The Blue Finger, an area in the north of Bristol (a UK major city), is rich with the country’s best agricultural soil.
Traditionally the heartland of Bristol’s market gardens, the Blue Finger Alliance is working on feeding Bristol again with fresh, local produce, grown by local people.
Last week, bad news for the Blue Finger Alliance.
The council gave the go-ahead for a controversial new transport scheme requiring the building of new roads and a bridge.
In the council chambers where the scheme was voted for (six to four), campaigners sang Joni Mitchell’s song:
“…you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot…”
The ‘rapid transit’ bus route is intended to provide faster links between Bristol’s train stations.
Sounds good – in theory. The city desperately needs a functioning public transport.
But building new roads does not improve public transport.
By all means, increase buses, revive disused train lines, engineer tram systems.
But build new roads? That’s a hidebound to nowhere.
“Road-building generates even more traffic,” says the Campaign for Better Transport, “damages the countryside, adds to climate change and makes cities, towns and villages less pleasant places to live for everyone.”
Bristol is the 2015 European Green Capital, a prestigious award supported by Bristol 2015 Ltd, created with Bristol council. Yet this scheme is the opposite of what Bristol Green Capital stands for.
The Metrobus scheme is a waste of precious resources, and a heartbreakingly backward step for a sustainable future-proof Bristol.