You decide: should Kerry McCarthy MP kick the Director of First Bristol in the bollocks?

Bristol East MP, Kerry McCarthy has just announced on her blog that she’s “seeing Mr First Bus tomorrow, with Dawn Primarolo”.

I assume she means this week’s Managing Director of First Bristol – our excremental bus provider – Justin Davies. So I’ve suggested that rather than sitting around listening to his pointless excuses for an hour, she just walks in, kicks him in the bollocks and announces, “that’s from the people of Bristol”!

Kerry and Dawn can then retire to a quality Bristol boozer where we can all join them to celebrate this seminal moment in Bristolian political history.

What do you think? You decide and I’ll feedback the results to Kerry and Dawn. But vote quick – there’s not much time;

[polldaddy poll=1144513]

This entry was posted in Bristol, Bristol East, Labour Party, Politics, Transport and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to You decide: should Kerry McCarthy MP kick the Director of First Bristol in the bollocks?

  1. Jozer says:

    ‘Red Dawn’ could shrivel his nadgers up just by staring at them.

  2. Chris Hutt says:

    Just to make sure I have no need to send any Christmas cards this year, I’m going to put in a word for First.

    Most of us choose not to use buses. Consequently the residual demand for bus services is too small to support a decent level of service and fares need to be relatively high. This is a vicious spiral of declining patronage and service. But it’s of our making.

    If half the people who say they’d use the buses if the service was improved actually did, then the spiral would be reversed, becoming a virtuous one with improving service levels and/or lower fares. But it doesn’t happen because we don’t really want to use buses.

    But we can’t bring ourselves to admit that and instead we insist that the council make the bus service better, so they throw masses of our tax money at it (£42 million for Greater Bristol Bus Network for example, not to mention massive areas of green-belt being tarmacked over for P&R sites, £3 million on the bus lane at the end of the M32, etc.) .

    The end result is lots of mostly empty buses running backwards and forwards, adding to pollution and congestion, and intimidating and endangering cyclists and pedestrians. All this just so we can carry on using your cars with less of a guilty conscience.

    So I don’t blame First for grabbing the chance to make a nice profit out of our hypocrisy. It suits them and it suits us really, because we can then turn them into the scapegoats, blaming them for the consequences of our own actions. .

  3. Dona Qixota says:

    Ouch! That’s a bit too close to a home truth, no doubt.

  4. Mr Duck says:

    We in Somerset are all in favour of MPs kicking Useless Directors of Public Services in the Bollocks, and have great pleasure in voting for this. Thanks you for providing this opportunity, and please let us know the outcome.

  5. Des Bowring says:

    I’m fed up with people who say they’d use the buses if the service was better and cheaper when they have no such intention of doing so.

    I like the social and collective experience of bus and train travel – it appeals to my socialist sensibilities, which is why I’m suspicious of the individualistic and frankly undemocratic mode of ‘transport’ known as cycling. Ouch!

  6. Chris Hutt says:

    Des, individualistic yes, but undemocratic? the bicycle is far more widely available than any motor vehicle. Look at how China was before the private car intruded in numbers.

    Is cycling all that different to walking – a mode of transport that is readily available to almost everyone who then mix on more or less equal terms on the streets?

    Unlike cycling, public transport retains profound class distinctions, not merely in having two classes for most rail travel but in that rail based vehicles (trains, trams) are considered ‘acceptable’ for male and middle class use whereas road based vehicles (buses, coaches) are not.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Des – I can’t stand using the bus as I nearly always catch a cold from one of the other commoners!

  8. lee says:

    say no to violent bollock kicking.. and if you own a picture of a woman kicking a man in bollocks and its pron u might have to delete it or else

  9. milgram says:

    Put in a slap from the people of Glasgow as well, please. Tell him to pass it on to his colleague.

    The boss of First Group has a company car. Says it all.

  10. Spectator says:

    I think that Kerry should kick him in the bollocks, but, she should poke him in the eye first… and when he goes down, she should stamp on his fingers.

