Disappointingly, after 3 legs now of my bike commute I’ve not yet been nearly killed, even once. So I’ll fill in some background info about Bristol instead.
The city of Bristol is a transport disaster of the highest order, regularly grinding to a grid-locked halt in recent years.
In 1996, the county of Avon was abolished, as part of a governmental strategy to wrestle power from an authority that was beginning to get a little too big for its boots. Unusually for a governmental edict, this was highly successful, with the central “City of Bristol” continuing in its 11th year to be bugger all use to anybody.
From a transport point of view the abolishment was a masterstroke. Bristol is served by 3 main motorways, the bulk of which now fall within the largely rural county of South Gloucestershire. Most of what’s known as the Avon Ring Road is also countrolled by South Gloucestershire, on account of said “ring road” running around no more than the eastern edge of Bristol. Hardly a ring. In any case, any “incident” on any the aforementioned trunk routes inevitably leads to transport chaos within most of the city’s boundary.
Ill fated metro and other rail-based systems have been touted over the years, like the one which would have joined the city centre and the new town of Bradley Stoke, but the inability of Bristol and South Gloucestershire to agree on priorities put paid to that.
Don’t get me started on busses..
Bristol is a backward city. It’s premier music venue is an ancient relic named after a celebrated slave-trader, that’s changed little since the early 1900s. That’s a slight lie – the premier music venue for Bristol is actually Cardiff International Arena, which lies in another country!
Which leads neatly on to the 2008 City of Culture bid. A bid for a competition eventually won by Liverpool, which as far as one could tell revolved around Bristol’s twin cultural “reputations” of being the world centre of the plasticine dog industry (Aardman’s warehouse burnt down in 2006) and launching a few balloons once a year (in 2006 it was too windy for the Balloon Fieta to actually launch anything).
The “historic harbourside” will shortly be entirely overrun with expensive modern apartment blocks, as despite its utter crapness, Bristol continues to expand and more and more lemmings join the daily traffic jam.