Paving Paradise to put up a Park and Ride

This is a small departure from the “usual” content intended for this blog, but I’ve resolved to add a blog entry each week, and this week instead of spending the day coding, i felt compelled to support the courageous protesters of Rising Up on the Stapleton Allotments. As of last night they have begun camping on platforms in the tree tops in the area threatened by the Bristol MetroBus scheme. I brought them some coffee.

IMG_0317I’ve been following this issue for a while, first alerted to the scheme by a petition started last summer (it’s still going, please sign!). They are rightly (IMO) staking a claim that Grade 1 agricultural land is more important to the future of Bristol than a place to park your car and get on a bus. It’s not that i have anything against park and ride developments per se – we need to improve transport in our city and that can play a part – but there have to be places it can be done that don’t require building on prime greenbelt. And there are perhaps better ways to spend that money (some ideas here).

The timing couldn’t be more (in)appropriate since Bristol has just started its year of festivities as Green Capital of Europe, and while today marks the start of the planned work on the MetroBus scheme it is only the beginning of a larger campaign of destruction that is scheduled this year.

IMG_0315At the camp that’s been erected over the weekend, things are in full swing. They looked to be settling in for the long haul when i visited, with rotas being made up (for manning gates, cooking/washing-up and press & police liaisons) and sign painting in full flow. I’m pretty damn frustrated that the city planners are so short sighted but glad that there are people who care enough to brave the sub zero temperatures in Bristol this week to stand up for what’s right. It’s not acrobats on tightropes or photo shoots with green bits of plastic that makes Bristol one of the greenest places to live, but the actions of people like these. Well done, guys – we’ve got your back.

Edit: good article on the Bristol Cable


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