Double deckers are the answer for Bristol
AS part of the mayor's BRT review, I wish he would reconsider the use of the bendybus on the BRT.
Last night (17.30 hrs) whilst waiting for the Long Ashton Park and Ride at Cabot Circus we had a great opportunity to see the bendybus and double-decker in action alongside each other.
It was clear that the bendybus gets its capacity by the majority of passengers standing whereas the double- decker is quite the opposite, most of the passengers are seated.
Also as the bendybus is so much longer it takes up almost the length of two double deckers at the bus stop causing busses to have to queue to get into the bus stop. It is also not as easily manoeuvrable as the double- decker.
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It took us over half an hour to get from Cabot Circus to the Long Ashton Park and Ride and I was very pleased that I was able to be seated for that time rather than have to "strap hang" on a jerky stop/start journey.
I believe that First Bus have indicated that if they were successful in their bid to run the BRT they would use double deckers rather than bendybusses. They have come in for some criticism over bus services in Bristol but in this respect they are absolutely right.
Our French friends when they visited Bristol some years ago thought the British double deckers were a brilliant feature as they have nothing like that in France.
So come on George, let's keep something essentially British running through Bristol and at the same time make a real practical improvement to bus services and the success of the BRT.
Vive le double decker!
Can someone explain to me why we are cutting luncheon clubs and special needs teachers, and at the same time throwing away vast sums of public money? I ask this, because Bristol looks about to make another twist in its on-going transport planning farce. Rumour has it that the multi-million Bus Rapid Transit scheme, nudged away from M.Shed and Prince St Bridge by the mayor, will settle instead upon Cumberland Road. If this happens, the 'BRT2' proposal will still involve a massively expensive viaduct at Winterstoke Road, required for a white elephant 'guided-bus' technology that is useful on very few Bristol routes. All to result in a longer Park and Ride bus journey than the current seven and a half minutes from Ashton Gate via Hotwell Road direct to the Centre.
And why take commuters to Temple Meads, when most want to go to the Centre? A traffic-congested BRT2 from Cumberland Road (whether via Clarence Rd or Redcliffe Hill) would take longer than existing rail journey times to Temple Meads direct from Nailsea, Parkway or Bath stations (and that's without counting the drive to the Park and Ride car park). The success of the Temple Meads area development is not dependent upon BRT. Nor does Bristol Council need the overspend debt that BRT actually entails. Any spare transport money must go to upgrading everybody's buses and trains, not wasted on ill-thought-out gestures.