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Journey by Journey => Bristol (WECA) Commuters => Topic started by: Oberon on May 16, 2016, 05:58:46 pm



Title: MetroBus
Post by: Oberon on May 16, 2016, 05:58:46 pm
 had the opportunity to meet Marvin Rees, Bristol's new elected mayor yesterday.  He was friendly and obviously a nice bloke, so I took a deep breath, wondering if I should do this, and asked why doesn't he do something radical, in the form of scrapping the MetroBust and instigating a tram system in its place. I cited my recent visit to Germany where towns with trams rarely seem to have problems with road traffic. Indeed the inhabitants seldom use cars when there is this reliable alternative.

I wondered if I had asked the right question but his surprising answer was that he loves trams. The problem being "where is the money coming from?"

Well we all know where the cash is - in George Osborne's purse.

I doubt if he will ever do Bristol a favour and release it, but just imagine the transformation if  he did...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: trainer on May 16, 2016, 10:34:25 pm
Well done for asking, Oberon.  A pro-tram mayor is a plus.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on May 16, 2016, 11:16:43 pm
I don't think GF was anti tram, but desperate for anything that would improve transport.

With the cock up by Government in the late 80s, Avon Metro failed, with short sighted arguments between Bristol and SGC the Tram system failed, and Bristol's attempts to go it alone where rightly dismissed. The only alternative left was Metro Bus, the worst of the three serious options but something had to be done!

On a positive converting MetroBus to MetroTram will not be outrageously expensive, my guess is that about 60-70% of the budget would be the same creating roundabout priorities, traffic light priorities and dedicated lanes.

Finally, any serious attempt to address transport has to involve rail, light rail/metro, trams and busses.

To improve the current situation we need a 'funded' Transport Authority with full control over local rail and buses and the the authority and money to take the system(s) forward.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: ellendune on May 17, 2016, 07:39:54 am
If Avon Metro had gone ahead, wasn't it going to use part of the alignment of the route from Barton Hill to Filton.  That would mean that we could not do the 4 tracking as now.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Noggin on May 17, 2016, 10:15:29 am
To a certain extent I feel sorry for George, Bristol CC have done many good things, progressively added cycle lanes, the buses are greatly improved with better timetables, fares and bus shelters, the council appears to have been supportive of the Severn beach line, Portishead reopening etc, but there was nothing truly revolutionary that he could do in one term to capture the public imagination, particularly with the railways. (I'd also draw analogies between Blair invading Iraq and George supporting residents parking permits, but that's another matter)

Arguably what George *should* have done is reject the MetroBus funding and:
1) Drawn up a grand vision for transport in Bristol - redeveloped Temple Meads (with bus station), rebuilt Severn Beach line new railway stations, tram network, recast bus network filling in gaps, Oyster card and roughly phased/priced it to be built over 20 years.
2) Held a referendum on it, for example, would you approve a ^100/year levy on your Council Tax for this lot?
3) Go to the Treasury with a popular mandate and say "we want ^xm/year over 20 years to build this"

Technocratic stuff is great, but sometimes you need the gutsy grand vision to excite people
 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 17, 2016, 11:24:56 am
I don't think George Ferguson could realistically have done much more than he did to stop MetroBus. Whether Marvin Rees proves capable of delivering any of the things he has promised: time will tell. Unlike George, he does at least have the backing of a majority adminstration. Whether that proves to be a good thing, for him or for Bristol, again time will tell. It'll probably all become irrelvant in a couple of years when the new Mayor of SNAFU* takes office.

* Situation Normal - Avon Filibusters and Undermines

 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 17, 2016, 11:33:34 am
I think Ferguson had far more of a grand vision than Rees or any other of the candidates. Rees does seem to be a very nice guy indeed and is probably the most compassionate mayor we could have had, but he does not seem to be full of exciting ideas. He's pretty much a party man, albeit a likeable one.

But whoever we ended up with as mayor from, ooh, Paul Saville to, say, Michael Bloomberg, they're only Mayor of Bristol. And not even of the whole of the city, only the City, if you see what I mean. So something like MetroBus is not the Mayor's to introduce or cancel. It's a camel.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 18, 2016, 05:15:49 pm
Rees has announced his first cabinet position: Paul Smith is to be Cabinet Minister for Homes and Communities.

It may or may not be relevant, but Smith recently posted a piece to The Bristol Wire (http://thebristolwire.com/2015/12/train-in-vain/) in which he states:

Quote

...I feel conflicted. Professionally and as an internal tourist I would love faster journey times into London. Many organisations I have worked with and for have London based offices and the City is a cultural heaven with its wide range of museums, galleries, theatres and some stunning architecture.

Train prices are making them a luxury product, if you don^t book well in advance, or split your ticket or work one of a number of increasingly complicated manoeuvres a return to the smoke can cost anything up to ^200.  A twelve-month season ticket from Temple Meads to London Paddington is almost ^8,000.

The biggest concern I have is that faster train times will turn Bristol into a commuter town for the capital.


...and then:

Quote

Bristol and the surrounding area is currently a long way from swallowing its own smoke in terms of housing demand. As a suburb of London there will be little chance of ever bridging that gap.


If I read this correctly, he's saying that by improving transport links you make the housing problem worse. Wouldn't this is also be true of anything that makes Bristol a more attractive place to live, work or invest?

This from the bloke in charge of delivering Rees' biggest promise: 2000 new homes per year by 2020.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 18, 2016, 05:58:22 pm
It makes sense that if Bristol became a commuter dormitory for London, there would be more demand for both housing and transport within Bristol and to London. But no one in BCC has any control, AFAIK, on timetables and fares to London, and clearly MetroBus is never going to reach London, so I'm not entirely sure how relevant it is.

The major driver for commuting must be house price differentials and those if anything would be increased by a successful house-building programme. I don't see that as a good reason to abandon the plan though. (Hmm, beginning to go way off topic there.)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 18, 2016, 06:29:43 pm
...beginning to go way off topic there.

As was I, of course.

Or were we? Although the thread title is 'MetroBust' (which has its own thread elsewhere on this forum (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=551.0)), the content of the OP was about Bristol's new mayor, and his attitude to public transport. Since we don't have much evidence for this, I thought it useful to see if we can deduce anything from the published opinions of his new right-hand man. I'm not sure we have strayed very far off topic!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 19, 2016, 10:06:20 am
Since that other thread includes "local councils" in its title, arguably discussion of Marvin and His Marvellous Ministers belongs there not here! But in practice this is the Marvin thread and so, I expect, is that one.  ;D ???


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 19, 2016, 12:14:13 pm
I think 'Marvin and His Marvellous Ministers' makes a very apposite title.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 19, 2016, 12:28:33 pm
Bearing in mind the only thing we know yet is that he is Marvin and they are Ministers.  :)

But, to neatly tie up transport and housing, here's a tale from last night, when I was in a pub in Shirehampton with a friend who lives right next door to the pub and very near to the station. He (+ partner) moved there about a year ago ^ he'd previously lived by the docks (also right next door to a pub... ) ^ and they key attraction of this house for them (apart from the pub... ) was the station and decent rail service. And to get bike carriage in there as well, he's a cyclist and was remarking on the huge number of bikes on that line (which of course is not subject to compulsory, or any, reservations) particularly on a Saturday morning. Staff are very accommodating over this, he says. But he never puts his bike on that train because it's actually quicker to ride into town.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 19, 2016, 02:46:01 pm
Your 'friend' sounds like he's made some pretty good life choices in his time. Are you sure it's not really you you're describing?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 19, 2016, 03:55:49 pm
Considering he also spent some years working on a North Sea oil rig, I hope not!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Noggin on May 20, 2016, 12:45:22 pm
...beginning to go way off topic there.

As was I, of course.

Or were we? Although the thread title is 'MetroBust' (which has its own thread elsewhere on this forum (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=551.0)), the content of the OP was about Bristol's new mayor, and his attitude to public transport. Since we don't have much evidence for this, I thought it useful to see if we can deduce anything from the published opinions of his new right-hand man. I'm not sure we have strayed very far off topic!

I think it is worth discussing migration into Bristol, because it does change the demographic composition of the city and thus affect patterns of and demand for transport.

Lots of the inbound migration is young professional people in IT, media/marketing and professional services, who whilst working in Bristol, have employers, clients, or work for companies with clients in London and around the rest of the country. I know a number of people who work for London companies, either directly or indirectly, and spend a couple of days a week in London, then otherwise work at home, at a rent-a-desk or with clients. For most of them, their companies will quite happily to have them live in Bristol and pay the train fare to London (or wherever) they are needed, as they are valuable employees who are billed out to clients at hefty rates. It might sound crazy, but there are plenty of them around if you look in the right places.

For companies and individuals, Bristol has a great quality of life, great pools of talent, it's far less expensive to live, work and get things done than in London, young talented workers are happy to live here, people with families find (relatively) affordable houses, good schools, childcare etc. There are great rail services, a good airport, London, Heathrow and the rest of the country are easy to get to, there's some lovely countryside etc.

Now in some ways that's great. Middle-class (for want of a better label) professionals play a huge part in urban regeneration, they bring money into the community, they restore and maintain their houses employing builders, they take part in the community, they drive higher standards in schools, they use local shops, support the arts, go to concerts etc., they have cleaners, nannies, childminders, pay their council tax etc.   

But the downside as Paul Smith says, is that can lead to shortages of properties and risk ghettoising groups like social tenants. I'd argue that public transport is key to defusing that as firstly, it means that incomers will diffuse, for example, upgrading the Severn Beach line, building the Portishead line, building stations at Saltford and St Annes would all greatly help this. Secondly, it can connect cheaper, under-developed areas to the city and jobs. For example, there are lots of warehouse jobs being created in places like Avonmouth and food/retail/cleaning jobs in the city but they are difficult/time-consuming to get to if you live somewhere like Hengrove. To that end MetroBus might be a good thing and actually improve a lot of people's lives, even if it seems a bit excessive to others.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on May 20, 2016, 03:04:28 pm
The problem that Mervin has not yet recognised is that Bristol population is the highest it has ever been, over 441K, whilst provided homes is very important, there is no space in Bristol that the council can use to to provided 10K homes.

Private developers can redevelop areas, for example Wapping Warf and Redcliffe Quarter but there target audience will be young professions.

The most important issue facing Bristol and the surrounding areas is transport, and this must be addressed as the No 1 priority!

MetroBus, MetroWest and trams are all needed to allow people to live and commute in this area


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 20, 2016, 04:12:31 pm
Homes don't have to be houses, mind.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 20, 2016, 05:18:41 pm
...and trams...

Depressingly, it is difficult to imagine any set of circumstances under which trams will come to Bristol this side of The Rapture.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 01, 2016, 09:25:00 pm
The Rupture, more like.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Andrew1939 from West Oxon on June 02, 2016, 05:38:09 pm
Has Bristol considered implementing Work Place Parking Levies now that central government has approved their use? As far as I know Nottingham is the only major city to do so and the large amount of funds generated is being used to pay for trams services extensions. ^500 per vehicle per annum wopuld raise (gross) some ^25M a year that could finance capital spening of some ^500M on a major public transport project. In addition to fund raising the work place levy encourages a greater use of public transport by reducing the cost differential between private car use and much higher transport fares whilst also helping to reduce road congestion because fewer private cars are on the roads.
Here in Oxfordshire the County Council has mentioned the possibility of introducing the WPL but only on a very low profile. I think the members are afraid of the heavy opposition they would face from current road users, of whom there are many throusands who have free access to the thousands of private parking places in central Oxford, many within the Oxford colleges.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on June 02, 2016, 09:20:43 pm
Sounds like a brilliant plan, BUT

  • Most car drivers commute from outside Bristol. Would Bristol be minded to spend the money collected outside Bristol to help these commuters, or would it divert the money for other schemes, say housing
  • Would businesses move to other areas, SGC or BANES, to avoid this tax?

For this to work it must be across the whole Avon area and be used as revenue stream (a long with a local tax)  to a local Transport Authority to implement a public Transport System for everyone.   


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 20, 2016, 02:40:29 pm
For them as likes this kind of thing, here's a timelapse of the installation of the new bridge (for the MetroBus bus-only junction) over the M32:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTDCzrXbVk4


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 21, 2016, 10:51:19 am
I hear some people were so impressed by the M32 closure they've requested it be done every year as a street party. I'm not sure of Mayor Marvin's response...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 21, 2016, 01:50:54 pm
There are others who would want to de-trunk it, so that the hard shoulder can be used by MetroBust.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: trainer on June 21, 2016, 10:41:47 pm
There are others who would want to de-trunk it, so that the hard shoulder can be used by MetroBust.

You mean Six Lanes, Now?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: ellendune on June 21, 2016, 11:03:43 pm
There are others who would want to de-trunk it, so that the hard shoulder can be used by MetroBust.

