Archive for January, 2006

More Traffic Tomfoolery

Continuing along the theme of traffic reports in our fair city, I just wanted to throw out another warning that was forwarded to us at work the other day from the Brindleyplace management team…

Apparently the A34 Lancaster Circus tunnel will be closed for six weeks from January 29th until mid-March whilst contractors work to bring the city centre tunnel lighting into the 21st century. Traffic will be diverted to the Lancaster Circus roundabout during this period. Ahhh the joys of the rush-hour commute.

An update! Sorta. Nothing to see here.

Apologies for the lack of updates, my laptop was deaded, but now seems to be alive again. Will be getting it fixed soonish.

Council spends £6,000 a week on rail travel

A Freedom of Information Act request to Birmingham City council revealed that the authority spends £6,000 a week on rail travel. Much of it on travel to London, where the majority of Local Government meetings take place. A number of measures have been proposed, although the obvious one of having meetings moved to the Midlands so reducing travel costs for the majority of councils (due to Birmingham’s central location and the fact that the majority of North-South lines pass through Birmingham) seems to have been ignored.

Another fact that seems to have slipped by unnoticed is that the figure works out to be an average cost of 12 pence per employee per week.

Pork and stock control

I’m rather partial to the roast pork joints from the Hot Deli in Tesco, I try to pick one up when I do my weekly shop at the Five Ways branch. Try being the operative word these days, for the last few months they’ve not had any on the shelves when I’ve been in. I could understand this if I was shopping after 6pm (the hot deli officially closes at 6pm), but at 4:30 it seems a bit off. Today I got more pissed off than usual and asked to see the deli manager to get an explanation. I spoek to a manager who, according to his name badge, was named ‘Morgan’. After checking with the computer systems he reported that according to the stock database they had loads in stock when infact they didn’t. The upshot of this was that they couldn’t order any because according to the stock control system they were overstocked but, because they were not having any sold (due to having none to sell), the stock wasn’t going down.

He promised to have it sorted but I still think it smacks of very poor customer service. Surely someone must have noticed that the stock system was showing they had an overstock yet they didn’t have the merchandise on the shelves.

Bath Row Backlog

Just a heads-up for anyone who travels down Bath Row during their daily commute: sometime this afternoon “they” have set up some temporary traffic lights between Bishopsgate St. and Granville Street to do some construction of on the road, limiting it to single file traffic only.

So nice of “them” to give us some advanced warning…. it took me an extra 20 minutes to get home tonight! (Ok, so it’s not that much of a delay, but it normally only takes 10 minutes to get home).

UPDATE: This morning I saw a roadsign saying that these roadworks will be in place for the next 3 weeks, so plan a detour if you’re going through the area!

Murdered ‘Diamond’ layed to rest

Today Isaiah Young-Sam, the 24 year old employee of Birmingham City Council’s Business solutions and IT department who was stabbed to death during the riots in Lozells last October was layed to rest. Over 300 people, many of them his work collegues, attended to pay their respects. Also in attendance were senior figures from the council and local campaigners for an end to street violence and the removal of fire arms from our streets.

Prior to the service at St John’s Church there had been some concerns expressed that it might be hijacked by those who sought to further their own political ends or disrupted by associates of the three men accused of his murder. Fortunately, this did not happen and the service was described by those in attendance as dignified and moving.

Violence in that and surrounding areas of Birmingham has been a concern for some time, in particular firearms offenses (locals report that a used gun can be easily bought for as little as fifty pounds). Youth workers in the area talk of constant tension between gangs, ironically the riots that lead to Isaiah’s death also lead to a truce between the two most notorious gangs (the ‘Johnson Crew’ and ‘Burger Bar Boys’).

Efforts are being made to break the cycle of violence. Some are sports centred (such as the City United football team) whilst others are aimed at helping people into employment. Those involved report that it is a difficult struggle and that it’s not unusual to be working with someone only for them to be killed by a rival gang or by members of a gang they had been a member of themselves. As is common with such efforts lack of funding is a constant problem.

A (Belated) Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Yes, it’s a bit late, but I only just got back to Birmingham yesterday evening. Let’s hope 2006 is a good one!


I do apologise for not updating more often. I’ll try to get better at it!

The other day on the bus into town, and I couldn’t find a Metro, which was annoying because the traffic was really bad and I was bored. But then, I looked up at the CCTV screen, and I could see that there was a copy on the back seat (upstairs). So I had a Metro, and the CCTV served a purpose. Yay.

Birmingham OpenGuide

After a long absence Birmingham OpenGuide has returned. This is a guide to Birmingham implemented as a Wiki so it can be updated by anyone.

The guide is currently in need of more content so if you want to write about your favourite venue, whether thats a pub or a park, get over there and get writing.

Tokyo Online

The Metroblogging Tokyo folks are looking for comments on what topics people are interested in reading about at their
site. If you have a minute, you might want to head over to their site and post a comment.

I’ve checked out the entry linked and the parts in English seem legit.

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