Bristol BRT2 route – Ashton Avenue Bridge

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  • Bristol BRT2 route – Ashton Avenue Bridge
  • Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Ah, noteeth beat me to it.

    Is the campaign against BRT2 based only on the impact on cycling?

    No. Have a read of their website, they’ve pretty much covered everything, including the impact on the Harbourside. There are also some suggestions for alternative schemes that the cash could be spent on.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Interesting meeting last night. I went in expecting to see a bunch of familiar faces from local cycling groups, but it was a much broader mix of local residents and transport campaigners. In fact I think me and Noteeth were the only people there on account of cycling.

    I hadn’t appreciated what a half-baked scheme this whole thing is. It needs to be delivered by 2015, and they haven’t even got the basics in place – no vehicles have been chosen, no operators appointed and there are loads of unanswered questions about the route. There is some really shoddy thinking going on with the predicted journey times.

    It seems like Prince Street Bridge is going to end up being used all three BRT schemes if this goes ahead, which will make the current confusing setup seem like a gambol in a meadow by comparison. When it swings the buses will just have to queue up.

    On Ashton Avenue Bridge, cyclists and pedestrians are apparently going to be herded onto a bolt-on gantry on the side of the bridge to keep them out of the way of the two-lane bus traffic. The brand new Festival Way cycle track (a nice quiet way to the trails) is going to become bus lane.

    If the budget overruns it’s highly likely to screw over the proposed metro rail network too.

    It seems like a lot is going to hinge on the mayoral elections (a bit frustrating given that I’m a South Gloucs resident). Transport for Greater Bristol are organising a hustings, so are Lifecycle UK. If enough people go along to these and ask awkward questions then they may just get the message…

    wordnumb
    Member

    I was there, sat opposite you behind a pint of cider.

    Likewise, I hadn’t fully appreciated how awesomely bad an idea this is. What got me was the disparity between the speeds it’s claimed the buses will travel at and the number of 90 degree bends they’ll have to negotiate at somewhat less than warp speed. And yes, the bridge swings have been totally ignored by the planners.

    At risk of agreeing with Mr Agreeable, this really does need Bristol locals contacting councellors / MPs / etc to say they don’t want cowboys shitting a dodgy bus lane through historic Bristol under false pretences. Most of the people at the meeting seemed to live on the proposed route – which might lead to them being discredited as NIMBYs. I suspect if a greater number of people from around the city, many of whom don’t know what BRT stands for, realised that there are plans to run buses through the harbourside there would be more public debate.

    Harbours are for boats, not buses.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Good to put a face to a name. 😉

    As wordnumb says, we definitely need to get this onto MPs’, Local Enterprise Partnerships’ and mayoral candidates’ radars. I’m fairly sure many of them would not be supporting it if they had the warts and all briefing, instead of just the sales pitch.

    http://www.writetothem.com/
    http://www.westofenglandlep.co.uk/transport-and-infrastructure/transport-investment

    Also very interested to discover the existence of Transport for Greater Bristol. I agree with pretty much every single one of their proposals for improving transport. http://www.tfgb.org.uk/manifesto.htm

    noteeth
    Member

    I was there

    I did wonder if other STWers were lurking… 🙂

    I hadn’t appreciated what a half-baked scheme this whole thing is.

    Aye, utterly daft… supported only by a council desperate to spend allocated funding and consultants who sense a payday – & waved thru by politicos who seem to have no grasp of what they are agreeing to.

    noteeth
    Member

    Quick update, following the mayoral hustings last night.

    I know prospective candidates are inclined to be populist, but a fair number of ’em are against the scheme – not least because £50 million seems rather a lot of money to spend on re-routing some buses.

    Doubts cast on bendy bus plan by mayoral hopefuls

    Next public meeting at the Hen & Chicken slated for 7.30 pm, Mon 15th October.

    The candidates were asked from the floor whether they supported the route, known as BRT2.

    Mr Murphy had responded by saying: “Yes, without reservations.”

    But afterwards he said that he was against the bendy bus system and therefore should have said “No”.

    FFS – never mind what he thinks of BRT2, does he understand the basic concepts of I-ask-you-a-question-and-you-tell-me-the-answer?!?!

    @noteeth – who was the BRT2-sceptic then, as in ‘I do not, cannot and will not support this shower of sh!te’? Be good to start marking some cards for voting time 😉

    noteeth
    Member

    who was the BRT2-sceptic

    George Ferguson (Independent) and Daniella Radice (Green) are point-blank opposed. There’s varying degrees of opposition among the others, as far as I’m aware.

    I suspect the real issue will be to get the Gov money spent on other stuff – so long as it is earmarked for BRT schemes, BCC will be desperate to spend it (the jobs! the infrastructure!).

    Good stuff – thanks

    I suspect the real issue will be to get the Gov money spent on other stuff – so long as it is earmarked for BRT schemes, BCC will be desperate to spend it (the jobs! the infrastructure!).

