Tonight, I drove my son to a job interview, just 2.4 miles from our house. In took us 45 minutes to get there. According to Google, it would have taken five minutes less to walk there in driving rain. No bus goes anywhere near, in any event Worst Bus charges an arm and a leg to get nowhere near. This is traveling Bristol/South Glucestershire style.
In 23 years of living in Stoke Gifford, I have never seen anything like it. We still have broadly, or rather narrowly, the same roads we used to have, but we now have Bradley Stoke to the north, the UWE and the MOD behemoth in the middle and just wait until what comes next. Soon to be paved over are the fields, all of them, right to Winterbourne, of Harry Stoke. Then, the development on the Filton airfield which is so vast it will require at least five new primary schools and a new secondary school. Do not look at the Filton site as nothing more than a housing development: it’s a new town. If you think tonight was bad, you just wait.
It does not appear to have occurred to anyone that many of the people moving into these new areas will probably work for a living and will need to get to work. The tatty, unreliable and overpriced railway is an unattractive option for many people; the buses, owned the same useless private company, are every bit as bad. There is a half-arsed idea to build a “metro bus” alongside the M32 which will alleviate the current traffic not one jot and will be an irrelevance with the new towns in South Gloucestershire.
And what if Bristol Rovers finally get round to build their all singing, all dancing stadium next to the UWE? How the hell will anyone get there and where on earth will they park? Don’t say by bus because the bus lanes are far and few between up here and the railways? Maybe, but they only come up from a handful of stations. Trains will be of little use to those living in the Kingswood and district heartlands.
No one has thought of this, have they? I am sure nothing untoward went on with council officials and wealthy builders. Both sides obviously agreed that it would be better to get on with building stuff and worry about the minor stuff, like a proper infrastructure, at a latter date. Something will turn up.
And maybe something will turn up, albeit very slowly through a worsening gridlock. All the evidence to date suggests that nothing will turn and we will all have to get used to sitting in endless traffic jams. That’s what I have to on my working days and it’s a local disgrace.