Mayor rant, or Chinese Whispers?

1 view
Skip to first unread message

Chris Brown

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 6:27:30 AM7/30/05
to
Strong stuff here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/07/29/ncam29.xml

However, it seems to have been filtered through both the Torygraph *and* the
CEN, so God only knows what he actually said.

FWIW, the area around the beer barns on the corner of Downing Street and St
Andrews Street (or is it Regent Street by then?) can be a bit unpleasant,
and the city centre has got somehwat chavvy in a way it never used to be 5-6
years ago, but the article makes it sound like Old Detroit.

Cambridge Computer Recycling

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 6:46:23 AM7/30/05
to

"Chris Brown" <cpb...@ntlworld.no_uce_please.com> wrote in message
news:9h0sr2-...@narcissus.dyndns.org...


It doesn't seem too far from reality. Some parts of the City Centre appear
to be "no go"areas for the police and are populated by large crowds of
younger people. These are mainly male, noisy, vaguely aggressive, often
fuelled by alcohol. I can well understand why others may wish to keep
themselves, and their money, away from the city in the evenings.

Chris.


Message has been deleted

Jules

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 8:23:10 AM7/30/05
to
On Sat, 30 Jul 2005 12:01:20 +0100, Dave {Reply Address in.sig} wrote:

> But we already know that the council doesn't want us to go into Cambridge
> because of the way they've made it highly inconvenient to drive a car into
> the city and park while failing to provide adequate public transport to
> fill the gap. Perhaps the drunks are part of someone's long-term plan to
> encourage everyone to go elsewhere.

They'll be after alienating the residents next. It's probably a big
conspiracy so that they can empty the whole city and sell the land to
Tesco in order for them to build the biggest superstore ever seen... :-)


Colin Rosenstiel

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 8:04:00 AM7/30/05
to
In article <3930491.q...@robinton.llondel.org>,
noone$$@llondel.org (Dave {Reply Address in.sig}) wrote:

> In message <9h0sr2-...@narcissus.dyndns.org>, Chris Brown wrote:
>
> > Strong stuff here:
>
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/07/29/ncam29.xm
l
> >
> > However, it seems to have been filtered through both the
> > Torygraph *and* the CEN, so God only knows what he actually said.
> >
> > FWIW, the area around the beer barns on the corner of Downing
> > Street and St Andrews Street (or is it Regent Street by then?)
> > can be a bit unpleasant, and the city centre has got somehwat
> > chavvy in a way it never used to be 5-6 years ago, but the
> > article makes it sound like Old Detroit.
>
> But we already know that the council doesn't want us to go into
> Cambridge because of the way they've made it highly inconvenient
> to drive a car into the city and park while failing to provide
> adequate public transport to fill the gap. Perhaps the drunks are
> part of someone's long-term plan to encourage everyone to go
> elsewhere.

You know no such thing. You car is not attached to you. It can be left
behind or parked.

--
Colin Rosenstiel

Ara

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 8:29:25 AM7/30/05
to
Cambridge Computer Recycling wrote:
> "Chris Brown" <cpb...@ntlworld.no_uce_please.com> wrote in message
> news:9h0sr2-...@narcissus.dyndns.org...
> > Strong stuff here:
> >
> >http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/07/29/ncam29.xml
> > [...]
> > the article makes [Cambridge] sound like Old Detroit

>
> It doesn't seem too far from reality. Some parts of the City Centre appear
> to be "no go"areas for the police and are populated by large crowds of
> younger people. These are mainly male, noisy, vaguely aggressive, often
> fuelled by alcohol. I can well understand why others may wish to keep
> themselves, and their money, away from the city in the evenings.

I don't think it sounds far from reality at all. A friend from
University days came to visit not so long ago, having not been
back to Cambridge for a few years, and pronounced that it "didn't
seem to be a very nice place any more". I find myself in
agreement and am in the process of voting with my feet. It has
lately come to me that as I rarely any more go out in town, since
I now find it rather unpleasant, there is little point in paying
City accomodation prices to be close by the centre. Perhaps I
have been suffering something of the boiled frog syndrome not
to see this before.

I daresay the City won't miss me, as there will be half a dozen
beered-up lads to take my place, but it does seem sensible to me
to question if that is the sort of future that is desired for
Cambridge.

Ara

Colin Rosenstiel

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 9:04:00 AM7/30/05
to
In article <1122726565.8...@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
coraz...@hotmail.com (Ara) wrote:

I don't think you'll find the rest of the country any different in this
respect. It's not a Cambridge phenomenon.

--
Colin Rosenstiel

Ara

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 9:17:33 AM7/30/05
to
Colin Rosenstiel wrote:
> In article <1122726565.8...@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> coraz...@hotmail.com (Ara) wrote:
> > I don't think it sounds far from reality at all. A friend from
> > University days came to visit not so long ago, having not been
> > back to Cambridge for a few years, and pronounced that it "didn't
> > seem to be a very nice place any more". I find myself in
> > agreement and am in the process of voting with my feet.
>
> I don't think you'll find the rest of the country any different in this
> respect. It's not a Cambridge phenomenon.

So one should just accept it then? In any case I don't agree that
this phenomenon is countrywide (though that is tangential here).

Ara

Paul Wright

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 9:39:37 AM7/30/05
to
In article <9h0sr2-...@narcissus.dyndns.org>, Chris Brown wrote:
> Strong stuff here:
>
> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/07/29/ncam29.xml
>
> However, it seems to have been filtered through both the Torygraph
> *and* the CEN, so God only knows what he actually said.

The CEN's original report is at:
<http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/city/2005/07/28/66e90420-83db-4d07-9a27-d7c5a2e46509.lpf>

My web searches also found this article in the Observer, which I thought
was rather sensible:
<http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,6903,1391501,00.html>



> FWIW, the area around the beer barns on the corner of Downing Street
> and St Andrews Street (or is it Regent Street by then?) can be a bit
> unpleasant, and the city centre has got somehwat chavvy in a way it
> never used to be 5-6 years ago, but the article makes it sound like
> Old Detroit.

The CEN article seems mostly to be about dossers rather than chavs (I'm
assuming "street life" is code for "moving dossers on"), though there is
mention of binge drinking in pubs and clubs, with the same text
as the Torygraph has.

FWIW, I think the drunks (by which I largely mean the people drinking
to excess in pubs, not the comparatively few dossers) have got worse in
the 10 years I've been here, and I can't really see anything preventing
this trend from continuing. In fact, I imagine extended opening hours
will make it worse. Whether you're so intimidated that you won't go into
town depends on how easily intimidated you are, I suppose. I still go out
in town, but I don't think I'd want to be walking down St Andrews
Street/Drummer Street on foot near closing time.

Does the mayor have powers to do anything about this, does anyone know,
or is he just hoping to put pressure on people who do by giving this
interview? Better enforcement of the law for the drinking barns on St
Andrews Street would get my vote. Isn't it a violation of their licences
to serve someone who's already obviously drunk? Who was responsible for
allowing planning permsission and licensing for them in the first place?

--
Paul Wright | http://pobox.com/~pw201 | http://blog.noctua.org.uk/
Reply address is valid but discards anything which isn't plain text

Jim Spriggs

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 10:34:23 AM7/30/05
to

The Mayor (I'd tug my forelock if I had one to tug) refers to pubs and
clubs. Can't the local authority refuse to issue licences to these
places?

--
I don't know who you are Sir, or where you come from,
but you've done me a power of good.

Message has been deleted

Patrick Gosling

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 11:18:03 AM7/30/05
to
In article <42EB8FD2...@ANTISPAMbtinternet.com.invalid>,

Jim Spriggs <jim.s...@ANTISPAMbtinternet.com.invalid> wrote:
>The Mayor (I'd tug my forelock if I had one to tug) refers to pubs and
>clubs. Can't the local authority refuse to issue licences to these
>places?

