In a parallel universe very, very nearby …

A couple of nuggets added to Charlie Bolton’s blog today …

First we learn Bristol City Council is spending £43,000 a year on bottled water. Perfectly reasonable really. How can we possibly expect council officers to drink water out of a tap any more than we can expect them to pay to park their cars when they go to work like anyone else; do anything resembling what is generally understood as productive work or follow simple instructions laid down by their bosses?

Then we learn that Labour transport boss Mark Bradshaw, the architect of plans to concrete over the railway path, has expressed formal interest in turning Bristol into a “Cycle City”.

Apparently Bradshaw is saying, “Bristol City Council is committed to supporting an increase in cycling in our City … Our aim is to enhance and expand smarter choices, including cycling, and not to undermine this progress.”

Welcome. You have now arrived in a place beyond parody.

This entry was posted in Blogging, Bristol, Local government, Transport and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to In a parallel universe very, very nearby …

  1. JulieAnn says:

    Cycling England are going to have a laugh.

    According to their document “Information for Bidders”, they are going to interview representatives of the towns and cities (in central England, in late May). If Mark Bradshaw and his bunch got through the interview, he would then have 3 months in which to keep the BRT scheme hidden from view:

    “Cycling England will reserve the right over the following 3 months after selection to withdraw their offer should it become apparent that the cycling town or cities’ strategy and political support are insufficient / undeliverable.”

  2. Ha Ha Ha. OK Mike on your Bike.

  3. Gary Hopkins says:

    Blair as middle East peace envoy,Bradshaw the cyclist’s champion. I think it was Tom Leara who said that parody died when Kissinger was nominated for a nobel peace prize.
    Do Labour politicians have the irony alert sense surgically removed?

  4. Chris Hutt says:

    Looking at the Cycling England document that julieAnn kindly provided a link to above, it’s clear that Bristol haven’t got a snowball’s chance in the fast lane of the M4 on this one.

    For example they say “CE will be looking for senior political and officer commitment…This must be (at least) from a political champion such as the transport portfolio holder (Bradshaw, ha!) ….who must be able to demonstrate that the authority supports investment in high quality infrastructure which gives clear advantage and priority to cyclists…..”

    Quite apart from the little matter of their plans to degrade the Railway Path and many other cycle routes with the BRT scheme, their record on providing for cyclists is abysmal. Cyclists themselves refer to many so-called cycle facilities as “farcilities”.

  5. Gary Hopkins said, “Blair as middle East peace envoy,Bradshaw the cyclist’s champion. I think it was Tom Leara who said that parody died when Kissinger was nominated for a nobel peace prize.
    Do Labour politicians have the irony alert sense surgically removed?”

    Could we not add to the list parties who happily advocate a consumer society but who also claim green credentials ??

  6. Gary Hopkins says:

    Really Mr Vowles? I take no responsibility for Lab/tory but locally we made some significant progress whilst in charge,now being frittered away by Lab/Tory administration and I believe that recently the green Alliance rated us the leading party on the environment. Words are important ,action more so.

  7. Jeff says:

    Don’t get this cycling business – it’s hard work cycling!!

  8. Broadbeak says:

    Yes Jeff – it’s blinking hard work in Bristol what with all this uncollected rubbish and wheelie bins blocking the pavements. I’m going to be forced to ride on the the road eventually.

  9. badnewswade says:

    Oh, shit. So they ARE going to tear up the cycle path, after all.

    I love the way the “cycling city” is fed by a massive urban motorway going right through the centre of town. I suppose because it’s a cycling city, all the cyclepaths will eventually be demolished to make way for bus lanes…

    Roll on Peak Oil!

  10. Pedestria says:

    Gary Hopkins said; “… recently the green Alliance rated us the leading party on the environment …”

    Come off it! Your colleague Nicholas Blincoe tried this line in a CiF article recently and he, and the (corporate-sponsored) GA got taken apart. For a start, the GA only included the three Grey parties. The “free” market Orange Book crowd dominate the Lib Dems now.

