Railway Path protest leaflet

Oh. And our man wandering around the Council House not doing very much passed the press office earlier and says Bristol City Council are preparing a press release about the path this very day … Ho! Ho! Ho!

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45 Responses to Plug.

  1. Dream Girl says:

    Listen to Mr Bradshaw himself on:

    “I want to clarify a couple of points. There has been a lot of speculation about who agreed what when and where. This has itself caused a lot of alarm…..”

    (who found this alarming? Bradshaw? No, it was us lot from Easton, Fishponds and Lawrence Hill !) “…. particularly in the areas surrounding the cycle path”….

    but it obviously DOES bother him:

    ……. “I am not going to take part in the party political point scoring being conducted by others. People concerned about the cycle path want to hear the facts, not one group of politicians blaming the other”

  2. Jon Rogers says:

    And an update on the Bristol Lib-Dem position…

  3. Peter Goodwin says:

    “And an update on the Bristol Lib-Dem position…”

    Don’t you mean a strategic political repositioning ?

    “The altered amendment “

    “It will only take a handful of Labour or Conservatives councillors to vote with us to get this motion and the amendment passed”

    This LibDem press release looks like it’s been cobbled together in haste – to try to get those hacks at the Post to give them credit for all the work every one else has been doing. It seems designed to antagonise friend and foe alike. Certainly antagonises me.

    So what is this “motion and (altered) amendment”, Jon ? A bit sloppy wording, or is there more to it?

    Why is there no credit given to the Greens’ Charlie Bolton, who brought this whole matter to the council? Why didn’t you put out a press release a couple of days ago about your first choice – watering down the motion ?

    OK, we know the answers.

    Even so, the LibDems’ change of heart today is to be welcomed. Now, with their paw prints added to the way the motion’s worded, we can all agree on condemning the use of the Bristol-Bath path for BRT, and we’re equal partners in a strong alliance.

    Just remember that no-one has asked the jonny-come-lately LibDems to lead it. Fortunately, with their dodgy record on the railway path, no-one is likely to.

  4. CP says:

    Well…. I hate to piss on your sectarian party but.. (a )the debate on this topic, as reflected in these columns exposes the utter uselessness of the Lib Dems as a meaningful political party and (b) if we are now at the mercy of single-issue politics (ie the middle class cyclists) then bye-bye democracy.

  5. Gary Hopkins says:

    Oh dear Mr Goodwin don’t you speak to your colleages.
    I for one am happy to give credit to Charlie Bolton. Unlike yourself he has the sense to work with others to maximise the chances of producing the right result.
    The altered motion strengthens and improves the motion ,was drafted by me with help from lLib Dem colleages and has been submitted by Charlie and acknowledged by the legal officer.
    It is available through the link Jon provided.
    This is not a criticism of the origonal motion which was written some weeks ago and with not much thought of the twists and turns that Bristol Labour is capable of.
    There was a significant chance of LAB/Tory acknowledging ,or even voting for the origonal motion and just carrying on. Although this could still happen,it has been made more difficuilt.
    I think you will find that we were the first party ,bar none,to issue our position at the beginning of Feb.,attended the Easton meeting, and have been explaining ever since that “do not build it here” while a simple and attractive slogan needs to be added to with “build it over there instead” if you want to maximise the protection. This also has the advantage of putting the 2 groups of “save the cycle path” and “improve public transport” on the same side instead of opposing. We do not pretend that BRT is a perfect answer and in fact you can confirm this if you look at the early statement available through the link, but it is better than nothing which is where things were headed.
    The worst villain in all of this is the crazy quango/bidding system that this government has elevated to a religion and is damaging to local democracy ,accountability and value for money.
    Bristol council,whatever colour it is , does not have the power to just look at the problem, listen to local opinion and then do something on issues like transport.The central control ,started by Mrs Thatcher and massively increased by New Labour is to blame.
    Some people will interpret that as letting local Labour off the hook but we must remember when they “campaign against”government cuts ,or when Paul Smith pretends the policy is nothing to do with him and his party they are all one.
    Watch out also for the attempt to outsource decision making being made by LAB/tory in Bristol city council this very Tuesday. Completly unannounced and explained it would hand over decision making on transport and waste to WOE . Try thinking what effect that could have on the cycle path decision and the incinerator as just 2 examples.

