one handed, so we hope the audience is impressed.

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Pharmacy Plus: proud to sponsor the Frome Valley cycle way

The new Frome Valley cycleway follows the frome from the heart of bristol up to near UWE, with the first half along that jewel of the Bristol Road system, the M32 motorway. The fast moving traffic will remind cyclists that if they weren't so poor, they too could have a proper vehicle.

Pharmacy Plus are proud to sponsor this new path. As a key member of the NHS supply chain, they recognise how important health and fitness is. The vehicle SF58PZK, which may well be associated with the company, is proudly placed in the middle of the path to remind people on foot and bicycle how much more accessible the city is if you have proper transport.
There is enough room for passing cyclists if they swerve into the road, so we think that whoever called Bristol Parking Services to report this car was small-minded and vindictive

Monday 26 September 2011

NC53BOV: "try your best"

Previously: Clifton. Today. Montpelier. We are going to show how the drivers in this part of the city not only know the width of their vehicles, but have far better situational awareness than other parts of the city. Look at this video here.

Some points.
  1. The delivery van -whose way forward is blocked by roadworks- manages to reverse all the way back up the road to the next turning point. That is not something a normal driving test does, but it is hard. This person is skilled.
  2. After getting past it, the non-road-tax-paying cameraman continues on their way.
  3. Just as they are going past an expensive car, that car starts to pull forwards. We'd say pull out but in this road the pavement is about 1/3 of the actual roadway. That's why the driver of "NC53 BOV" didn't indicate; he wasn't pulling out.
  4. The cyclist, who appears to be somewhat committed to the pass and exclaims "wait" and pulls past them. This is insensitive cycling and shows inadequate situational awareness.
  5. The car driver isn't that happy with it, and after waiting a couple of seconds to get over the affront, sprints up fairly aggressively and puts some pressure on the bicycle to speed up. But he keeps his distance, there's nothing too threatening. Of course, driving half-on the pavement does limit your ability to put your foot down.
  6. At the junction, the driver pulls up alongside and there is a polite discussion.
That's the difference between London and Bristol. In London: a fight. In Bristol a quiet exchange of views. The tax dodger explains that they are just trying to get to their destination alive. The driver of NC53BOV replies "try your best". The cyclist then congratulates them on their awareness of their surroundings and notes that they are more aware of them than the driver of CU54UWV. Then the troublemaker heads off towards St Werburghs.

After giving the tax dodger a chance to get ahead, the driver of the Audi RS6 Quattro shows that a key benefit of the automatic transmission and four wheel drive is the ability to put your foot down and have the car react, bringing you up to 40 mph in a 20mph zone in seconds. They manage to get safely past the cyclist before the oncoming traffic has a chance to get close, and, after making up for lost time, continue on the rat-run to the St Pauls Roundabout. Notice that despite his earlier unhappiness, he gives the bicycle plenty of room. This is someone who knows how to overtake safely, is aware of their surroundings, and able to adapt to them.

Sunday 25 September 2011

St Werburgh's Schoolkids

This is the first time anyone has actually asked to be filmed or photographed by one of our reporters. For that reason alone, they get coverage:

Saturday 24 September 2011

finally: bicycle wheeling is a crime! In Yate!

We excited to see that even wheeling a bicycle is something that will be banned from the Yate pedestrian area!

Centre manager Andrew Lowrey said: "We have had several complaints that people are either riding or wheeling cycles through the centre and ignoring requests made by our security team not to do so

"The safety of our customers, visitors and staff is extremely important, therefore a decision has been made to ban cycles at Yate Shopping Centre with immediate effect.

"We encourage people to visit the centre and to travel by bicycle. However, we would kindly request that cyclists utilise the ample cycle racks located around the shopping centre. We expect a noticeable increase in footfall when the new Tesco Extra store opens on October 24, so hopefully these new measures will prevent future issues and make the shopping centre a safer place for all shoppers."