Presumably in just the same way as they can refuse planning permission,
only to be dragged through an appeals process that costs you and me a
few extra quid on our council tax ...

-patrick.

Tim Ward

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 12:12:19 PM7/30/05
to
"Chris Brown" <cpb...@ntlworld.no_uce_please.com> wrote in message
news:9h0sr2-...@narcissus.dyndns.org...

John's views on this matter are well known and have been for some time.

--
Tim Ward - posting as an individual unless otherwise clear
Brett Ward Ltd - www.brettward.co.uk
Cambridge Accommodation Notice Board - www.brettward.co.uk/canb
Cambridge City Councillor


Tim Ward

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 12:18:30 PM7/30/05
to
"Paul Wright" <-$P-W$-@noctua.org.uk> wrote in message
news:slrnden0oo.gaj.-$P-W$-...@pome.noctua.org.uk...

>
> Does the mayor have powers to do anything about this

Not personally.

> Isn't it a violation of their licences
> to serve someone who's already obviously drunk?

Yes. It's amazing how many people manage to be sober right up until they
start on their last drink which makes them totally out of their brains,
isn't it. Enforcement, were any ever to be contemplated, would be down to
the police in the end, although the various "partnerships" do give other
bodies a forum for contributing their views. I have asked why this
particular law isn't enforced; answer came there none (although we can all
guess what it is - "how many officers would you like us to take off
burglaries and drugs?).

By the way, the police will be changing the way they consult the public from
the autumn with a view to getting much more public involvement. Last I heard
details hadn't been fully worked out, so I can't tell you exactly what will
happen, but if people make it clear to the police that it is the public's
priority to enforce this particular law at the expense of enforcing current
priorities then policing can change to match.

Tim Ward

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 12:20:41 PM7/30/05
to
"Patrick Gosling" <jp...@eng.cam.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:dcg5nb$nct$1...@gemini.csx.cam.ac.uk...

You got it.

Tim Ward

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 12:20:13 PM7/30/05
to
"Jim Spriggs" <jim.s...@ANTISPAMbtinternet.com.invalid> wrote in message
news:42EB8FD2...@ANTISPAMbtinternet.com.invalid...

>
> The Mayor (I'd tug my forelock if I had one to tug) refers to pubs and
> clubs. Can't the local authority refuse to issue licences to these
> places?

You'd think so, wouldn't you, if you listen to government publicity about
the new licensing regime. In practice, no, not really, not unless things are
vastly more dire than they ever get in Cambridge - the breweries have more
money than councils when it comes to reviewing decisions in the high court,
especially when the legislation is such that the council would be on a very
probable loser to start with.

Francis Turton

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 12:48:59 PM7/30/05
to
Dave {Reply Address in.sig} wrote:

> As I said, "they've made it highly inconvenient to drive a car into the city
> and park". Leaving it behind is not a valid option for those with poor bus
> services (although to be fair the city council is not at fault for poor bus
> services outside the city) and if I have to get in my car to get to the P&R
> and then go into town on that, I might as well go to St Ives or St Neots
> instead. Similarly if I have to park in residential streets some way out of
> town (which also pisses off the locals who then can't park either).
>

Have you ever actually tried using the P&R? It is *much* quicker than
driving into town on a weekend. And I'm including the time spent
waiting for a bus.

People would rather complain about supposedly inadequate public
transport than use it because, I suppose, of the old adage that only
losers take the bus. That's often what it boils down to.

Francis Turton

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 1:02:54 PM7/30/05
to

I'm afraid it is. I'm seen small towns of 10000 people in Suffolk and
Essex on a Saturday night and relative to their populations they're
every bit as bad.

As for whether one should accept it: no, I don't think one should, but
ultimately only the apparatus of law can change things. Currently, the
police can ask crowds of rowdy people to move on but they can't
actually force them to do so, so what on earth is the point? They need
proper powers to disperse yobbos. Those given, I am all for pubs and
clubs being made to pay for extra police - I'm sure that would
concentrate their minds.

Mary Pegg

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 1:26:05 PM7/30/05
to
Paul Wright wrote:

> FWIW, I think the drunks (by which I largely mean the people drinking
> to excess in pubs, not the comparatively few dossers) have got worse in
> the 10 years I've been here, and I can't really see anything preventing
> this trend from continuing. In fact, I imagine extended opening hours
> will make it worse.

I don't. I imagine that people will start drinking when they want to,
and stop drinking when they want to, and you won't get the mad 8-11
Friday night binges any more.

--
"I was nauseous and tingly all over.
I was either in love or I had smallpox."

Mark Carroll

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 2:12:49 PM7/30/05
to
In article <1122742139.3...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
Francis Turton <ftu...@3glab.com> wrote:
(snip)

>People would rather complain about supposedly inadequate public
>transport than use it because, I suppose, of the old adage that only
>losers take the bus. That's often what it boils down to.

Well, we did try for a few months before giving in and getting a car.
The main P&R problem we used to have was that it seemed to stop in the
early evening, so it's excellent if that's now changed. Of course, if
you've much shopping to do, it's a pain to have to go back out to the
P&R to drop intermediate loads off, but with luck some clever solution
can be found to that one.

Of course, if you have a few adults in the car, going elsewhere
suddenly looks cheaper than paying a few P&R fares, but that's a
general problem with public transport: once there's a few of you,
the car looks much cheaper.

-- Mark

Tim Ward

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 2:25:33 PM7/30/05
to
"Mark Carroll" <ma...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote in message
news:1uo*id...@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk...

>
> Of course, if
> you've much shopping to do, it's a pain to have to go back out to the
> P&R to drop intermediate loads off, but with luck some clever solution
> can be found to that one.

Buy first from the shop(s) that will deliver to the P&R and last from the
shop(s) where you need to carry the stuff?

Mark Carroll

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 2:33:17 PM7/30/05
to
In article <3l1v1iF...@individual.net>,

Tim Ward <t...@brettward.co.uk> wrote:
>"Mark Carroll" <ma...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote in message
>news:1uo*id...@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk...
>>
>> Of course, if
>> you've much shopping to do, it's a pain to have to go back out to the
>> P&R to drop intermediate loads off, but with luck some clever solution
>> can be found to that one.
>
>Buy first from the shop(s) that will deliver to the P&R and last from the
>shop(s) where you need to carry the stuff?

Oh, great - do quite a few shops now deliver to some little pick-up
depot at the P&R car parks? That's an excellent move. It would have
worked well enough to just have places around the city centre to drop
off bought goods to have them magically wend their way there, so the
shops don't have to make separate delivery arrangements.

-- Mark

Message has been deleted

Meldrew of Meldreth

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 3:40:23 PM7/30/05
to
In article <1122742139.3...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
Francis Turton <ftu...@3glab.com> writes

>Have you ever actually tried using the P&R? It is *much* quicker than
>driving into town on a weekend. And I'm including the time spent
>waiting for a bus.

During shopping hours, I'd agree. But it doesn't run late into the
evening, which is when people "go out on the town" (or so I'm led to
believe).
--
"now, the thing you type on and the window you stare out of are the same thing"

Colin Rosenstiel

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 4:59:00 PM7/30/05
to
In article <1122729453....@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
coraz...@hotmail.com (Ara) wrote:

Talk to my mother in law about the centre of Birmingham if you don't
believe me. I don't condone this, on the contrary, but ITYF that moving
to another city won't avoid the problem.

It's upright citizens like you and others here that might solve the
problem, here and elsewhere.

