Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bristol Lib Dem cuts in support for public transport

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FERRY and rail services will be affected by one of the biggest shake-ups of taxpayer-funded public transport Bristol has seen.

Bristol City Council is putting all of its subsidised transport services out to tender from next month, inviting companies to bid for the right to run them.

The Evening Post revealed how this would affect local bus services last week, but it will also affect a number of ferry and rail services that serve the city.

The council part-funds the Bristol Ferry Boat Company weekday commuter service between Cascade Steps and Hotwells Road; the cross-harbour ferry between the ss Great Britain and Porto Quay; and the Severn Beach rail line between Severn Beach and Temple Meads...

Bristol's transport boss Cllr Gary Hopkins says this not about cuts. The Post story says the council would like to cut its support for train, ferry and bus services by this move. Something's got to give somewhere if support is cut, so does Cllr Hopkins want to correct his statement or does he not bother with logic much??

Government at all levels should ensure the incentives are right for all modes of transport and should ensure that the price we all pay for travelling reflects its total net cost ie accounting for external costs and benefits as well as private costs and benefits. This would mean that clean, efficient and safer, more sustainable transport would be cheapest, so improving the incentives to use it and putting all transport on a rational footing. As it is now dirty, unhealthy, unsafe, inefficient transport modes like cars and lorries are wrongly given priority.

Pope Benedict's State Visit this Sept

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Yesterday's BBC news stated that the Pope's visit in Sept will cost UK taxpayers £12 million - not the main reason I'm against honouring him with a Sate Visit but it adds to the load in this time of cuts and job losses! Passing this on: Protest the Pope public meeting - 12 August. Join us in opposing the Pope's intolerant policies: Thursday 12 August 7.30pm, Richmond Library, Old Town Hall, Whittaker Ave, Richmond, TW9 1TP (nearest station: Richmond underground and national rail). All welcome.

The Pope's first event in London, on the 17 September, will be at St Mary's University College in Twickenham, south west London. The pontiff will talk about his views on education, which have included his support for separate faith schools and the right of these schools to discriminate in their admissions policy and their recruitment of staff.

"The Protest the Pope campaign rejects the promotion of religiously segregated education. We believe in the right of all children to an unbiased education, where school admission policies are non-discriminatory and where there is no discrimination in recruitment and employment," said Protest the Pope spokesperson, the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

"Protest the Pope is supporting a coalition of local groups and people, based in south west London, who have organised a public meeting to express their disagreement with Pope Benedict's opposition to women's rights, gay equality, fertility treatment for childless couples, embryonic stem cell research and the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV," added Mr Tatchell.

The public meeting will take place this Thursday 12 August at Richmond Library, Old Town Hall, Whittaker Ave, Richmond, TW9 1TP. It will start at 7.30pm, with speeches from spokespersons for the Protest the Pope campaign, followed by a Q and A. The meeting is open to the public. All welcome.

The speakers are:

David Pollock, President of the European Humanist Federation, will talk about the Catholic Church's influence at European level as a result of the Lisbon treaty.

Keith Porteous Wood, Chief Executive of the National Secular Society, will talk about the pressure growing at the United Nations on the Vatican, which is failing to produce a report on child protection...

Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, will talk about the "Protest the Pope" Campaign and the six main reasons why we are against against honouring Joseph Ratzinger with a State Visit.

Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, will talk about Catholic dissent from the Pope's hardline, intolerant opposition to liberation theology, women's rights, gay equality, contraception, fertility treatment, embryonic stem cell research and the Pope's collusion with Holocaust deniers and appeasers.

See the Facebook event for more information and to tell us you're coming! Note: The main entrance to the Old Town Hall is from Whittaker Avenue, up a flight of stone steps. The building has disabled access off Whittaker Avenue, next to the entrance to the Information Centre.

More information:Peter Tatchell - 0207 403 1790

Marco Tranchino - 07806 647 903

If you would like to contact Peter Tatchell, please email

You can follow Peter on Twitter at or join the Peter Tatchell Human Rights Campaign Facebook group at

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