    As well intentioned as BCC might be in that respect, ‘…the road to hell is paved with good intentions…’ 😉

    noteeth
    Member

    ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’

    What tyres for…?

    If BRT2 goes ahead, the road to hell will certainly include Prince Street Bridge.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Good work all who were there. From the news report and one of the anti- campaign’s twitter feed, it sounds like the scheme is rapidly being backed away from by most of the candidates.

    They’d be much better off spending the funding on preliminary work for metro rail IMO, it just depends what the conditions are.

    Good to hear chaps, good to hear. I’d be very sad if this went forward and would likely mean I would look to change where I live (i.e. out of Bristol) as the commute by bike is one of key draws for me.

    Make it dangerous, and I’m less likely to want to risk life and limb to work in a busy city.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    It seems like Prince Street Bridge is going to end up being used all three BRT schemes if this goes ahead, which will make the current confusing setup seem like a gambol in a meadow by comparison. When it swings the buses will just have to queue up.

    On Ashton Avenue Bridge, cyclists and pedestrians are apparently going to be herded onto a bolt-on gantry on the side of the bridge to keep them out of the way of the two-lane bus traffic. The brand new Festival Way cycle track (a nice quiet way to the trails) is going to become bus lane.

    Ok, you’ve convinced me. I might’ve swallowed it for the greater good, but that BRT is predicted to take a miniscule share of commuter traffic

    wordnumb
    Member

    Ransos and anyone else convinced by what Agreeable and No Teeth are saying – please write to your local councillors / MPs, or just to Bristol Council if you live out of the area. There are example letters to cut and paste from on the Stop BRT website.

    Ta.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    Ransos and anyone else convinced by what Agreeable and No Teeth are saying – please write to your local councillors / MPs, or just to Bristol Council if you live out of the area. There are example letters to cut and paste from on the Stop BRT website.

    I can’t do that for reasons I won’t go into here.

    I did talk to the Sustrans chuggers by Ashton Ave last night. They didn’t seem all that well informed about the plans, and told me that Sustrans’ official position was neutral. I wonder if they’ll change their stance once they become fully aware of the proposal details?

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    I take it you work for the Council or one of the other people involved in the project then Ransos?

    I’m a bit disappointed that Sustrans aren’t kicking up more of a fuss. John Grimshaw their founder has been one of its most outspoken critics, and I think him and Sustrans now have something of an awkward relationship, so perhaps that’s why they’re keeping schtum.

    noteeth
    Member

    Regardless of opinions to the contrary, Bristol City Council are still gunning for the scheme:

    At the same meeting the Cabinet will be asked to agree that £4.65 million be put forward out of the total £10 million allocated to the Bus Rapid Transit scheme from the Invest in Bristol package.

    The money is needed to cover the costs of developing Bristol’s three routes over the next 12 months. Funding will be needed to help pay towards planning and licence applications.

    I sense a deepening money pit…

    noteeth
    Member

    Apologies for the bumpity-bump… but there’s a council meeting at 6 pm, thurs 4th October (Council House, College Green) – the agenda includes discussion (& presumably ratification) of the BRT funding allocation.

    If anybody feels strongly about it, the StopBRT group & various others are planning to meet up at 5.30 pm to make a statement & demonstrate their opposition.

    Jolsa
    Member

    Email received below, thought I’d paste here for those interested. I plan to be there tomorrow…

    “If you can please come for half an hour tomorrow to show your opposition to more spending on BRT2. We will be gathering
    for a photo-opportunity outside the Council House at 5.30pm -prior to the Cabinet meeting at 6pm. We are aware of four statements
    including three of ours (business case, Harbour and conservation and cycling and walking) and Bristol Cycling Campaign’s opposing more BRT2 funding which will be read out at the start of the meeting.

    The Post has already covered it in today’s issue.
    £20 million – just for bendybus paperwork
    > http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/pound-20-million-ndash-just-bendybus-paperwork/story-17024588-detail/story.html

    noteeth
    Member

    Bump.

    Happening later today – in case anybody happens to be passing by.

    Jolsa
    Member

    Only 20-25 this evening, poor show but well done to those who turned up.

    noteeth
    Member

    Unfortunately for its readers, my handsome face is obscured in the Post’s photo (print edition).

    Protesters attack £4.5m spend on bendybus plan

    BCC seem desperate to force the issue… prior to the mayoral election (or even the results of the public enquiry! 😕 ).

    wrecker
    Member

    Are you the bloke peeing against the wall?

    noteeth
    Member

    Are you the bloke peeing against the wall?

    ha ha, no – a different photograph was used in the actual paper.

    noteeth
    Member

    Meeting is tonight.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    The council proposal has been “called in”. This means that the proposal will now be reviewed after the mayoral election, which is significant, given the opposition of some of the leading candidates.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-19872109

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Did a lunchtime of pounding the streets and trying to get local shops and other businesses to put up posters lately, and it was fairly astonishing how few have been informed of the proposals, or have any idea what they could mean for the Harbourside area. The Council are flying this one under the radar for sure.