--
Colin Rosenstiel

Stuart Moore

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 5:23:57 PM7/30/05
to
Colin Rosenstiel wrote:
> In article <1122729453....@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> coraz...@hotmail.com (Ara) wrote:
>
>
>>Colin Rosenstiel wrote:
>>
>>>In article <1122726565.8...@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
>>>coraz...@hotmail.com (Ara) wrote:
>>>
>>>>I don't think it sounds far from reality at all. A friend from
>>>>University days came to visit not so long ago, having not been
>>>>back to Cambridge for a few years, and pronounced that it "didn't
>>>>seem to be a very nice place any more". I find myself in
>>>>agreement and am in the process of voting with my feet.
>>>
>>>I don't think you'll find the rest of the country any different in
>>>this respect. It's not a Cambridge phenomenon.
>>
>>So one should just accept it then? In any case I don't agree that
>>this phenomenon is countrywide (though that is tangential here).
>
>
> Talk to my mother in law about the centre of Birmingham if you don't
> believe me. I don't condone this, on the contrary, but ITYF that moving
> to another city won't avoid the problem.
>

Centre of Croydon (my vacation home) is likewise.

However when I was in Edinburgh last year I didn't notice it to the same
level; I'm about to head up there again, I'll see what it's like. There
they already have the late pub opening, so maybe that's a good sign for
the future.

Alan Levy

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 6:30:08 PM7/30/05
to
Mary Pegg <nos...@widetrouser.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

>Paul Wright wrote:
>
>> FWIW, I think the drunks (by which I largely mean the people drinking
>> to excess in pubs, not the comparatively few dossers) have got worse in
>> the 10 years I've been here, and I can't really see anything preventing
>> this trend from continuing. In fact, I imagine extended opening hours
>> will make it worse.
>
>I don't. I imagine that people will start drinking when they want to,
>and stop drinking when they want to, and you won't get the mad 8-11
>Friday night binges any more.

Are you seriously suggesting that the people who currently cause these
problems will suddenly start to drink responsibly just because the
opening hours have been changed? I really do hope you are right but I
just don't believe it.
--
Alan Levy (alan...@delete-this-first-ntlworld.com)
Delete the spoiler to reply by email!

Chris Newton

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 7:13:38 PM7/30/05
to
Chris Brown wrote:
> FWIW, the area around the beer barns on the corner of Downing Street
> and St Andrews Street (or is it Regent Street by then?) can be a bit
> unpleasant, and the city centre has got somehwat chavvy in a way it
> never used to be 5-6 years ago, but the article makes it sound like
> Old Detroit.

It's not far off occasionally. I'm often around the area in question on
Friday nights, for other reasons, and it's entirely fair to say that the
problem has been far worse outside the Rat & Parrot and The Regal than
it ever was before, and it's getting worse. Everywhere you look there
are kids already more drunk than they should be, going between one and
the other trying their luck, occasionally dropping in on one of the
other places nearby. I know several people who won't go near that area
on their own any more.

There were apparently serious incidents not long ago, with police vans
and ambulances turning up. For a few weeks after that, a couple of
police officers were visibly standing around just outside the entrance
to Emmanuel, and things were noticably quieter. I suspect the deterrent
is far more cost effective than the treatment, so I'm surprised they
don't do this more often.

The fact that what passes for security in this city is a joke doesn't
help. The last three serious violent attacks I've seen have all been
committed by bouncers who lost it, and badly. If you can't even count on
the door staff to obey the law themselves, how on earth are they
supposed to enforce a reasonable entry policy at pubs and bars?

As others have noted, it would help if the authorities actually enforced
the rules on the pubs and bars: if they actually refused to serve people
who were already drunk, and weren't allowed to serve more people at once
than they had space for on the premises, then things would be much
better. If there are problems with appeals when a licence is
refused/revoked after the kind of behaviour we see week in, week out,
then there is a serious problem with the whole licensing and appeal process.

The rule ought to be that a suitably senior police officer can walk into
a pub, satisfy himself that they're taking the piss and video evidence
on the spot to confirm this later, and order them closed down for 24
hours instantly. Let the publicans appeal later, and reclaim lost
earnings *if* they can immediately refute the video camera evidence
gathered by said police officer the instant he turned up. If the
publicans lose, let the court fine them the costs incurred by the
authorities in defending their actions, and let the authorities
counter-sue for the costs in providing the extra policing required if
it's worth it. Chuck in a "three strikes" rule, say if you're closed
down this way three times within a six month period, you automatically
lose your licence without appeal for at least two years, and the people
running the alcohol joints might actually take notice rather than the piss.

If it's just too expensive for the police to protect those not involved
who are just passing through, then there's a strong argument for
legalising the carrying of defensive weaponry. After all, the police and
government are only too happy to point out that self defence if the
responsibility of the individual, not the police services, and the

latter are routinely issued with batons etc. As Colin wrote:
> It's upright citizens like you and others here that might solve the
> problem, here and elsewhere.

The drunks are going to glass people or whatever anyway. Might as well
at least even the odds. ;-)

I do have to take issue with one of Colin's other points, though. Dave
wrote:


> But we already know that the council doesn't want us to go into
> Cambridge because of the way they've made it highly inconvenient
> to drive a car into the city and park while failing to provide
> adequate public transport to fill the gap.

To this, Colin replied:


> You know no such thing. You car is not attached to you. It can be left
> behind or parked.

That's just not a reasonable response. The only central car park now
requires you to drive past the worst trouble area on the way out. The
alternative we're encouraged to use requires going through the trouble
zone on foot instead to get back to your car.

Public transport alternatives remain a joke. If my other half's
experience last week is typical -- and from other comments I've heard,
it doesn't seem unusual -- the bus companies can't even run a decent
service during prime daytime hours, never mind late on Friday night.
(She waited at a bus stop for half an hour without having any bus to
catch, despite the timetable claiming that they run every 15 minutes,
and the outbound buses passing in the other direction...)

As Dave wrote again:
> When you've got a bus service like that it's no wonder most people
> prefer cars.

And when you cut out half the parking in the town centre, and hike the
prices most people will pay for what's left, as we've discussed ad
nauseam in the past, it's not surprising people draw Dave's conclusion:
the authorities don't want people going into town any more.

Cheers,
Chris

Colin Rosenstiel

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 7:41:00 PM7/30/05
to
In article <DoA*7h...@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk>,
ma...@chiark.greenend.org.uk (Mark Carroll) wrote:

No, but Robert Sayle cover quite a lot of shops and they do.

--
Colin Rosenstiel

Colin Rosenstiel

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 7:41:00 PM7/30/05
to
In article <JpQ50JNn...@donald.internetpolicynews.co.uk>,
rol...@perry.co.uk (Meldrew of Meldreth) wrote:

> In article <1122742139.3...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
> Francis Turton <ftu...@3glab.com> writes
> >Have you ever actually tried using the P&R? It is *much* quicker than
> >driving into town on a weekend. And I'm including the time spent
> >waiting for a bus.
>
> During shopping hours, I'd agree. But it doesn't run late into the
> evening, which is when people "go out on the town" (or so I'm led to
> believe).

Depends what you mean by late these days.

--
Colin Rosenstiel

Colin Rosenstiel

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 7:41:00 PM7/30/05
to
In article <dcgr56$6d0$1...@gemini.csx.cam.ac.uk>,
usenet_0...@stuartmoore.org.uk (Stuart Moore) wrote:

I was surprised a few years ago how pleasant the centre of Glasgow was
at night. I agree about Edinburgh too.

