Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Bread, circuses.... and bus stops.

Today's long awaited launch of plans to transform the enterprise zone around Temple Meads – branded the 'Temple Quarter' - was heralded on the front page of the Post and on the Enterprise Partnership's pages. Both highlighted the half-promise of an Arena.

The big event was on Plot 3 – except for now it's to be known as 'Creative Common'. (Don't run away with any ideas that this is in any way a common, though. Bristol doesn't do commons). A (only slightly leaky) Big Top provided the venue.

First in were 200 invited businesses, to get a progress report on the Enterprise Zone's development and opportunies. The literature suggests they were subjected to a tidal wave of hype; I can't help wondering whether hard-headed businessmen are really vulnerable to this sort of thing, and if they are, what makes their judgement so much better than the rest of us can manage.

Then it was time for us plebs. We were treated instead to a sparky free display of entertaining skills much better suited to the venue. All credit to them, and the kids especially loved it. I gather that the Big Top is going to stay there through the summer, and maybe come back next season too.

But for us, there was little about what's going to happen in this key part of our city; just a few display boards mostly filled with artists' impressions of THE VISION. Those pictures were indeed visionary in much the same way as a dream is: they don't really hold together in the light of day, and raise many more questions than they answer.

One thing was clear, though. The display pictures, like the media hype beforehand, include NOTHING about the council's or the Enterprise Partnership's promise of a modern transport interchange – in fact the only indication of any 'onward' transport for arriving passengers was a BRT stop in the Friary. Here's one of the pics; make of it what you will.

It was mere chance, but immediately afterwards, a steam train pulled in to Temple Meads – headed by a locomotive that drew the crowds at the 1951 Festival of Britain - extending the general feeling of unreality

Then it was time to get the bus home.

No circuses here. Business as usual for the forseeable future.


woodsy said...

As was pointed out by one of the Evening Post's commentariat, Bristol has for many years had an excess of empty business premises. To this I would add that the clowns in the big top now want to relax planning permission to build yet more of the same; what bloody madness

Stockwood Pete said...

Yes, they seem to be of the 'Build it and They will Come" belief system. Maybe the Creative Common should have been called 'Field of Dreams'.

sacredspring said...

If you look left off centre above the colourful umbrellas in the photo of the stoical bus queue you will see the rusty post of an original cast-iron tram pole.
Although visible outside the big top Osbourne and his business leaders would not have seen the irony of this relic!

Stockwood Pete said...

I wondered what that post was. Presumably the trams were single-deckers, then?

It occurred to me, seeing that they're now talking about taking the BRT into the Friary (instead of that absurd notion of a 'Temple Meads' stop at the corner of Redcliffe Way and Victoria Street),that no-one's explaining how they get out again. Easy enough for a tram - it just goes the opposite way. But a bendy-bus? How does it find its way back onto Temple Way?

sacredspring said...

Looks a bit short for electric post, true.
Maybe gas lamp or signals. Design consistent with tram posts of 1900's.
~How about a mystery pole contest?!!

The trams tight turning circle or reversing ability is lost on the bendy buses and BRT.

between-the-lines said...

The only thing creative about that lot is their accounting.