  11. Holly says:

    Scrap the buses! They’ve had enough chances to improve the service. They only exist because it has become part of our culture to live in hope of things being ok… one day, just maybe. It would be better to spend tax payers money on taxis for those who genuinely need transport and make all the abled people get on bikes!

    I don’t understand why Europeans want to come here, having experienced their efficient transport systems.

  12. old misery guts says:

    I suggest that we seize this bollock kicking opportunity and line up a series of chief exec types giving kerry and dawn the chance to polish their nadger walloping skills. I can think of any number of CEO types that are just asking for it. And in the interests of sexual equality, what about nipple twisting for similarly irritating female types – Jacquie Smith and Jan Ormondroyd for starters.

  13. Chris Hutt says:

    Holly – “I don’t understand why Europeans want to come here, having experienced their efficient transport systems”.

    To have a laugh? Like we laugh at the traffic chaos in ‘developing’ countries?

  14. Des Bowring says:

    Turn bike lanes into bus lanes!

  15. steve meek says:

    Very good analysis by Chris as usual.
    Slightly overgeneralised though in that there is genuine hidden demand from people who will use the bus, or use it more, if services are fast, reliable and cheap compared with driving.

    One of the reasons fares are so high in Bristol compared to other cities is congestion is so bad, pushing up operating costs as buses are slower.

    Absolutely true that buses are seen as for the poor – but they can be made aspirational, especially for longer journeys. In George Monbiot’s book ‘Heat’ he describes (not his idea but can’t remember whose) how coaches operating from motorway junction and ring road stations, linking with fast buses from the centre on radial routes in cities would work very well if given dedicated lanes.
    In the meantime, enforcement of existing bus lane parking regulations with bus based cameras is the first, and long overdue, step to making buses more desirable.

  16. Chris Hutt says:

    Good points Steve but there is a major problem in making public transport ‘cheap’ in relation to using a car.

    If this is done by giving huge subsidies to public transport you are in effect making those who don’t much use public transport (often poorer people who travel relatively little) subsidise those who do (principally business types travelling long distances on trains).

    Subsidising buses will mainly result in bus users making more and longer journeys rather than car users making less. ‘Modal shift’ to bus is as likely to come from more environmentally benign modes like cycling and walking as from car use.

    Given that public transport is also polluting, carbon generating and otherwise environmentally malign, especially when operating in cities, it really doesn’t make sense to subsidise it at all.

    If on the other hand public transport is made to appear relatively ‘cheap’ by increasing the costs of car use then you’re talking, but there are real political problems in doing that when such a large majority of voters identify themselves as motorists.

    We need to shift motoring costs away from one-off payments like VED, MoT test and insurance premiums towards mileage related charges so that the marginal use of making an additional car journey is more realistic. Currently the perception is that the cost is mainly for fuel, which is negligible for shorter journeys.

  17. Opal says:

    “nipple twisting for similarly irritating female types – Jacquie Smith and Jan Ormondroyd for starters.”

    NO …… they might enjoy it!

  18. Des Bowring says:

    I don’t agree with Mr Hutt’s analysis (surprise surprise). Invest in public transport – give buses priority in traffic-management systems and they might just become attractive.

    The sooner we get away from this bike-obsessed culture (as I said, very undemocratic) the better.

  19. Rosso Verde says:

    Obviously Cycling and walking are the Greenest forms of transport, but the de-regulation of public transport has a lot to answer for.
    Most European Cities have far better and cheaper, usually publicly funded transport sytems, Vienna and Copenahagen’s are particularly good. (Boh with much better air quality than smaller Bristol)
    For many elderly and disabled people cycling is not an option, so I’d disagree, lets re-regulate and subsidise buses and local train routes . Why would people suddenly take longer bus journeys just because they are cheaper? – I don’t get it.
    The idea that the rich are the primary users of public transport is clearly false (unless you include first class passengers on Inter City trains) – I wouldn’t want to subsidise their tickets (although if they didn’t use the train they might fly!) We need to shift the burden of Taxation away from poor people and onto those who can afford it.
    I agree that cycling should take pride of place but surely buses, trains and trams are more practical than the motor car in a city environment.
    Intergration of transport is the key, cycling, trains, buses, roller-skates, whatever, but the motor car- thats the real enemy!