    The fact is that the Green Party is the only one that comes anywhere near starting to address the socio-environmental crisis we face.

  11. Peter Goodwin says:

    Pedestria is right, Gary Hopkins is wrong.

    The Green Alliance itself says of its ‘Green Standard Report’ (Sept 2007):

    “This report provides the first assessment of the three main political parties’ green credentials. It concludes that none of the parties have yet implemented policy commitments and action on the scale requried to meet the range and urgency of the environmental threats we face and sets out the areas in which we would like to see improvement.”

    It didn’t take long to find this on their website at

    Didn’t you even try to check it Gary? Too inconvenient a truth, maybe?

  12. Jon Rogers says:

    Thanks for the reference, Peter.

    I see that in their comparison of the parties, the Green Alliance says….

    “With no ‘green lights’, the gap between “Conservative aspirations on the environment and their limited policy commitments is stark. ”

    “The Labour government, despite displaying international leadership on climate change, is failing on its renewables and emissions targets and has failed to commit to implementing a Marine Bill and receives just one green light.

    “The Liberal Democrats get three green lights by offering the strongest set of policies on climate change, green taxation and green living.

    So Gary Hopkins is correct when he said, “that recently the green Alliance rated us the leading party on the environment“.

    Does the Green Alliance mention the Green party in their report?

    It does go on to say…

    “All three parties, however, have failed to give sufficient attention to policies that will protect and enhance our countryside and wildlife. ”

    That is clearly an area for us all to work on.


  13. Jon Rogers says:

    More on the Green Alliance – This assessment has been conducted by CPRE, Friends of the Earth, Green Alliance, Greenpeace, National Trust, RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trust and WWF.

    “We have focused on the parties’ records since the 2005 General Election. The scope of our assessment is focused on Westminster, and does not include parties or actions by the devolved administrations or in local government.

  14. Bristol Dirt Bag says:

    Jon mate… you really were born to be a politician weren’t you?!?!

  15. Pedestria says:

    Yes, the phrase “economical with the truth” springs to mind.

    Thanks to Peter, I found on a related page the following summation of the findings, where Stephen Hale, Director of Green Alliance, said on behalf of the groups:

    “It is very disappointing that none of the three main parties are yet providing the leadership and action we need. The environmental ambitions of the parties are very welcome but all three must close the gap between rhetoric and delivery in the run-up to the next general election.”

  16. Jon Rogers says:

    Pedestria, I don’t blame you, but you seem to have given up quoting the many excellent, considered and often juicy phrases in the Green Alliance report and are now quoting opinion from an associated press release!

    Thank you for highlighting Nicholas Blincoe‘s Guardian article in your earlier comment.

    As for Bristol Dirt Bag, I am not sure I was born to be anything in particular, but I did chose to be a GP and to stand as a ward councillor. I am fortunate to enjoy both my choices.

  17. Chris Hutt says:

    The utter unreality continues in today’s Cancer.

    Bradshaw – “the ongoing co-operation between Bristol City Council and Sustrans…is extremely important to us.”

    And then wheels out one of his well paid CONsultants who proceeds to insult Sustrans and thousands of Railway Path users by implying that Sustrans’ flagship project “squanders” a transport resource.

    If that’s Bradshaw’s idea of “ongoing cooperation” then no wonder the Council are alienating thousands of Bristolians with their crass bus route proposals.

  18. lee loosetongue says:

    Can’t believe how much time is spent on the green issue- no wonder there is a hole in the ozone layer. Labour lead the way on green policies? Why do they encourage the Chinese to mass produce our goods and transport them to us?
    Why not put a railway line on the old railway path because it is hard work putting my wheelchair in my panier bag!!!

  19. Dona Qixota says:

    “Can’t believe how much time is spent on the green issue” Well you’re not living in the real world then Loosie. Control over and (mis-)use of our environment and natural resources make up THE battleground for the forseeable.

    Deal with it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *