To support the Independent Traders of the Gloucester Road, many of whom are staying open until 8pm on the two Thursdays before Christmas, George Ferguson has suspended the normal parking restrictions in the bus lane.

He said: "I wanted to support the independent traders' late night shopping initiative. Gloucester Road is one of my favourite places in Bristol - it's got so many wonderful independent shops".

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One wonders if George cares enough about the future of the Gloucester Road independent shops to try and influence the decision on the Sainsbury's planning application?  This may be beyond his designated powers, but he could surely demonstrate the degree to which he cares about the survival of this (at present) thriving collection of 'independents' by publicly speaking out against the plans of the supermarket giant which is poised to cast its hegemonic shadow over the Gloucester Road.