Don't think it would need to be detrunked to have a bus lane - the M4 Near London had one for a time. 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 22, 2016, 09:57:49 am
There are others who would want to de-trunk it, so that the hard shoulder can be used by MetroBust.

Don't think it would need to be detrunked to have a bus lane - the M4 Near London had one for a time. 

Google 'm32 detrunking' and you'll see that this idea appears to have been pretty much put to bed back in 2007.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 22, 2016, 11:08:19 am
The old M4 bus lane was in L3, just like the current bus lane immediately after the end of the motorway section of the M32 IYSWIM. So no need for any use of the hard shoulder, and presumably therefore no detrunking required; though BCC would probably be more likely to install a bus lane than the DfT.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: ellendune on June 22, 2016, 12:31:23 pm
The old M4 bus lane was in L3, just like the current bus lane immediately after the end of the motorway section of the M32 IYSWIM. So no need for any use of the hard shoulder, and presumably therefore no detrunking required; though BCC would probably be more likely to install a bus lane than the DfT.

On large parts of the motorways the hard shoulder is being converted into a running lane for use in busy times, so the M32 would not have to be detrunked for the hard shoulder to be used. 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 22, 2016, 01:39:20 pm
The old M4 bus lane was in L3, just like the current bus lane immediately after the end of the motorway section of the M32 IYSWIM. So no need for any use of the hard shoulder, and presumably therefore no detrunking required; though BCC would probably be more likely to install a bus lane than the DfT.

On large parts of the motorways the hard shoulder is being converted into a running lane for use in busy times, so the M32 would not have to be detrunked for the hard shoulder to be used. 

Quite so.

However Bristol City Council's aspirations, which as I said earlier were kicked into touch nearly ten years ago, also seem to have included 50mph limits and high-occupancy lanes. Whilst these may not of themselves have required detrunking, each element would have necessitated negotiations with the HA and it may have been considered easier just to get a detrunking order.

I am not aware of any current plans or aspirations to de-trunk this route. Given that the M32 bus-only junction is in an advanced state of construction and that the A4032 (Newfoundland Way/Street, but interestingly not Road) bus lane is up and running, I can't see any reason to de-trunk now.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 22, 2016, 03:17:04 pm
Hard shoulder as running lane is only on 'managed motorways' isn't it? (Incidentally, how odd we [still] talk about a 'running lane' rather than a 'driving lane'. Obviously connected to the rather quaint expression 'going for a run' in a car.  :D) Are there any examples of 'hard shoulder as bus/other special vehicle lane' on motorways? There are plenty of bus lanes on trunk roads, of course.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: paul7755 on June 22, 2016, 04:25:25 pm
The M275 into Portsmouth never actually had full hard shoulders, but just about a car's width, but there is now a bus lane where it used to be.

I'd never heard the term de-trunking used in the context of this project though...

Paul


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 22, 2016, 05:52:00 pm
I am unable to resist bringing up the (sadly erstwhile) A6144(M). The (M) made it a proper motorway, with blue signs and everything, but it had no hard shoulders, was single-carriageway, and had - wait for it - a set of traffic lights at the end. Wanna see a video of it? http://www.pathetic.org.uk/former/a6144m/videos/jan06/a6144m-west.mpg


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Timmer on June 22, 2016, 09:28:19 pm
I am unable to resist bringing up the (sadly erstwhile) A6144(M). The (M) made it a proper motorway, with blue signs and everything, but it had no hard shoulders, was single-carriageway, and had - wait for it - a set of traffic lights at the end. Wanna see a video of it? http://www.pathetic.org.uk/former/a6144m/videos/jan06/a6144m-west.mpg
I love the painted direction arrows that are stating the bleedin' obvious.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Noggin on June 23, 2016, 12:04:57 am
Would have thought that Marvin would be quite up for an annual street party on the M32, and indeed, it's an interesting question whether, if one of the elevated sections collapsed, the city would cease to function, or whether everyone would just adapt and find alternatives. I rather suspect the latter.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 23, 2016, 09:54:37 am
...everyone would just adapt and find alternatives. I rather suspect the latter.



I suspect you're right. Might not be very pleasant for people who live in Stapleton though, but then on a positive note the increase in traffic and pollution could dampen property prices in the Whiteladies Rd and Gloucester Road areas... [ironic face]


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 23, 2016, 10:42:47 am
Marvin is rumoured to be opposed to street parties due to his Evangelical faith. I don't know whether that's true though.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Tim on June 23, 2016, 03:35:33 pm
I don't think he is one of the Wee Frees - you know the ultra-Presbyterians who are said to forbid having sex standing up in case it leads to dancing. 



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 23, 2016, 04:00:21 pm
 ;D

(He's a Baptist I think. Quite possibly the anti-partying thing was an election slur, though I only read it afterwards.)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: trainer on June 23, 2016, 04:36:06 pm
;D

(He's a Baptist I think. Quite possibly the anti-partying thing was an election slur, though I only read it afterwards.)

I go to a Baptist church: we organise street parties/events sometimes - with music and dancing for those so inclined! ;D


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 23, 2016, 05:23:59 pm
...with music and dancing for those so inclined! ;D

Presumably they are inclined at less than 15o from the vertical?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 23, 2016, 07:54:57 pm
...with music and dancing for those so inclined! ;D

Presumably they are inclined at less than 15o from the vertical?
That might depend how much partying they've been doing!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 23, 2016, 08:08:46 pm
Seems he's connected with a US movement called Sojourners, whose slogan is "Faith in action for social justice".



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 23, 2016, 08:09:03 pm
I don't think he is one of the Wee Frees - you know the ultra-Presbyterians who are said to forbid having sex standing up in case it leads to dancing. 


Being named Marvin he surely believes in sexual kneeling.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 23, 2016, 08:36:38 pm
Marvin is rumoured to be opposed to street parties due to his Evangelical faith. I don't know whether that's true though.

I'm not aware that the evangelical wing has any problem with parties - in fact seeing them as a good excuse for a prayer meeting. The major evangelical churches locally take a relaxed liberal view of many things unless they are directly against biblical teachings - murder is right out. There are a couple, though, where everything is forbidden unless it's compulsory.

My street will have a party later this year. We'll see how it goes. Last year's was a great success, actively supported by the city council with the loan of equipment.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Western Pathfinder on June 24, 2016, 12:42:09 am
Either that or he has this terrible pain in all the diodes down his left hand side.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on January 13, 2017, 09:04:02 pm
This will come as no surprise I fear:


http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/cost-of-metrobus-just-jumped-by-another-11-million/story-30056330-detail/story.html


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on January 14, 2017, 04:53:13 pm
Whilst I think the MetroBus idea is not exactly brilliant, the full cost so far has been road improvements, including two new roads that are desperately needed.

The lack of a A370-A38 link is ridiculous, and Stoke Gifford has a regular 1+hr queue every morning and night.

The improved roads can now be used to improved bus services.

The interesting failure of MetroBus and its proposed routes is the lack of interfacing with MetroWest.

I attended a meeting, two nights ago, and WEP/S Glous gleefully told every that MetroBus was here to stay, with ongoing infrastructure improvements for road widening, extra bus lanes, cycle lanes etc. The next phase will be Cribbs to BPW, with the rail bridge on Gypsey Patch lane due to be replaced in two years to allow the road underneath to widened (cycle lanes, bus lane and wider car lanes and pavements), a job that should really have been done 70 years ago


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on January 15, 2017, 09:18:08 pm
Whilst I think the MetroBus idea is not exactly brilliant, the full cost so far has been road improvements, including two new roads that are desperately needed.

The lack of a A370-A38 link is ridiculous, and Stoke Gifford has a regular 1+hr queue every morning and night.

The improved roads can now be used to improved bus services.

The interesting failure of MetroBus and its proposed routes is the lack of interfacing with MetroWest.

I attended a meeting, two nights ago, and WEP/S Glous gleefully told every that MetroBus was here to stay, with ongoing infrastructure improvements for road widening, extra bus lanes, cycle lanes etc. The next phase will be Cribbs to BPW, with the rail bridge on Gypsey Patch lane due to be replaced in two years to allow the road underneath to widened (cycle lanes, bus land and wider car lanes and pavements), a job that should really have been done 70 years ago

Good luck with the expansion, which may play a part in the next round of local elections, even in apathetic South Gloucestershire. The truth has always been that this is a road-building project, with public transport as the Trojan horse. It will, as all new roads do, provide space for more cars.

MetroBust may be here to stay, with or without buses running, but the West of England LEP may not be. It should be stripped of anything to do with public transport. That has improved in spite of the LEP, not because of it. South Glos are highly in favour of MetroBust, as it gives them the ability to build lots of homes for new council tax payers on Filton Airfield. In a propaganda magazine recently, the council's scribe referred to the "already successful" MetroBust project. How he got that with it being years late, millions over budget, and still no sign of an operator, I don't know, but you don't see Comical Ali on TV these days. Might be he has a job behind the scenes...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on January 15, 2017, 09:37:43 pm
The lack of a A370-A38 link is ridiculous ...

... as I mutter constantly, when I drive between Nailsea and Bishopsworth, most days ...  ::) :o

However, I must say that the vast amounts of money they have apparently spent on the Lime Kiln Roundabout has turned that into a particular feature on the historic A38 route south of Bristol.  ::)



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: John R on January 15, 2017, 10:18:44 pm
Well it opens tomorrow according to the airport, so hopefully you won't be muttering for much longer!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on January 16, 2017, 11:48:22 am
Whilst I think the MetroBus idea is not exactly brilliant, the full cost so far has been road improvements, including two new roads that are desperately needed.

The lack of a A370-A38 link is ridiculous, and Stoke Gifford has a regular 1+hr queue every morning and night.

The improved roads can now be used to improved bus services.

The interesting failure of MetroBus and its proposed routes is the lack of interfacing with MetroWest.

I attended a meeting, two nights ago, and WEP/S Glous gleefully told every that MetroBus was here to stay, with ongoing infrastructure improvements for road widening, extra bus lanes, cycle lanes etc. The next phase will be Cribbs to BPW, with the rail bridge on Gypsey Patch lane due to be replaced in two years to allow the road underneath to widened (cycle lanes, bus land and wider car lanes and pavements), a job that should really have been done 70 years ago

Good luck with the expansion, which may play a part in the next round of local elections, even in apathetic South Gloucestershire. The truth has always been that this is a road-building project, with public transport as the Trojan horse. It will, as all new roads do, provide space for more cars.

MetroBust may be here to stay, with or without buses running, but the West of England LEP may not be. It should be stripped of anything to do with public transport. That has improved in spite of the LEP, not because of it. South Glos are highly in favour of MetroBust, as it gives them the ability to build lots of homes for new council tax payers on Filton Airfield. In a propaganda magazine recently, the council's scribe referred to the "already successful" MetroBust project. How he got that with it being years late, millions over budget, and still no sign of an operator, I don't know, but you don't see Comical Ali on TV these days. Might be he has a job behind the scenes...
I was talking with someone yesterday about the Metro Mayor idea and how it interacts with projects such as MetroBus. We concluded that one of the prime things any likely Metro Mayor is going to want to do is make it easier for people to live in SGlos, N. Som and rural parts of BNES while working in Bristol and Bath; and the way they (the commuters, ie voters) are going to want to do that is by driving. So any excuse for road building (though self-defeating in the long, or even short, term) will be a mayoral vote winner.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on January 16, 2017, 12:48:23 pm
I was talking with someone yesterday about the Metro Mayor idea and how it interacts with projects such as MetroBus. We concluded that one of the prime things any likely Metro Mayor is going to want to do is make it easier for people to live in SGlos, N. Som and rural parts of BNES while working in Bristol and Bath; and the way they (the commuters, ie voters) are going to want to do that is by driving. So any excuse for road building (though self-defeating in the long, or even short, term) will be a mayoral vote winner.

I can't see many pure road schemes (as opposed to those which can be camouflaged as public transport) getting the green light. Ultimately, any cars coming into Bristol will need to park somewhere, and even the dimmest, most populist politician will see that building new car parks (together with access infrastructure) in central Bristol is likely to be hugely expensive and unpopular.

Far better to pretend that enhancing public transport will release road space. Expect more showcase bus routes and Park-and-Rides; we may even see further enhancements to MetroWest...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on January 16, 2017, 02:59:46 pm
That's pretty much it. Although I'm not sure about car parks in central Bristol being unpopular, bearing in mind the key constituents will be those in the outer fringes and surrounding towns who are the main potential users. And some new car parks will "have" to be built, eg for Teh Arenal (though I don't know if that will be in the MetroMayor's decision – probably still a City thing).


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on January 16, 2017, 03:26:54 pm
At the recent Metrobus meeting, Bradley Stoke 12th January, the councillors where very committed to adding more Park and Rides in South Gloucestershire and around Bristol to remove traffic from central Bristol, M32 and the Northern Fringe.

