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TheLocalYokel

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A different take on today's election news. Because Bristol is so dominated by the Labour Party - all its MPs are Labour as is the elected city mayor, and the city council has a Labour overall majority - the article explores the possibility of Bristol becoming an independent state outside the grip of the Conservative government and indeed remaining within the EU.

It believes the omens are good: the city has a long and occasionally glorious history of protest and independent thinking; it has its own currency, the Bristol Pound (accepted on First buses no less as well as by other businesses within the city); it still retains a vestige of the period when it had its own time zone which was about ten minutes behind London in the form of the clock on the Corn Exchange; although not mentioned in the article Bristol also has its own language which is almost indecipherable to those from outside the city and to many within it, eg Barton Hill is pronounced Bart Nil or Portishead Port Zed, and no word in Bristol ends with the letter a - the letter l must always be pronounced after the letter a when a word ends with the first letter of the alphabet. So, for example, Eva becomes Eval, although the pronunciation is closer to Evawl as in Lord Haw Haw but with an l added.

So perhaps Bristol really will join forces with Plaid Cymru and the SNP in endeavouring to gain its independence from what would be left of the UK.

Mr Cork, the author of the article, usually deals in serious social issues but he obviously also has a large cheek in which to rest his tongue.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Bristol has a new 'tallest building' after nearly 150 years. It will be just over 98 metres high and 24 storeys.

Now this is nowhere near the height of buildings currently in place or being built in cities such as Birmingham and Manchester but Bristol has traditionally turned its face against really high buildings. The current city elected mayor seems to be a fan though therefore more might be anticipated in the future.

My view is that Bristol is not suited to a New York-type array of skyscrapers. It is an ancient city and furthermore it's draped across several hills. I'm very conservative when it comes to altering the Bristol's cityscape and skyline and am not a fan of the idea of very tall buildings springing up around the city.
 

tpm

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Bristol's cityscape is pretty horrible to be honest, more reminiscent of some third rate soviet town in the 1980s than that of a major city in one of the richest countries on the planet. In that it is not alone though, pretty much all British cities other than London are like that really, to various degrees, including Manchester and Birmingham. Bristol has many redeeming features, but its cityscape is just not one of them. Sorry. Fight me ;) (On a side note, New York is full of incredibly ugly tall buildings as well, it's just that they don't stick out so much.) (Edit: on the upside, owing to its conservatism when it comes to tall buildings it's been spared a lot of mistakes too)

Personally, I think a few new "tall" buildings would be in order, in the right places, i.e. near existing high rises. The "Urban Living SPD" gets the locations mostly right. We don't need any talls near the suspension bridge, the docks or in the old city, but as for the rest of centre as well as the Feeder Canal area, or Bedminster Green, why not? The only thing I'd really love to see is some tall buildings that actually look nice, but I'm not holding my breath. We don't need more Harvey Nichols towers, and we're at least a hundred years away from seeing a proper skyscraper anyway, so no need to worry about that.

Don't think we need to compete with other cities for height anyway. Most of the great European cities with the highest quality of life are not high-rise cities by and large but achieve high densities with medium-rise heights and a few talls here and there (e.g. Copenhagen, Barcelona, Brussels, Geneva, Zurich, Paris, Lyon, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Düsseldorf, even Frankfurt, Milan, Vienna, Budapest, etc.) - if those cities can accommodate a few talls without losing their character, so can we!

What I look for in planning applications is mostly the public realm and lower floors: active frontages, lighting at night, nice landscaping, activity at different times of day, does it open up new paths, etc. - on that front Bristol is not doing too badly overall.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Bristol's cityscape is pretty horrible to be honest, more reminiscent of some third rate soviet town in the 1980s than that of a major city in one of the richest countries on the planet. In that it is not alone though, pretty much all British cities other than London are like that really, to various degrees, including Manchester and Birmingham. Bristol has many redeeming features, but its cityscape is just not one of them. Sorry. Fight me ;) (On a side note, New York is full of incredibly ugly tall buildings as well, it's just that they don't stick out so much.) (Edit: on the upside, owing to its conservatism when it comes to tall buildings it's been spared a lot of mistakes too)

Personally, I think a few new "tall" buildings would be in order, in the right places, i.e. near existing high rises. The "Urban Living SPD" gets the locations mostly right. We don't need any talls near the suspension bridge, the docks or in the old city, but as for the rest of centre as well as the Feeder Canal area, or Bedminster Green, why not? The only thing I'd really love to see is some tall buildings that actually look nice, but I'm not holding my breath. We don't need more Harvey Nichols towers, and we're at least a hundred years away from seeing a proper skyscraper anyway, so no need to worry about that.