    Of all the businesses, only the Princes Pantry had any enthusiasm for Prince Street being turned into a transport depot, presumably visualising hordes of fatties waddling off their buses to gorge themselves on a Myocardial Infarction.

    noteeth
    Member

    to gorge themselves on a Myocardial Infarction.

    Mmmm, bacon.

    it was fairly astonishing how few have been informed of the proposals

    This is key, imo – makes you wonder what will happen if/when they start building the damn thing.

    Edric 64
    Member

    I rode this bridge for the first time yesterday .I live on the Mendips and rode to town via Long Ashton and Aston Court .I rarely ride into town but found this a pleasant quiet route in .There were 2 guys from Sustrans canvassing support on the North side of the river yesterday lunchtime

    noteeth
    Member

    a pleasant quiet route in

    I hope it remains that way!

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    I don’t know whether they actually do a sandwich called a Myocardial Infarction, but they should do, it sounds ace if you say it with a Bristol accent.

    noteeth
    Member

    This thread is making me hungry – and not just for a change in transport policy.

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    They do do something called a “Heart Attack” or something similar – I have a feeling it involves avocado and bacon.

    deluded
    Member

    I don’t know whether they actually do a sandwich called a Myocardial Infarction, but they should do, it sounds ace if you say it with a Bristol accent.

    LOL at this – I found myself putting on a Wester / Bed-me accent trying to pronounce it!

    noteeth
    Member

    Update-type bump.

    Given the likely impact on the popular dockside railway, a demo event there is planned for 11 am, saturday 3rd November.

    Some of the mayoral candidates have published their views on the BRT scheme – the mainstream parties are generally in favour; George, the Greens & other indys are broadly opposed.

    Next public meeting is 7.30pm Monday 19 November, Hen and Chicken, North Street.

    (NB the following is just what I’ve gleaned from people I know, and not necessarily 100% correct or the official views of Sustrans – just my understanding of the situation)

    I’m not sure if this has been covered in the thread or not, but I believe the view of sustrans towards it is that there’s a resignation that something will happen, and that BRT represents the best of a bad bunch. If the money isn’t spent, the money will be lost (not saying this is a good or bd thing). Sustrans don’t ‘support’ it as such, but are involved to make sure that cyclists/walkers interests are best represented in whatever happens – the BRT route disrupts a lot of work which sustrans has put in place already.

    (please remember, this is re-hashed, and not neccessarily correct – don’t want anyone to get into hot water – so do not quote me!)

    The new bit of path currently being built from the girder bridge to the self-store warehouse is nothing to do with BRT (as someone not on this thread suggested) but part of the Connect2 scheme – improving access to the network for all.

    There were 2 guys from Sustrans canvassing support on the North side of the river yesterday lunchtime

    a little bird tells me they’ll be there today too, freezing their tits off!

    Premier Icon santacoops
    Subscriber

    I passed the bridge for a quick zip up to AC and LW earlier, expecting to do that nice little bank that runs down from the footbridge above and found its all fenced off with some sort of haul road looking affair cutting through from the storage warehouse down to the bridge. This isn’t something to do with BRT is it?

    Edric 64
    Member

    I saw that yesterday after the fixed n chips race and wondered what was happening

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Sammy, read hungry monkey’s post above – sounds like that’s what you saw.

    Sustrans don’t ‘support’ it as such, but are involved to make sure that cyclists/walkers interests are best represented in whatever happens – the BRT route disrupts a lot of work which sustrans has put in place already.

    John Grimshaw made this point too – the people behind it are probably going to end up pushing it through regardless (possibly before the mayoral election) so the best we may be able to hope for is to make sure walking and cycling facilities are included.

    noteeth
    Member

    the best we may be able to hope for is to make sure walking and cycling facilities are included

    The people behind it have already demonstrated that they are willing to ignore the needs of cyclists/pedestrians… but I agree, it’s an opportunity to try & get more leverage.

    As for pushing the scheme thru, IME there’s steadily mounting anger among Ashton Rd/Southville/Cumberland locals that this thing is being foisted on Butterfly Junction, Chocolate Path etc. Nobody down ‘ere will see any benefit from it – I mean, it’s not as if I’m going to hop on a guided bus to go to the Nova!

    The new bit of path currently being built from the girder bridge to the self-store warehouse is nothing to do with BRT

    A good addition & I’m glad to see it being built – partly because I hope a busy cycle/pedestrian intersection gives the BRT planners a headache. 😈

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    It’s the mayoral cycling and transport hustings tonight – I’ve already tabled a BRT2 question, as no doubt a few others have.

    noteeth
    Member

    Good stuff. Unfortunately I can’t be there tonight, but my fist is raised in solidarity. 😀

    noteeth
    Member

    BCC seem to be firing a certain amount of chaff – dropping bendy-buses doesn’t mean the end of BRT. And citing funds already spent wasted is hardly a reason for pressing on… except in the thru’- the-looking-glass world of local politics, of course.

    Feelings are running pretty high judging by some of the comments on that petition site.

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