I don't think any plan exists in adding more parking in Bristol, or the Northern Fringe. the spare land just does not exist and house builders will always price cars out.

The key to the future though, is how bus, MetroBus and MetroWest interact to provide a viable 24x7 public transport system that works for the area, and not the bottom line of First


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on January 16, 2017, 04:43:02 pm
...some new car parks will "have" to be built, eg for Teh Arenal...

Will they? Who says? I am aware that the local Flat Earthers have been shouting that at their teddies, but then they don't seem to have noticed that said Arenal is within a few metres of a large railway station - not to mention its proximity bus routes, cycles paths, ferry stops and - hey - car parks.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Noggin on January 16, 2017, 04:59:44 pm
I think that the metro mayors have the ability to be a very interesting development indeed.

There are going to be a number of elected leaders of English areas with populations over a million, that can turn around to Westminster and the DfT and ask why, when they mostly have quite successful economies and citizens who pay lots of tax, why they aren't benefiting from the levels of transport spending that London enjoys, or why they have to put up with buses when Manchester gets a new tram line every couple of years, or just challenge the DfT's analysis in the way that Hendy was able to do whilst at TfL.  

From Bristol's perspective, whilst we'll inevitably have to wait until the Filton Bank quadrupling and resignalling are complete for electrification to see the benefits of MetroWest, the more time goes on, the more impressive the results are likely to be, and the greater the chances are that a new mayor could parlay that into a package of electrification, rebuilding of the Severn Beach line and station reopenings.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on January 16, 2017, 06:16:03 pm
...some new car parks will "have" to be built, eg for Teh Arenal...

Will they? Who says? I am aware that the local Flat Earthers have been shouting that at their teddies, but then they don't seem to have noticed that said Arenal is within a few metres of a large railway station - not to mention its proximity bus routes, cycles paths, ferry stops and - hey - car parks.


Zackly. It won't have to be built for people to use the Arena, it will "have to be built because we've got a hundred thousand people coming to watch Ronni Size and they're all going to park their cars in every residential street within two miles and all the residents will be up in arms and the Post's going to print a really nasty article about me."


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Noggin on January 17, 2017, 02:44:30 pm
...some new car parks will "have" to be built, eg for Teh Arenal...

Will they? Who says? I am aware that the local Flat Earthers have been shouting that at their teddies, but then they don't seem to have noticed that said Arenal is within a few metres of a large railway station - not to mention its proximity bus routes, cycles paths, ferry stops and - hey - car parks.

Zackly. It won't have to be built for people to use the Arena, it will "have to be built because we've got a hundred thousand people coming to watch Ronni Size and they're all going to park their cars in every residential street within two miles and all the residents will be up in arms and the Post's going to print a really nasty article about me."

Well of course the sensible thing would be to dig a very large hole on the vacant land to the north of Temple Meads, fill it with car park, stick a station extension on top of it, and it becomes a car park for the arena, station and tourists. But this is Bristol we are talking about.

Of course another suggestion for the arena has been mooted which is the former Brabazon hanger at Filton, which would have the advantage that it's pretty much built already, bang next to a motorway, no-one cares too much how many parking spaces you add, it's even right next to a railway line, with the potential to build the new North Filton station right next to it, or at the very least, run an intensive shuttle bus service to Parkway. That would arguably be a *lot* more useful for many people, it's not really going to detract from Bristol, in the same way that the NEC doesn't detract from Birmingham. Sure, Bristol CC might look a bit silly, but on the other hand they've now got a prime development site that has a bridge to it and they won't have to deal with the headaches caused by traffic grinding to a halt.

 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on January 17, 2017, 03:09:09 pm
The Greater Bristol area as so many options

  • New Arena in Temple Quarter
  • No clear plans for BTM upgrade, no parking

or

  • New Arena in Cribbs Causeway, New Snow Centre and Mall extension
  • Clear plans for rail link to Henbury in the area, Clear plans for Bristol Parkway/Metrobus link and 10K parking spaces

Whilst sense dictates that the central Bristol option is better,  I'd not bet against Cribbs Causeway team and SGC.

The recent successful completion of the South Bristol Link should have been a mark of success for the project, but the protests in Bedminster show that Metrobus have learned nothing in working with communities to reassure them.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on January 17, 2017, 05:32:20 pm
Arena at Filton or Cribbs could run into political problems precisely that it is not in Bristol City. And then there's the Bristol City (other one!) "super stadium" idea.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on February 11, 2017, 10:55:23 pm

I was talking with someone yesterday about the Metro Mayor idea and how it interacts with projects such as MetroBus. We concluded that one of the prime things any likely Metro Mayor is going to want to do is make it easier for people to live in SGlos, N. Som and rural parts of BNES while working in Bristol and Bath; and the way they (the commuters, ie voters) are going to want to do that is by driving. So any excuse for road building (though self-defeating in the long, or even short, term) will be a mayoral vote winner.

I'm not voting for you then!

...some new car parks will "have" to be built, eg for Teh Arenal...

Will they? Who says? I am aware that the local Flat Earthers have been shouting that at their teddies, but then they don't seem to have noticed that said Arenal is within a few metres of a large railway station - not to mention its proximity bus routes, cycles paths, ferry stops and - hey - car parks.

I have made those very points elsewhere. Unless you have a Justin Bieber concert at the Arenal at the same time as the start of late-night Christmas shopping, there is ample parking within a 10-minute walk (or 15 minute bus ride) of the place. Adequate information about public transport on event booking sites will help greatly. Daytime events will be slightly more problematic, but don't forget that people want to come to events and will find a way to get there. The economic case for building a large car park that will stand empty for much of the time is not easily made - you would need the warped logic that got us MetroBust to make it look viable.

As an example, look at the annual Balloon Fiesta. That attracts ten times the number of people who will be going to the Arenal. Not only is parking extremely limited (and expensive) but local roads are closed even to pedestrians.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on February 11, 2017, 11:08:56 pm
I think we have reached the point in Greater Bristol that new road schemes are dead, except for a few schemes lie the Stoke Gifford Bypass, South Bristol Link road.

Anyone advocating a car based transport policy in Greater Bristol will not be elected. We need a funded transport policy with train, light rail, bus and safe cycle routes.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: John R on February 12, 2017, 07:21:59 am
Regarding car parking at the arena I'd make the following observation. In the last couple of years I've been to concerts in Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester. Although a great advocate of public transport, on every occasion I've driven. Why? Because the time evening concerts end (and the uncertainty over precisely what time) is not conducive to guaranteeing public transport home. And there will be a sizeable proportion of attendees for whom it won't be a sensible option at any time of day, eg Forest of Dean, the rural parts of Somerset, and so on.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on February 12, 2017, 11:42:33 pm
I think we have reached the point in Greater Bristol that new road schemes are dead, except for a few schemes lie the Stoke Gifford Bypass, South Bristol Link road.

Anyone advocating a car based transport policy in Greater Bristol will not be elected. We need a funded transport policy with train, light rail, bus and safe cycle routes.

I think – unfortunately – that the Metro Mayor will not be elected by the votes of Bristol but by Yate, Yatton, Keynsham and Clutton, and moreover that what we need is not what we want. Politicians rarely get elected by offering what we need.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on February 13, 2017, 07:24:47 am
that the Metro Mayor will not be elected by the votes of Bristol but by Yate, Yatton, Keynsham and Clutton,

Not Yatton or anywhere else in North Somerset for that matter. NSC have in their wisdom, have decided not to have anything to do with a Metro Mayor in any circumstances.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on February 13, 2017, 09:32:32 am
Good point! And that's one (or two) of the curious things about this 'Combined Authority'. We were told that it required the agreement of three out of the four UAs, but I don't remember it being explained whether this was a majority decision or a case of individual areas opting out. As it turns out to be the latter, what if Bristol, or even Bath, had said no while the others had agreed? That would have left a curious hole in the middle of the area.

The other point is that there's a widespread feeling in Bristol (and Manchester and Liverpool... ) that this is an attempt to reduce the influence of cities by 'diluting' them with their rural surroundings (some view this in strict party political terms, I'm inclined to see it as a cultural/attitudinal move which goes beyond party politics), while at least some of those rural areas fear it will mean their dominance by the nearby cities. 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: ChrisB on February 13, 2017, 09:37:21 am
THe latter is being felt in Oxfordshire too, with the County wanting a UA with their Districts. Although currently, Oxford City are *against* the scheme....


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on February 13, 2017, 11:52:45 am
The other point is that there's a widespread feeling in Bristol (and Manchester and Liverpool... ) that this is an attempt to reduce the influence of cities by 'diluting' them with their rural surroundings

I'm not so sure that is the sentiment in Bristol. Here, the tail is wagging the dog. MetroBust is far from popular in the city, but very much flavour of the month in North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. A metro mayor may have been able to get improvements to public transport instead.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on February 13, 2017, 01:37:50 pm
I can assure you that Metrobus IS NOT POPULAR in South Gloucestershire.

What would be popular is a 10 minute service that despite being timetabled does not exist. Frequently as I cycle to BPW in the morning I am passed by 2/3 buses in five minutes. How is that possible at 0620, unless drivers are leaving late or early?

All Metrobus is offering is a faster 73 service. Unless they can get buses to start on time, it is pointless.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on February 13, 2017, 02:01:46 pm
All Metrobus is offering is a faster 73 service. Unless they can get buses to start on time, it is pointless.

Oh ch***t - is that the "73" I used from near the RAC tower overlooking Almondsbury to Parkway Station the other week and seemed to have a rather circuitous route and I could almost have walked as quickly.  I saw that it carried on to Temple Meads, but I'm sure there was a misprint of an hour in the timetable as it seemed scheduled to take 60 minutes longer than it should.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on February 13, 2017, 03:26:18 pm
I can assure you that Metrobus IS NOT POPULAR in South Gloucestershire.


I meant the council, not the poor bloody council tax payers. My apologies for the confusion.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on February 13, 2017, 10:18:57 pm
Yes, the 73 that is

Cribbs Cuaseway - Patchway - Aztec West - Bradley Stoke - BPW - Filton Ave - Gloucester Road - Centre - BTM and frequently takes 2+ hours and is not uncommon for it to be terminated mid route because drivers have reached their hours.

Once Metrobus started I gave up using the bus and decided to cycle from home to BPW, and catch a train to BTM. So for the same money I get 5 miles cycling, and 2 miles walking for 45 minute journeys each way. A definite improvement!

If First Bus had any sense they'd split the route in two for a BPW-BTM service and Cribbs Causeway - BPW. Both services would be more reliable, less likely for drivers to exhaust their hours due to traffic jams and encourage passengers to use trains.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on March 16, 2017, 01:49:45 pm
Took some pictures around Ashton Swingbridge the other day, showing progress on the guided bit of MetroBus:

Looking from the Long Ashton side towards the Ashton Swingbridge:

(https://zemblanity.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/20170311_120314-e1489671796788.jpg)

The wraps are off the swingbridge, though the path over it has not reopened:

(https://zemblanity.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/20170311_120741-e1489671754918.jpg)

This is looking towards the Floating Harbour, with my back to the swingbridge. The overbridge straight ahead accommodated the branch to Canon's Marsh; a junction at this point gave access to the branch to Wapping Wharf, now used by the Bristol Harbour Railway.

(https://zemblanity.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/20170311_120851-e1489671826397.jpg)

Edit: I realise I've posted this in the wrong thread - if anymody wishes to move it, that'd be fine by me!



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on March 16, 2017, 02:01:48 pm
Quite some changes.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: SandTEngineer on March 16, 2017, 04:37:05 pm
Just some ballast, sleepers and rails to install then they are away..... ;) :D :P


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on March 16, 2017, 10:31:31 pm
Edit: I realise I've posted this in the wrong thread - if anymody wishes to move it, that'd be fine by me!

That's quite alright, Red Squirrel - I do understand that your paws may not cope very well with a keyboard, so I've 'moved and merged' your post accordingly.  ;)

CfN.  ;D



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 21, 2017, 09:40:28 pm
Shock news from the powers that beat MetroBust, as the first operator is announced. It is - drum roll please - First Bus Bristol! Didn't see that one coming, did I?

Here's the link for anyone who wants to read the propaganda. Life's too short to copy it, especially with the Post's new website.

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/first-bus-bristol-named-metrobus-123092


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on June 21, 2017, 11:00:10 pm
If only Metrobust ran from anywhere useful to anywhere meaningful it might have a future. Double deckers on guided bus lanes where the interchanges on the Cambridge version have resulted in overturns slightly scares me.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 22, 2017, 10:28:44 am
Never mind that - imagine going over that skew bridge upstairs, at the front. It has to be the first ever scheduled white knuckle ride!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on June 22, 2017, 02:16:07 pm
The whole MetroBus project should be cancelled! Total waste of money, but the road improvements (priority bus lanes, Stoke Gifford Link, South Bristol Link) are positive.

