What’s ‘Progressive’ About This?

Bristol should implement a “progressive squeeze on cars” to solve its transport problems, campaigners have been told.

It’s apparently ‘progressive’ now to force people out of their own personal transport and onto public transport, or non-powered bikes, is it?

The call was made at a meeting called by the city’s Civic Societylast night.The debate, titled Transport in Bristol: The Art of the Possible, was organised by the society and took place at Colston Hall.

About 100 people attended, hearing contributions from council cabinet member for transport, Tim Kent, the council’s director of transport, Peter Mann, and Robert Sinclair, the chief executive of Bristol Airport and a board member of the Local Enterprise Partnership.

So, no ordinary people?

They were followed by James Smith, member of the Civic Society’s transport group, who said cars needed to be “tackled” and that Bristol was lagging behind other cities in terms of its transport infrastructure sustainability.


No, just another little get-together of the professional political and lobbying classes…

10 comments for “What’s ‘Progressive’ About This?

  1. November 15, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Last year I posted on the parking problems caused when 300 staff were moved to a new headquarters with 55 parking spaces.

    I recently talked to an insider who tells me that, during the ‘consultation process’, all the staff were asked ‘Does your household own an adult bicycle in working order?’

    For those who answered ‘yes’, there was no box on the form to indicate whether they live within cycling distance – or, indeed, whether they are capable of cycling at all.

    And neither was there any way of pointing out that many of the members of staff concerned would be making daily visits up to 40 miles away from the office.

    The number-crunchers thus blithely calculated that 85% of workers had access to a bicycle so wouldn’t need a parking space – ‘look at us being green; all that sustainable transport!’ – and the town, no doubt, now features prominently among the places that Bristol is ‘lagging behind’.

    The fact that the local supermarket car park is jammed full of office-workers’ cars all day and the local residents are at the end of their collective tether is, of course, neither here nor there.


    • Mintee
      November 16, 2011 at 10:14 am

      300 staff with 55 parking spaces? Luxury.

      Try the numpties at the new BBC studios in Roath Lock, Cardiff. 4 stages will allow 4 (large) productions to be working there at the same time. Casualty have started and the Welsh soap Pobol y Cwm is about to commence and they will be there most of the time, Dr Who and Upstairs, Downstairs are yet to move in.

      Now, the vast majority of the production crew are freelance and constantly changing. Each production will employ 100-250 people at any one time, so there could be @1000 people there at one time and most will not be ‘locals’ and the BBC have less than 200 parking spaces! I have been told the canteen seats 170 or so!

      It will be chaos.

      • November 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm

        😆 😆 😆

  2. November 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    This is what we are always banging on about. I’m on a bike and swear by it for both strategic and health reasons but that doesn’t mean some Common Purpose driven councillors need to impose this on everyone and as Macheath has mentioned, no thought is given to the downside of it. How can such people be removed from the decision making process? By all means let them continue to have their say – just don’t let them go anywhere near decisions concerning us.

  3. November 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Yes, this is the council that never did manage to sort out a light rail system.

  4. 6079SmithW
    November 15, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    What is so ‘sustainable’ about air travel that the chief exec of Bristol Airport has something to say on the matter. Must all his passengers ride bicycles to his airport?

    A survey of how those attending travelled to and from the venue would be most enlightening.

    Winston Smith

  5. Andrew Duffin
    November 16, 2011 at 11:47 am

    An interesting example arose here recently.

    New building to house the County Agricultural College – not enough parking spaces even for the staff, never mind the students.

    Result – cars parked all over all the surrounding streets, chaos, upset residents, congestion, and so on.

    Authority’s reponse “They should come on the bus”.

    Apparently they don’t realise that agricultural college students are largely from the farming community, and mostly live quite a long way out of town where there are few – or usually no – buses.

    Typical bureaucrat stupidity, but I bet they win plaudits for being so “green”. Tossers.

    • November 16, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      Solution: Stop giving plaudits. We need the various boasts about being ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ to be the equivalent of the big red ‘X’ painted on the doors of plague victims…

  6. Robert Edwards
    November 16, 2011 at 11:47 am

    ‘Progressive squeeze’ is a loaded and coded phrase. We may imagine the scene shortly; a perfectly innocent driver is pulled from his car, beaten up, TASER’d and, after minimal recovery time(and pursued by snapping German Shepherd dogs) is hustled onto a stinking and verminous cattle-truck to be transported to an unknown destination, there to be re-eduated as to the virtues of the bicycle.

    His crime? To have the effrontery to insist on using personal long-distance transport.

  7. Jeremy Poynton
    November 16, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    As an former resident of Bristol, for 23 years, I can tell you that the bus system there is a total shambles and incredibly expensive. I tried more than once to use it to go to work, and gave up pretty soon. Best tale of all – I used to work near the huge Cribbs Causeway shopping mall. The bus I used to get – one every 15 minutes – went through the mall. One Christmas, they managed to get 12 buses gridlocked there before they decided to skip it. I spent three hours in the rain in Bradley Stoke, working on my blood pressure.

    There was also a local train, that run from near where we lived, to Parkway. Bus then to work. Worked quite well. So they cancelled the 5.30pm service back (which was always packed), as it “interfered with regional services”.

    Their all day Rover ticket cost twice as much as the same in Newcastle (same company) – and Newcastle has a Metro as well.

    Bristol was the first city to propose bringing back trams, in 1975. After interminable faffing about by the hidebound and awful Labour council, the govt told them there was no way they would help fund it given the way they pissed money away.

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