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“I declare 60 thousand jobs will be created by bendy buses and the link road to nowhere!!”

December 19, 2011

These are the lunatic claims by the chief exec. of Bristol Airport Robert Sinclair. This glorified bean counter also just happens to be lead mouthpiece for transport in the local enterprise partnership. Ho HOHO! I believe in the fat bloke who drops down chimnies as well.
Who is this geezer from the airport then with his nostradamous like predictions?
I just checked out the airport shareholder info and get this: 50% of the airport is owned by the odd sounding Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 1 , and 49% held by Ontario Teachers Pension Plan.

The Macquarie group appears to be an Aussie investment bank which like most of these firms, has swallowed up a number of other banks etc in its ‘dealings’. Main claim to fame would be the rejected hostile bid for the London Stock Exchange a few years ago. If that had come off it really would have been a fatcats wet dream!

Ontario Teachers pension plan???? Thats the world of global fatcat finance we live in. Can’t blame the poor old teachers in Canada for owning one of the biggest polluters in the South West (the airport expansion is set to increase CO2 emmissions in BANES up 60% by 2019 wiping out any other savings).

So these are the dealers/faceless shareholding groups that Mr Sinclair is answerable to, and ahem, not the people of Bristol. If he doesn’t deliver the profits then its goodbye to his fat salary plus bonus.
Looking at the latest November figures for passenger numbers (nearly 2% drop) and aircraft movements – more than 11% drop I don’t blame the gaffer for talking up any old guff to deflect the nosediving bad news.

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9 Comments
  1. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    December 19, 2011 7:45 pm

    Don’t take it too seriously. Everybody with half a brain knows this is propaganda. BRT will have little effect and virtually no benefit to a large majority of the city. Nothing like half of South Bristol will have access to BRT, although it has to be said that car drivers will have a more direct route to the joys of The Flyover. What it does mean is that all future transport to and from the airport, will now be by road, be it car or bus. Forget any rail or tram link, thats now dead. Pediction. BRT will end up as a “super” bus lane, used by ordinary buses, new perhaps, but ordinary buses. Usual excuses. Cost, what the public want, the usual reasons, and these will turn out to be the most expensive bus lanes ever built. Think of me when it happens. Can’t spell, but great at predictions!

  2. Tim permalink
    December 19, 2011 11:44 pm

    @Paul Bemmy Down:
    I realise this is not a forum for reasoned debate, but a rail or light rail link to the airport was never a realistic option, not in the next ~10 years anyway. Not only because of the massive costs, but also because there are just not enough passengers (yet!) to sustain the kind of frequency that would make this an attractive option given the airport’s location and the fact that it’ll have to be a spur off the main line. We don’t need the kind of rail link Cardiff airport has. To quote from the BIA “masterplan”, page 105, section 9.9:

    “A number of consultees commented on the lack of a direct rail link to Bristol International Airport and saw the need to develop a link as a prerequisite for future development. The provisional surface access strategy and the draft Master Plan concluded that a rail link was not a realistic prospect. Whilst it may be theoretically technically feasible to develop such a link, in reconsidering this issue we note:
    • The RASCO study indicates that heavy rail is only a realistic option for airports handling in excess of 15 mppa;
    • For airports in the 5 to 15mppa category light rail may be an option. However the viability of light rail has been reassessed since the RASCO work was undertaken and most light rail schemes have been dropped on financial grounds. In particular plans for Bristol light rail scheme have been abandoned;
    • A rail link to Bristol International Airport would only ever be a spur link from the mainline and would not avoid the need for a change of trains at Bristol Temple Meads for most journeys;
    • No specific studies have been commissioned into the feasibility of a rail link but an indication of the potential cost of such a scheme can be gained by considering schemes being considered elsewhere. Plans for rail connections to Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports are being brought forward by authorities in Scotland with an estimated cost of £140m for Glasgow and £500m for Edinburgh. The challenges of the terrain between the airport and Bristol would suggest that a rail scheme for Bristol would be likely to be at the higher end of
    this range;
    • A completely new route for a rail link would be required with complex structures and earthworks required along the route. The Environmental Impact of such works must be a concern.”