Run 10 bus routes that are FREE linking up interchanges across across the whole Bristol/Bath area, and have a small levy on local buses/trains to cover these free bus routes, and implement a tax free annual local train/bus ticket. After all, the government lets you buy a cycle tax free, why not a local public transport ticket?

This will encourage people to use public transport!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 22, 2017, 02:27:18 pm
If only Metrobust ran from anywhere useful to anywhere meaningful it might have a future. Double deckers on guided bus lanes where the interchanges on the Cambridge version have resulted in overturns slightly scares me.
Hadn't heard about the Cambridge overturns. Aren't they single decker there?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on June 22, 2017, 02:40:42 pm
Hadn't heard about the Cambridge overturns. Aren't they single decker there?

Single and double.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on June 22, 2017, 05:15:59 pm
I asked trainer how Cambridge guided busway vehicles compared  to a scarlet painted 6 wheeled, diesel engined London transport omnibus. He suggested that they were not the 'transport of delight' he expected as he found them bumpy but faster. As he is staying in Bedford, I asked if he was going to swannee across the Great Ooze, to Flanders.....


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: John R on June 22, 2017, 05:40:24 pm
I asked trainer how Cambridge guided busway vehicles compared  to a scarlet painted 6 wheeled, diesel engined London transport omnibus. He suggested that they were not the 'transport of delight' he expected as he found them bumpy but faster. As he is staying in Bedford, I asked if he was going to swannee across the Great Ooze, to Flanders.....

Are tickets a pound a piece, or did he make a fuss?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on June 23, 2017, 08:13:32 am
Bath seems to be looking at an alternative to the bus.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-40366466

Remains to be seen if it's just a PR job to be later dismissed as "too expensive" by the road builders.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on June 23, 2017, 08:46:45 am
Bath seems to be looking at an alternative to the bus.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-40366466

Remains to be seen if it's just a PR job to be later dismissed as "too expensive" by the road builders.

I do wonder if a tram (vehicles on street) replacing a bus (vehicles on street) would make that much difference in Bath.

Oldish article ... http://transitionbath.org/transportsolution-alternatives-for-north-south-cycling/

Quote
During the planning stages of the development of 700 homes on the ex-MOD site at Foxhill in Bath Curo have proposed a number of alternative solutions to the problem of how to encourage cycling at the top of a very steep hill. This is a problem common to much of Bath, which is built on a steep sided valley and has congested roads which are not designed to accommodate both cyclists and vehicular traffic. Cycling along a north-south axis is restricted to the super fit because of the steepness of the hills.

Curo’s suggested solutions to date have included:

A cable car
A vertical passenger and cycle lift from the twin tunnels cycle path
A Trondheim like cycle lift
Racks on the back of public buses

While it is early days and no commitment to any of these solutions has been made by Curo, we set out in this article to examine these options, plus three extra choices of our own suggestion:

Provision of electric bikes for all new homes in Foxhill
A ‘Boris Bikes’ like cycle hire scheme, but with electric bikes
A funicular railway


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Noggin on June 23, 2017, 11:03:48 pm
Shock news from the powers that beat MetroBust, as the first operator is announced. It is - drum roll please - First Bus Bristol! Didn't see that one coming, did I?

Here's the link for anyone who wants to read the propaganda. Life's too short to copy it, especially with the Post's new website.

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/first-bus-bristol-named-metrobus-123092

I think the double-decker bit might be a mistake, I don't believe that they will fit under the Ashton Ave bridge, unless they are a modern twist on the Lodekka


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: trainer on June 23, 2017, 11:25:16 pm
After my fleeting excursion into the Far East (:D) as far as I can see the Cambridge guided busway and the Metrobus scheme are not comparable. Taking over a dead-straight railway bed through the countryside is one thing but the meanderings around and through an urban area of the Greater Bristol scheme, even allowing for some reserved roads, is it's own Creature (as per Ms Shelley's usage in her novel).

One thing I discovered is that giving bus drivers a clear road and powerful vehicles seems to mean heavier acceleration and braking which is much less smooth than a railed vehicle and (on the basis on one trip) somewhat exhilerating as we raced towards a red traffic light, the driver knowing that a green light would show just as the junction was reached. In rail terms I believe it's called an approach signal.  It seems that the purpose of slowing the vehicle almost to a stop does not encourage a gradual reduction in speed, but rather a more 'chicken' style of driving i.e how close to the junction dare we get before the brake foot goes down hard.  At least once we overshot the white line before the lights completed their cycle. I emphasise that this was one driver. I came back on a bus route using conventional roads - it took twice as long.

I'm not sure what to expect from our Brave New World of buses, but I do know one thing - cheaper it may be, but it is not a satisfactory substitute for light rail.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 26, 2017, 11:12:39 pm
I think the double-decker bit might be a mistake, I don't believe that they will fit under the Ashton Ave bridge, unless they are a modern twist on the Lodekka

I have read in Another Place that Ashton Avenue bridge is too low for double deckers by a factor or 80mm.

After my fleeting excursion into the Far East (:D) as far as I can see the Cambridge guided busway and the Metrobus scheme are not comparable. Taking over a dead-straight railway bed through the countryside is one thing but the meanderings around and through an urban area of the Greater Bristol scheme, even allowing for some reserved roads, is it's own Creature (as per Ms Shelley's usage in her novel).

A point I have been making for several years. Cambridge's BRT is 16 miles long in two guided sections, although that hasn't prevented at least 5 serious accidents, including one fatality. It connects the city centre and science park with a couple of centres of population. Bristol's MetroBust is largely unguided (and definitely misguided), with the guided bit being 2.4 miles in 9 separate bits, with no possibility of any extension. That must make it the shortest guided busway in the world. It connects a park and ride that previously needed a subsidy of £700,000 pa, going to near Temple Meads (5 minutes walk for a fit person) via a circuitous route taking in a housing estate that has enough elderly and disabled residents to bump up the BCR a bit.

Quote
I'm not sure what to expect from our Brave New World of buses, but I do know one thing - cheaper it may be, but it is not a satisfactory substitute for light rail.

Hear hear! Opportunity missed.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 29, 2017, 01:41:01 am

... the Lodekka

Pint?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Noggin on June 29, 2017, 10:00:56 am
Quote
I'm not sure what to expect from our Brave New World of buses, but I do know one thing - cheaper it may be, but it is not a satisfactory substitute for light rail.

Indeed, and to a large extent I believe that's down to the DfT only offering money for BRT


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on June 29, 2017, 11:33:04 am
Quote
I'm not sure what to expect from our Brave New World of buses, but I do know one thing - cheaper it may be, but it is not a satisfactory substitute for light rail.

Indeed, and to a large extent I believe that's down to the DfT only offering money for BRT

It could be argued that Metrobust is a punishment for earlier squabbling and the subsequent failure to secure the tram funding ten or so years ago.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on June 29, 2017, 12:55:31 pm
Put the blame fairly and squarely on Lady Dawn Primarolo who scuppered Richard Cotterill's ATA plans 20 years earlier.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on July 06, 2017, 04:57:09 pm
Cost increase and resignation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-40512758


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on July 06, 2017, 07:23:56 pm
It could be argued that Metrobust is a punishment for earlier squabbling and the subsequent failure to secure the tram funding ten or so years ago.

It has indeed been argued! One of my favourite theories.

Cost increase and resignation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-40512758

Quote
Chris Sane left South Gloucestershire Council days before it emerged the cost of building the North Fringe to Hengrove route had risen £4.6m since November.

The only Sane man amongst them. I hope his is not the only head to roll.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on July 06, 2017, 07:27:03 pm
Cost increase and resignation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-40512758

Hey ho. They're still nowhere near matching the Edinburgh Trams Debacle (http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/transport/who-will-pay-for-trams-debacle-calls-for-inquiry-1-3426443)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on July 06, 2017, 08:22:36 pm
Hey ho. They're still nowhere near matching the Edinburgh Trams Debacle (http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/transport/who-will-pay-for-trams-debacle-calls-for-inquiry-1-3426443)

Yes, but note from Wikipedia

Quote
In its first year of operation 4.92 million passengers travelled on the system.This increased to 5.38 million in its second year of operation. This is 6.7% greater than the target set before the system's launch.

During 2014 Edinburgh Trams lost almost £450,000, though this was less than expected due to higher than predicted passenger numbers. In 2015 losses were down to £24,922. In June 2017 it was announced that Edinburgh Trams made a pre-tax profit of £252,000 for 2016. A loss of £170,000 had been predicted. This meant that Edinburgh Trams had achieved profitability two years ahead of schedule.

So although we have seen multiple delays and overruns on the Metrobus, is there still not a chance when it's up and running people will love the smooth ride of the railed vehicles and flock to it in significant numbers ...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on July 06, 2017, 10:16:37 pm
This meant that Edinburgh Trams had achieved profitability two years ahead of schedule.

So although we have seen multiple delays and overruns on the Metrobus, is there still not a chance when it's up and running people will love the smooth ride of the railed vehicles and flock to it in significant numbers ...

Ha ha! I read in Railnews  (https://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2017/06/14-tram-passengers-give-thumbs-up.html)only today that tram passengers are more satisfied with their experience than bus or train pax, and that Edinburgh passengers reported 99% satisfaction with the service, the best figure in the UK. I can but imagine what a reception MetroBust will get by comparison when it eventually arrives.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on July 07, 2017, 09:09:58 am
Hey ho. They're still nowhere near matching the Edinburgh Trams Debacle (http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/transport/who-will-pay-for-trams-debacle-calls-for-inquiry-1-3426443)

Yes, but note from Wikipedia

Quote
In its first year of operation 4.92 million passengers travelled on the system.This increased to 5.38 million in its second year of operation. This is 6.7% greater than the target set before the system's launch.

During 2014 Edinburgh Trams lost almost £450,000, though this was less than expected due to higher than predicted passenger numbers. In 2015 losses were down to £24,922. In June 2017 it was announced that Edinburgh Trams made a pre-tax profit of £252,000 for 2016. A loss of £170,000 had been predicted. This meant that Edinburgh Trams had achieved profitability two years ahead of schedule.

So although we have seen multiple delays and overruns on the Metrobus, is there still not a chance when it's up and running people will love the smooth ride of the railed vehicles and flock to it in significant numbers ...

Well yes. I suppose the key difference is that the Edinburgh Trams Debacle resulted in - well, trams.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on July 07, 2017, 09:16:28 am

Well yes. I suppose the key difference is that the Edinburgh Trams Debacle resulted in - well, trams.

Aye, and there's the rub.

I still reckon Comical Ali and the rest of the propaganda crew at MetroBust will come up with even better figures. South Gloucestershire were describing it as "the already successful MetroBust" system 6 months ago. I wrote in response asking how they measured that success - was it in buses running per hour (none), passengers carried (none), or operators appointed (you guessed it - none). Or whether it was in timeliness of the project (3 years late by one measure) or the keeping to budget (50% overspend).

I haven't heard back yet.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on July 07, 2017, 10:24:17 am
The Metrobus overspend is almost totally within SGC, due in part to the two years of chaos in Bradley Stoke due to Gas and Water mains being at the wrong depth.

The road system in Bradley Stoke is still not back to normal with continued restrictions to Aztec West and Winterbourne!



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on July 07, 2017, 10:59:27 am
I thought the roadworks around Aztec West were part of the measures to reduce the "pinch point" at the A38/M5 junction?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on July 07, 2017, 11:20:16 am
Yes, this is about the 4th set of major upgrades over the past 10 years to improve the roundabout. Its odd that the all the previous ones have reduced capacity by adding confusing lane markings and signs.

One of the roads on Aztec West roundabout, Bradley Stoke Way has endured roadworks, lane restrictions, surface mounted water and gas pipes for over two years due to MetroBus, and still has restrictions. These may apply until the Aztech West roundabout is complete.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on July 07, 2017, 03:32:31 pm
The Metrobus overspend is almost totally within SGC, due in part to the two years of chaos in Bradley Stoke due to Gas and Water mains being at the wrong depth.

The Ashton Vale to Somewhere Not Far From Temple Meads route had significant overruns. Ashton Avenue Bridge alone used up the entire estimate for bridge works. Usual scenario - "I know we said £1.5 million, but now we've started looking at it properly..."

The South Bristol Link Road did cost a bit more than the original estimate, but not a huge amount, unless costs have been hidden elsewhere.

The work to return the City Centre to something approaching one of its previous layouts has been such a mess that I reckon the final tab will be well over the initial quote, but we'll see. That part should have done some good, but it looks as though some of the benefit has already been lost by the rerouting of some of the buses because they can't turn left into Baldwin Street.

