bristol slowly grinding to a halt

Now normally I dont post here about my whinges about Bristol and it’s traffic problems, but I am so angry right now and this IS my blog so there you go.

What is Bristol City Council doing to the traffic lights in this City? Not only do we seem to have more and more traffic lights at every junction, including nearly ALL the roundabouts (that’s a gyratory or circus to some folk) but for some inexplicable reason they seem to be getting slower and slower and letting less traffic through each time they are green. This has the effect of causing HUGE jams behind where the lights are, and these queues are joining up each morning and night. A cynical person might formulate the theory that an unscrupulous council might want to adjust the timings of the lights to make the traffic queues worse, so as to make the introduction of a congestion charge more palatable. The Bristol Blogger has admirably covered this in a recent article: http://thebristolblogger.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/consultation-the-latest-farce/ and there in the comments you can find a link to an Independent article which states that this was done in London prior to the congestion charge being introduced and that cities like Bristol were planning to do the same thing.

Now this isn’t sour grapes by some jaded car driver here. I’ve been taking the bus to work for six years, and believe me it hasn’t been easy on them either. The fares have more than doubled in that time and now many services in Bristol are being cut by the hopelessly incompetant First. My X84 and 99 services are being cut at the end of June, as well as many other services to North Bristol. We need to sort out this mess in Bristol very soon or people will start to leave the city.

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2 thoughts on “bristol slowly grinding to a halt

  1. Agreed. I see it as a cyclist as well as a driver – I’ve also seen the system (I think it’s known as SCOOT – http://www.scoot-utc.com/) that the Council use to control all the traffic lights. At the time it was being run from the 5th Floor of Wilder House, and was used mainly to give the GPS buses priority through the lights. You’re correct in saying that the buses are affected as well, though I mainly notice this as a cyclist or a driver as I don’t use the buses.

    I’m *convinced* that congestion has increased on a massive scale over the last 5 years – by a very noticeable amount. You could argue this was an increase in cars, but I disagree. The population of Bristol is roughly 410,000. Going on car ownership (http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/areas/qualityoflife/eurlife/index.php?template=3&radioindic=105&idDomain=9) the number of cars in 2000 was 419 for every thousand (so for Bristol would be 171790), but in 2004 was 463 for every thousand (189830 for Bristol) – an increase for Bristol of 18,040, or to put it another way, an increase of 10.5%. I’m sorry, but congestion, waiting times, queues, has *definitely* increased more than that. So whilst car ownership has possibly contributed, there are definitely other forces at work.

    Mine money’s on the traffic light timing being altered in order to increase support for a congestion charge.

  2. Dear sir or madam

    I writing to you to sort out the traffic lights and the park and ride in brislington bristol and re set them . As they are dangerous when you have both side roads going they both go the same way you should have one set of lights going on one side only i hoe you can sort this out can you give me your number so I an ring you to explain thank you lisa

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