--
Colin Rosenstiel

PaulW

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 8:25:22 PM7/30/05
to
Francis Turton wrote:
> Ara wrote:

> As for whether one should accept it: no, I don't think one should, but
> ultimately only the apparatus of law can change things. Currently, the
> police can ask crowds of rowdy people to move on but they can't
> actually force them to do so, so what on earth is the point? They need
> proper powers to disperse yobbos. Those given, I am all for pubs and
> clubs being made to pay for extra police - I'm sure that would
> concentrate their minds.
>


The problem is no different from years ago - large groups of drunk
people (especially young men) always cause problems. The police already
have as much power as they need, drunk and disorderly etc. etc., the new
elements are the lack of police on the ground and the rise of large
businesses that are prpared to fight the police in court. Once upon a
time if you had rowdy people outside your pub more than a couple of
nights in a row they'd threaten to take your licence away - try that
with Witherspoons and see where it gets you.

Colin Rosenstiel

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 8:36:00 PM7/30/05
to
In article <42ec09a2$0$1210$ed26...@ptn-nntp-reader01.plus.net>,
please...@to.group (Chris Newton) wrote:

> If there are problems with appeals when a licence is
> refused/revoked after the kind of behaviour we see week in, week out,
> then there is a serious problem with the whole licensing and appeal
> process.

The new processes that are supposed to tighten up on this don't come
into effect until November.

> That's just not a reasonable response. The only central car park now
> requires you to drive past the worst trouble area on the way out. The
> alternative we're encouraged to use requires going through the
> trouble zone on foot instead to get back to your car.

Tried Park Street?

> Public transport alternatives remain a joke. If my other half's
> experience last week is typical -- and from other comments I've
> heard, it doesn't seem unusual -- the bus companies can't even run a
> decent service during prime daytime hours, never mind late on Friday
> night. (She waited at a bus stop for half an hour without having any
> bus to catch, despite the timetable claiming that they run every 15
> minutes, and the outbound buses passing in the other direction...)

While the council doesn't have as much influence over bus companies as
we might hope, does it occur to you that as often as not delays like
that in the day are caused by traffic delays, usually caused by car
traffic?

--
Colin Rosenstiel

Paul Wright

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 8:51:39 PM7/30/05
to
In article <NKOGe.22829$Ag3....@newsfe4-gui.ntli.net>, Mary Pegg wrote:
> Paul Wright wrote:
>
>> FWIW, I think the drunks (by which I largely mean the people drinking
>> to excess in pubs, not the comparatively few dossers) have got worse in
>> the 10 years I've been here, and I can't really see anything preventing
>> this trend from continuing. In fact, I imagine extended opening hours
>> will make it worse.
>
> I don't. I imagine that people will start drinking when they want to,
> and stop drinking when they want to, and you won't get the mad 8-11
> Friday night binges any more.

We'll have to see, I suppose. I'm skeptical because I don't really
understand the argument that limited time somehow makes people drink
more. If you want to drink sensibly between 8pm and 11pm you can already
do that. If you want to get hammered, you'll get hammered, whether the
pub shuts at 11 pm or later.

Paul Wright

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 9:01:31 PM7/30/05
to
In article <3l1njaF...@individual.net>, Tim Ward wrote:
> I have asked why this particular law isn't enforced; answer came there
> none (although we can all guess what it is - "how many officers would
> you like us to take off burglaries and drugs?).

If that were the response, it'd sound pretty bogus to me. The police are
already wasting a lot of their time dealing with drunks after closing
time. Making an example of a few pubs might actually save their
resources.



> if people make it clear to the police that it is the public's priority
> to enforce this particular law at the expense of enforcing current
> priorities then policing can change to match.

What of the licensing authorities? That's shortly to be placed in the
hands of the council, isn't it? Given the way St Andrews Street turns into
Gin Lane at closing time, it seems at least worth investigating the
possibility that the pubs are breaking the law.

Mark Carroll

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 8:56:33 PM7/30/05
to
In article <memo.2005073...@a01-09-5548.rosenstiel.co.uk>,

Colin Rosenstiel <rosen...@cix.co.uk> wrote:
>In article <DoA*7h...@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk>,
>ma...@chiark.greenend.org.uk (Mark Carroll) wrote:
(snip)

>> Oh, great - do quite a few shops now deliver to some little pick-up
>> depot at the P&R car parks? That's an excellent move. It would have
(snip)

>No, but Robert Sayle cover quite a lot of shops and they do.

*laugh* No use to me, then - I've mentioned a couple of times here
that my opinion of RS is pretty much Dan Sheppard's. In five years in
Cambridge I think I bought about one thing there, although I certainly
walked past it many times. Between RS and Woolies, I'd have chosen to
keep the latter. Admittedly, it's something of a moot point for me -
assuming that we manage to return to the area, I doubt that we will
again situate ourselves such that Cambridge city centre is the obvious
shopping destination, unless we want to battle our way into town to
sip cappuccinos while checking out various mobile telephone plans. (-:

-- Mark

Mark Carroll

unread,
Jul 30, 2005, 8:49:41 PM7/30/05
to
(snip)

>While the council doesn't have as much influence over bus companies as
>we might hope, does it occur to you that as often as not delays like
>that in the day are caused by traffic delays, usually caused by car
>traffic?

You'd think that they could adjust the timetable accordingly, though.
One of my more annoying P&R experiences where the timetable was just
so much fiction was explained to me as being because everything was
delayed because of rush hour. I couldn't help but wonder why they
hadn't seen it coming - after all, it happens most weekdays.

-- Mark

Chris Newton

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 1:09:29 AM7/31/05
to
Colin Rosenstiel wrote:

> Chris Newton wrote:
>
>>If there are problems with appeals when a licence is
>>refused/revoked after the kind of behaviour we see week in, week out,
>>then there is a serious problem with the whole licensing and appeal
>>process.
>
> The new processes that are supposed to tighten up on this don't come
> into effect until November.

That sounds somewhat promising. What are they changing?

>>That's just not a reasonable response. The only central car park now
>>requires you to drive past the worst trouble area on the way out. The
>>alternative we're encouraged to use requires going through the
>>trouble zone on foot instead to get back to your car.
>
> Tried Park Street?

I'm sure that's a possibility for some people, though certainly not
convenient for everyone. A lot of people will still have to go past some
not-so-pleasant places to get there, or take an absurdly circuitous
route to avoid them.

>>Public transport alternatives remain a joke. If my other half's
>>experience last week is typical -- and from other comments I've
>>heard, it doesn't seem unusual -- the bus companies can't even run a
>>decent service during prime daytime hours, never mind late on Friday
>>night. (She waited at a bus stop for half an hour without having any
>>bus to catch, despite the timetable claiming that they run every 15
>>minutes, and the outbound buses passing in the other direction...)
>
> While the council doesn't have as much influence over bus companies as
> we might hope, does it occur to you that as often as not delays like
> that in the day are caused by traffic delays, usually caused by car
> traffic?

No, it doesn't occur to me at all, because it's blatantly not true. For
a start, buses cut out part of the route for the estate in question all
the time. It happens so often that we've started to wonder whether it's
an official policy: if the bus is held up on the way out, it misses out
that part of the route to make up time on the way back; then if traffic
is busy and several buses in a row get the same problem, no-one on that
estate gets picked up on the way back into town?

As for car traffic, the heavy congestion we now experience on Newmarket
Road (where the buses in question go) is *entirely* artificial, and due
*entirely* to the incompetence or malice of the local authorities. *You*
(local authorities, in one form or another) decided to waste half the
road space on buses, and to introduce extra traffic lights just to serve
them. *You* also approved several major new shopping areas that require
extensive car access along the road, or simply bypassed the approval
processes altogether from what we've discussed in the past. The results
are obvious to any regular user of Newmarket Road, and are entirely
*your* fault, so let's stop trying to blame everything on car users, OK?