I wonder if Mr Sane has gone whilst his CV is still worth something. If it continues to get worse, and if passenger numbers are low if and when it opens, MetroBust might be the last thing any professional wants to be associated with.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on July 13, 2017, 04:27:24 pm

The Ashton Vale to Somewhere Not Far From Temple Meads route...


In the consultation phase of the Temple Circus Gyratory proposal, the South West Transport Network (who they?) observed:

Quote
The MetroBus bus stop is too far away from the main station platforms. Not enough bus lanes on Temple Way or Temple Gate and there is inadequate interchange for city bus services to the city centre, bus station, Stockwood, Brislington, Bath and Wells, Glastonbury and Street.

Bristol City Council's response was:

Quote
In the new design we have created a new bus stop area for the MetroBus, which is significantly closer to the station and is in direct line of sight of the proposed new entrance to Temple Meads via the Friary. We have examined the options to bring the MetroBus stop closer still, utilising space on the Friary. However, crossing the southbound carriageway adds significant time to the bus’s schedule which compromises the schedule’s ability to make time savings for passengers. This would also be likely to adversely impact the network.

Odd, isn't it? If MetroBus had been a tram, it would presumably have been given some sort of priority crossing to get it over Victoria Street and into the new transport interchange on Plot 6. Except it isn't, and Plot 6 looks like it'll be a shopping centre.

Oh, and I like the bit about the new bus stop being 'in direct line of sight of the proposed new entrance to Temple Meads'. Presumably it will also be in direct line of sight of the Moon, on a clear night, which is just as useful if you have heavy bags to carry.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on July 16, 2017, 10:14:51 am

The Ashton Vale to Somewhere Not Far From Temple Meads route...


In the consultation phase of the Temple Circus Gyratory proposal, the South West Transport Network (who they?) observed:

Who they indeed? Good question. South West Transport Network (SWTN) seems to be a loose alliance of exasperated and frustrated members of the public who do not think that public transport is being taken seriously by the various councils and by the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the unelected unaccountable oligarchy that loves to sign other peoples' cheques. In the Bristol Area, SWTN's collective view is often expressed by the indomitable Dave Redgewell (speaking in a personal capacity) with passion, if not always grammatical accuracy. I think I went to a meeting they arranged once, and if I sounded a little patronising above, then I am happy to recognise the knowledge and vision of those present to whom I spoke. Though not subject to the financial constraints imposed upon the professionals, I would say that they knew what they were talking about. The ideas of many coincided with my own in several areas - not that I consider myself a visionary.  They also spotted the obvious defects built into MetroBust, including quite a few I hadn't noticed. At least they got it together to hire a room and hold a meeting.

MetroBust, along with the LEP, has shown itself adept at ignoring the views of individuals when "consulting" them (meaning telling them what they are doing then asking why they agree with it), but that is not good enough. They need to have representative bodies to express collective views that they can ignore, and to them, this appears to be the prime purpose of SWTN.

Quote
Quote
The MetroBus bus stop is too far away from the main station platforms. Not enough bus lanes on Temple Way or Temple Gate and there is inadequate interchange for city bus services to the city centre, bus station, Stockwood, Brislington, Bath and Wells, Glastonbury and Street.

Bristol City Council's response was:

Quote
In the new design we have created a new bus stop area for the MetroBus, which is significantly closer to the station and is in direct line of sight of the proposed new entrance to Temple Meads via the Friary. We have examined the options to bring the MetroBus stop closer still, utilising space on the Friary. However, crossing the southbound carriageway adds significant time to the bus’s schedule which compromises the schedule’s ability to make time savings for passengers. This would also be likely to adversely impact the network.

Odd, isn't it? If MetroBus had been a tram, it would presumably have been given some sort of priority crossing to get it over Victoria Street and into the new transport interchange on Plot 6. Except it isn't, and Plot 6 looks like it'll be a shopping centre.

Oh, and I like the bit about the new bus stop being 'in direct line of sight of the proposed new entrance to Temple Meads'. Presumably it will also be in direct line of sight of the Moon, on a clear night, which is just as useful if you have heavy bags to carry.

Hear hear! This is supposed to be integrated transport, something that will not be achieved by mere sophistry. My route to Temple Meads begins* with a "three stop hop" from Arnos Vale, surely the best value ride in Bristol, on the number 1 or X39 or whatever. I then have to cross the road and ascend the station approach - no great hardship when in plenty of time and unencumbered, but a real faff on a rainy day with suitcases and the clock moving forward at an unnatural pace. Never mind that you can see the (as yet unbuilt) new entrance to the station with a reasonable pair of binoculars as you get off the (as yet un-running) MetroBust, it will still be around 200 metres further away from my current stop from either the existing or the proposed entrance. Is it arrogance, incompetence or mission creep that leads to the jaw-dropper of a statement:

Quote
However, crossing the southbound carriageway adds significant time to the bus’s schedule which compromises the schedule’s ability to make time savings for passengers. This would also be likely to adversely impact the network.

If the mountain won't come to Muhammad, then Muhammad had better catch MetroBust and walk the rest of the way. Sod the bus - crossing the southbound carriageway adds significant time to the pedestrian's journey. The plan should be to disgorge the happy passengers by a covered walkway to the platforms, closer than one can get by any other means. Any other option for getting people to a major public transport terminus is utterly ridiculous. Do they not recognise the irony of adding to peoples' walking distance, and therefore costing them time, so that they can safeguard:

Quote
...the schedule’s ability to make time savings for passengers
??? Shades of Jim Hacker in "Yes Minister", and the saga of the hospital that was Britain's most efficient until it started admitting patients.

The convoluted route of MetroBust, designed to tick boxes rather than meet passenger needs, is the problem. There is little point in getting to Temple Way from Ashton Vale in 17 minutes if it takes a further 17 minutes to get to the station.

The point about trams having priority is well made, and is far from pure theory. All the tram systems operating in Britain, with the possible exception of Seaton, have built in priority over other vehicles where their routes cross. Even in the bustling commercial centre that is the 12 miles between Starr Gate, Blackpool, and Fleetwood is this obvious. As the tram moves away from Cleveleys tram stop, to pick one of many examples where road and tramway cross away from the central section, the traffic lights change in its favour, and the tram signal changes to allow it to proceed across a busy junction without having to stop. Normal business for road traffic is resumed with such little delay as to inconvenience nobody.

The walk from Blackpool North to the tram stop, incidentally, is a little further than that from bus stop to Temple Meads entrance, but still results in a quicker journey than using the bus. I had a word with someone, and the council has now agreed to rebuild the tram line up Talbot Road to the station for me.

*(Only until 11 August)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: trainer on July 16, 2017, 10:52:59 pm
There is little point in getting to Temple Way from Ashton Vale in 17 minutes if it takes a further 17 minutes to get to the station.

I suppose we could always press for a bus service between the metrobus stop and somewhere people would like to go.   ::) 

No-one with luggage or with restricted walking ability will find such a distance to the railway station encouraging the use of the new bus.  I hope they're not going to stop the other buses going up the ramp.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on July 17, 2017, 10:55:14 am
Hear hear! This is supposed to be integrated transport, something that will not be achieved by mere sophistry. My route to Temple Meads begins* with a "three stop hop" from Arnos Vale, surely the best value ride in Bristol, on the number 1 or X39 or whatever. I then have to cross the road and ascend the station approach - no great hardship when in plenty of time and unencumbered, but a real faff on a rainy day with suitcases and the clock moving forward at an unnatural pace. Never mind that you can see the (as yet unbuilt) new entrance to the station with a reasonable pair of binoculars as you get off the (as yet un-running) MetroBust, it will still be around 200 metres further away from my current stop from either the existing or the proposed entrance. Is it arrogance, incompetence or mission creep that leads to the jaw-dropper of a statement:

Quote
However, crossing the southbound carriageway adds significant time to the bus’s schedule which compromises the schedule’s ability to make time savings for passengers. This would also be likely to adversely impact the network.

If the mountain won't come to Muhammad, then Muhammad had better catch MetroBust and walk the rest of the way. Sod the bus - crossing the southbound carriageway adds significant time to the pedestrian's journey. The plan should be to disgorge the happy passengers by a covered walkway to the platforms, closer than one can get by any other means. Any other option for getting people to a major public transport terminus is utterly ridiculous. Do they not recognise the irony of adding to peoples' walking distance, and therefore costing them time, so that they can safeguard:

Quote
...the schedule’s ability to make time savings for passengers
??? Shades of Jim Hacker in "Yes Minister", and the saga of the hospital that was Britain's most efficient until it started admitting patients.
I think it's all three of arrogance, incompetence and mission creep, along with another factor you've hinted at in the rest of what I've quoted: thinking of "journey times" in terms of "vehicle times", regardless of whether the vehicle is a bus, tram, train, car or anything else, totally ignoring the fact that it's people making the journey, not a vehicle for its own vehicular sake.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on July 17, 2017, 11:36:19 am
The pachyderm in the piano nobile here is that buses and trains have not had the highest priority in the redesign of the woeful Temple Circus Gyratory. The stated aims of the project are:

  • A more direct road layout and changes to access;
  • More space for people: high quality pedestrian and cycle routes;
  • Better public transport facilities and information;
  • Space for new buildings and public space.

That 'Better public transport facilities' should be third on the list is astonishing given the proximity of the scheme to the most important public transport hub in the city. And a cynic might think that 'space for new buildings and public space', an easily-sold revenue-raising element, may actually have held more sway that its position on the list suggests.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on July 17, 2017, 06:52:40 pm
No-one with luggage or with restricted walking ability will find such a distance to the railway station encouraging the use of the new bus.  I hope they're not going to stop the other buses going up the ramp.


Taxis will be going to the new entrance - I'm not sure about buses. At present, the approach has stops for the 8/9, 70/72/73, hospital free bus, and the only one that doesn't terminate there, the airport bus A1. That last is particularly significant, as it is designed to link the railway station with another major transport hub - the airport. It will use the AVTM route for some of its services, but does not shrink from the challenge of crossing the southern carriageway on its inbound journey!

And a cynic might think that 'space for new buildings and public space', an easily-sold revenue-raising element, may actually have held more sway that its position on the list suggests.

You can see, by reference to history, what may happen in years to come. A future government realises that trams aren't such a bad idea after all, and encourages their use to link major railway stations to areas of employment and housing. Cities and major towns across the land rejoice and start building. Bristol says "If only we hadn't built New Broadmead on Plot 6, there would have been room for trams, and we wouldn't have all these dingy charity shops and nail salons to keep clear of tumbleweeds. It's a shame MetroBust didn't work out, but the executions were fun."


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on August 01, 2017, 10:45:44 pm
Not sure what to conclude about this.

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-platforms-dangerous-says-cyclist-262655


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on August 01, 2017, 11:42:34 pm
Not sure what to conclude about this.

Firstly, it's a lovely cop-out by MetroBust.

Quote
...additional care needs to be taken wherever construction work is taking place.

That won't wash in court - construction works should be done in a way that doesn't put other people at risk. It's a bit rich coming from a council that boasts its cyclist friendly credentials at any opportunity. Not that it will end up in court. If the unfortunate Ms Todd engages the services of one of those ambulance chasing firms you see advertised on daytime TV if you are stuck at home because of a double fracture of the collarbone, there will be a settlement on the steps of the court. "Don't worry, Maisie, sorry Mary, we'll sue the blighters for what is legally mine. I mean yours." They will then pass the bill to their contractors. If they want to be awkward, Bristol City Council could deny responsibility because their contractors were at fault, or was it MetroBust who owe the duty of care?

Quote
“I was on the ground before I knew what had happened. It was like the wheel had got caught in a tramline, it was so dangerous,” she said.

That happened to me on my Honda 50 in about 1973, in Lord Street, Fleetwood. Fortunately, I wasn't going fast, and the event was almost gradual, meaning that I did not suffer, as poor Mary suffered, what physicists call "a rapid decrease in potential energy". I did, however, suffer indignity and humiliation, saved only by my crash helmet, as shoppers in Flootweed's main shopping street enjoyed the sight of me trying to liberate my rusty steed from the rail. I also had a tram driver blast the horn at me, someone whom I recognised as a former schoolmate! I saw him a few months later and remonstrated, but he said he had recognised me and the bike, and we laughed it off over a number of those pints. (Boddingtons, IIRC, which might not be the case, when it was still good.)