Don't think we need to compete with other cities for height anyway. Most of the great European cities with the highest quality of life are not high-rise cities by and large but achieve high densities with medium-rise heights and a few talls here and there (e.g. Copenhagen, Barcelona, Brussels, Geneva, Zurich, Paris, Lyon, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Düsseldorf, even Frankfurt, Milan, Vienna, Budapest, etc.) - if those cities can accommodate a few talls without losing their character, so can we!

What I look for in planning applications is mostly the public realm and lower floors: active frontages, lighting at night, nice landscaping, activity at different times of day, does it open up new paths, etc. - on that front Bristol is not doing too badly overall.
I’ve been to most of the cities in your list and they do seem to work although not all have buildings that much higher than Bristol’s highest. I particularly like Berlin and I can’t remember excessively high buildings when I was there. I’ve just checked and, radio and tv towers apart - little more than glorified masts, the highest building there is only about 25% higher than Bristol’s new highest (which is just under 100 metres).

Prague and Copenhagen haven't any buildings much over 100 metres high either - I haven’t checked the other cities in your list.

When I said tall buildings I was thinking of somewhere like Manchester with a 200-metre high block.

A city I know quite well and like is Melbourne which, often along with Vancouver (another of my favourite cities), regularly features at or near the top of the world’s most liveable cities lists. Melbourne is obviously bigger than Bristol and generally much flatter but it does possess a core of skyscrapers on the edge of the central business district, a couple around 300 metres high and two more well over 200 metres. Because of the topography it seems to work for me there although I’d hate anything of that height anywhere in Bristol, even out in the suburbs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_buildings_in_Melbourne#/media/File:Melbourne_skyline_-_cropped_and_contrast.jpg

Of course height is one thing, design is another and that will always be a subjective judgement.

What I particularly like about the Bristol cityscape is its variety. Film makers have long recognised that, and Bristol is ever increasingly used as a background, often portraying London as well as other towns and cities, and sometimes fictional ones. It's currently doubling as London yet again in the tv series about the Profuma Scandal involving Christine Keeler with nearly all the outside shots filmed in Bristol.
 

tpm

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Apr 7, 2012
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What I particularly like about the Bristol cityscape is its variety. Film makers have long recognised that, and Bristol is ever increasingly used as a background, often portraying London as well as other towns and cities, and sometimes fictional ones. It's currently doubling as London yet again in the tv series about the Profuma Scandal involving Christine Keeler with nearly all the outside shots filmed in Bristol.
When I said cityscape I really mostly meant the skyline.

The bits of the Old City and Clifton that double as London-60-years-ago are very nice indeed, no question about it!
 

superking

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The footings for the first 300 homes are to be dug today. Bit of a historic day for the Filton runway site.
 
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superking

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If Bristol city get past Shrewsbury in the replay,the winners have a dream home tie against Liverpool.So all to play for with both teams.
 

TheLocalYokel

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If Bristol city get past Shrewsbury in the replay,the winners have a dream home tie against Liverpool.So all to play for with both teams.
If they play as they did on Saturday in the original tie they won't have chance of beating Shrewsbury who were very unlucky not to win the first match. If they do win they will playing Liverpool Youth in the main if the Anfield club follows the pattern of team selection that turned out against Everton in the last round. They would be well capable of beating Bristol City though who have been playing like relegation candidates over the past half dozen league matches.
France on strike again today from 18..00 till 05.30 Friday. Nearly getting to report when france is not on strike.
There is much to be said for that idea. They must be very well paid in France if they can afford to take off so much time going on strike. It's not as if it's a recent trend - they've been at it for years. So far no cancellations to France although there is an easyJet CDG rotation early evening. Apart from that none of the remaining departures seem to need French air space.