  6. Chris Hutt says:

    Gary Hopkins said “Watch out also for the attempt to …. hand over decision making on transport and waste to WOE . Try thinking what effect that could have on the cycle path decision and the incinerator as just 2 examples.”

    That sounds like a bombshell! That would be the end of representative democracy, at least in those areas! Can you elaborate on that?

  7. thebristolblogger says:

    They’re trying to establish a Multi Area Agreement.

    The council’s report is here (pdf) but it doesn’t tell you much. Any councillor who’s prepared to vote for an MAA on the basis of this crap is not fit for office.

    There’s not much information on MAAs around. But there’s a bit here:

    An intereting bit being this:

    Will this put anti-TIF minds at rest? Not necessarily. At the same time, the draft Local Transport Bill is wending its way through parliament. This bill will give local transport authorities the power to come up with new arrangements for “integrated local transport authorities”. These would have to be agreed with government, but at least some anti-congestion-charge MPs have expressed concern that they could ultimately bring in local congestion charges without taking into account the positions of all the councils they cover.

    There goes some more local democracy …

  8. Greengage says:

    Gary Hopkins: can you please explain in what sense the LDs “were the first party ,bar none,to issue our position at the beginning of Feb”?

    Respect and the Greens both issued unambigous statements opposing the bus plans in January, whereas your party only managed their first clear no to the plans yesterday.

    Is this a Hillary Clinton style “misspeak” on your part?

  9. Gary Hopkins says:

    As the blogger says there is a report produced on the quiet for debate on Tuesday. It seeks to cede powers to WOE on a 1 council 1 vote basis which on the 2 issues I have outlined could have disastrous results. Watch out for pompous speeches from the Eddy and Holland double act about co-operating with the neighbours. This is a result of government pressure/bribery.
    If passed it will allow Bradshaw for example to say he is powerless as neighbouring councils vote through building on the cycle path under the threat of having gov. Funding withheld or South Glos and N. Som. force Bristol to continue with the disastrous Avonmouth incinerator.

  10. Paul Smith says:


    I think you styarted the work on the incinerator option, suddenly becoming opposed when you failed to take control of the council. the decision that has been made is not to have an incinerator – thanks on this ocassion to Mark Bradshaw who has derailed your plan.

  11. bristoltravelplan says:

    you really have to wonder at the wriggling by mr hopkins and his crew- amazing. not only does he forget the 2 years he ran things – and agreed to the cycle path even being considered, but is now attempting to blur it all again with this government to blame stuff. Admit it gary, bradshaw’s gotcha! Maybe dennis brown will pop up now and say that the last 2 years were all a dream while he was having a shower. people can seee thru your posturing and blantant misleading, to be mild about it. So glad I’m back from working abroad to hear the path plan has been relegated to the sidings. well done bradshaw

  12. Peter Goodwin says:

    “So glad…….to hear the path plan has been relegated to the sidings. well done bradshaw

    Only to the sidings, though… Tuesday’s vote is about defeating it altogether. That’s the real test.

  13. Peter Goodwin says:

    Paul: “the decision that has been made is not to have an incinerator”

    What? When?

  14. Chris Hutt says:

    “the path plan has been relegated to the sidings. well done bradshaw”

    Well done indeed. He’s beaten a tactical retreat to save the BRT plan from possible annihilation on Tuesday. Now we have the prospect of continuing the battle for perhaps years! Well if that’s how Bradshaw wants it I for one am happy to oblige.

    The whole BRT network is riddled with controversial environmental and economic impacts (who wants concrete bus tracks, noise and pollution next to their homes?) which can and will be highlighted. Now that the public have seen how readily the Council cave in to pressure many more will have the confidence to defend their patch of green space.

    If the only way to save the Railway Path is to kill off the whole BRT project then so be it, but it would be prudent for the Council to now kill off the Railway Path route to save the BRT project.

  15. Paul Smith says:


    The tender that was agreed for dealing with Greater Bristol’s residual waste (not a phrase I am too keen on as almost all so-called waste can be a resource if properly collected, seperated etc) has been put out to be open to all technologies. We all know that incineration is the worse possible option with many much better treatment options available now – the Government is supporting anerobic digestion, Mark Bradshaw seems to support MBT (treatment with bacteria I think). Incineration could still get through – which we need to be watchful about but it is not the prefered option. Full details can be found on the waste news website

    With both the waste issue and the BRT – these schemes were let to consultants under the lib dems with no bottom lines excluding in one case incinceration and the in the other the railway path. Now they are blaming everyone else but themselves – having agreed huge consultancy projects with inadequate briefs.