As an aside, now I have recalled the situation, that driver and his brother were probably the most highly qualified tram driver and tram conductor in Blackpool, if not the world. They were two of about 11 children born to a family of Irish descent of modest means living in a village "over Wyre" as they say, meaning on the opposite side of the Wyre estuary from Fleetwood. Neither looked like an assiduous scholar at my Catholic grammar school, probably because they wore the uniform of the brother above, but boy, did they learn! We'll call them John and Jim. John started as a holiday job conductor on the trams, then learned to drive them. Jim followed in his footsteps. John eventually obtained a MSc from a Cambridge university, whereas Jim went down the arts route, obtaining a first class degree in French, Italian, and at least one other European language. Both decided to hang on for the right job and working the trams in the meantime. Jim vanished first, taking a position with the EU in Brussels, John followed soon after with a transition to a leading multi-national civil engineering company, and I have heard from neither since. Third parties tell me that both, and most of their siblings, have done far better than I have.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: PhilWakely on August 09, 2017, 08:28:56 pm
Not sure whether this is old news?
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-40865108)
Quote
Bristol MetroBus costs rise £10m to hit £230m
(https://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/660/cpsprodpb/5222/production/_96562012_6.-ashton-avenue-swing-bridge-and-a-bond.jpg)
The Ashton Avenue swing bridge makes up part of the MetroBus route through south Bristol

The cost of building Bristol's MetroBus network has gone up by almost 5% in a year to £230m, the city council has revealed.
Initially estimated to cost £190m in 2015, the bill has risen a further £10m from £220m since November, a report to cabinet says.

Contractor costs, design changes and contaminated land disposal are cited as key reasons for the rise.
Extra borrowing and "additional parking income" will make up the shortfall.

The report says the overall cost for the controversial public transport scheme has gone up to £230.496m from £220m since November 2016.

The majority of the overspend relates to the Ashton Vale to Temple Meads section - one of three parts of the overall system.

(https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/23D9/production/_87277190_editmetrobus-artisticimpressionsouthbristolhospitalhengrove2.jpg)
Costs for the 'rapid transit' bus scheme are shared by councils in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

Bristol will have to find £6.8m to pay for its share of the overspend, but the report says it will need to "stop certain schemes" and redirect funding/borrowing from other projects.

South Gloucestershire and North Somerset councils will pay £3.47m and £0.46m respectively for their share.

The report adds council officials will ensure "cost pressures for the programme are scrutinised and challenged and the programme is delivered as economically beneficial as possible".

The latest cost hike comes after neighbouring South Gloucestershire Council said its highways maintenance budget will need to be raided for 10 years to pay for cost overruns on the Metrobus's North Fringe to Hengrove route.

Extra costs including the removal of protesters from trees in Stapleton Road allotments and additional security measures were blamed for the overall bill rising to £216m last year.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on August 09, 2017, 09:09:31 pm
Not sure whether this is old news?
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-40865108)
Quote
Bristol MetroBus costs rise £10m to hit £230m
(https://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/660/cpsprodpb/5222/production/_96562012_6.-ashton-avenue-swing-bridge-and-a-bond.jpg)
The Ashton Avenue swing bridge makes up part of the MetroBus route through south Bristol

Is this still there?

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/apr12where2.jpg)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 09, 2017, 09:45:15 pm
Not sure whether this is old news?
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-40865108)
Quote
Bristol MetroBus costs rise £10m to hit £230m
(https://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/660/cpsprodpb/5222/production/_96562012_6.-ashton-avenue-swing-bridge-and-a-bond.jpg)
The Ashton Avenue swing bridge makes up part of the MetroBus route through south Bristol

Is this still there?

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/apr12where2.jpg)

Nope. Looked like this a few months ago:

(https://zemblanity.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/20170311_120851-e1489671826397.jpg)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on August 09, 2017, 10:06:11 pm
Is this still there?
Nope. Looked like this a few months ago:

That looks like rails are being replaced by a road.  Couldn't happen anywhere that's been a European Green Capital, surely?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 09, 2017, 11:22:01 pm
Is this still there?
Nope. Looked like this a few months ago:

That looks like rails are being replaced by a road.  Couldn't happen anywhere that's been a European Green Capital, surely?

That's not a road, it's a bus - um - lane. 

They've built a nice new cycle track under the bridge, leading towards Underfall Yard. Should be handy. Not all bad, see.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on August 10, 2017, 01:19:15 pm
The nice new cycle track that's in the same place as the nice old cycle track, the one that used to connect with the Pill Path along the river and the path out towards Long Ashton but now doesn't. At least, not directly. However, there is an amusing road sign at the start of the guided section the other end of the bridge, saying "Car trap".


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 10, 2017, 02:09:45 pm
The nice new cycle track that's in the same place as the nice old cycle track, the one that used to connect with the Pill Path along the river and the path out towards Long Ashton but now doesn't. At least, not directly. However, there is an amusing road sign at the start of the guided section the other end of the bridge, saying "Car trap".

No, you're referring to the nice old cycle track. The nice new one goes under the Cumberland Road bridge (hence my use of the phrase 'under the bridge' ) and emerges more or less opposite the entrance to Underfall Yard. Here's how it looked on Google Street View in April 2017:

https://goo.gl/maps/yUHQBUZd1fq


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on August 21, 2017, 09:22:14 pm
The more I hear about this Metrobust thing......

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/strip-bristol-river-bank-cost-348042


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 21, 2017, 10:52:08 pm
The more I hear about this Metrobust thing......

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/strip-bristol-river-bank-cost-348042

Interesting to see how George Ferguson's efforts to save us from having buses run through a museum are portrayed as a cockup...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on August 21, 2017, 11:06:37 pm
The more I hear about this Metrobust thing......

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/strip-bristol-river-bank-cost-348042

Interesting to see how George Ferguson's efforts to save us from having buses run through a museum are portrayed as a cockup...

Indeed, it is one of the few redeeming factors of this shambles. I have my reservations about his time in office but that decision was a correct one. The consequential execution of the revised route has been very much in the standard Metrobust mould though.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on August 21, 2017, 11:18:13 pm
Run through which museum? But if Bathurst Basin bridge is too narrow, how could anyone have though the buses could run over Prince St Bridge. In fact, how could anyone have thought that anyway?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 21, 2017, 11:31:27 pm
Run through which museum?

The M Shed complex.

But if Bathurst Basin bridge is too narrow, how could anyone have though the buses could run over Prince St Bridge. In fact, how could anyone have thought that anyway?

I'm not an expert on mental health, but you could do a bit of googling to see who was in charge of transport in Bristol when the MetroBus bid was submitted. Sept 9 2011 is the key date, incidentally - that'll be just over a year before George Ferguson came to office, if anyone cares about facts anymore.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on August 21, 2017, 11:34:30 pm
When I was a child to get to my aunts in Blagdon the bus departed from Prince Street. I remember when we sat at the front of the bus looking through the window into the drivers cab a notice on the duty card holder in the cab of newer buses which said 'THIS BUS IS n FOOT 6 INCHES WIDE DO NOT USE PRINCE STREET BRIDGE WITH THIS BUS'. There were iron billets positioned vertically each side of the bridge on the approaches to it to stop vehicles wider than the bridge carriageways attempting to cross the bridge. Those billets are still there to this day although they are painted white with red bands of paint around them.

When I heard that this was the intended route of Metrobust at its inception I thought to myself, never, the bridge isn't wide enough for todays modern buses.

After a repair job estimated to take 3 months the bridge reopened earlier in the summer after that 3 month repair job lasting 2 1/2 years, mind you the bridge looks lovely with its cream and brown paintwork and its operational as well having been on the bridge the Thursday before last when the klaxon started as we were crossing it so we sat in the area by the tea / coffee stall on the Prince Street side of the bridge, had a tea and let my two great nieces, 4 1/2 and 2 in two weeks time. watch the bridge open and close, according to my 4 1/2 year old the spectacle was amazing.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on August 22, 2017, 07:53:23 pm
The more I hear about this Metrobust thing......

..... the more I feel vindicated.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on August 22, 2017, 08:01:49 pm
The nice new cycle track that's in the same place as the nice old cycle track, the one that used to connect with the Pill Path along the river and the path out towards Long Ashton but now doesn't. At least, not directly. However, there is an amusing road sign at the start of the guided section the other end of the bridge, saying "Car trap".

No, you're referring to the nice old cycle track. The nice new one goes under the Cumberland Road bridge (hence my use of the phrase 'under the bridge' ) and emerges more or less opposite the entrance to Underfall Yard. Here's how it looked on Google Street View in April 2017:

https://goo.gl/maps/yUHQBUZd1fq
I wasn't aware of that at all, so it's good to be alerted to it.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on September 10, 2017, 01:53:34 pm
And as Metrobus build draws to an end ... rumours of more routes.

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-one-step-closer-four-448460 (http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-one-step-closer-four-448460)

So, as the plan stands as

  • Ashton Vale - Temple Meads
  • North Fringe - Hengrove
  • South Bristol Link
  • Cribbs Patchway Metrobus Extension
  • Keynsham
  • Yate
  • Thornbury
  • Bristol Orbital

The first three are nearly done, how much longer, and chaos for the next five?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on September 11, 2017, 07:53:48 pm
And as Metrobus build draws to an end ... rumours of more routes.

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-one-step-closer-four-448460 (http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-one-step-closer-four-448460)

So, as the plan stands as

  • Ashton Vale - Temple Meads
  • North Fringe - Hengrove
  • South Bristol Link
  • Cribbs Patchway Metrobus Extension
  • Keynsham
  • Yate
  • Thornbury
  • Bristol Orbital

The first three are nearly done, how much longer, and chaos for the next five?

"Bristol Orbital" has, like a lot of the MetroBust propaganda, something of the space cadet about it.

Where else in the world but the West of England would you see plans for the expansion of something that hasn't even been built as yet? Especially when the first three routes are three years late and costing the local councils an extra £50 million that they don't have? Then there is the question of why routes - Keynsham and Yate - should be built in competition with the railways. Plus what route will the Clevedon service follow that the existing bus service doesn't follow already?

Hopefully, this time DafT will spot the dodgy business cases for the routes, and won't be put off by a chancellor needing a cheap "good news" story to throw into an austerity budget.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 27, 2017, 07:23:37 pm
From the Bristol Post (http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-metrobus-likely-delayed-until-539623):

Quote
Bristol MetroBus ‘likely’ to be delayed until 2018 because ticket machines are not ready

The new MetroBus service was originally set to launch in the autumn

The launch of Bristol's £230million MetroBus project is ‘likely’ to be delayed until 2018, transport bosses have admitted.

The bus service – which was due to launch this autumn – has been pushed back due to delays in the production of 'iPoint' ticket machines.

First approved in 2006, the MetroBus scheme has caused major disruption in Bristol and has been the cause of constant complaints. Even Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees has hinted that he wishes the rapid transport system hadn’t been given the go-ahead.

Unlike traditional bus services, all passengers will be required to buy tickets from an iPoint before boarding a MetroBus. The production of the machines is therefore vital for the launch of the service.

At least 79 iPoints will need to be installed before the first MetroBus can run. Alongside tickets, the iPoints will display real-time information about upcoming services, an emergency help button and map of MetroBus stops on the route.

But the machines are still being made and have to undergo more than 120 tests before they can be rolled out.

A MetroBus spokesman said: "Once the iPoints are installed and working, MetroBus services will start. This is likely to be in the new year."

Bristol City Council cabinet member for transport, Mhairi Threlfall, said: “These innovative information points are a vital part of the way MetroBus works. Passengers must have a valid ticket before boarding the MetroBus and these iPoints can sell single journey tickets, top up and sell smartcards. All this reduces waiting time at stops, making MetroBus faster and more reliable.”

Executive member for planning transport and strategic environment at South Gloucestershire Council, Colin Hunt, added: “It is important that all the different parts of these MetroBus information points – the ticketing, the real time bus information and the journey planners – are dependable, robust and work in all weathers and temperatures. We have to get it right before we can start installing them on the streets. I have seen a mock up, and they are very impressive.”

MetroBus is a joint project between Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset councils. Originally costed at £200million, the scheme is currently running £30million over budget.

(http://i1.bristolpost.co.uk/incoming/article223255.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/MetroBus-map.png)
A map of the current MetroBus routes

The first phase of the scheme will see three new rapid-transit bus routes to link Cribbs Causeway, Emersons Green and Hengrove, via Bristol city centre.

The MetroBus team always planned a staggered launch of the three routes, with the Cribbs Causeway and Emersons Green services scheduled to start next year.

Although the first phase of the project is not yet complete, the West of England Combined Authority – which is made up of Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset councils and Metro Mayor, Tim Bowles – have approved investigative reports for four new MetroBus routes,

The new routes up for consideration include services to Keynsham, Yate, Thornbury and an orbital route around the outskirts of Bristol.

Managing director of First West of England, James Freeman, – the company which will operate the first MetroBus route between Hengrove and Bristol city centre – said the launch should be delayed until after Christmas if the bus routes are not be ready by December. He said: "We are ready to launch. Obviously we're not the ones deciding when to start running MetroBus, but it does not make sense to launch MetroBus in December. If, for whatever reason, we can't start MetroBus in November, our advice is to wait until after Christmas and start in January.”




Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on September 27, 2017, 07:40:23 pm
From the Bristol Post (http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-metrobus-likely-delayed-until-539623):

Quote
Unlike traditional bus services, all passengers will be required to buy tickets from an iPoint before boarding a MetroBus. The production of the machines is therefore vital for the launch of the service.