Regarding not having influence over the bus companies, try this: you
(local authorities) do control the road planning, right? So tell the bus
companies that if they don't provide a service to the required level,
you'll reallocate all the privileged space you currently waste on their
inadequate bus services to other, more deserving road users, in order to
promote a more effective transportation system. (To avoid the obvious
come back, if you don't like cars, just make it taxis and bikes only. As
a bonus, you get to make life much safer for cyclists on some routes in
the process.) I'm sure a significant threat to their financial position
will be more than enough to motivate them to run a proper service.

It never ceases to amaze me that our local authorities seem to value
buses above all other road users, making absurd concessions to the
profit-making companies that run them (when they feel like it), and yet
apparently have no influence over those bus companies beyond photo ops
and tut-tutting in the local papers. Is signing up to this entirely
one-sided bargain really supposed to be in the interests of the local
population?

Cheers,
Chris

Peter Ellis

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 2:43:22 AM7/31/05
to
-$P-W$-@noctua.org.uk wrote:
>
>We'll have to see, I suppose. I'm skeptical because I don't really
>understand the argument that limited time somehow makes people drink
>more.

I agree, however I also think the converse applies - those who drink
responsibly will continue to do so.

>
>If you want to drink sensibly between 8pm and 11pm you can already
>do that. If you want to get hammered, you'll get hammered, whether the
>pub shuts at 11 pm or later.

Ah yes, but now they'll be getting hammered on their personal
timetables. Thus, while the same people will still get the same degree
of hammered, you won't get all of them chucked out on the street at the
same time

Peter

Meldrew of Meldreth

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 3:13:24 AM7/31/05
to
In article <memo.2005073...@a01-09-5548.rosenstiel.co.uk>,
Colin Rosenstiel <rosen...@cix.co.uk> writes

>> During shopping hours, I'd agree. But it doesn't run late into the
>> evening, which is when people "go out on the town" (or so I'm led to
>> believe).
>
>Depends what you mean by late these days.

I'd want to get back to Trumpington P&R at about 11pm, I suppose.

Message has been deleted

Linda Fox

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 5:27:03 AM7/31/05
to
On Sun, 31 Jul 2005 06:09:29 +0100, Chris Newton
<please...@to.group> wrote:


>So tell the bus
>companies that if they don't provide a service to the required level,
>you'll reallocate all the privileged space you currently waste on their
>inadequate bus services to other, more deserving road users, in order to
>promote a more effective transportation system.

You selfish git. The buses don't run to transport buses and bus
drivers, they run to transport bus users. It may be inadequate but
it's all that some people have. What makes you think you're more
deserving than them?

Linda ff

Meldrew of Meldreth

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 5:39:31 AM7/31/05
to
In article <n76pe1tnglqqph3pp...@4ax.com>, Linda Fox
<lind...@ntlworld.com> writes

>>So tell the bus
>>companies that if they don't provide a service to the required level,
>>you'll reallocate all the privileged space you currently waste on their
>>inadequate bus services to other, more deserving road users, in order to
>>promote a more effective transportation system.
>
>You selfish git. The buses don't run to transport buses and bus
>drivers, they run to transport bus users. It may be inadequate but
>it's all that some people have. What makes you think you're more
>deserving than them?

He was talking specifically about Newmarket Rd. The almost complete
absence of buses using the dedicated lane is a sore point. If cars could
use both lanes, then the jams could well melt away to the point that
buses wouldn't be held up, even though they are sharing the roadspace.

Tim Ward

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 6:02:23 AM7/31/05
to
"Mark Carroll" <ma...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote in message
news:9gt*WH...@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk...

>
> unless we want to battle our way into town to
> sip cappuccinos while checking out various mobile telephone plans. (-:

Well exactly. Given that, according to the foreigners here, that's all you
can buy in Cambridge these days, I have trouble understanding how they can
need to buy enough mobile phones that they can't carry them all on the bus
in one go.

Tim Ward

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 6:04:27 AM7/31/05
to
"Chris Newton" <please...@to.group> wrote in message
news:42ec5d0f$0$1195$ed26...@ptn-nntp-reader01.plus.net...

>
> As for car traffic, the heavy congestion we now experience on Newmarket
> Road (where the buses in question go) is *entirely* artificial, and due
> *entirely* to the incompetence or malice of the local authorities. *You*
> (local authorities, in one form or another) decided to waste half the
> road space on buses, and to introduce extra traffic lights just to serve
> them. *You* also approved several major new shopping areas that require
> extensive car access along the road, or simply bypassed the approval
> processes altogether from what we've discussed in the past. The results
> are obvious to any regular user of Newmarket Road, and are entirely
> *your* fault, so let's stop trying to blame everything on car users, OK?

Er no, much of this is not true. See previous discussions.

Jules

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 7:31:46 AM7/31/05
to
On Sun, 31 Jul 2005 07:43:22 +0100, Peter Ellis wrote:
>>If you want to drink sensibly between 8pm and 11pm you can already
>>do that. If you want to get hammered, you'll get hammered, whether the
>>pub shuts at 11 pm or later.
>
> Ah yes, but now they'll be getting hammered on their personal
> timetables. Thus, while the same people will still get the same degree
> of hammered, you won't get all of them chucked out on the street at the
> same time

But it's not like people currently get thrown out at closing time, stay
drunk for 5 minutes, then go home.

Surely there's a danger that - whilst you reduce the total number of
drunks on the streets at any one time - they'll be spread over a wider
period making it even more difficult to control?

Never underestimate the ability of people to drink either :) It probably
just means there'll be a glut of drunk people hitting the streets at 2-3am
instead of 11-12pm.

It might work out. But I would have thought that sorting out some of the
problem first (more police on the beat, better regulation of the pubs, and
less cheap drink offers) would seem like a better bet.

cheers

Jules


Peter Ellis

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 6:32:23 AM7/31/05
to
julesric...@remove.this.yahoo.co.uk wrote:
>
>Surely there's a danger that - whilst you reduce the total number of
>drunks on the streets at any one time - they'll be spread over a wider
>period making it even more difficult to control?

My feeling is that there are nonlinear effects - a crowd of 10 drunk
people is much harder to control (and a fight more likely to kick off)
than five pairs of drunk people.

I agree that better regulation of cheap drink offers would be a good
idea.

Peter

Rupert Moss-Eccardt

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 6:51:58 AM7/31/05
to

I don't quite understand this Newmarket Road thing. When I leave what
would be a the dual carriageway section (if there wasn't a bus lane), I
still have to queue whether it be for East Road or Barnwell Road.

Surely all that giving the bus lane back would do is make the queue
wider and only a tiny bit shorter.

Chris Brown

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 7:29:46 AM7/31/05
to
In article <9gt*WH...@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk>,

Mark Carroll <ma...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
>In article <memo.2005073...@a01-09-5548.rosenstiel.co.uk>,
>Colin Rosenstiel <rosen...@cix.co.uk> wrote:

>>No, but Robert Sayle cover quite a lot of shops and they do.
>
>*laugh* No use to me, then - I've mentioned a couple of times here
>that my opinion of RS is pretty much Dan Sheppard's. In five years in
>Cambridge I think I bought about one thing there, although I certainly
>walked past it many times. Between RS and Woolies, I'd have chosen to
>keep the latter.

RS has proven invaluable to me in the last week. It seems to be the only
place in Cambridge where one can avail oneself of a Bodum teapot. had been
using teabags for the past week-or-so since the previous one was destroyed
by my carpet python. Bodum solved the teapot design ages ago, but most of
the shops I tried seemed to believe that all teapots must a) not have a
sensible way of keeping the leaves separate from the water when poured or
brewed, b) be opaque, so you can't easilly see when the tea is brewed, c)
drip (probably) and d) come only in vile floral designs.