We expect this will rapidly improve the revenue in the shops and help it recover from the threat posed by the fact that Emerson's Green is five minutes drive away. Emerson's Green does welcome cyclists, so Yate should actually be able to market their Morrison's supermarche on this feature "Yate: nobody on a bicycle will be there".

Tesco Supermarkets would like us to remind our readers that their shop in Cheltenham Road is accessible by people on foot, public transport, bicycle and car -the bus/bike lane providing the parking area for the latter.

Saturday 17 September 2011

Correct junction tactics

This video of Stokes Croft on a weekday evening is interesting. As well as the number of cyclists trying to along a road which clearly doesn't welcome them, most drivers are taking the collect "seize the junction" option here at the junction with Jamaica Street. Indeed, the yellow-hatching only covers half the road: its OK to block vehicles coming out of Jamaica Street, just not those going in.

What is odd is that the car at the end, WR60VVG , doesn't take the junction, even though at list late in the cycle, there's a risk of the lights changing before she gets to go through. Admittedly, she has passed the lights so can't see them changing, but even so, why hold back?

It's only as she goes past the camera that we can see why: she's on the phone.

That's a problem that phone users present: they slow down the vehicles behind. If she'd been paying attention she would have gone through earlier, and another car could have come up behind. While she didn't suffer, another vehicle did.

No, this is what we'd do

At 0:15 you can see some pickup -a proper vehicle- go through the roundabout and stop in front of the Cotham Hill traffic. That lets vehicles behind turn right, and ensures that the pickup driver isn't held up by anyone else. Of course, it does block that Cotham Hill traffic, so the usual "If you don't see them they aren't there" tactic kicks in: don't look to either side.

What does the driver do. The phone would be a context switch and make them less responsive to changes in the road ahead. No, they do a better action: they eat their breakfast. There's nothing like a bacon roll and a bottle of cider for a breakfast on the road. Eating this way reduces the cost of congestion: instead of being stuck in the middle of the roundabout being "wasted" time, it is now useful. We think the drivers coming up the hill, instead of being unhappy about the driver's actions, should exploit this opportunity and have their own breakfasts.

Friday 16 September 2011

Clifton: we can dream, but the bollards deny

A Sunday in Clifton, and the owners of the 4x4s like WF58EZG are forced to use the raised body height to help get up on the pavement.

There just aren't enough spaces for that VW Touran, or the Jeep Grand Cherokee WU53HGD below, famous for, in the words of the NCAAP safety tests, earning just two stars for pedestrian safety, "this car was not designed with pedestrians in mind"
Well obviously not. People walking take up parking spaces.

Which brings us to Waterloo Street, Clifton Village. Bollards. Worse, Bollards with bicycles attached.
Our Clifton councillors have done what they can to discourage cycling: resisting cycle parking in the village, proposing taking away yellow lines, but it isn't enough.
It's not the yellow lines that are the problem -it is the bollards. They remove space from us, the important residents of the area, and give to them, the pedestrians and the cyclists. It's as if they were more welcome than us.

Every Bollard is a sign that the War on Motorists continues!

Thursday 15 September 2011

Stokes Croft for visitors

A Visitors Book briefly appeared at the bottom of Ninetree Hill last month, dangling from a tree
Some people think it's cute, but we know different. It's a new way to catch rioters.

If every hour the police come up and put their name in along with the time, then if there's a riot all they need to do is go to the book, look at who signed it during the riot, and put them away for five year. It's the physical version of facebook. Indeed, it even has the work "book" in there, which is one of those concepts the Daily Mail want to ban, or at least burn.

Fortunately YA55VDY is wise to these police tactics, and doesn't sign the book.
For those readers who don't live in our fair city, it's about time we gave them a view of Stokes Croft, one that shows how it is the areas leading artistic and cultural quarter. Which it is.
At least, provided giant grinning skulls painted by 3dom and Rowdy are things you can cope with. We feel for the people on Dove Street, who have that staring at them out their bedroom windows. How long do you have to live there before it starts talking to you?

Wednesday 14 September 2011

CF54UWV: never own up to a SMIDSY, even if you don't think it's being videoed

We got sent this video for review of an event at 09:10 this morning, just off Park Row. And what a lovely video it is.