At least 79 iPoints will need to be installed before the first MetroBus can run


I don't get that.  The Dublin Luas was launched with free travel for the first week or two, and that encourage people to try it out and get into the habit of using it - helped lead to a rapid ramp-up of use, and helped people get use to the system in phases - riding the tram first, and working the ticket machines second ... rather than a big logjam as people  struggled with two new things at once.

Why not let people travel for free until the ticket machines are working?   Help with the uptake, and help encourage the people putting the ticket system together to get their fingers out!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on September 27, 2017, 07:59:14 pm
How are the tickets to be priced? Especially, will you have to know exactly where you're going before buying a ticket or will it be a simple system, like fixed price or large zones?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 27, 2017, 08:18:35 pm
How are the tickets to be priced? Especially, will you have to know exactly where you're going before buying a ticket or will it be a simple system, like fixed price or large zones?

Quote

The partnership agreement sets out the maximum fare levels for a single journey that the operators can charge. These are:

Up 3 miles: Adults £1.50 Children £0.75
3 to 6 miles: Adults £2.50 Children £1.25
Over 6 miles: Adults £3.50 Children £1.75
Concessionary travelcards will be accepted on all MetroBus services.
The actual ticket prices will set by the operators and this will be announced when final negotiation have ended.

Source: https://travelwest.info/metrobus/all-you-need-to-know


So I imagine that means the fares will be:

Up 3 miles: Adults £1.50 Children £0.75
3 to 6 miles: Adults £2.50 Children £1.25
Over 6 miles: Adults £3.50 Children £1.75


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 27, 2017, 08:26:47 pm
So, looking at some of the rather convoluted routes illustrated in that map, is that mileage determined 'as the crow flies', or by distance actually travelled along the route?



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on September 27, 2017, 08:33:22 pm
Surely they could create a mobile found app to cost £4 for all day bus travel that covers these buses, link it to Apple or Android pay and only take a max of £4 per day, even if the app is used 5 times a day.

Failing that that, a pre-pay day card.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on September 27, 2017, 08:33:52 pm
And how, when buying a ticket, are you supposed to know whether your journey will be 2.9 miles or 3.1? Even supposing the route v crow flies question is made clear to the public.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 27, 2017, 08:36:52 pm
That was rather the point I was trying to make.  ;)



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on September 27, 2017, 10:25:04 pm
Forget the idea of buying individual tickets.

The choice offered should be a single ticket to cover all local bus journeys on a given day, say 0400->0359, or chip and pin scan on/off buses up to the max of the day charge. TfL has the technology, given them a call and it could be deployed fast.

Loads of organisations now off 'free' pre-paid debit cards, for example Monzo, so there is no reason this cannot be done fast, and forget the Ticket points at bus stops.

In this day and age there are loads of solutions, phone apps, pre-paid day tickets and debit card scan on/off.

Choosing a static Ticket Point at bus stop, open to weather and abuse, with complicated ticket rules and queues to use when the bus arrives is just a bad idea.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 27, 2017, 10:40:38 pm
That'll be why they chose it for MetroBus, then.  ::)



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on September 28, 2017, 09:37:45 am
It should be quite easy to give distances between stops on a display at the ticket machines, as is done in some places where tickets are determined by distance or time. Just a list of stops from that ticket point, or rather three lists, up to 3 miles, up to 6 miles, over 6. Or a diagrammatic line with the relevant distances marked, a bit like in a tube train.

Are passengers going to be expected to present their tickets to the driver on boarding? Dwell times...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on September 28, 2017, 11:39:40 am
Another issue with Travel Points, if 10+ arrive a minute before the bus does, thanks the Bus app telling them the due time, if the bus driver supposed to wait the extra minutes for several people to enter ther route details use bank card, typing in pass key 2 times, and waiting for card validation, etc.

I cannot help but conclude that the planners for Metrobus do not use Public Transport.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on September 28, 2017, 12:14:27 pm
That doesn't tend to happen in other places (that I've been) using ticket machines. You buy whenever is convenient for you and validate your ticket on boarding.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Noggin on September 28, 2017, 03:41:25 pm
That doesn't tend to happen in other places (that I've been) using ticket machines. You buy whenever is convenient for you and validate your ticket on boarding.

Supposed to be like a tram on tyres innit?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on September 28, 2017, 04:40:59 pm
Supposed to be like a tram on tyres innit?

The only thing we can say with any confidence is that MetroBust, if and when it finally arrives, will look nothing like the pictures in the original propaganda leaflets to support the "consultation". ("This is what we are doing. Please say why you agree with it.") There will never be a "bendybus" with the wheels cleverly covered so that everybody thinks it's a tram standing outside the Arnolfini. We are getting a couple of new roads, some bus lanes, and some new gas powered buses like the 110 other buses that First are ordering for general use throughout the city. It will not be a "tram-like experience on state-of-the-art vehicles using mainly segregated routes" but a bus-like bus, diesel for 2 years, on a road-like road in the main.

First have said they will order 30 (not sure if that is 30 more or 30 of the 110) to run on the MetroBust routes. They have undertaken to operate only the Ashton Vale to (somewhere near) Temple Meads (AVTM) so far. That has a total of 19 stops including the one-directional City Centre loop, and a total round trip journey time from Long Ashton Park and Ride to Long Ashton Park and Ride of around 45 minutes, according to the flawed studies. That gives a headway of 90 seconds, or a bus at every bus stop, with 11 stops having two buses. You would probably need 120 drivers, plus support, to provide such a service. First were envisaging 3 buses per hour to begin with, which certainly won't need 30 buses. Are they, by any chance, expecting to bag at least one of the other two routes, but haven't told us yet?

So, looking at some of the rather convoluted routes illustrated in that map, is that mileage determined 'as the crow flies', or by distance actually travelled along the route?

The routes are convoluted in order to pass close to as many "disadvantaged" people as possible, be they elderly, infirm, unemployed, or just plain old down on their luck. That helped to inflate the benefit-cost ratio (BCR) as calculated by Webtag to just above the magic number 2, with a bit of creative arithmetic. MetroBust is a box-ticking exercise, remember, not a serious public transport option. What CfN asks may be an unintended consequence of this. From the Patchway stop at the end of Highwood Road to Bristol Parkway is comfortably under three miles by the direct route. But go via Aztec West, using the MetroBust route, and it is almost 3½ miles. If the "crow flies" standard is adopted, it would be cheaper to go further. 

Similarly, the distance from the Long Ashton Park and Ride to Anchor Road (the most popular destination) is 2.5 miles - but not via MetroBust, which will go via somewhere near Temple Meads and Cabot Circus first. That will cost £5.00 return, as opposed to the current £3.00. You couldn't really do it "crow flies" because Cabot Circus is over 3 miles, especially with the BCR-enhancing dog-leg through Ashton Vale and over the new theme-park ride bridge. Anyone going to Cabot Circus could buy a ticket for Anchor Road, and get off early. Worse still, two children under 16 currently go free of charge with an adult paying a fare from Long Ashton Park and Ride. There is no mention of such a concession from MetroBust. All of which makes me think that the existing 903 bus service will be sacrificed to the gods of MetroBust, whether we like it or not.

You might almost think that someone hasn't thought all this through properly.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 28, 2017, 05:39:00 pm

We are getting a couple of new roads, some bus lanes...


...and Bristol's answer to Reading Flyover (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.4400339,-2.6240334,3a,75y,179.05h,90.18t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sXnYEXpC26rm2aBO15kAKbQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656)

 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on September 28, 2017, 06:48:23 pm
...and Bristol's answer to Reading Flyover (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.4400339,-2.6240334,3a,75y,179.05h,90.18t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sXnYEXpC26rm2aBO15kAKbQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656)

The rather monstrous entity that I described as the "theme park ride bridge". That will be fun in bad weather, especially on the top deck of the two-doored double-deck buses (if they fit on Ashton Avenue bridge).


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: WelshBluebird on September 28, 2017, 11:36:58 pm
And how, when buying a ticket, are you supposed to know whether your journey will be 2.9 miles or 3.1? Even supposing the route v crow flies question is made clear to the public.

To be fair, that isn't a new issue at all surely? As the existing First bus fares are similarly distance based.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on September 29, 2017, 10:10:36 am
The new issue is having to know beforehand. With current buses, you can ask the driver for a ticket to wherever and be told the price. Could easily be solved with a simple list of destinations (long list mind) but what will actually happen, we don't yet know.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: bobm on September 29, 2017, 11:16:43 am

We are getting a couple of new roads, some bus lanes...


...and Bristol's answer to Reading Flyover (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.4400339,-2.6240334,3a,75y,179.05h,90.18t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sXnYEXpC26rm2aBO15kAKbQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656)

 

Reading has a bit of a history when it comes to flyovers.

For most of my early schooldays my bus home took me past what was affectionately known as the "ski-slope" - where the money to build the town's inner ring road ran out of cash, leaving the start of a flyover going nowhere.  It was finally completed in the late 1980s.

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/idr.jpg)

Pic courtesy of Reading Museum


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on September 29, 2017, 11:19:39 am
So does Bristol! But ours went somewhere and made a clickety-clack noise.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on September 29, 2017, 12:10:09 pm

Metrobus delayed until 2018

Executive member for planning transport and strategic environment at South Gloucestershire Council, Colin Hunt, added: “It is important that all the different parts of these MetroBus information points – the ticketing, the real time bus information and the journey planners – are dependable, robust and work in all weathers and temperatures.

“We have to get it right before we can start installing them on the streets. I have seen a mock up, and they are very impressive.”

Didn't Mr Hunt get the first letter wrong when he said  'mock-up?' I can think of another Mr Hunt (Jeremy) who often finds that the first letter of his surname is spelt wrong!



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on September 29, 2017, 12:43:02 pm
Hopefully the promoters of this scheme won't standby what  Colin Hunt says and opens the extended inbound BUS LANE on the M32 before Christmas.

It is complete except that I understand that the bus lane cameras are not yet connected but they are all installed and thus there is NO reason why the cones preventing its use TODAY cannot be removed and allowing the current bus services using that section of the M32 to use the extended bus lane in the run up to the December Festivities.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: bignosemac on September 29, 2017, 02:53:04 pm
So does Bristol! But ours went somewhere and made a clickety-clack noise.

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2756/4432658410_b4314be751_z.jpg?zz=1)



A supposedly temporary structure built in 1968.  It was meant to be replaced by a permanent two way flyover when more money became available. The 'temporary' flyover survived for 30 years. In 1998 the traffic planners decided a complex, traffic light controlled, gyratory was more appropriate and Bristol's ski-jump was dismantled.

The Temple Circus Gyratory is currently undergoing remodelling and will, by Autumn 2018, become a simpler signal controlled junction, with one side of the old gyratory given over to pedestrian use and a public square.

See: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/info/15201_Bristol_s_Temple_Gate_layout_change_planned_in_21m_revamp.html



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 29, 2017, 04:57:00 pm

It was meant to be replaced by a permanent two way flyover when more money became available.


...and we can all be very thankful that it never did become available.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: bignosemac on September 29, 2017, 05:22:07 pm
There was a strikingly similar flyover in another British city. Same design, same junction layout that it flew over, same south to west one way direction.

Would anyone like to guess where?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: rogerw on September 29, 2017, 07:48:50 pm
I know I saw it but I am having a senior moment where that is concerned.  ???


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on September 29, 2017, 08:03:26 pm
Birmingham? Coventry? I've never heard of this other flyover but those fortresses of Middle Earth seem the right sort of places.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: stuving on September 29, 2017, 08:09:18 pm
I know I saw it but I am having a senior moment where that is concerned.  ???

I was thinking of the Hogarth roundabout one, but that's still there and I don't think it matches the directions bnm gave - though naming roads out of junctions by direction is inherently a bit ambiguous.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: bignosemac on September 29, 2017, 08:17:58 pm
I know I saw it but I am having a senior moment where that is concerned.  ???

I was thinking of the Hogarth roundabout one, but that's still there and I don't think it matches the directions bnm gave - though naming roads out of junctions by direction is inherently a bit ambiguous.

Not when they're one way. You could only head south and then curve to the west on the Temple Circus flyover.

Oh, and the city I'm thinking of starts with the same two letters as Hogarth...



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on September 29, 2017, 09:03:19 pm
Well I don't think Honiton's a city so maybe it was Hove? I think that counts technically even though it seems an unlikely site for such a thing. Albeit less so than Honiton!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: bignosemac on September 29, 2017, 09:10:44 pm
Okay. I was being a little devilish.

Holby.

 :P ;) ;D

More than once in the early series' of 'Casualty' there would be a scene of a Holby City ambulance using the flyover.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: trainer on September 30, 2017, 11:19:56 pm
There was a strikingly similar flyover in another British city. Same design, same junction layout that it flew over, same south to west one way direction.