Message has been deleted

Linda Fox

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 8:58:52 AM7/31/05
to

Not by the time he reached the paragraph I was commenting on. If he
still was, he had some funny ways of being specific (eg "all the


privileged space you currently waste on their inadequate bus

services")

If all the bus passengers and cyclists that some of the motorists on
here love to whinge about were to get themselves cars and use them
instead, none of us would be able to move at all! And some of you may
find this hard to believe, but some of us choose not to own and run a
car regularly just precisely for that reason, to make things easier
for those who have to drive, and not harder.

Linda ff

Colin Rosenstiel

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 9:02:00 AM7/31/05
to
In article <slrndeo8nb.goc.-$P-W$-@pome.noctua.org.uk>,
-$P-W$-@noctua.org.uk (Paul Wright) wrote:

> In article <3l1njaF...@individual.net>, Tim Ward wrote:
> > I have asked why this particular law isn't enforced; answer came
> > there none (although we can all guess what it is - "how many
> > officers would you like us to take off burglaries and drugs?).
>
> If that were the response, it'd sound pretty bogus to me. The police
> are already wasting a lot of their time dealing with drunks after
> closing time. Making an example of a few pubs might actually save
> their resources.
>
> > if people make it clear to the police that it is the public's
> > priority to enforce this particular law at the expense of
> > enforcing current priorities then policing can change to match.
>
> What of the licensing authorities? That's shortly to be placed in
> the hands of the council, isn't it? Given the way St Andrews
> Street turns into Gin Lane at closing time, it seems at least
> worth investigating the possibility that the pubs are breaking the
> law.

In enforcement terms the Council has no role until November but the
possibility that the pubs are breaking the law is and will remain a
matter for the police.

--
Colin Rosenstiel

Colin Rosenstiel

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 9:02:00 AM7/31/05
to
In article <H4q*jG...@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk>,
ma...@chiark.greenend.org.uk (Mark Carroll) wrote:

> In article <memo.2005073...@a01-09-5548.rosenstiel.co.uk>,
> Colin Rosenstiel <rosen...@cix.co.uk> wrote:
> (snip)
> >While the council doesn't have as much influence over bus companies
> >as we might hope, does it occur to you that as often as not delays
> >like that in the day are caused by traffic delays, usually caused
> >by car traffic?
>
> You'd think that they could adjust the timetable accordingly, though.

Why? How much experience do you have of running a bus service? If you
look at the Cambridge bus service problem it is the sheer
unpredictability of congestion that makes their life so difficult.

> One of my more annoying P&R experiences where the timetable was just
> so much fiction was explained to me as being because everything was
> delayed because of rush hour. I couldn't help but wonder why they
> hadn't seen it coming - after all, it happens most weekdays.

See above. Another lorry crash on the A14 and the Cambridge traffic
system gets disrupted again. The DfT do something about the enormous
volume of lorries on the A14? Don't be silly. They don't do that.

--
Colin Rosenstiel

Colin Rosenstiel

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 9:02:00 AM7/31/05
to
In article <9gt*WH...@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk>,
ma...@chiark.greenend.org.uk (Mark Carroll) wrote:

> In article <memo.2005073...@a01-09-5548.rosenstiel.co.uk>,
> Colin Rosenstiel <rosen...@cix.co.uk> wrote:
> >In article <DoA*7h...@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk>,
> >ma...@chiark.greenend.org.uk (Mark Carroll) wrote:
> (snip)
> >> Oh, great - do quite a few shops now deliver to some little pick-up
> >> depot at the P&R car parks? That's an excellent move. It would have
> (snip)
> >No, but Robert Sayle cover quite a lot of shops and they do.
>
> *laugh* No use to me, then - I've mentioned a couple of times here
> that my opinion of RS is pretty much Dan Sheppard's. In five years in
> Cambridge I think I bought about one thing there, although I certainly
> walked past it many times. Between RS and Woolies, I'd have chosen to
> keep the latter. Admittedly, it's something of a moot point for me -
> assuming that we manage to return to the area, I doubt that we will
> again situate ourselves such that Cambridge city centre is the obvious
> shopping destination, unless we want to battle our way into town to
> sip cappuccinos while checking out various mobile telephone plans. (-:

Not a fair comparison as Woollies' problem was essentially
self-inflicted.

As for your shopping ideas, I fear you've been in Ohio too long.

--
Colin Rosenstiel

Colin Rosenstiel

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 9:02:00 AM7/31/05
to
In article <42ec5d0f$0$1195$ed26...@ptn-nntp-reader01.plus.net>,
please...@to.group (Chris Newton) wrote:

> Colin Rosenstiel wrote:
> > Chris Newton wrote:
> >
> >>If there are problems with appeals when a licence is
> >>refused/revoked after the kind of behaviour we see week in, week
> >>out, then there is a serious problem with the whole licensing
> >>and appeal process.
> >
> > The new processes that are supposed to tighten up on this don't
> > come into effect until November.
>
> That sounds somewhat promising. What are they changing?

It's a major change which is in principle deregulatory. See the DCMS
web site for the details.

> >>That's just not a reasonable response. The only central car park
> >>now requires you to drive past the worst trouble area on the way
> >>out. The alternative we're encouraged to use requires going
> >>through the trouble zone on foot instead to get back to your car.
> >
> > Tried Park Street?
>
> I'm sure that's a possibility for some people, though certainly not
> convenient for everyone. A lot of people will still have to go past
> some not-so-pleasant places to get there, or take an absurdly
> circuitous route to avoid them.

I'm not aware of any trouble spots along Trinity Street.

> >>Public transport alternatives remain a joke. If my other half's
> >>experience last week is typical -- and from other comments I've
> >>heard, it doesn't seem unusual -- the bus companies can't even
> >>run a decent service during prime daytime hours, never mind late
> >>on Friday night. (She waited at a bus stop for half an hour
> >>without having any bus to catch, despite the timetable claiming
> >>that they run every 15 minutes, and the outbound buses passing
> >>in the other direction...)
> >
> > While the council doesn't have as much influence over bus
> > companies as we might hope, does it occur to you that as often
> > as not delays like that in the day are caused by traffic delays,
> > usually caused by car traffic?
>
> No, it doesn't occur to me at all, because it's blatantly not
> true. For a start, buses cut out part of the route for the estate
> in question all the time. It happens so often that we've started
> to wonder whether it's an official policy: if the bus is held up
> on the way out, it misses out that part of the route to make up
> time on the way back; then if traffic is busy and several buses in
> a row get the same problem, no-one on that estate gets picked up
> on the way back into town?

If you don't understand that traffic is mainly caused by cars there is
no hope for you. If buses cut out parts of their routes, do what the
bus campaigners did in the past, keep diaries and take Stagecoach to
the Traffic Commissioner.

> As for car traffic, the heavy congestion we now experience on
> Newmarket Road (where the buses in question go) is *entirely*
> artificial, and due *entirely* to the incompetence or malice of
> the local authorities. *You* (local authorities, in one form or
> another) decided to waste half the road space on buses, and to
> introduce extra traffic lights just to serve them. *You* also
> approved several major new shopping areas that require extensive
> car access along the road, or simply bypassed the approval
> processes altogether from what we've discussed in the past. The
> results are obvious to any regular user of Newmarket Road, and are
> entirely *your* fault, so let's stop trying to blame everything on
> car users, OK?

You may think that but it doesn't make it the correct answer.

> Regarding not having influence over the bus companies, try this:
> you (local authorities) do control the road planning, right?

Only up to a point does the County Council do that. It's an area
heavily influenced by government regulations.



> So tell the bus companies that if they don't provide a service to
> the required level, you'll reallocate all the privileged space you
> currently waste on their inadequate bus services to other, more
> deserving road users, in order to promote a more effective
> transportation system. (To avoid the obvious come back, if you
> don't like cars, just make it taxis and bikes only. As a bonus,
> you get to make life much safer for cyclists on some routes in the
> process.) I'm sure a significant threat to their financial
> position will be more than enough to motivate them to run a proper
> service.

