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superking

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2 new exit gates from platforms open today,this makes it 14 exit gates.This will make it faster to get out of station. What about the over crowded trains.
O n a different note. They have set aside 40 million£ to replace glass in the roof.That tells me that not a complete refirb of the station.The joy of a listed building for a train station I suppose.The building does look good rather than a modern one,but they must keep on top of repairs to building.
 

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TheLocalYokel

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2 new exit gates from platforms open today,this makes it 14 exit gates.This will make it faster to get out of station. What about the over crowded trains.
O n a different note. They have set aside 40 million£ to replace glass in the roof.That tells me that not a complete refirb of the station.The joy of a listed building for a train station I suppose.The building does look good rather than a modern one,but they must keep on top of repairs to building.
Still awaiting the complete revamp of Temple Meads though. One idea is to make a new main entrance for the public including vehicles at Friary (the road between the city side of the station and the original Temple Quay office development). The current approach road would be left for public transport and authorised vehicles.

I'll believe it when it happens, although we've been waiting so long that I doubt I shall be around if it eventually does come to fruition.
 

superking

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Looks like the bloodhound project has been saved. A backer from Scotland will carry on the project as planned.
I don't know when the attempt at the land speed record is planned or how much more testing to be done.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Looks like the bloodhound project has been saved. A backer from Scotland will carry on the project as planned.
I don't know when the attempt at the land speed record is planned or how much more testing to be done.
Yes, I read that. Something about it was on the local tv news too.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/business/bristol-built-supersonic-car-bloodhound-2335290

superking, you asked recently how many buses now operate in Bristol compared with the past. I said I wasn't sure but thought that after WW2 in the 40s and 50s there were probably a lot more, given the greater frequency of buses then and with many fewer people having cars. By coincidence I borrowed a library book this week about Bristol Transport.

One section is on the city's buses and it states that in 1949 Bristol Tramways operated 1,227 buses from eight depots: Lawrence Hill, Muller Road, Staple Hill, Winterstoke Road, Brislington, Hanham, Eastville and Avonmouth.

I remember the Winterstoke Road depot which was next to Ashton Gate football ground when I was a kid watching Bristol City in the 1950s.

There are only two depots now - Lawrence HIll which is also the headquarters of First West of England and Hengrove on the south side of the city, although there are persistent rumours that the company wants to open another depot on the north side of the city region, either in north Bristol or in South Gloucestershire. I would have thought the number of buses around Bristol these days is no more than a third of the 1949 total.

Addendum

According to First, their West of England fleet size is 611, but that includes Weston and Bath as well as Bristol, so about a third of the 1949 total for Bristol itself is probably not too far off the mark.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Man flies drone from top of Severn Bridge M48 motorway

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/severn-bridge-closed-drone-m48-2375267

A man was arrested this morning after climbing up one of the towers on the 'old' Severn Bridge that carries the M48 motorway between England and Wales in order to fly a drone from it.

The motorway was closed and the man taken into custody for causing a public nuisance. Motorways and other roads don't have the same 'drone protection' as airports under legislation introduced earlier this year so the man was arrested for the Common Law offence of causing a public nuisance.

If he is charged it will be interesting to see with what and whether any penalties a court imposes following a finding of guilt or a guilty plea are at the top end of the available punishments.
 

superking

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Man flies drone from top of Severn Bridge M48 motorway

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/severn-bridge-closed-drone-m48-2375267

A man was arrested this morning after climbing up one of the towers on the 'old' Severn Bridge that carries the M48 motorway between England and Wales in order to fly a drone from it.

The motorway was closed and the man taken into custody for causing a public nuisance. Motorways and other roads don't have the same 'drone protection' as airports under legislation introduced earlier this year so the man was arrested for the Common Law offence of causing a public nuisance.

If he is charged it will be interesting to see with what and whether any penalties a court imposes following a finding of guilt or a guilty plea are at the top end of the available punishments.
Do we know which police force drone came from.A bit far for CWL or BRS to be troubled.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Do we know which police force drone came from.A bit far for CWL or BRS to be troubled.
The matter was dealt with by the Avon and Somerset Police. Strictly speaking I think both ends of the original Severn Bridge are in England. It's the nearby Wye Bridge that enters Wales.

I understand the Avon and Somerset Police* and the Gwent Police patrol the M48 over the Severn and Wye bridges jointly. Police officers in England and Wales have authority as a constable anywhere in the two countries. Scotland is different because they have a separate legal system.