    Mr Hopkins bluster is little more than a smoke screen.

    Anyway whoever started it – we have to finish it and that job hasn’t been fully compelted with either yet. See you all on Sunday

  16. Get out says:

    Gosh, what an extremely bitter first post from Peter Goodwin up there. You would almost think he is secretly disappointed that the LDs have come out against using the path! Presumably it would have put his party in a much stronger campaigning position if they hadnt…

    And I’m amazed to hear from Paul Smith that Labour have now apparently cancelled the incinerator. I wonder if his party knows that?

    Anyway, I hear that the most serious concern within the leadership of Bristol Labour and Tory Parties right now is not the cycle path at all. By the sound of rumblings in the Council House the uppermost thing on the mind of the Labour Chief Whip Colin Smith, Lord Mayor Royston Griffey, Helen Holland and Richard Eddy is: a fabled photograph of Helen and Eddy looking extra friendly in a break of the Council budget debate. The villain is Lib Dem deputy leader Jon Rogers who apparently tried to take a snap on his mobile phone (despite the fact that meetings are web cast and the press and TV are admitted anyway). Serious threatening letters have been sent, apologies demanded and assurances sought that the photo will be destroyed – if it even exists.

    Presumably the thought of the cosy picture being used in political leaflets caused panic! Mind you, considering Labour don’t even bother to use real photos in their leaflets (remember your story here?: ) it’s hard to see why they are so worked up by whether the photo exists or not.

  17. Gary Hopkins says:

    Come come Mr Smith .You seem to be losing your touch. Previously your nonsense looked like it had enough of a hint of truth to have some people believing them.
    There was of course co-operation between CUBA authorities , who all kept their right of independance as was demonstrated by BANES when I was executive for environment in Bristol and yes we looked at all possible options for treatment including incineration and roundly rejected it. It waas rejected on numerous environmental grounds and specifically CLlrs ,stakeholders and the general public were adament that facilities needed to be small scale.
    As soon as Mr Bradshaw took over ,along with some Tories, we were told that the public wanted “energy from waste” which is code for incinerator and a massive incinerator appears in the plans.
    There has been no tender for dealing with WOE residual waste but there has been a joint plan approved by Mark Bradshaw and some Tory Execs. to build a mass burn incinerator and an expression of interest is being submitted for a PFI to follow that route.
    This was opposed by a budget ammendment put by myself with Charlie Bolton supporting the Lib Dems. but was defeated by LAb /Cons.
    Watch out for the official launch of Bristol Against Mass Burn Incineration which will be shortly after the vote on the cycle path.

  18. Paul Smith says:


    You really should read the papers – the proposal for dealing with residual waste is open to all technologies. Your budget amendment would have left Greater Bristol with no way to deal with residual waste other than landfill

  19. Paul Smith says:

    I have pasted the full article from Lets Recycle below (to avoid accusations of selective quoting). Can someone tell gary that there is already a campaign against incineration being led by Friends of the earth so he should join that rather than trying to set up his own band wagon. Also again for the record I am totally opposed to incinceration.

    Bristol agrees composting contract as major PFI bid begins

    Bristol city council has awarded a 20-year contract to Dorset firm New Earth Solutions to build and operate a new in-vessel composting plant for the city.

    The award was made today (March 14), two days after councillors from Bristol together with South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Bath & North East Somerset councils agreed on a plan to seek PFI support for major new waste treatment facilities in the area.

    New Earth Solutions already treats Bristol food waste at its existing facility in Dorset
    However, Bath & North East Somerset is opting out of part of the Strategy, which could involve the construction of an energy-from-waste incinerator.

    New Earth will build a facility capable of processing 30,000 tonnes a year of food waste, green waste and cardboard, at a site five miles from Bristol at Willow Farm, Severnside.

    It is anticipated that the plant would be open by January 2010.

    Bristol city council, which is already running weekly food waste collections across the city, has decided to stop sending the material more than 100 miles for treatment to New Earth Solutions’ home base near Poole in Dorset.

    The company has won an open competition to develop a more local plant to mechanically mix and aerate the organic material and use the composted product as a soil improver in agriculture or horticulture. The new facility is expected to seek accreditation under the PAS 100 standard for producing compost.