You aren't thinking straight.

> It never ceases to amaze me that our local authorities seem to
> value buses above all other road users, making absurd concessions
> to the profit-making companies that run them (when they feel like
> it), and yet apparently have no influence over those bus companies
> beyond photo ops and tut-tutting in the local papers. Is signing
> up to this entirely one-sided bargain really supposed to be in the
> interests of the local population?

If more people don't use buses and cycles there is no hope of
accommodating the movement people desire. Cars are breathtakingly
inefficient in their use of resources. The fact that the law is
sub-optimal doesn't change that basic fact.

--
Colin Rosenstiel

Chris Newton

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 9:35:54 AM7/31/05
to
Linda Fox wrote:
> You selfish git.

Using offensive language doesn't make you sound clever, it makes you
sound like you don't have a real point to make.

> The buses don't run to transport buses and bus drivers, they run to
> transport bus users. It may be inadequate but it's all that some
> people have. What makes you think you're more deserving than them?

I don't, and nor did I even so much as imply I was.

You're missing my point. At the moment, the buses *aren't* running to
transport bus users. In fact, they *aren't running at all* some of the
time, which is why my girlfriend was faced with either walking all the
way into town carrying several heavy bags or (as she did) giving up and
staying at my place all day last week.

Cheers,
Chris

Chris Newton

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 9:40:02 AM7/31/05
to
Tim Ward wrote:
> "Chris Newton" <please...@to.group> wrote in message
> news:42ec5d0f$0$1195$ed26...@ptn-nntp-reader01.plus.net...
>
>>As for car traffic, the heavy congestion we now experience on Newmarket
>>Road (where the buses in question go) is *entirely* artificial, and due
>>*entirely* to the incompetence or malice of the local authorities. *You*
>>(local authorities, in one form or another) decided to waste half the
>>road space on buses, and to introduce extra traffic lights just to serve
>>them. *You* also approved several major new shopping areas that require
>>extensive car access along the road, or simply bypassed the approval
>>processes altogether from what we've discussed in the past. The results
>>are obvious to any regular user of Newmarket Road, and are entirely
>>*your* fault, so let's stop trying to blame everything on car users, OK?
>
> Er no, much of this is not true. See previous discussions.

I've read the previous discussions Tim, as well you know.

The fact remains that I have lived out Newmarket Road since before all
the bus lanes and new shopping developments. There have been no new
major housing developments carried out on this side of Cambridge during
that time, so I find it hard to believe that demand for road space has
increased dramatically. If you know better, please feel free to cite
whatever relevant information I've missed.

However, from the day the extra traffic lights started going in,
journeys along Newmarket Road have been getting slower. A journey to a
north Cambridge destination from out here that used to take 10 minutes
now takes nearer 20, and the extra is almost entirely caused by needless
queuing at traffic lights and general congestion along Newmarket Road.

I'm sure the local authorities will be happy to tell me all about
surveys they've done and traffic management principles, but the simple
fact is that only one big thing has changed (lots of new shops and
traffic lights along the road) and the congestion and journey times are
now much worse. It doesn't take a genius to spot the connection!

Cheers,
Chris

Tim Ward

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 9:50:53 AM7/31/05
to
"Chris Newton" <please...@to.group> wrote in message
news:42ecd4b3$0$3492$ed26...@ptn-nntp-reader03.plus.net...
>
> The fact remains that ....

... much of what you complain about was decided by people other than the
local authorities and some of us are as pissed off about it as you are. See
previous discussions for details.

Colin Rosenstiel

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 9:54:00 AM7/31/05
to
In article <BkdrnySU...@donald.internetpolicynews.co.uk>,
rol...@perry.co.uk (Meldrew of Meldreth) wrote:

> In article <memo.2005073...@a01-09-5548.rosenstiel.co.uk>,
> Colin Rosenstiel <rosen...@cix.co.uk> writes
> >> During shopping hours, I'd agree. But it doesn't run late into the
> >> evening, which is when people "go out on the town" (or so I'm led
> >> to believe).
> >
> >Depends what you mean by late these days.
>
> I'd want to get back to Trumpington P&R at about 11pm, I suppose.

I was being cagey because I forget when that service runs to now, but
it's around then.

--
Colin Rosenstiel

Message has been deleted

Michael Hoffman

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 10:01:03 AM7/31/05
to
Jules wrote:

> Never underestimate the ability of people to drink either :) It probably
> just means there'll be a glut of drunk people hitting the streets at 2-3am
> instead of 11-12pm.

If that were true, then it sounds good to me. I'm out at 2 a.m. a lot
less than 11 p.m. In reality, I suspect that not everyone who wants to
stay out until 11 will also stay out until 2.
--
Michael Hoffman

Colin Rosenstiel

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 10:06:00 AM7/31/05
to
In article <42ecd3bb$0$3500$ed26...@ptn-nntp-reader03.plus.net>,
please...@to.group (Chris Newton) wrote:

> Linda Fox wrote:
> > You selfish git.
>
> Using offensive language doesn't make you sound clever, it makes you
> sound like you don't have a real point to make.

I find it extraordinary how unwilling are motor vehicle users to accept
the consequences of the superfluity of other motor vehicle users these
days. Call it selfish or something else, whatever.



> > The buses don't run to transport buses and bus drivers, they run to
> > transport bus users. It may be inadequate but it's all that some
> > people have. What makes you think you're more deserving than them?
>
> I don't, and nor did I even so much as imply I was.
>
> You're missing my point. At the moment, the buses *aren't* running to
> transport bus users. In fact, they *aren't running at all* some of
> the time, which is why my girlfriend was faced with either walking
> all the way into town carrying several heavy bags or (as she did)
> giving up and staying at my place all day last week.

My wife has just taken a bus to the Folk Festival for the second day
running. No problems, even if not cheap. What does this prove?

--
Colin Rosenstiel

Chris Newton

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 10:07:32 AM7/31/05
to
Colin Rosenstiel wrote:
> Chris Newton wrote:
>>Colin Rosenstiel wrote:
>>>Chris Newton wrote:
>>>>If there are problems with appeals when a licence is
>>>>refused/revoked after the kind of behaviour we see week in, week
>>>>out, then there is a serious problem with the whole licensing
>>>>and appeal process.
>>>
>>>The new processes that are supposed to tighten up on this don't
>>>come into effect until November.
>>
>>That sounds somewhat promising. What are they changing?
>
> It's a major change which is in principle deregulatory. See the DCMS
> web site for the details.

Sorry, what's DCMS?

> If you don't understand that traffic is mainly caused by cars there is
> no hope for you. If buses cut out parts of their routes, do what the
> bus campaigners did in the past, keep diaries and take Stagecoach to
> the Traffic Commissioner.

My girlfriend is the one who's suffering here, and she doesn't want to
waste large amounts of her time keeping a diary and hassling regulators
we've never heard of until a councillor posts their name, she just wants
to be able to get on a bus and go where she's going.

>>As for car traffic, the heavy congestion we now experience on
>>Newmarket Road (where the buses in question go) is *entirely*
>>artificial, and due *entirely* to the incompetence or malice of
>>the local authorities. *You* (local authorities, in one form or
>>another) decided to waste half the road space on buses, and to
>>introduce extra traffic lights just to serve them. *You* also
>>approved several major new shopping areas that require extensive
>>car access along the road, or simply bypassed the approval
>>processes altogether from what we've discussed in the past. The
>>results are obvious to any regular user of Newmarket Road, and are
>>entirely *your* fault, so let's stop trying to blame everything on
>>car users, OK?
>
> You may think that but it doesn't make it the correct answer.