When English or Welsh police officers (in the sense that they are from English or Welsh forces) operate in Scotland under mutual aid protocols, and when Scottish officers act similarly in England or Wales, they are usually sworn in as special constables in order to act as police officers.

* Formed in 1974 with the amalgamation of the Bristol Constabulary, the Somerset & Bath Police and the southern division of the Gloucestershire Constabulary. It's now a misnomer (as with Avon Fire & Rescue Service, and many others) given that the county of Avon was only in existence for 22 years between 1974 and 1996.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Man flies drone from top of Severn Bridge M48 motorway

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/severn-bridge-closed-drone-m48-2375267

A man was arrested this morning after climbing up one of the towers on the 'old' Severn Bridge that carries the M48 motorway between England and Wales in order to fly a drone from it.

The motorway was closed and the man taken into custody for causing a public nuisance. Motorways and other roads don't have the same 'drone protection' as airports under legislation introduced earlier this year so the man was arrested for the Common Law offence of causing a public nuisance.

If he is charged it will be interesting to see with what and whether any penalties a court imposes following a finding of guilt or a guilty plea are at the top end of the available punishments.
A man has now been charged with causing a public nuisance and been conditionally bailed to appear at Bristol Magistrates Court on 21 February 2019.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/man-charged-after-drone-incident-2379750
 

TheLocalYokel

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M1 Metrobus route Hengrove Park to Cribbs Causeway

The final (and third) Metrobus route of the first phase came began operations yesterday. M1 is being operated by Bristol Community Transport on behalf of First West of England (that operates the other two Metrobus in its own right). Bristol Community Transport is part of leading transport social enterprise, HCT Group, and is operating an increasing number of bus routes in the Bristol area. 21 brand new Scania Biogas double deckers with Alexander Dennis bodywork have been acquired to operate M1.

I’ve used Metrobus routes M2 (Ashton Vale to city centre where it operates a loop around the central districts) and M3 (city centre to Emersons Green), so today I tried the M1 service.

I decided to sample the entire route from Hengrove Park (next to South Bristol Hospital) via the central areas to Cribbs Causeway regional shopping centre. The attempt did not get off to the best of starts as the bus I was about to board pulled out ‘Not In Service’ (I’d heard the driver phoning someone saying his relief had not arrived). The service runs at a ten-minute frequency in both directions so I didn’t have long to wait for the next bus.

That was the 1325 departure and we pulled out on time - I was the only passenger at that point. The route turns east along Whitchurch Lane, before turning left along Bamfield past the entrance to the former Whitchurch Airport, and then skirts Knowle West and through Inns Court to Hartcliffe Way. Thereafter the route runs past Parson Street Railway Station and along West and East Streets in Bedminster, Redcliffe Hill and via The Grove (part of Harbourside), ‘The Centre’, Haymarket before entering the M32 motorway.

The part of the route between the city centre and the ring road north of UWE (which is served by M1 and M3 as well as several other routes) replicates the M3 route. M1 turns left from the ring road and climbs the brand new four lane road through Harry Stoke, the edge of Stoke Gifford and on through Bradley Stoke - eventually it will call at Parkway Station but Network Rail is yet to provide access. The final part of the route passes through Patchway, Stoke Lodge and the massive new housing development known as Charlton Hayes on part of the former Filton airfield. We arrived at Cribbs Causeway bus station at 1440, one minute ahead of schedule.

The schedule for the entire journey at this time of day is one hour 16 minutes. At peak times it’s one hour 28 minutes and in the evening one hour seven minutes. Established routes 75 and 76 operate from the south of the city via Hengrove Park to Cribbs Causeway and they continue as normal. As a comparison their journeys take from one hour 58 minutes at peak times to one hour 36 minutes during the day. 75 and 76 are also night buses and during the night the scheduled timings reduce to one hour 22 minutes.

It can be seen that the M1 therefore does save typically at least half an hour over the 75 and 76 but the latter tend to serve more tightly packed suburbs on their routes which only coincide with M1's route through Bedminster and the central areas. They also operate along the lengthy and traffic-logged Gloucester Road.

I found the bus quite comfortable as would be expected of a brand new vehicle. When we reached the bottom of Hartcliffe Way we came up behind the bus that had left before us ‘Not in Service’. It seemed to have resolved its driver problems - judging by the number of drivers at the bus stop on this part of Hartciffe Way it might be a driver change-over station. We followed the other bus through Bedminster and the central districts which meant we picked up few passengers. Once on the motorway it pulled ahead and we clearly had time in hand because we stopped at several bus stops for a minute or two with no one-one boarding or alighting.