    Peter Mills, commercial director for New Earth Solutions, said: “As far as New Earth is concerend it means our advanced composting systems have been recognised. And, as we have been working with Bristol for last 18 months as part of an interim contract, we are delighted to deliver a bedspoke facility for them, the city of Bristol itself.”

    Food waste collections have already helped to double Bristol’s recycling rates to 37%. The city council is now keen to widen the collections to households on estates and to flats.

    Councillor Mark Bradshaw, executive member for access and environment, explained that introducing kerbside food waste collections had been a “first step”, requiring material to be taken to Dorset initially. “A number of people kept asking me why the waste has to be sent all the way to Dorset to be processed and this is why we decided to try and set up a plant closer to where the waste was being produced,” he said.

    “For us this major contract is good news for Bristol and a vote of confidence in the massive weekly contributions which the residents are making in using the brown bin system.We hope that we can further improve levels of recycling both working within our own boundary and increasingly working with neighbouring authorities,” Cllr Bradshaw told

    New Earth’s contract win came a week after waste firm SITA withdrew a bid to build a similar-scale in-vessel plant on a green-belt site at Westerleigh, next to the M4.

    West England Partnership

    Cllr Charlie Bolton
    Meanwhile, the four authorities within the West of England Waste Management and Planning Partnership agreed on a new Joint Residual Municipal Waste Management Strategy at a meeting on Wednesday.

    Developed by the authorities since October 2005, the document entitled “Rubbish or Resource?” lays out how 330,000 tonnes a year of residual waste should be managed within the local area.

    The Strategy includes four “phases” starting with a continuation of existing recycling and waste minismisation efforts.

    Phase Two would see the procurement of an “interim” treatment contract of at least five years in length, using mechanical biological treatment or autoclaving to divert between 100,000 and 150,000 tonnes a year. The contract would be offered to the waste market later in 2008, to start around 2010/11.

    Phase Three would then see a longer-term contract, likely 25 years in length, to divert a further 160,000 tonnes of residual waste from landfill from 2015. Energy-from-waste has been nominated as a “reference” technology for the contract in order to attract PFI credits, but the Partnership has said waste management companies would be free to propose alternative technologies.

    The Partnership is submitting its expression of interest to Defra by the end of March 2008, and if successful will then have to outline a more detailed business plan. Should Defra then award PFI credits, a formal procurement process could then begin for a contract from 2011.

    A final “phase four” could then be used to deal with any remaining residual waste, using “the lessons learned from previous Phases to continue to meet targets” beyond 2020.

    The four authorities have been told that indicative costs of diverting 340,000 tonnes of waste from landfill over a 28-year period would be in the region of £1.67 billion for an MBT contract and £1.26 billion for an energy-from-waste contract. This would compare to a £2.1 billion cost of continuing to use landfill.

    The Strategy accepts that energy-from-waste is a “contentious” issue, but argued that it is “proven”, which is why the process is being recommended for the phase three contract. A technical appraisal graded it second highest after gasification, but the Strategy discounted gasification on the grounds that has not been demonstrated yet in the UK for a project of similar scale.

    Bath and North East Somerset has withdrawn from phase three of the waste strategy as a result of energy-from-waste being recommended.

    A statement from Friends of the Earth read to the meeting stated opposition to the project, and also asked why the authorities were not down-scaling the phase three project to take account of Bath and North Somerset withdrawing.

    The group wants to see MBT used instead of incineration.

    Green Party councillor Charlie Bolton also issued a statement to the meeting, outlining concerns about both energy from waste and the PFI funding process.

    West of England waste strategy
    Cllr Bolton said: “PFI is likely to be highly inappropriate when in such a fast changing world as that of recycling and waste disposal clearly is. It will be extremely difficult and costly to set a contract which retains the flexibility to deal with changes in technology, recycling rates, legislation and peoples attitudes towards waste that we are seeing at this time.

    “I remain of the view that the proposal to build a mass burn incinerator will be the worst environmental solution, and act as a disincentive to recycle. It defies the outcome of the consultation for small scale local solutions. It will likely be located in an area of relative social deprivation,” he said.

  20. Peter Goodwin says:

    So the WoE Partnership’s default position IS incineration, then.

    The consultation and the technical appraisals have been ignored – the strategy is being dictated by what the bankers consider is the best investment bet. That’s incineration – because not only is it well established, it can ‘externalise’ most of the true costs, and it can tie customers to long term obligations to keep on feeding it loads of waste (and pay for the privilege).

