Category Archives: Transport

A special place to make Grtho happy

Wikipediaphile: Containerization [sic]

I can’t remember why, but I was recently reading up about containerisation (I can’t even blame it on series two of The Wire) – here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the matter…

Containerization (British:containerisation) is a system of freight transport based on a range of steel intermodal containers (also ‘shipping containers’, ‘ISO containers’ etc). Containers are built to standardised dimensions, and can be loaded and unloaded, stacked, transported efficiently over long distances, and transferred from one mode of transport to another—container ships, rail and semi-trailer trucks—without being opened. The system was developed after World War II, led to greatly reduced transport costs, and supported a vast increase in international trade…

I think I may have been interested in the decline of inland ports:


Containerization greatly reduced the expense of international trade and increased its speed, especially of consumer goods and commodities. It also dramatically changed the character of port cities worldwide. Prior to highly mechanized container transfers, crews of 20-22 longshoremen would pack individual cargoes into the hold of a ship. After containerization, large crews of longshoremen were no longer necessary at port facilities and the profession changed drastically.

Meanwhile the port facilities needed to support containerization changed. One effect was the decline of some ports and the rise of others. At the Port of San Francisco, the former piers used for loading and unloading were no longer required, but there was little room to build the vast holding lots needed for container transport. As a result the Port of San Francisco virtually ceased to function as a major commercial port, but the neighboring port of Oakland emerged as the second largest on the West Coast of America. A similar fate met the relation between the ports of Manhattan and New Jersey. In the UK, longshoremen’s unions protested the change to containerization, resulting in the elimination of London and Liverpool as major ports. Meanwhile, Britain’s Felixstowe and Rotterdam in the Netherlands emerged as major ports. In general, inland ports on waterways incapable of deep draft ship traffic also declined from containerization in favor of seaports. With intermodal containers, the job of sorting and packing containers could be performed far from the point of embarcation.

Yellow lines, don’t do it

Parking not allowed

Parking's fine here, though!

So yesterday loads of cars parked along Brunswick street got tickets. Some were parked on the CEED side, invariably half on the road, half on the pavement. Others were on the Wilder Court side (the end one of which was parked on the corner with Wilder Street).

There were some very unhappy local residents!

Today one of said unhappy local residents stopped a pair of PCSOs (or, as I understand Acksuall Constables call them, Plastic Pigs) to ask where they should park, having been ticketed yesterday. As she politely but assertively pointed out, there are no yellow lines past the corner, and she hadn’t been parked on the corner. The PCSOs (9288 and 7071), whilst keen to point out that “we weren’t here yesterday, it wasn’t us”, then indicated where in their opinion it was okay to park and where it was not. Oh, and they added that “there’s been a lot of complaints about the parking around here…”


The lady drove off, and then the PCSOs decided to do a bit more ticketing, perhaps on the grounds of being consistent (a first around here, I would aver).

Slightly undermining that particular inference is that just down the round at the end of Wilder Street, right outside the Wilder House Parking Services HQ, was a sandwich van (Gert Lush’s Daihatsu Hijet registration WR51 KZE), parked half on the pavement and half on double yellows. I guess it is hungry work, slaving over spreadsheets of parking tickets and permit receipts.

The Bristolian is back!

The Bristolian is back!

I got given a copy of the back-from-the-dead Bristolian earlier!

They don’t seem to have a website at the moment, but tentative steps and all that, I’m sure things will be moving along nicely once people know it’s back in business.

This inaugural issue carries stories on:

  • the LibDem Council House coup d’état;
  • the cancellation of a new primary school in favour of a car park for Gloucestershire County Cricket Club;
  • expensive Council jargon;
  • Sustrans and the Cycling City money-go-round;
  • and (of course!) the good old recession.

They do ask that if you have “any leaks, sleaze, gossip, slander, news, views or anything else your fellow Bristolians should know about” to get in touch – email BristolianNews AT

Look out for it in shops, pubs, market stalls, community centres and newsagents!

In the meantime I’ve scanned & PDFed it so you can download your own full-size A4 printable copy – the pic above is for illustrative purposes only 😉

» Download The Bristolian #1

The Bristol Web 2.0 Careers Advice Service

Mark Bradshaw's Twitter plea

Following the booting out of the Labour minority cabinet at Bristol City Council, ‘transport supremo’ Mark Bradshaw has been wondering what to do with himself.

Tweet your suggestions to @mark_bradshaw


I see Terry Cook has also discovered the jobseeking potential of Twitter.


Sustainable gravy transport

Ooh Mr Grimshaw!

Josh Hart has written an interesting critique of Sustrans over at his On The Level blog:

There are an increasing number of concerns…but they centre around this: should a private charity with no accountability to the public or its membership (Sustrans calls them supporters) be given millions of taxpayer pounds every year without adequate consultation or oversight?

