Streetcar, the bendy bus
It's been an eventful year for the West of England Partnership's proposals to give Bristol a rapid transit bus network.
Almost 12 months ago they were coming under heavy fire from the city's cycling lobby as plans to build over the Bristol to Bath railway path went public.
So yesterday's arrival of the Irish-made Streetcar RTV was a badly-needed piece of WEP public relations, aimed at getting the public back on board with the rapid transit scheme.
And the vehicle seemed to have the desired effect on most of the people who saw it.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
As it pulled into the park and ride in Long Ashton, passengers on the double-decker buses were intrigued to see what this glamorous new vehicle was.
It certainly looks the part, with an angled nose and sleek lines making it appear less like a bus and more like a train.
The Streetcar rides smoothly, the seats are raised up and laid out differently from the conventional rows you get on a normal bus, with more open spaces and better room for standing.
I was impressed by some of the features available - TV screens which will broadcast news bulletins alongside information about the next bus stop, the potential for connections to a wireless internet network, big windows and wide passenger doors.
But the covers over the wheels betray the fact that, despite the spin and the trendy name, this is actually just a glorified bendy bus.
But bus, tram, train - does it really matter, as long as people are shipped from A to B quickly, on time and affordably?
The next four years will doubtless see more developments and it will be interesting to see what changes can be made to the engine technology, especially with emissions targets becoming ever more stringent.
But crucially for now, the vehicle has been proven to turn heads, makes people look twice and get people excited, which is exactly what yesterday was aimed at doing.