Addendum

The easyJet to CDG is shown as having departed and there are no cancellations shown for the day.
 

superking

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The guy in charge of the Bristol metro was on the radio this morning. He was asked why the metro sometimes run a hour late and don't stop at quite a few stops.The running hour bit he puts down to the routes run a fair distance on normal roads that are clogged up.The non stopping at stops he has put down to the metro busses full with pax.It seems he blames every body and every thing for the problems. He did say the metro will never run how it should do in its present format.
 

TheLocalYokel

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The guy in charge of the Bristol metro was on the radio this morning. He was asked why the metro sometimes run a hour late and don't stop at quite a few stops.The running hour bit he puts down to the routes run a fair distance on normal roads that are clogged up.The non stopping at stops he has put down to the metro busses full with pax.It seems he blames every body and every thing for the problems. He did say the metro will never run how it should do in its present format.
I use the buses in and around Bristol a lot, several days a week. I do so mainly in connection with my walking that enables me to avoid circular walks or there-and-back-again walks which is the case if I take the car, plus my city walks would be a nightmare if I had to park the car somewhere.

I heard the interview on Radio Bristol and also the phone-in between 9 and 10 when Freeman the MD of First West of England was in the studio on one of his regular sessions answering questions from listeners. I didn't ring in - I never do - but I found his answers interesting especially the doubling in frequency from April of my local bus to town (the 2).

He was particularly talking about the metrobus routes 1 and 3 that use the ring road on the north-eastern edge of the conurbation to access the M32. The ring road inbound has no bus lane and that, coupled with road works at Great Stoke on the edge of Bradley Stoke, is currently causing severe delays in the morning peak with buses taking almost three times as long to cover a 35-minute journey on that stretch of the route.

From the beginning of the month they have put on extra metrobuses on the busiest parts of the routes in peak times but they are also being caught up in the jams.

I know from much experience and not just with the metrobuses that Bristol's chronic traffic conditions can delay buses at any time of the day. It's particularly bad with the cross-city routes. I don't know why they persist with such routes but they have looked again at some and, following public consultation, have decided they are the least worst options.

My local bus, the 2, is a good example. It runs from Stockwood in south-east Bristol along the Wells Road through Knowle and Totterdown, to outside Temple Meads, then Cabot Circus, Broadmead, 'The Centre', Park Street, Whiteladies Road, The Downs, Henleaze, Southmead, Henbury to Cribbs Causeway regional shopping centre on the north-west edge of the conurbation.

The service is operated by double-deckers at 15-minute frequency outside peak and more frequently during the peak periods. It was every 12 minutes outside peak until this month before being reduced, but apparently is to be doubled in frequency from April (logic?). It's a journey of around 16 route miles and even off peak is scheduled to take 94 minutes to cover the journey (you can fly from Bristol to Geneva in less time than that!).

What often happens is that a bus leaves one end of the journey on time but picks up a delay - traffic congestion, road works, drivers having to take money and issue tickets and change (although this is rapidly being overcome with digital tickets and passes), changing drivers en route with the result that people waiting for the next bus get on the delayed one in front. The bus behind doesn't then have to stop so often to pick up or set down passengers and catches the bus in front on this long and tortuous journey.

Off peak, at the south-east end of the route in particular, when buses aren't as busy the driver sometimes has to stop at a bust stop for a minute or two because the bus is ahead of schedule. Then by the time it has negotiated the central areas and often changed drivers it finds itself behind schedule by the time it reaches The Downs and then runs late for the rest of the journey. They keep tinkering with the timetables but never seem to get it right. Other cross-city routes from south to north include the 1, 24, 75 and 76. The 75 is scheduled to take up to 108 minutes just to link the north and south sides of the city and still loses time on occasions.

