Clifton Suspension Bridge

Talk by Mike Rowland

Brunels DesignOn February 9th at St Peters Hall, Mike Rowland, manager of the Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust gave us his talk about the Bridge. His robust humour produced a lot of laughter. Mike had been a policeman. He referred to the jilted Marie France's attempted suicide in 1876 made iconic as an accidentally parachuted skirt descent in the film about Bristol. Also of the affect of tremble on pedestrians as a vehicle crossed the bridge.

Among the interesting features mentioned were the rollers at the top of the two towers which allow some movement of the chains, the weighbridges which automatically lock the bars and set off the alarms when a vehicle exceeding 2.5 tonnes approaches and the stalagmites and stalagtites in the large chambers within the abutments recently discovered.

William Vick's legacy of £1000 in 1753 to build a bridge and its interrupted construction before its opening in December 1864 were mentioned but little was said of the great I K Brunel.

Mike acts as tour guide as well as controlling staff and ( looking around the audience) volunteers.
Gwyn Evans

Approaching the BridgeSphinxes in original DrawingPreparing to lay the deck

NB The rotation of the sphinxes between first & second picture. To avoid rear view when approaching bridge?! Sphinxes were never installed... pity. WebMaster

Bridge Now

Organising the road network
So that no-one need be held up at red lights.

Talk by Prof. Ralph Benjamin

Following our AGM on Monday on Wednesday 11th May at St Peter's Church Hall, we were favoured with a presentation by Prof. Ralph Benjamin on what has been his lifelong interest in traffic management. Recently this interest has focused on formulating a possible solution to our worsening road congestion problems. Prof Benjamin During the latter part of his talk he extended his ideas to possible application on our rail networks.

In all he spoke to a total of 43 slides which detailed the outline of his proposal. Without becoming too detailed, his proposal covers control of traffic to generate 'tidal flows' comprising groups of vehicles described as 'Caravans' arranged so as to result in traffic 'free flow' thus avoiding delay at red Traffic Lights and utilizing at any one time half the road surface in any network. His proposed system seeks to avoid queues, and traffic speeding after being stuck in queues. Ralph concluded his talk by presenting his last slide which summed up nicely his life long interest in traffic management. Past and Future. 64 years ago I pioneered the concepts and technology of to-day's air and sea traffic control. Perhaps I can now contribute to the concepts and technology of tomorrow's road and rail traffic control?
Michael Rowe

Extracts from Slide Presentation

Free Flow Traffic System
Editors Note: Clicking on the above moves you through the slides. These has been included by way of compensation for the trouble caused in the actual presentation by a faulty lead between computer and projector. It helps to be able to peruse the slides in ones own time enabling one to take and understand the content. The solution to the Right Turn problem - Railways without terminations - All would have passed me by without this look back.