I wrote an article about it on LinkedIn. If you’re interested, you can find it, and you don’t need me to post the link here. Southampton can’t do anything as drastic as this. Bournemouth can’t. Chichester can’t. London can’t. But Portsmouth can.
And Portsmouth can turn this into a giant plus and use it to boost the economy, but it won’t. Because it is drowning in crap such as bullying and corruption, also at city council level, and likes seeing itself as the powerless whining underdog a little bit too much. There is very little true vision left in this town, where too much of the focus is on traditional capitalism and on the past. The industries of the past are GONE, folks. Quit waffling about that and move forward.
Here are a few links to supporting studies:
- “Designing suburbs to cut car use closes gaps in health and wealth”, by Jerome N Rachele, Australian Catholic University; Aislinn Healy, Australian Catholic University; Jim Sallis, University of California, San Diego, and Takemi Sugiyama, Australian Catholic University
- More business, more tourism, less pollution:
- Also highly relevant is the fact that young people are often trapped in car dependency:
Get them out of that for fuck’s sake. A free tram line could presumably help a lot!
- And then there is this: 😉
- And this:
- As well as this TED Talk (TedX Southampton):
All I hear is stupid excuses.
No space for trams. Sure there is!
- The people with more than 2 cars will protest and shout very loudly. Wear ear plugs! (What about the 80 or 90% or 95% of the rest of your population? 70% have no car or only 1 car. Many of Portsmouth’s inhabitants hardly ever get out of Portsmouth.)
- Shop owners will complain. Show them that most of their customers are actually coming from within a small radius and give them decent business support! Most are probably delusional in thinking that their customers come from miles away and may blame traffic measures for their own failures (a certain pet supplies shop owner comes to mind).
- A certain lawyer will whine. Tell her to shut up. She doesn’t know what she is talking about. (If she makes you feel stupid and ignorant, that’s because she is talking complete rubbish!)
PS (mostly whining)
- As a complete newcomer to the town, and a foreigner, I’ve sat in meetings of the council-supported environmental forum in which a heck of a lot of waffling went on, and one day, there was a lot of talk about a historic wall. Apparently, this issue had been on the burner for years (though not necessarily at the forum). Nobody apparently had asked the one question that really mattered. Who owns the damn wall? I got fed up with the waffling, interfered and asked the question. No one knew the answer. I went home and within a short while not only discovered who owned it but also that it was listed. (I think it was a Grade II monument.) That gives you a practical way forward.
My impression was that people in this forum liked sending stupid letters about non-issues to people who had nothing to do with the non-issue at hand because they liked hearing themselves whine, because it gave them a sense of importance. (It did not apply to everyone, naturally.) There was a heck of a lot of emphasis on proper meeting procedure and decorum at the forum and it was considered very important to keep the minutes secret from the public.
When I was asked to run this forum (at no pay), I thought it would be a waste of time, as the forum didn’t appear viable and was not serving a justifiable purpose at that point – years ago, the council started it, possibly as a cosmetic attempt to make itself look better – but as I was a newcomer to the town, I asked one of the associates people at the council what he thought. He thought I was asking him his opinion about my ability to run the forum! Shit no, Tony. (Tony is no longer in Portsmouth.) Anyway, after the council withdrew support, the forum collapsed.
Make no mistake. I was very grateful to have been allowed into the forum shortly after I arrived in Portsmouth. It seemed a good way to get involved locally.
- I’ve also been part of a group for a while that was supposed to foster community leadership in Portsmouth. Too much gossip, favouritism, putting people down and some badmouthing for me. Not interested.
- I’ve had a meeting with someone from planning who played a stupid time-wasting prank on me to let me know that what Portsmouth writes in its official documentation can contain a lot of utter hogwash that means nothing in practice. (Well, at least, I wasted some of his time too.)
- I’ve seen people being challenged because they wanted to attend a public meeting of the planning committee. (I wasn’t challenged, for whatever reason.)