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FSB seeking inspiration from a ‘new Brunel’

wantspacegotspace.co.uk - FSB seeking inspiration from a ‘new Brunel’Three prominent Bristol business people are to form the judging panel looking for a “new Brunel” to come up with an innovative idea to improve travel around the city.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) are running a competition looking for a 21st century Isambard Kingdom Brunel by offering a £5,000 first prize for the winning idea to improve Bristol’s transport.

Chief 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 LLP in Bristol.

Just as Brunel won a competition to design and build a bridge linking Clifton with North Somerset, the FSB hopes this initiative will bring forward innovative and original ideas to solve Bristol’s traffic problems.

Peter Hargreaves, who decided to keep the financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown in Bristol despite pressure to move to London has 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, who runs the Kingston Rohdes Russia Consultancy, advises businesses on how to do business in Russia and has been chairman of the Bristol Branch of the Federation of Small Businesses for the last two years.

He 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.”

Kingston, whose brainchild the competition is, added: “Actually, I’m a bit surprised no one has done this before. There are a lot of really brainy people in Bristol and together I’m sure we can come up with some truly fantastic ideas.”

Besides the £5,000 from the FSB there is a second prize of £1,000 that has been put forward by the Association of British Drivers for the best parking idea for Bristol.

The competition runs from Tuesday 13 November 2012 to Tuesday 27 November 2012. Entries can be made online at


Posted by The Editor (wantspacegotspace) on 13th November 2012

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