The bottom line is that Bristol is an ancient city and, despite the best efforts of Hitler and post-war planners, so many of the central roads are still narrow from the pre-internal combustion engine age. Bristol also lacks a decent suburban rail network. There is only the TM-Avonmouth/Severn Beach line plus the local stations on the main line between TM and Parson Street and TM and Parkway. In the days of the Labour Government money was set aside for a tram system but the city council and South Gloucestershire Council argued like 5 year-olds in the school playground as to where the northern terminus should be situated that central government withdrew the funding.

Greater Bristol and the four separate local authorities that run it is another story. Even with WECA having a sort of overriding responsibility, including buses, it has at least one major flaw in that North Somerset Council has been allowed to opt out yet it is a vital part of the Greater Bristol region, or West of England if the word Bristol upsets some people - I know that the former deputy leader of North Somerset Council seemed to have a pathological dislike of the city.
 

superking

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Oh well Bristol city lost the replay with Shrewsbury to night at Shreswbury.The winners have a home tie against Liverpool in the nezt round. Oh well there is next year.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Oh well Bristol city lost the replay with Shrewsbury to night at Shreswbury.The winners have a home tie against Liverpool in the nezt round. Oh well there is next year.
Shrewsbury thoroughly deserved their win. They should have won the first match.

I'm not bothered too much about the FA Cup these days. Many years ago it was regarded as more imprtant than winning the old First Division. Nowadays top clubs often field weakened teams in the Cup to concentrate on the league, especially the Premier League.

In the 50s and into the 60s it was the club match of the year, and just about the only club match shown live on tv. As a youngster I would spend much of the day in front of the monochrome telly watching the build-up, then the game. Last year I only bothered to watch bits of the final such has my interest waned.

Bristol City put out less than their strongest team in the first match and it was only when they drew Liverpool if they beat Shrewsbury in the replay that they fielded more or less the strongest eleven available at Shrewsbury having regard to their usual crop of injuries to key players.

In fact Liverpool will probably field several youth players and other non-first team regulars, but in the last round they were good enough to beat a strong Everton team.

The £150,000 that Shrewsbury will receive for the Liverpool game will probably be of more use to them than to Bristol City bearing in mind their generous billionaire owner.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Revised plans were announced today by Bristol Sport for a 4,000-seater arena within a new sports and conference centre at Ashton Gate. It would become the home of the Bristol Sport-owned Bristol Flyers basketball team. There would also be a hotel, an office block, residential accommodation, gymnasium and a sports museum.

Bristol Sport is driven by Steve Lansdown the local self-made billionaire (joint founder of the FTSE100 eponymous financial conglomerate Hargreaves Lansdown) owner of Bristol City FC and Bristol Bears RFC which also form part of the Bristol Sport stable. If the plans are approved work should begin next year.

In the meantime the future of the main Bristol Arena is far from certain. The city mayor has vetoed the use of the so-called Arena Island near Temple Meads that was to be the home of the arena with millions of pounds of site preparatory work already carried out. The mayor plans to use the land for yet another Bristol mixed use site with plans well under way via a major insurance group partner. If Bristol is to get its long-promised arena it will now bo the northern outskirts of the city on the edge of the Filton aviation/aerospace zone.
 

superking

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I wonder if they had protesters from all parts of the country to get the plans turned down.
 

TheLocalYokel

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TheLocalYokel

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Closure of rail line north of Bristol


It's going to take eight months to install and prepare the roadway for a new bridge under the railway line at Gypsy Patch Lane between Parkway and Patchway stations. Between 11 and 19 April the railway line will be closed which, as I see it, means there will be no rail access for any trains travelling between Paddington or the West Country and South Wales.

The report only mentions bus replacement between Parkway and Newport but Temple Meads-South Wales trains will be affected as well, given the obstruction will be the on the 'Welsh side' of the Filton rail triangle juction. Paddington-South Wales trains won't be able to be diverted via Bath and Stapleton Road either because as with TM trains they won't be able to get beyond the Filton triangle.

I suppose some Paddington-South Wales trains will be diverted via Gloucester but that's a big diversion.

The nine-day rail closure will be in the school holidays Easter break so that might lessen the effects a bit.
 
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