    Don’t be misled by the spin, Paul. Join the new alliance.

  21. Thomas says:

    Some pictures of the 1st Annual Cycle path Celebration courtesy of Bristol RMT website here:

  22. bristoltravelplan says:

    fantastic turnout at the march and rally today – great speeches esp john grimshaw
    amazed to see mark bradshaw there too – but v good he came along – shows he’s not a fan of the cycle path proposals either and was having a good conversation with john g so clearly they get along and can speak. but no sign of the lib dems apart from a pathetic stephen wiliams ‘nice to see you today, where am I’ speech, but no dennis ‘the architect’ brown???? all in all well organised and a great show of support for the path.

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  24. Chris Hutt says:

    bristoltravelplan wrote “no sign of the lib dems…” Not so, they were there in force. I spotted Steve Cromer, Gary Hopkins and John Rogers as well as Stephen Williams MP.

    Also lots of Labour people, including Kerry McCarthy MP, and the Greens who could feel justly proud that so much had been achieved on the back of a Council resolution put down by our one Green Councillor, Charlie Bolton.

    However the best speakers were the non-politicos, Sarah E (who sometimes posts here) and two children, Helena and Alfie, with John Grimshaw not far behind. Nicely compered by Sarah C too.

    All in all in was a delightful, carnival like event with fantastic weather (so somebody pretty big must be on our side) so congratulations to all those who worked so hard to make it run so smoothly.

    A special mention for Ted Fowler who had, on top of everything else, to confront an impatient motorist who tried to turn right through the march in Baldwin Street. Apart from that incident most motorists seemed to accept the delays with good grace.

  25. SteveL says:

    Bradshaw? He was there? And missed him? Pity -I was trying to get some quotes on camera, but the small child attached to the back of my bike started complaining about hunger and stopped me from filming much more than grab the speeches. Expect some video to come out over the next 48 hours anyway, including more on-bike footage, as I am now getting better at filming while pedaling one handed.

    Stephen Williams got to speak was because he supported the railwaypath campaign from early on, the same with Paul Smith and the other speakers. I’m sure lots of people would have liked to stand up and take credit, but those people who stood up deserved recognition for saying “This is daft” without waiting for anyone to tell them to.

    Thank you to everyone who helped! It was an excellent afternoon. The FIRST railway path celebration

  26. Paul Smith says:

    Great event, well organised given the short notice. kerry mccarthy videoed the attack by the motorist on Ted Fowler so plod will be getting a copy.

    Well done again – now for tuesday

  27. Sarah says:

    As the celebration broke up I noticed Mark Bradshaw in deep conversation with Steve Meek and others from the Savetherailwaypath steering group. News to follow?

  28. Sarah Creagh says:

    No revalations from Mark Bradshaw i’m afraid, I’m not afraid to share his words so I will repeat them here. Only that he feels he can’t vote for the ‘lib-dem ammended’ motion because it attacks the government (?) and he is currently applying for funding from the government so it wouldn’t be appropiate (??) Also that he generally supports bus rapid transport on a segregated route and I kind of got him to agree that if this was publically owned it would be a thousand times better but not necessarily possible, in his view.
    So hope to see as many as possible 5.30 back on college green on tuesday (april 1st) to make sure we get this motion through, you can still register statements of support as far as i’m aware until midday tomorrow, on the bristol city council website.
    To Victory!

  29. Poor Dear says:

    Apparently Steve Williams muscled his way in as a speaker at the last minute because he has supported the path from the start. Funny I thought the only thing he had done was to do an interview on youtube at someone elses request. He certainly didn’t use his position as an MP to speak on it last week in the transport debate in parliament – he didn’t even turn up.

    I hear that he didn’t even go on the march just turned up for his vote grabbing opportunity at the end of the day.

  30. M W says:

    Where does the motion text “attack the government”? I cant see it do anything of the sort. Sounds like wriggling to me!

  31. M W says:

    So is the Labour line now going to be to say that they were going to vote for the original motion all along but now they cant vote for it because the Lib Dems have touched it?

  32. Chris Hutt says:

    We can see from Bradshaw’s web cast/video that he (or the organ grinder) likes to play games with words, implying one thing while saying something pretty meaningless. Take this extract for example –

    “the use of a route involving the Bristol to Bath cycle path is proving technically complex and challenging and building a road next to the cycle path is simply not an option and would be unacceptable to Bristol.”

