Inveterate dabbler in business, travel, gadgets & life

Tale of two bridges..

Today was the official opening of the £3million pound Riverside Bridge in Cambridge, Partially funded by Tesco through a s106 agreement on its Newmarket Road store (All we know is that £1.7million came from 3rd party sources). Isn’t it crazy that the exact amounts are not easily publicly available and that it seems council policy to obfuscate the data.

The bridge is interesting as that it bifurcates into separate lanes for cyclists and pedestrians, although my bet is that pedestrians will use the cycle lane when its wet and slippy. It contains a rather flash and expensive looking seating arrangement. There isa selection of photos on my flickr account.

Here is the Cutter Ferry bridge just upstream of the glittering new landmark, replaced a couple of years ago (including all the bridge supports etc). Precise cost not known but the year that it was included in the County Council (2003/04) budget we know that the TOTAL spend on ALL bridges in the county was £2.6million pounds so its fair to assume that it probably only cost £500K or so. (Although once again were do you find the information?).

So is the new bridge value for money or would the other £2.5m or so been spent on other cycling bridge initiative’s in Cambridge? and when are we going to get meaningful transparency in local government budgets!

Driving up standards at the OGC

Here is a twist on a proposed new logo (The current logo is here) designed at our expense, by the UK Office of Government Commerce.

The ones responsible , in their own words for “driving up standards” Very tasteful

Loads of great comments on The Register site. My favorite is “keeping a firm grip on government spending”.

Story in my reader from Boing Boing

Medieval view of Cambridge..

Whilst at the planning office in the Guildhall today I couldn’t help but snap this view, about the only view in Cambridge not spoilt by modern developments. Ironically its the view the planners get on their way to work, if they use the stairs 🙂

Cambridge View

Yes Minister in real life…

What ever would Humphrey in Yes Minister make about Post Office closures:-

“One of the organisations opining extensively on this issue (Post Office Closures) is Post Watch. And the way they talk, you imagine they are an independent consumer champion, particularly since that’s the way they’re introduced on the media. But in reality they’re not independent in the slightest degree. They are yet another government quango, fully funded by taxpayers and reporting to, yes, the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform. The self-same department that is responsible for the Post Office. What a farce. And what a complete waste of £10m pa. “

Thanks to Wat Tyler for the above.

One of the things that I cannot help noticing when walking in France is that the local post office is often found in a combined bar, cafe, village shop & council meeting room for the local commune how much saner is that!