    @AG Blogger:
    Not sure why you think fewer aircraft movements are a bad thing, it means more passengers flying in on-average larger or fuller planes, which makes things more efficient and – everything else equal – is pretty much a win for everyone involved, be it airlines, mother nature or locals.

  3. December 20, 2011 10:03 am

    Not sure why you think fewer aircraft movements are a bad thing, it means more passengers flying in on-average larger or fuller planes, which makes things more efficient and –

    Good point Tim -haven’t looked at their balance sheet in detail. I still say the aircraft movements and passenger numbers nosediving at the end of the year is bad news for investors when the airport is on its expansion jolly. Quite right this is good news for us residents as we don’t get poisoned quite so much by the airports pollution. Bad news for the chief exec as well, although there’s ringfencing of salaries and bonuses so he’s probably win-win even if they’re slightly derailed from their expansionist doctrine.

    Rail link to airport is scuppered as you say -should be funded by the airport but I don’t see them dipping into pockets.

    Paul agreed-the concrete guided buslanes are already a redundant white elephant. Rolling stock will be obsolete/not manufactured or abandoned by operators to leave the fume belching standard buses chuntering along. What an expensive joke.

  4. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    December 20, 2011 1:07 pm

    Hi Tim. I agree a rail link is most unlikely, and the same could be said for light rail. I’m not advocating either. I’m just throwing into the argument another example of the propaganda we’ve become accustomed to. This has been used before by those wanting airport expansion. I’m not that bright but I know “bullshit” when I hear it and there is plenty attached to BRT!

  5. Richard Lane permalink
    December 20, 2011 9:23 pm

    I’ve been away for a while and low and behold there’s some intelligent comment coming from some sources, not the usual one though. Of course there won’t be a rail link to the airport. What there might well be though, is a new station on the mainline. This could serve a new park and ride, serving the airport, the city, the stadium and conference facilities and maybe the new town which will still probably be built.

    Spider on the wall.
    You stated in a past topic “No one can scrape as low as you dicky darling.. I know what you tried to do”.
    Don’t keep us in suspense, let us all know what I tried to do then.
    What was it?
    Perhaps it was outing the Rovers fan who tried and failed, to get legal aid for the judicial review.
    So with your lower than a snakes belly inferences, please be more moralistic than the likes of me and say what it is you think I’ve done.

  6. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    December 21, 2011 10:06 am

    Welcome back Rich. My rugby team seems to have aquired some new finance. Rumour is it may be your benefactor. What do you know? On the subject of the new town, a little bird tells me the company involved are going skint. Perhaps wishfull thinking, but being a nasty person, I do hope it’s true.

  7. December 21, 2011 11:06 am

    Who let him out?

  8. December 21, 2011 11:16 am

    Serious intelligent comment has always been the mantra of this important blog.
    In spite of my high principles I will still allow The Lane to lower the tone of the debate, due to my strong belief in free speech.
    ~I would hazard a guess that the 60k jobs would be for the new mainline station in the ticket office and for the new superstores in the new town, shelf filling and on the tills. And one more job-new chief exec of Bristol Airport.

  9. Richard Lane permalink
    December 27, 2011 3:22 pm

    How humble I feel. The thought that you’ll let me comment on your monster blog site, the site that regularly threatens bans while so say upholding free speech, makes my heart beat faster and brings a tear to my eye.
    The reason for my absence has been the assessment of my mental state at Callington Road. It transpires that rather than being one sandwich short of a picnic myself, professional opinion is that, I’ve been conversing with too many raving lunatics on this site.

    Paul
    I have no idea who the new benefactor of Bristol rugby is. They certainly need one to put them back in their rightful place, above Bath. The posh club to the east, that over the years have taken the wealth from Bristol and the players too in their attempt to look even further down their noses at their industrial neighbour. If it is Mr Lansdown then you can count yourself very lucky to have such an honourable honest person as him, who’s willing to invest yet more of his money into Bristol life.

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