    Is a guided bus way a road? Not in their opinion, we can be sure, so the second half of the sentence means nothing. He has obviously chosen the ambiguous word “road” carefully, linking it to a comment about the “challenging” nature of the Railway Path route, to give the impression of rejecting the route option while really keeping his options open.

    The media, eager to see a story in everything, have obliged with headlines saying that the plans have been “shelved” (EP), “scrapped” (BBC) and “dropped” (EP), presumably based on nothing more than that particular sleight-of-hand with words. There is precious little else in his video that could possibly be said to support such headlines.

    As for “shelved”, what he actually said is “We are committed to full public consultation on this (the Railway Path route ) and the other options this summer”. Previously they were saying consultation in the spring, so a slight delay, a matter of weeks. “Shelved”?

    There is a hint of the truth, for anyone with the patience to unravel a rather convoluted sentence, with this – “after agreeing such a major shift of resources in our budget into smarter travel choices (BRT to them) ……., I am not going to undermine this commitment”. Yes, it’s clear enough, Bradshaw’s not going to undermine the commitment to BRT, which means not shelving, scrapping or dropping the Railway Path route.

    Bradshaw goes on spell out what is to come – “The best way to explain rapid transit is to get a service up and running…..This should be connecting Ashton Vale and central Bristol”. So the prioritisation of the Ashton Vale to Emerson’s Green route remains, but he now neglects to mention the section using the Railway Path, implying (but not saying!) that it is in some sense detached from the rest of the route.

    The Save the Railway Path campaign now have the difficult job of persuading the public that the threat to the Path remains as real and immediate as ever, so Bradshaw’s deviousness may have paid off. We shall see on Tuesday night.

  33. Tess says:

    Whatever happens on Tuesday we need to be alert to the continuing threat to the cycling and walking paths in South Bristol. The Chocolate Path and route through the docks, the Malago Greenway and the Whitchurch railway path are all part of the WoE partnership plans and buses on these routes would wreck peaceful opportunities for leisure for many people in the centre and south of the city and would pose similar threats to wildlife and biodiversity to the B&B cycle path plans. So be ready to build on the excellent campaign so far!

  34. steve says:

    very true Tess. Are you interested in helping with it, the Save the RailwayPath Campaign team are heavily based around the north to east side of the city. It will be necessary to widen the group. Make yourself known to us at the council house tomorrow?

  35. SteveL says:

    The speeches are up online.

    Please accept my apologies for the wobbly camera and bad editing. That’s what you get when I’m doing the filming.

  36. redzone says:

    it’s pathetic how the politicians are now jostling for position on this campaign.
    the usual he said, we said, they said.
    the clammer for the podium & the most prestigious mugshot at the march.
    the real campaign heroes are the members of the public who are fighting the cause, not the politicos trying to gain publicity.
    if push comes to shove & the party line dictates a bus route, how many would still challenge the decision??
    very few, because first & foremost they represent their parties & not the people.
    thats why bristol ( & the country for that matter!!) is in such a fucking mess!!!

  37. Jon Rogers says:

    Please may I re-iterate the importance of the council debate tonight. As Chris Hutt has pointed out, the words that are agreed are crucial.

    On a lighter note, I was cheered on the walk on Sunday by some people who had made up their own Railway Path song for the afternoon….

    “There’s a path, path all the way to Bath
    And it’s ours. And it’s ours!

    “There’s a path, path all the way to Bath
    And it’s ours. And it’s ours!

    “There’s a path, path all the way to Bath
    And the cycle path is ours!

    “My eyes are dim. Icannot see…
    That buses are for streets you see

    “That buses aaarrrreee for streets you see!”

    Got a few cheers as we soaked up the atmosphere!

  38. Jon Rogers says:

    Er maybe first line is only once! Not to hot on lyrics! Jon

  39. Chris Hutt says:

    Report from last night’s Council Meeting.

    It all started so well, with Charlie Bolton’s original motion getting beefed up by a Lib-Dem amendment which he accepted. Railway Path supporters cheered and clapped. It looked for a few moments like we were finally laying the ghoul of BRT to rest.

    But then came Labour’s wrecking amendment which got through with Tory support. The voting was 33 for, 30 against (all Lib-Dems and Charlie Bolton) and 2 abstentions (both Tories I think, presumably the ones who recognised what a sordid business it was).