As you can see, the tax dodger descends St Michael's Hill then goes to the front of the road, waiting for a green light and then heading off along Perry Road with the goal of turning into Lodge Street and so descend to The Centre. While they are trying to do this, a road tax payer driving the premium Audi CF54UWV comes up Lower Park Row and starts to pull out. The tax-dodger expresses some concern here and then has to take evasive action by getting up on the pavement, before pulling in front of the Audi where he stops and expresses some more concern to the driver.

The driver says "I'm Sorry, I didn't see you". We suspect that some more discussions would have taken place if the cars behind hadn't started sounding their horns -nobody died, no need for a post-mortem- so the cyclist sets off. The Audi is no longer behind the bicycle at the bottom, implying it has turned into Lodge Place and the office parking therein.

The tax dodger then proceeds to make life hard for the car behind by giving way to other cars, rather than recognise that from their actions on the horn, they are clearly also important and in a hurry.

Here's our review
  1. The Tax Dodger is to be praised for wearing a helmet. The helmet camera, well, it provides entertainment.
  2. If they had waited behind all the cars on St Michaels Hill, they would not have been the first road user to approach Lodge Street. This would have reduce the risk of collision, as the taxpayer would have had something larger to spot. Furthermore, the MPV sounding its horn would not have been held up, as it was waiting on St Michael's Hill too -and would have been ahead of the cyclist.
  3. There is a small dotted line bike lane on Park Row. This would have caused the collision to happen earlier, and so not hold up the MPV.
  4. Getting on the pavement as a form of evasive action is illegal. If they had a registration number, they'd have been reported to the police for it.
  5. If they had been hit, their lack of third party insurance would have placed all the costs of repair to an expensive vehicle on that driver.
  6. After the incident, the actions of being nice to all cars pulling out was insensitive. They had already held up at least three important people who had paid for the right to be there; this just made things worse. 
  7. If they hadn't been on a bicycle, none of this would have happened.
We are also going to discuss the actions of the female Audi driver.
  • Although playing the "I'm not going to look" gambit does help in some pullout negotiations, in this situation we'd have sounded our horn to make clear we were coming through.
  • If you drive an old van you have better negotiating power. 
  • It's clearly a fast car, you could have looked at the bike, then done the same action aggressively enough that they wouldn't have caught up with you.
  • Never, never, never say "I'm sorry, I didn't see you". Your insurance company will hate you for it, and in a world of universal cameras, your actions will be permanently associated with CF54UWV, Bristol and your apparent place of work, Lodge Place, for as long as google's servers retain the data.
The correct thing to say in this situation is usually something like "get out the way, I pay for the roads and you don't". Sometimes we also demand they have insurance, though given our van's current insurance state, that would be a bit hypocritical. Speaking of insurance, we hope that the cyclist does not contact your insurers and provide them with some hard data on your driving techniques. That is one of the reasons why we do not insure our vehicle.

Nevertheless: We in the Bristol Traffic Project salute the driver of CF54UWV for taking a personal stand against making Bristol city a safe and friendly place to ride a bicycle! Your single-handed actions should be celebrated! We hope that all other cyclists heading along this road -and there are clearly many of a weekday morning- will recognise that you are important and give way appropriately.

K33VYP shows their imagination

Imagine a different world. No speed cameras, no traffic lights, cash back whenever you fill up your car. We can. The ABD can. "Hoverboard Hammond" can. And in Clifton, K33VYP is imagining a world without double yellow lines.

Such out-the-box thinking is what we need in this area to solve its problems. If there is one thing that's unusual is that this Mercedes is the only car parked here on Oakfield Place
We know why that is: they stole our rat run. Stepping back a few paces and turning the camera to the left:
A whole road has been blocked off and turned into cycle parking. Worse yet -a through route for cyclists, who could then endanger the paintwork of important cars, like K33VYP itself.
This road blocking not only provides a parking area for visitors and residents, it takes away the parking opportunities nearby simply by making it so hard to get to them.