News that the government is handing WECA over £500m to give to First Bus (surely to “transform regional transport infrastrucure”? Ed) has got our brand new Metro Mayor Dan “The Weca Man” Norris hyperventilating with joy.
However a closer look at the plans reveals most of this money will be going into so-called “transport corridors” to develop more bloody Metrobus routes. The Metrobus having been conveniently redesignated from public laughing stock to “a step change in public transport” by the WECA Man’s optimistic transport bods.
An even closer look reveals the majority of the money may well be splurged on just one route – ‘The Bristol – Bath A4 Corridor’ in the jargon. Does this mean that on-off plans to build the Callington Road Link that would take cars off the A4 Bath Road and along the route of the disused North Somerset Railway line between Sandy Park and Callington Road are back on?
This a road scheme that the Reverend and his Labour councillors, taking time off from pretending that Brislington Meadows won’t have housing built on it by Homes England, deny is happening and have described it to locals as “a Lib Dem conspiracy theory”!
Not a theory at all, however, according to WECA’s Public Transport Manager Phil Wright who confirmed on Twitter in the autumn that the road plan is very much under consideration again.
Is there a WECA conspiracy against Marvin’s Bristol Labour?
A sneaky item put to the vote at the end of this year’s council budget meeting may have caught a lot of councillors napping. Our politicians were asked to approve the seemingly innocuous proposal “For the West of England Combined Authority Mayor to submit an application to the Housing Infrastructure Fund to facilitate housing growth.”
However, this £250million application has fuck all to do
with building any actual houses but does include funds that will go directly
towards the detailed planning of two new controversial road schemes – the
Callington Road Link in Brislington and South Bristol Ring Road around
Stockwood and through Whitchurch.
Councillors voted 58 – 7 to approve the submission of the
bid to the government and kick-start a new road building programme in the city
for the first time in a generation. Obviously, most Tory and Labour councillors
who love retrograde crap voted for the idea. The Lib Dems voted against and
most Greens, as usual, confused about what they’re here for, abstained.
However two Greens voted for renewed road building, Ashley Ward’s Jude Brew and Clifton Down’s Clive Stevens. What were they thinking? Here at the Bristolian, we don’t parade much in the way of green credentials but even we know building roads is the height of Thatcherite bollocks.
The vote may prove embarrassing – and hopefully career threatening – for some other councillors south of the city too. Barry Clark “Son”, Labour councillor for Hengrove and Whitchurch had told his constituents prior to the vote, “I live near to Asda Whitchurch and like you understand the issues that this road development would cause. I am also against it and actively doing what I can to get it stopped.”
Except actively voting against it when given the opportunity
to get it stopped?