Please see my reply to Tim's post. While your response might be witty,
it doesn't actually counter any of my claims. If you can explain why the
local authorities are not responsible for either local road planning or
local planning permission for the shopping centres, then you have an
argument to make.

In this case, IIRC, some sort of central government intervention was
involved with planning permission for part of the new shopping
development, but the local authority planning processes for the road
access were pretty much completely bypassed.

>>Regarding not having influence over the bus companies, try this:
>>you (local authorities) do control the road planning, right?
>
> Only up to a point does the County Council do that. It's an area
> heavily influenced by government regulations.

Does anyone in the local authorities determine where bus lanes go in?

>>So tell the bus companies that if they don't provide a service to
>>the required level, you'll reallocate all the privileged space you
>>currently waste on their inadequate bus services to other, more
>>deserving road users, in order to promote a more effective
>>transportation system. (To avoid the obvious come back, if you
>>don't like cars, just make it taxis and bikes only. As a bonus,
>>you get to make life much safer for cyclists on some routes in the
>>process.) I'm sure a significant threat to their financial
>>position will be more than enough to motivate them to run a proper
>>service.
>
> You aren't thinking straight.

Why not? You're talking about a business not meeting its commitments. In
any other field, the way you make businesses keep to their side of a
bargain is to say that you won't keep to your side if they don't. Why is
this situation different to anything else in the world? How come basic
economics doesn't apply here?

>>It never ceases to amaze me that our local authorities seem to
>>value buses above all other road users, making absurd concessions
>>to the profit-making companies that run them (when they feel like
>>it), and yet apparently have no influence over those bus companies
>>beyond photo ops and tut-tutting in the local papers. Is signing
>>up to this entirely one-sided bargain really supposed to be in the
>>interests of the local population?
>
> If more people don't use buses and cycles there is no hope of
> accommodating the movement people desire. Cars are breathtakingly
> inefficient in their use of resources. The fact that the law is
> sub-optimal doesn't change that basic fact.

It's not a fact, regardless of how many times you repeat it.

A cycle, taking a single passenger directly from start point to
destination, is very efficient.

A car, taking several occupants and/or a single occupant with lots of
baggage directly from start point to destination, is fairly efficient.

A car taking a single passenger on a direct journey is less efficient.

Taxis are much the same as cars: pretty good when used by more than a
single person or where baggage is involved, not so good for single
journeys, but at least still direct.

A bus that is near full and making a common journey is very efficient.

A bus that is somewhat full but does not take its passengers directly
from their start point to their destination is somewhat efficient.

A bus with capacity for lots of people but nowhere near full and taking
routes nowhere near direct is NOT EFFICIENT AT ALL. Local authorities
seem completely unable to comprehend this. Look at the numbers! Buses
require far more fuel than even gas-guzzling cars, do far more
environmental damage than even gas-guzzling cars, and (combined with all
the extra provision being made for them -- bus stops in the road, bus
lanes, etc.) certainly contribute more than their fair share to
congestion as well.

Bus journeys are usually much slower than making the equivalent journey
by personal transport, and usually cost significantly more if you have
personal transport available as an alternative. Oh, and buses have an
atrocious safety record, too.

Buses running at busy periods, where they can carry large numbers of
passengers and be used to near capacity, are fine (if properly organised
and well driven). But relying on buses at quieter times, or for uncommon
journeys, is neither efficient nor, for many people, practical. If the
buses don't run properly during the busy periods either, they're running
out of uses, even for those who would otherwise benefit!

In any transportation system, you will need a balance between personal
and public transport. Each is efficient for different types of journey
and different users at different times. You cannot run a system biased
too much towards buses any more than you can run a system biased
entirely towards enormous 4x4s; the council's own survey reported years
ago that their long-term plans for bus use in Cambridge were impossible
to achieve!

It would be nice if, just for once, someone acknowledged this.
Otherwise, as we've been noting throughout this thread, at some times of
day people will just feel that they don't want to go into town any more,
because it's not worth the aggro.

Cheers,
Chris

Mark Carroll

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 10:36:25 AM7/31/05
to
In article <n76pe1tnglqqph3pp...@4ax.com>,

I think you're reading more into Chris' words than is really there.
First, he says to /tell/ the bus companies that, as a threat: it's not
clear that he doesn't mean this as a bluff to get them to improve
public transport. Secondly, he's making it pretty clear that his
complaint is that other road users are inconvenienced to make way for
an extremely poor and sparse bus service: either improving things for
other users, or improving the bus service, seem like reasonable ways
of addressing this, but the current situation is being suggested to be
a PITA for everyone: it takes ages to drive in and out, but the buses
are rubbish too.

That's how I understood Chris, anyway: not saying that buses should be
got rid of, but things could be made good for /somebody/ instead of
terrible for everybody, and his suggested threat above was about
scaring the bus companies into making it /better/ for the bus users!
(Moreover, that the crapness of the bus services isn't the car users'
fault, it's the fault of poor traffic planning and too little control
over the bus companies.)

So, he isn't saying he's more deserving than bus users, he's trying to
suggest some action to improve the bus service! This is why he writes,


"I'm sure a significant threat to their financial position will be
more than enough to motivate them to run a proper service."

-- Mark

Mark Goodge

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 10:56:01 AM7/31/05
to
On Sun, 31 Jul 2005 15:06 +0100 (BST), Colin Rosenstiel put finger to
keyboard and typed:

Assuming that both anecdotes are accurate, it proves that buses are
fine for travelling to the folk festival, but not for travelling to
work.

Mark
--
http://www.OrangeHedgehog.com - RSS feeds and Google Adsense tools
"I feel these four walls closing in"

Mark Carroll

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 11:03:57 AM7/31/05
to
In article <memo.2005073...@a01-09-5548.rosenstiel.co.uk>,
Colin Rosenstiel <rosen...@cix.co.uk> wrote:
>In article <H4q*jG...@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk>,
>ma...@chiark.greenend.org.uk (Mark Carroll) wrote:
(snip)

>> You'd think that they could adjust the timetable accordingly, though.
>
>Why? How much experience do you have of running a bus service? If you
>look at the Cambridge bus service problem it is the sheer
>unpredictability of congestion that makes their life so difficult.

I've seen bus services run fine in other cities, and I have shared the
same traffic jams with buses when driving at rush hour around
Cambridge, and witnessed the length of traffic queues on various days
as I've driven in the opposite direction to the net flow. As a driver,
with experience of the city I'm in (including Cambridge at rush hour,
at one time), I can normally predict my journey times fairly well, and
(unlike cyclists) I'm going to be impacted by congestion at least as
much as buses are, and buses don't have to get it perfect if they
build a little slack in (as I do as a driver, and as I've seen bus
services do in other cities). You might have a point if Cambridge
congestion has got much more unpredictable in the last few years when
I've been there less and is very different to other cities, but
frankly I'd find that rather surprising. In short: few of us have
little experience running bus services, but plenty of us have
experience driving in the same traffic at the same time and trying to
predict journey time!

(snip)


>See above. Another lorry crash on the A14 and the Cambridge traffic
>system gets disrupted again. The DfT do something about the enormous
>volume of lorries on the A14? Don't be silly. They don't do that.

Sure, sometimes there are major accidents that have knock-on effects.
This isn't particular to Cambridge. For example, here in Columbus, a
major artery was closed completely at rush hour last week because on
it a dead guy was found in a car, but you didn't hear me complaining
about Columbus buses when we used them more. When I was attempting to
use it more, Cambridge P&R was being thrown way off schedule by
entirely normal and predictable congestion, though, at the same time
that Dawn was managing to use the A14 to reliably arrive at work on
time on most days. It was as if they just hadn't factored the expected
congestion into the timetable. (With luck, they have now?)

-- Mark

Mark Carroll

unread,
Jul 31, 2005, 11:18:06 AM7/31/05