It may have slipped you by, but Bristol City Council is currently deciding the future of Bristol City Centre, and they’re asking our opinions on their plans.

Their plans will shape the future of Bristol’s City Centre till 2026 and we have until 20th April to let them know our thoughts.

Sounds impossible? Sounds like a lot of effort?

Actually no. Here’s how and why…

Want to do something helpful but only have a few moments…?

If you’ve got 20 seconds, share this page on Twitter, Facebook,… (buttons below)

If you’ve got 2 minutes, do the above then read this article so you’re in the know… and start talking to people about it.

If you’ve got 5 minutes, do the above then send Bristol City Council an email. The email’s already written. All you need to do is copy, paste, send. Details at the bottom of this article.

Got more than 5 minutes??? Wow. Do the above then grab a coffee and pop me a comment below. It would be great to hear your thoughts about the Living Heart plan and to know how many people have responded to Bristol City Council.

Living Heart for Bristol

A couple of months ago I heard about a campaign called Living Heart for Bristol. It’s been set up by a transport expert who does research at UWE, Steve Melia. Over the past 5 years he’s studied transport systems across Europe… and he’s come up with a plan for Bristol.

I must admit that the Living Heart website isn’t all that clear, but I went to a seminar Steve gave and then it made sense.

So here it is in a nutshell:

Take a few key roads in the centre of Bristol and make it so cars can drive in and out, but not through them from end to end.

  • This has the effect of getting thru-traffic to go around the centre, without making the centre totally inaccessible to cars.
  • There is already a sort-of ring-road around the centre – you can see the map here – so there wouldn’t be a need for much if any extra road infrastructure to support this.
  • For those driving across the city, this would add an extra journey time of only about 5 minutes.
  • Because the idea doesn’t actually stop cars from entering the centre, there wouldn’t be an impact on parking in the areas around the centre.
  • This is so simple and requires so little infrastructure that it shouldn’t suck up all our council tax.

Still need convincing? Consider these facts:

  • In 2004, The Guardian rated Bristol in the Top 10 worst cities for pollution. Apparently breathing in the air in Bristol City Centre is equivalent to smoking 27 cigarettes a day. Really? Ouch!
  • Did you know that Queen’s Square used to be part of the A4? That was just 20 years ago. Back then there was opposition to pedestrianising it. Would you want it opened back up to traffic? No, thought not.
  • Schemes like this have worked, across Europe. Steve provides a bunch of evidence on the Living Heart website.
  • This proposal is supported by Friends of the Earth, Sustrans, Transition Bristol and many others.

Bristol City Council have come up with some plans (links below) but they fall short. We have until 20th April to let them know our thoughts.

Still got 2 minutes? Great…

  1. Go to the Consultation page on the Living Heart website.
  2. Copy the text that’s in the big box.
  3. Paste it into a new email. You can use the subject “Bristol Central Area & Public Realm and Movement consultations”
  4. Add your name and address to the bottom of the email.
  5. Send it to bdf@bristol.gov.uk

If you’ve done that… and shared this page… and you want to know more…

Further reading

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Twenty years ago it was difficult and pricey to buy organic food. Now thankfully it is easy. It still costs a little more but not that much.

Today the world has woken up to the need to make all aspects of our lives more sustainable. Every business appears to have a green manifesto. While, as a society, we’re all sure that the big bad boys are simply applying greenwash to their marketing, surely it still means that we’ve moved in the right direction. It must at least be easy to make an eco choice if we want to.

We’ve always been green-inclined, figuring that being good to the environment must be a good thing, even before the first mention of climate change in the mainstream media. And we’ve taken the familiar small steps to living a more green existence: eco light bulbs, recycling, insulation. The usuals.

In the past few months though, we’ve ramped up a notch. We’re making new purchases and we want to make sure that we’re buying sustainably and supporting genuinely sustainable businesses. This is where we hit some obstacles. It’s actually not that easy to find green products, especially when you’re talking tech products. It certainly takes more time and research, and the willingness to ask questions, rather than go for the easy option that’s right in front of you.

This blog is partly a ‘share’, our personal experiences of trying to live more sustainably, and partly ‘advice’, where we’ve managed to find good sources of information about standards and businesses. We hope you find it useful. We also welcome constructive comments, your experiences and useful tidbits of information.

Please join us walking the green walk.

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