A panel of prominent business leaders has been set up to judge a competition which is aimed at solving Bristol’s congestion problems.
As reported in The Post the Federation of Small Businesses is offering a £5,000 prize which will go to the person who comes up with the best scheme.
The main judge, representing the FSB, will be Guy Kingston, a consultant on doing business in Russia and until recently chairman of the Bristol branch of the FSB; Peter Hargreaves, co-founder of one of Bristol’s most successful businesses Hargreaves Lansdown, and Stephen Clarke, partner at law firm Clarke Willmott.
The competition is aiming to invoke the spirit of Isambard Kingdom Brunel who won a competition to design the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Peter Hargreaves, who decided to keep the financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown in Bristol despite pressure to move to London, has long been outspoken about the traffic congestion in the city.
He said: “I moved to Bristol in 1979 when the traffic moved reasonably smoothly. Since that time every “improvement” to the traffic arrangements in Bristol has transpired to make the city ever closer to a no-go area for traffic despite the city not having a joined up public transport system. A city thrives on its communication. Bristol will die unless that irrefutable fact is at the forefront of the planners’ minds.”
Stephen Clarke is a lawyer specialising in construction, advising those who build offices, workplaces and homes in Bristol. He is one of the core team behind the recent launch of the Bristol Pound, has a strong interest in supporting social enterprises in the region and sits on the Local Enterprise Partnership Social Enterprise Executive.
He said: “There is no doubt that if we can improve the transport situation in Bristol then it will help the prosperity of the city. People will want to live and work here and it will also attract those who want to invest in the city and help us to build the exciting and practical urban community we are all striving for.
“I am hoping that some original thinking and innovative suggestions will come out of this process and that we can move forward this most contentious of Bristol issues.”
Guy Kingston said: “Small businesses are a vital part of Bristol’s economy. Some are shops, some are in the service industries but we all need to be able to get around the city easily if we are to keep the economy going.
“I ride a bicycle when I can, I walk if it is possible but I also need to be in my car for some meetings in Bristol. We hope that this competition will help people to realise that transport is vital for everyone and that every mode of transport needs to be supported in a modern, successful city.”
Besides the £5,000 from the FSB, the Association of British Drivers has offered a £1,000 second prize for the best parking idea. for Bristol. second prize of £1,000 that has also been put forward.
The competition runs from Tuesday, November 13 to Tuesday, November 27. Entries can be made online at www.newbrunel.org.uk.