  20. Chris Hutt says:

    RV – “Why would people suddenly take longer bus journeys just because they are cheaper? – I don’t get it.”

    I didn’t say ‘suddenly’, but the laws of supply and demand will apply in due course and people will consume more of a product as it gets cheaper. That is just as true for transport options as anything else.

    Make public transport cheaper and it will get used more, but not necessarily at the expense of the car. People will decide to travel more often or even further in response to price reductions but if that extra travel is ‘generated’ by the lower fares or at the expense of cycling or walking what does that achieve in environmental terms?

    We need to encourage more walking and cycling, especially for the less fit, not paying them to take the bus instead. I walk a lot for exercise (not as good as cycling but a lot better than nothing) but in two years time I’ll have a ‘free’ bus pass. Then what? Will I continue walking when I am effectively being ‘forced’ to pay to use the bus anyway?

  21. Dona Qixota says:

    “Make public transport cheaper and it will get used more, but not necessarily at the expense of the car. People will decide to travel more often or even further in response to price reductions…”

    You’re right Chris. We’re already trapped in this consumption spiral – it’s called hypermobility. As Prof John Adams (UCL) has noted:

    As society becomes more mobile it becomes;

    – more dispersed
    – more polarised
    – more dangerous
    – more hostile to children
    – more anonymous and less convivial
    – more crime-ridden
    – fatter and less fit
    – less culturally diverse
    – less democratic

    So slow down and relax peeps!

    btw, don’t believe the cyclehype – walking is much better exercise than cycling. Just think about what’s involved physically to see that.

  22. Chris Hutt says:

    Ah yes, hypermobility. That’s the real problem. We just travel too much. It doesn’t matter so much whether it’s by car or bus or train or plane – all have environmental and social costs, albeit not equal ones. Just think of the negative impacts of the BRT proposals.

    The real challenge is for us to learn to live in a far more modest way, consuming less material resources yet still finding some satisfaction in life. Less quantity, more quality!

  23. redzone says:

    nobody really highlights the real problem of the congestion in bristol, that being that the roads are just not wide or big enough to allow for extensive bus lanes 😕
    even the m32 is only a glorified dual carriageway!!!

    though, that doesn’t excuse the piss poor performance & the unwarranted profits of first bus.

    you also have to consider the amount of self employed tradesmen & small businesses that MUST use their vehicles for their employment.
    it is absolutely impossible for me to transport all my tools to the various workplaces i have to travel to over the course of a month/year.

    hence, thats why a voted for a good kick in the bollocks for anyone connected with first bus, including some of their poor excuse’s for drivers!!!!

  24. Rosso Verde says:

    Chris,
    Agree with you 99%, walking and cycling have to be number one priority, but the car is the problem, not the bus, visit any city that’s cycling friendly, they tend to be a cities with well run intergrated public transport systems (Amsterdam for example) – not perfect but light years ahead of the disaster we have here!
    Not flying is one of the best things you can do for the planet, good stuff from Dona and Chris again here, haven’t done it for years! (Never learnt to drive either)

    Redzone,
    You are right some people do need to use vehicles, but we could eliminate the school run with a school bus service and radically slash car use with a well run public transport system.
    First group, terrible trains worse buses!

  25. redzone says:

    rosso verde,
    quoted ;
    You are right some people do need to use vehicles, but we could eliminate the school run with a school bus service and radically slash car use with a well run public transport system.
    First group, terrible trains worse buses!

    very true & i am all for it.
    & with an efficient transport system, you could radically slash commuting car drivers too.

  26. Tim Beadle says:

    Just a quick defence of cycle culture. It doesn’t have to be individualistic:

    http://www.copenhagencyclechic.com/2008/11/friday-night-snow-couples.html

    In fact, cycling doesn’t have to be the lycra-clad sport-fest that it seems to be in the UK…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.