Besides the various corporate interests that have their feet firmly under the table of the West of England Partnership’s BRT Project Board – the group continuing to do the work that will destroy the railway path – there’s also various people apparently representing the area’s local authorities.
At least one of these characters is maybe not quite what they appear however. Richard Rawlinson is listed on all the BRT Project Board minutes as attending the meetings as a representative of B&NES. But is this the whole story?
Before pitching up the West of England Partnership and before going anywhere near B&NES, Rawlinson was the head of transport at … Wait for it … Bristol City Council!
If you’re looking for the man behind the tram fiasco, look no further. Or if you’re looking for the man who helped nurture and create the current gridlock nightmare that is Bristol, look no further. And if you’re looking for the man who gave in to every ridiculous demand First Bus have ever made in Bristol, again, look no further.
After this unremarkable career of caving in to corporations on our behalf while gaining nothing, Rawlinson finally crawled away from Bristol a couple of years ago straight into the arms of private sector transport consultants White Young Green where he specialised in air quality.
For an undisclosed fee, Rawlinson worked from conveniently located offices just yards away from his old transport team on Wilder Street in St Pauls and next to the new Broadmead development whose developers had agreed to city council requests to pay £500,000 to “monitor and manage” air quality in the St. Pauls, Easton and St. Judes areas.
Now we find him, apparently having slithered conveniently back into the public sector, heading up transport policy for B&NES where he’s at the front of a queue that’s cosying up to corporate transport interests and promoting an insane BRT scheme for Bristol.
No doubt he’s making very good use too of all those contacts and the inside knowledge he obtained while supposedly working on our behalf in Bristol for all those years? And how long before he’s taking up some more lucrative consultancy work for the private sector?
And will it, by any chance, have anything to do with BRT schemes in Bristol?