    The Labour amendment is another example of Bradshaw’s weasel words, seeming to be pro walking and cycling but effectively keeping the door open for future bus rapid transit. But instead of using the Evening Post as his gullible mouthpiece this time he used Terry Walker, who almost seemed to believe that he was offering us something better.

    The full resolution is as follows –

    “Council notes the strength of feeling expressed by the citizens of Bristol against the possible shared use by rapid transit of the much loved Bristol-Bath cycle path.”

    “Council further recognises that walking and cycling are vital components of the strategy to encourage more sustainable and healthier travel behaviour in our city.”

    “While fully recognising the vital importance of improving public transport, Bristol City Council will oppose route proposals which undermine the current and future expansion of walking and cycling in Bristol, and, in particular, will oppose any threat to the current or future use of the Bristol to Bath cycle path.”

    “Council requires further information about the various route options, including those on roads and for these to be the subject of full public consultation.”

    “Council fully supports the Executive Member for Access & Environment in making these views known to the West of England Partnership.”

    The weasel words are “undermine” and “threat” – who is to say if a route proposal “undermines” walking and cycling or “threatens” the Railway Path? Why, the Council of course. So they simply decide that a route proposal won’t “undermine” cycling and walking and that it isn’t a “threat” to the Railway Path and away they go with BRT on the Path, or anywhere they like.

  40. Jon Rogers says:

    What is a wrecking amendment?

    The Conservative supported Labour wrecking amendment destroyed the clear and ambiguous motion before the Council last night. Their cynical amendment deleted everything after “citizens of Bristol against..”.

    It totally emasculated the motion and converted it from a clear….

    Council notes the strength of feeling expressed by citizens of Bristol against the proposed bus rapid transit route along the much loved Bristol-Bath railway path. Council further recognises that cycling is a more sustainable transport solution than the use of public transport, and that as well as a ‘commute route’ the railway path is a valuable resource for local people for walking, cycling and enjoying the countryside in the heart of the town.

    As such, while recognising the vital importance of improving public transport in Bristol, council regards the use of the railway path for bus rapid transit as an inappropriate solution. Council demands that the railway path option is dropped and concentration is given to other routes.

    Council calls on the Executive Member for Access and Transport to pass these views on to the West of England Partnership and to make clear to partners and government that this route is unacceptable.

    Council further calls for extra investment in the path to enhance the experience of walkers and cyclists including measures to improve public safety and believes that this will enhance Bristol chances of becoming Britain’s first cycling city.

    to a mealy mouthed, weasly worded…

    Council notes the strength of feeling expressed by the citizens of Bristol against the possible shared use by rapid transit of the much loved Bristol-Bath cycle path.

    Council further recognises that walking and cycling are vital components of the strategy to encourage more sustainable and healthier travel behaviour in
    our city.

    While fully recognising the vital importance of improving public transport, Bristol City Council will oppose route proposals which undermine the current
    and future expansion of walking and cycling in Bristol, and, in particular, will oppose any threat to the current or future use of the Bristol to Bath
    cycle path.

    Council requires further information about the various route options, including those on roads and for these to be the subject of full public consultation.

    Council fully supports the Executive Member for Access & Environment in making these views known to the West of England Partnership.

    Shame there aren’t elections this year and the people of Bristol could say what they think about tthe LabCon party and their pitiful policies.

  41. Pingback: Report from last night’s Council Meeting. « The Bristol Blogger

  42. Paul Smith says:


    This is why we need to take up John Grimshaw’s suggestion of proposaing a community owned trust to take over ownership of the path – as has happened with Arnos Vale cemetry.

    We all know that the BRT proposal is a dead duck but other things could come along in future years and we need to take this out of the hands of the council (and ultimately the West of England Partnership)

    Last night meeting was unedifying and depressing but we need to use that third paragraph to strengthen the position to protect the path in the consultation.

    See you on the next demo

    Paul Smith

  43. Jon Rogers says:

    or even “unambiguous” 🙁
    I need more sleep!

  44. Dave Seacrest says:

    Hello there, my entry is completely unrelated i’m afraid but i was wondering if anyone knows if Kelvin Blake of the Bristol Labour party was the “Kelvin” who wrote to Venue complaining about the new Thali cafe on St. Marks Road in Easton?

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