…It also turns out that very few Sustrans employees are personally involved in the Bristol Cycling Campaign-something I find very odd considering many of them live and cycle in Bristol. In fact, it sometimes seems that Sustrans goes out of its way to ignore Bristol, as if to prove to other areas of the country that the City that hosts their headquarters curries no special favour. When plans for a bus rapid transit route threatened the Bristol-Bath Railway Path (Sustrans’ flagship facility) they were sluggish in responding to the threat, terrified of offending the local council, actually going on record in the Evening Post saying essentially that they had “no comment” about the plans.

Though the beast finally woke from its bloated lottery-money induced slumber and opposed the plan with some force, the damage had been done. Thankfully, local activists stepped into the vacuum and formed Save the Railway Path, organised a 1000 strong march to the Council house that succeeded in getting the City Council to shelve the ill-conceived plans. We know that Sustrans knew about the BRT plan as early as July 2007 if not earlier, yet they did nothing to alert others and provoke opposition. They only jumped on the bandwagon when it was clear that their credibility was on the line if they did nothing…

Chris Hutt at Green Bristol Blog has provided some much needed (judging by some of the catty remarks already deposited on Josh’s comments section by College Green lycra-clad loyalists) back-covering; this one should run and run!

Forget-Me-Knot #005: Wr06 txv

Wr06 txv

A reminder to myself to complain to Bristol City Council AGAIN – this time because I’m annoyed at BCC vehicles – like the van with the registration WR06 TXV – habitually parking either on the pavement or on double yellow lines.

The BCC van with the registration WR06 TXV managed to pull off the impressive feat of parking half on the pavement and half on double yellow lines when I thumbed this note – outside Wilder House on Wilder Street, home of BCC’s Parking Services Team.

Bristol blogosphere united by the meme that cannot die… All hail CARBOOT CIRCUS!

Birth of a meme..?

Picking up the meme and running with it:

Eyeing the meme covetously, but restraining themselves:

Other contenders:

  • Bread and Cabot Circus
  • Cahoot Circus
  • Carbon Circus
  • Carrot Circus
  • Circusmead
  • Cornucopia Circus
  • Jesus Building
  • New Broadmead
Edited Friday 14th November to add more links

The Bristol Blogger is dead, long live the Bristol Blogger

On that note The Blogger is calling it a day for the time being. We’ve done a year solid reporting on these useless twats and that’s enough for anyone. If you haven’t realised you’re being done over yet, then you’re never going to.

We’re now off to pursue some “new projects”, although they’ll be some occasional postings on this site as we use our time to follow up some of those bigger stories we’ve missed due to the workload.

Look out for stuff on local Labour funding, SWRDA IT budgets and ISiS/Southwest One over the coming months along with the odd ramble here and there. But the day-to-day stuff, alas, is gone until we return this time next year for the local elections…

The Bristol Blogger

Bristol: “Almost as good as Reading”

…Err, cheers!

England’s cities are growing but at two different rates, according to a new report published today (Monday) by the Centre for Cities at ippr. The report includes a new index of performance indicators which combine different measures of employment, population and skills.The report shows that, based on their employment, population growth and skills, England’s top five performing cities are:

* Reading
* Bristol
* Southampton
* Cambridge
* York

So claims *coff* ‘progressive think tank’ the Institute for Public Policy Research in a press release about a report, Two-Track Cities, published by the Centre for Cities, “an independent urban research unit, currently based at IPPR”.

The gist of this astonishingly original report is that

…UK cities face a number of significant challenges in the years ahead. We have ‘two-track’ cities – those that have experienced success and renaissance in recent years, and those that have not. All cities still face the challenge of sharing opportunity and have concentrations of deprivation and worklessness. Those cities that have experienced high levels of economic growth face a number of challenges relating to sustaining growth such as congestion and environmental degradation.


I saw this yesterday morning and bookmarked it, but forgot to post it up. I guess it was one of those slow new days at the Beeb, because basically it’s just a policy think tank’s meejah-friendly press release. As far as the BBC is concerned, though, it’s the sort of talking point soft news wet dream it loves the most – the kind that says something (or nothing) about every redneck backwater of the good ol’ Yookay, meaning the (non) story can slightly rewritten and wheeled out across every regional page of… Not that you’d ever think the BBC was short of big, important, socially relevant stories to write about – certainly not here in Bristol, where its hardboiled, All The Presidents’ Men-style investigative report entitled Parking rules ‘ignored’ in street ruled the BBC News Bristol homepage for several hours this morning…

Vehicles are being parked on double yellow lines in a Bristol street for hours on end with apparent impunity, local residents say.

…wardens are rarely seen, one resident said.

No one from Bristol City Council was available for comment.

One person who works in the area said she had not seen a warden for weeks…

A spokesman for Bristol Parking Services said: “Vehicles are only allowed to stop there while loading. I haven’t got a clue what’s going on there.

Bristol – truly a wonderful place. Just not as wonderful as Reading.