The 10-minute frequency is likely to prove problematic to maintain accurately at busy times of the day, and this afternoon we passed two M1 buses 'in convoy' operating southbound. Two more M1 buses left Cribbs Causeway more or less together heading for Hengrove as we arrived. The M1 route like the other two does benefit from having far fewer bus stops than the usual city bus routes, and does not access some 'normal' bus stops along its route.

With all passengers having to have tickets or passes before boarding and with bus lanes appearing at various parts of the route, the M1 made good time compared with the usual city routes. As an example, I returned to Bond Street in the city centre on another M1 bus and we left Cribbs at the same time as a route 2 double decker bus which operates the long cross-city route to Stockwood in the south-east of the city - via Southmead, Henleaze, Downs, Whiteladies Road to the central area en route to its ultimate destination at Stockwood. I remembered the 2’s registration number and it appeared at Union Street (around the corner from Bond Street) 25 minutes after I had got off the M1. The 2 is supposed to operate at a 12-minute frequency but most of the time finds it impossible and it's not unusual for two, sometimes three, buses to bunch up by the time they reach the Wells Road on their 90 minute-plus journey from Cribbs.

The quickest route from the central area to Cribbs is the Severn Express (but it’s only hourly) which operates via M32, M4 and M5, taking under 30 minutes. The M1 takes around 40 minutes and the 1,2, 3, 4, 73 and 75 that all take different routes through the suburbs to Cribbs take at least an hour, some longer, from the central area.

The First West of England MD admits that, as with all city buses, the Metrobuses will still fall foul of Bristol’s horrendous traffic conditions at times and he wants more work done to ensure that buses are further advantaged. The local ITV News spoke to him this evening and he was talking about more Metrobus routes within the next 18 months, but nothing specific was mentioned.

Having used these routes (the M2 several times) I’m cautiously impressed but probably anything is better than Bristol’s usual bus system.
 

superking

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Don't know if I heard right or I was dreaming that the M32 is to be down graded due to many problems of standing traffic and length of motorway. Perhaps some one can confirm this.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Don't know if I heard right or I was dreaming that the M32 is to be down graded due to many problems of standing traffic and length of motorway. Perhaps some one can confirm this.
From time to time in recent years there has been talk of downgrading the M32 to an A road so that it could become more flexible in terms of its use. The idea has raised its head again recently because it seems a junction to the preferred park and ride site that is being mooted would contravene current motorway regulations.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Another Accolade

In recent years Bristol has won all sorts of accolades including such things as best UK city to live in - more than once; has appeared on various lists of 'must-see' British, European and World cities in a number of UK and overseas publications; votest 'edgiest' (whatever that means) city in the UK; gained a national reputation for having one of the best food scenes in the UK, and so on. For a city that has traditionally kept itself to itself, as John Betjeman once said when explaining why Bristol was his favourite English large city and as a US publication discovered when describing the city as 'Britain's best kept secret', it does seem that its residents will have to carry on getting used to people visiting from afar. This has actually been the case for the past quarter of a century or so, ever since the city's Labour administration of that time relented on its policy of refusing to support tourism which it regarded as elitist - it once declned to co-operate when a book was being prepared to publicise England's main cities.

Bristol invariably features in the top three UK cities when business leaders are asked to which city they would be likely to relocate. Whether they do so is another matter entirely

The latest sign of the city's popularity as a tourist centre comes in a Which? survey looking for the best large British cities when it comes to short breaks, the criteria being food, accommodation, sights, attractions and value for money. This was the result.

1. Edinburgh

2. Liverpool

3. York

4. Bristol

5. Belfast

6. Glasgow

7. Newcastle

8. Cardiff

9. Hull

10. London

11. Portsmouth

12. Manchester

13. Brighton

14. Nottingham

15. Sheffield

16. Birmingham

17. Leeds

18. Plymouth

19. Swansea

There are some cities large enough to be considered that don't appear; Southampton is one that comes to mind. Very subjective of course and everyone will have their own views. Perhaps the Which? members who took part hadn't visited some large cities in sufficient numbers to know anything about them.

Bristol's near neighbour Bath is not included but presumably is not regarded as large enough for this survey. If you ask the average Bristolian what they they think of their city the reply is not likely to be complimentary. Anyway, for many years Bristol has beaten Bath in the ONS (Office of National Satistics) annual surveys into numbers of overseas visitors to UK cities, but that survey is not broken down into leisure and business visits so it's not possible to determine from it how the leisure visitors split, bearing in mind that tourism is such an important part of Bath's economy.
 

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