Tag Archives: Rapid transit

MANIFESTO WATCH: THE REVEREND GOES BONKERS

Labour manifesto

Taking some much-deserved time off from wandering aimlessly around the city lying and bullshitting to long-suffering residents (surely spearheading a modern and professional election campaign? ed.), the Reverend Rees has taken an especially large dump and evacuated a stinking pile of an election manifesto on to the public. And yes, we’ve read it all and our research team are now in recovery.

Yet again, we’re treated to the, now, traditional Labour shopping list of promises off the back of a fag packet. We’ve counted a total of 91 of these promises and hardly any of them are costed. Starting with the unfeasibly bonkers plan to “deliver a mass transit system … in the form of both an underground and an overground” because, we’re assured, Marvin’s “laid the foundations for a mass transit system.”

What foundations has Marvin laid? A demented assertion in a couple of interviews and some orange lines on a Google Map? Where, for starters, is the feasibility study for an underground he promised three years ago? He’s, literally, done nothing about this plan he can show anyone. Why would anyone sane believe a word of it? And how much will it cost?

Another tactic from Marvin is to promise again things he promised in his 2016 manifesto. So having failed to deliver ‘2,000 homes a year, 800 affordable’ as plastered on billboards all over the city in 2016, this time we’re assured the Reverend will be “building over 2,000 homes a year, of which 1,000 are affordable, by 2024.”

Another gem recycled from the 2016 manifesto, “Complete and open Hartcliffe Way recycling and reuse centre”. Why hasn’t it been completed already as promised five years ago? Why believe it in 2021 if it was patently untrue in 2016? 

Or how about this one? “We’re delivering on our 2016 promise to get an arena built”. The only thing Marvin delivered on this subject was the exact opposite by cancelling getting an arena built. Who believes they’ll be an arena open in Filton by 2024 then?

In all, there’s 14 pages of this crap. Some appears stolen from the Greens in a blind panic: “Provide free travel for apprentices and students under-25”. Some is appearing in everybodies’ manifesto as the essential uncosted promise du nos jours: “Deliver a London-style one-touch integrated ticketing system so that your ticket can be used across different types of public transport.”

Some is peculiarly clueless: “Deliver a Green Spaces and Allotments Strategy which encourages local food production in every ward to help tackle food poverty”. As if local food production has something to do with low cost food.

Similar economic illiteracy abounds throughout. Another big idea is, “work with the City Funds to deliver the economic priorities in the One City Plan”. Why the fuck get a small charitable grant making trust run by your evangelical looney mate to deliver an economic plan for the eighth largest city in the UK? It makes zero sense. Who thinks this shit up?

We’ll conclude with the Reverend confirming his five years of useless failure in style with the promise to “Expand the Community Toilet programme and introduce an app that provides their location”. In other words he’ll not be bringing back the public toilets he closed. Instead he’ll spend our money on useless private sector provision with a pointless tech solution thrown in.

That just about sums the Reverend’s politics up.

ON THE BUSES

Is there a city council news blackout about the large decline in bus passenger numbers in Bristol over the last year? Journeys are down 5.3 per cent compared to the same period last year and reveal the current administration, just prior to next year’s election, is bucking the
trend of increasing bus use in the city over the last ten years. Self-styled “city leader” and “change maker”, the Reverend Rees appears to have delivered significant change in at least one important area then.

The Metrobus, which the Reverend strongly supports, contrary to all common sense, as a “first step towards an integrated rapid and mass transit network” apparently, is among services showing
obvious signs of failure after just a year in service. Numbers on the M2 from Long Ashton Park and Ride are down. While the M1 service from Hengrove to the Centre has quietly had its service reduced from every 10 minutes to every 12 minutes due to a lack of passengers.

This must be classified as a significant personal failure for the Reverend who has twice taken on the
cabinet transport portfolio during his reign of error. Then there was that ‘State of the City’ address last October. Remember his announcement and the accompanying gushing PR about a “flat fare” scheme in partnership with First Bus? This turned out to be a nonsensical mess, resulting in a
variety of different fares and a price increase for the majority of passengers. Further compounded this summer when First hiked their prices again.

The Reverend’s current cabinet transport chief Kye “The” Dudd also remains silent on this failure.
Preferring instead to waffle on about a pie-in-the-sky ‘Green New Deal’ and the “billion pound City Leap” prospectus, his sell-off of public assets to the private sector.

The Reverend, meanwhile, is now cooking up a pre-election ‘Bus Deal’ with First. Another woolly agreement between Rees and the untrustworthy corporate sharks, that commits public money to various road ‘improvements’ so that First can attempt to further increase their monopoly profits from our pockets. Meanwhile any talk of an underground or any other proper rapid transit system for the city appears to have been removed from the Reverend’s talking points by mayoral spin doctor “Slo” Kev Slocombe.

Hopefully the next stop for Rees and Dudd will be the Job Centre.

 

PATH TO RUIN

SHIT IDEAS FROM REES’S CORPORATE FRIENDS pt 56

Within weeks of the Reverend Rees unveiling his PIE-IN-THE SKY underground rail plan, the BRISTOL AND BATH RAILWAY PATH is, again, being targeted as a CHEAP rapid transit option by Labour’s corporate transport consultant friends.

In an EXACT REPETITION of proposals that were ended 10 years ago by HUGE public protest, some shadowy corporate transport consultants have LEAKED a proposal to the Nazi Post to run a tram/light rail down the Railway Path as a cut-price alternative to Rees’s impossibly expensive tube dream.

The Reverend’s transport wonks have even wheeled out USEFUL IDIOT, David Redgewell, a self-appointed local transport spokesman to back their plan. Redgewell operates under the guise of the official-sounding ‘South West Transport Network’, a mystery organisation with mystery funding and no formal documents of association.

“No one is saying the cycle way will be closed, far from it, it would actually be widened and improved to allow the light rail track to run alongside it,” explains this full time UNACCOUNTABLE BUSYBODY who doesn’t even understand that the Railway Path isn’t a “cycle way” but a park and inner city wildlife corridor first and foremost.

“There is already a section of the cycle path that runs alongside the Midland railway, so it isn’t too radical,” he rambles on. Well, tell that to the THOUSANDS of residents that successfully campaigned against exactly the same stupid plan ten years ago, you dodgy transport industry gobshite.

Meanwhile the Reverend’s entirely decorative transport cabinet member, Mhairi “Bauble” Threlfall, currently overseeing the incredible £200million non-appearing Metrobus system, has tried to brush aside any plans for the Railway Path. She told the Post, a rapid transit route on the path had been “MENTIONED IN PASSING”, whatever that means.

The Post however suggests things may have gone beyond being “mentioned’. They say, “several of the UK’s top transport experts – including those involved in London Cross Rail project and the completed Strathclyde Subway – have been IN TALKS with Metro Mayor Tim Bowles, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees and leader of B&NES council Tim Warren.”

And, “It is understood the group has been advised there are only TWO OPTIONS available to running the eastern route through one of the most congested parts of the city – either building a tunnel underground from the outskirts or build a tram-like light rail system next to THE CYCLE PATH.”

Does the Reverend know what happened last time the local Labour Party tried to TRASH our Railway Path in 2008? They were STOPPED in their tracks by MASS PROTEST before slumping to their WORST election performance in a generation in 2009 when they ended up with just 16 councillors.

The Greens and the Lib Dems who SUPPORTED the Railway Path and OPPOSED Labour’s rapid transit plan, meanwhile, enjoyed an electoral boost with the Lib Dems forming a majority administration in 2009.

Rees and Threlfall should consider themselves warned.