Wednesday 26 January 2022

The Sorry Tale Of Ashton Vale (2)

 The Locals Are Not At All Happy

The local trag and the Bristol Live web site have been carrying videos of the same well-staged protest in front of a First Bus bus. In both the films the spokesperson is an elderly but vociferous resident of Ashton Vale with a walking frame. fbb would have liked to include one or other of the actual videos in this posting but neither download would fit the "shape" of the blog.

But readers will be very familiar with the tone. First bus is an awful company, we are told because it refuses to run buses at a loss for the relatively few residents of Ashton Vale who cannot manage without one.
The complaints seem, on the surface, to be reasonable:-
It is worse for the people "in the middle"??
It is too far to walk to The Robins on a Sunday ...
... but it is OK to have no buses in a village - but this is Bristol, m'dear ...
... although fbb doubts whether anyone, apart from the lady in pink, would opine that Ashton Vale was in the centre of the City!
WE (expert and amateur omnibologists alike) know that First Bus is not a philanthropic organisation and needs to be profitable to survive. Its current survival is more do do with essential government hand-outs than with First's obvious (?) management  skills.

So what has caused this furore at Bristol's "forgotten" estate?

fbb will try to adumbrate (for which pills are available!) and, equally, try to separate longer term policy from specific Covid timetable arrangements.

How It Once Was
Service 24 runs cross-city from Southmead Hospital via Eastville. Once upon a time it ran from Muller Road, then Lockleaze, but generally via the same route into City.
Southmead Hospital, like similar establishments, has grown and grown and now has a nice three stand bus station on Central Way.
Gainsborough Square is the pleasant (if a little tired) shopping centre and greenery of a 1960s (?) housing development ...
and Eastville is, well, Eastville.
What remains of its characterful terraces is now overpowered by the M32 viaduct; necessary, no doubt, but such a pity.

Once across the city, the 24 ran - and still runs - via Bedminster, passing the old toll gate at the end of Ashton Road as in yesterdays blog ...
... before turning south via Duckmoor Road and Luckwell Road ...
... to Redpoint Bristol.
As an aside, Redpoint Indoor Climbing Centre used to be a Top Rank Bingo Hall, before that The Odeon Bedminster ...
... and before that, The Ambassador.
Anyway, the 24 turned back down Winterstoke Road, then left at The Robins and then via Ashton Drive to the terminus.
Because of the thin and low bridge (remember?) ...
... the 24 was a single deck route ...
... and always was. Really, there was no other way in ...
... to the forgotten estate of Ashton Vale.

So, as they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Somebody should tell that to the First Bristol bosses!

 Next "Forgotten" blog : Thursday 27th January 

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