Would anyone like to guess where?

Digbeth in Birmingham had a similar 'temporary' struture for a couple of decades at the junction of the A34 and A45 (Stratford and Coventry Roads). Today's road layout (and road numbering) is completely different and the structure became redundant in the new arrangement. Traffic ran north to south.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: rogerw on October 01, 2017, 01:17:57 pm
Digbeth in Birmingham had a similar 'temporary' struture for a couple of decades at the junction of the A34 and A45 (Stratford and Coventry Roads). Today's road layout (and road numbering) is completely different and the structure became redundant in the new arrangement. Traffic ran north to south.
[/quote]
That's where I saw it. 15 years working in Birmingham and I forgot about it  ??? ::)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on October 19, 2017, 12:33:10 pm
Metro without the bus?
http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-underground-one-step-closer-648615


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on October 19, 2017, 01:01:57 pm
Metro without the bus?
http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-underground-one-step-closer-648615

The caption on one of the pictures mentions a route from Bristol to Bath yet this is a route covered by rail already with a good 4 to 5 services an hour for much of the day. Duplicating rail routes 19th century railwaymania style and burying it in a field seems as insane as Metrobust (if that is possible).

The proposed Bristol to airport route is rather less barking but underground???



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on October 19, 2017, 01:12:25 pm
It's just padding in his "State of the City" speech. The redevelopment of the Cumberland Basin, though, fits in with his (Reese's) ideas.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on October 19, 2017, 01:54:59 pm
Metro without the bus?
http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-underground-one-step-closer-648615

The caption on one of the pictures mentions a route from Bristol to Bath yet this is a route covered by rail already with a good 4 to 5 services an hour for much of the day. Duplicating rail routes 19th century railwaymania style and burying it in a field seems as insane as Metrobust (if that is possible).

The proposed Bristol to airport route is rather less barking but underground???


But you wouldn't be duplicating the heavy rail route from Bristol to Bath, would you? An LRT route would have a lot more stops - not something the main line could easily be expanded accommodate - and would presumably better cover the populated areas. And I wouldn't get too hung up on the 'underground' label - surely it would only be in tunnels where that made sense.

It's just padding in his "State of the City" speech. The redevelopment of the Cumberland Basin, though, fits in with his (Reese's) ideas.

A very interesting idea. The Cumberland Basin flyover complex was designed to fit on the end of an urban motorway that was to run along Spike Island; we can all be grateful that this didn't happen. It now has redundant elements as well as some badly-engineered quasi-free-flow junctions. It is hard to justify the land-take. Marvin's plan may have legs... maybe he can get George to design the new scheme?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on October 19, 2017, 02:45:33 pm
True that LRT could have more stops but with options being looked at for reopening St Ann's & Saltford stations in addition to Keynshan and Oldfield Park already existing, there really are not many other worthwhile stop options that LRT could serve there. Better to spend the money on a route not currently served by anything.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Timmer on October 19, 2017, 02:57:30 pm
The caption on one of the pictures mentions a route from Bristol to Bath yet this is a route covered by rail already with a good 4 to 5 services an hour for much of the day. Duplicating rail routes 19th century railwaymania style and burying it in a field seems as insane as Metrobust (if that is possible).

The proposed Bristol to airport route is rather less barking but underground???
During peak times the trains that do run between Bath and Bristol are packed, the roads the same. Lots more housing in the Keynsham/Bitton area. I think there is every case for a second line of some description between Bath and Bristol on the former line. Will it happen??? In this current financial climate no chance, just a dream like all the other schemes.

You can't fit many more trains on the current line hence the extra Bristol to London trains going via Parkway. I'd say there would have been more of a case for one of them to stop at Bath so it would have three trains an hour like Parkway but I don't think they can fit it in with current capacity near full when you factor in local stopping services.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on October 19, 2017, 03:00:45 pm
..there really are not many other worthwhile stop options that LRT could serve...

I think there are!

How about a new route that followed the B&NS as far as Stockwood, then swung down through to the south-east of Keynsham (2km from the main line station), followed the main line for a bit (giving the possibility of an interchange) and thence tunnelled under Twerton and Englishcombe to approach Bath station from the south? That would cover large residential areas, many of which are currently very poorly served by public transport.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on October 19, 2017, 03:45:17 pm
..there really are not many other worthwhile stop options that LRT could serve...

I think there are!

How about a new route that followed the B&NS as far as Stockwood, then swung down through to the south-east of Keynsham (2km from the main line station), followed the main line for a bit (giving the possibility of an interchange) and thence tunnelled under Twerton and Englishcombe to approach Bath station from the south? That would cover large residential areas, many of which are currently very poorly served by public transport.

An interesting suggestion and one that should see an expansion of it's catchment area for the foreseeable. My main concern still remains though as to whether there or not there are potential routes in and around Bristol that are more needed. The old midland line running parallel to the cyclepath as an LRT always sounded like good sense linking southeast and east Bristol with the city centre area. The trackbed is largely there and the cost of sorting out pinch points/obstructions would be rather less than even a short bit of tunneling.

Edit: Or was that part of the route (B&NS) you were suggesting? Apologies if I was actually just saying what you already largely said.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on October 19, 2017, 05:46:49 pm
I'm sure you are right that other routes would probably take priority.

If you look at the Avon Metro proposal (http://www.claphammodelrail.com/fancyapps-fancyBox-18d1712/demo/The%20Avon%20LRT%20Bill%201.pdf), you can see that it is based on old or existing heavy rail routes with a few (but expensive) additions - an inverted U-shaped line running from Temple Meads up to Broadmead and The Centre, looping back to Temple Meads via Parson St (some or all of which may have been intended to go underground), a (perhaps surprising) link from Broadmead to Clifton Down, and a line from Parson St to Hartcliffe. Ignoring the Hartcliffe line (whose business case is weakened by MetroBus), it is possible to imagine that the Marvin Underground could consist of nothing more or less than the central loop. But that would be one hell of a thing, if it was fully integrated with MetroWest!

The B&NS route (not in the ATA proposal) runs south from Temple Meads to Brislington, and passes over this viaduct on its way to Radstock and Frome. It doesn't connect with the Midland.

(https://drive.google.com/uc?id=0B8VBuNEcQ7EgSjBvd3NDRDdvMGc)
Photo by Finn the Dog


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on October 19, 2017, 06:25:38 pm
Thanks RS. Really fascinating Evening Post article you added there. Makes me think 'what if'? Cannot believe how long ago that was but recall thinking at the time that this was a bit ambitious for Bristol. I also remember questioning if we would ever really justify it's expense although now it would seem money well spent. Pity it hit the rocks along with many other good idea shipwrecks.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on October 19, 2017, 07:24:39 pm
Re-reading the Modern Railways article, I'd missed the fact that the central loop used on-street running with the odd flyover. Also interesting that the Portishead line was to terminate at Wapping Wharf - why, one wonders..?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on October 19, 2017, 07:55:48 pm
Yes, it was not a Post article was it. As for the Wapping Wharf termination I can only guess at the reasons but could it be that the Metro was seen as a rather separate entity from what was then BR and this line's termination at Wapping Wharf reflected that?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on October 20, 2017, 10:56:14 am
It's just padding in his "State of the City" speech. The redevelopment of the Cumberland Basin, though, fits in with his (Reese's) ideas.

A very interesting idea. The Cumberland Basin flyover complex was designed to fit on the end of an urban motorway that was to run along Spike Island; we can all be grateful that this didn't happen. It now has redundant elements as well as some badly-engineered quasi-free-flow junctions. It is hard to justify the land-take. Marvin's plan may have legs... maybe he can get George to design the new scheme?
;D Actually, this would probably be something they would agree on, I reckon.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on October 20, 2017, 12:53:06 pm
I found this map of the proposed Bristol Outer Circuit Road, on the very wonderful SABRE (https://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/index.php?title=Outer_Circuit_Road) website:

(https://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/images/b/b1/Outer_Circuit_Road_later_design.png)

Takes a moment to get your bearings, even if you know Bristol well!

Starting at 1 o'clock, the M32 junction looks familiar - but hang on, there's a flyover! The section of the Outer Circuit Road from Lawrence Hill to St Paul's was all going to be elevated. This explains why Lawrence Hill and St Paul's junctions are so massive.

At 4 o'clock, there's a junction for Feeder Road - when the Spine Road was built, following more or less the same alignment, this was omitted.

Next, at 5 o'clock is the vast sprawl of the Three Lamps interchange. I watched from the No.3 bus as day by day they ripped apart and burnt the quirky maze of hills and backstreets that was Totterdown for this junction. It was over 40 years ago, and it still makes me weep to think of it.

The odd twiddly bit at 7 o'clock is where the current St John's Lane, having been extended across Victoria Park, hits Bedminster Parade (quite close to Asda).

And then (get to the point, I hear a strangled cry!) we get to Spike Island. At its core, there's an elevated road heading west which hits a large multilevel interchange right where the SS Great Britain is now. Heading north from this is a link to Jacob's Wells Rd, but continuing west is a major road that connects to Cumberland Basin at Brunel Way. This explains the odd knot of link roads by Brunel Lock Road; somewhat oversized given that they only really access a few dozen houses and a pub.

Oh, and note the grey bits - Jacob's Wells Rd, Tyndall's Park Road, Cotham Brow, Montpelier... I've seen plans of the multilevel interchange at Queens Rd, but I've never quite understood how the road was going to cross Cheltenham Rd.

It was this scheme that formed my view that the private motor car is inappropriate as a means of transport in cities, ladies and gentlemen. Compared to this, MetroBus is a thing of beauty.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on October 20, 2017, 01:36:37 pm
The contrast between the inner ring road plans and MetroBus, as well as the newly announced housing plan on Spike Island, show how priorities have changed over the decades. And budgets.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Noggin on October 20, 2017, 02:58:28 pm
I have to wonder if Marvin is trying to generate a smoke screen to cover the council's fairly woeful performance, or indeed what he might have been smoking for that matter. 

As I see it, there's zero chance that Grayling or anyone else in the DfT is going to let Bristol build anything of significance with Chinese money. And indeed, why would the Chinese be bothered with mucking around in the UK when there are ample, much less risky opportunities in Asia, Africa and Latin America?

If Marvin wants to play the grand transport vision game, then he'd do much better to work with what he's got and work with NR to pull together a decent masterplan for Temple Meads and improve the local stations including the Severn Beach line


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on October 24, 2017, 09:09:56 pm
Tonight there has been severe grid lock in Bradley Stoke and Patchway due to an accident on the M5/M4 interchange.

Whilst this might not be major news, the two areas have several stretches of single mixed use road, which Metrobus will use, so £200M+ spent and on evenings like tonight, Metrobus would be broken!

Surely a consultant at the start of the projection should have told them invest in rail, and use buses to link rail to communities and activities, and not run long bus routes with complicated congestion points.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 24, 2017, 09:29:34 pm
Not so long ago, a firm of apparently 'professional consultants' proposed that the Severn Beach Branch railway line should be concreted over and turned into a bus lane.  ::)


 :-X


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on October 24, 2017, 11:57:59 pm
Aye, and there's the rub...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on October 25, 2017, 12:56:54 pm
Judging by my admittedly infrequent and shallow browsing of the Post, crashes on the M5 and M4 round Bristol are a weekly event at this time of year.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on November 03, 2017, 06:16:46 am
Picker this up on my data feed - conversation, no link back to source:

Quote
Announcement from Bristol Metrobus whose system opens shortly. Cycles and taxis will be permitted in all the busways [excluding only the short guided section between Ashton Gate Park & Ride and Cumberland Road & the bus-only access ramp to the M32].

Confirmation?  Consequences?  Comment?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 03, 2017, 09:59:03 am
Nothing showing on https://travelwest.info/metrobus

Very disappointed that I won't be allowed to ride my bicycle on the M32...  :D


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: froome on November 03, 2017, 10:08:26 am
Nothing showing on https://travelwest.info/metrobus

Very disappointed that I won't be allowed to ride my bicycle on the M32...  :D

You can ride your bike up what everyone thinks is the M32 as far as the Ashley Road roundabout, as legally the motorway doesn't start until that junction. I have done it a few times.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on November 28, 2017, 11:27:40 pm
Errm, surprise surprise?

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-wont-ready-until-least-847650


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on November 30, 2017, 01:39:23 am
This is, of course, the same Metrobus which Bristol City Council have already announced to have been a success.  :P



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: SandTEngineer on November 30, 2017, 08:39:44 am
Errm, surprise surprise?

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-wont-ready-until-least-847650

Well they have no chance.  I have never seen anything at a bus stop that works 100%...... ::)

Quote
Because people will not be able to pay for the tickets from the driver, and if they haven’t got them in advance they will buy them from those information points, those information points have to be absolutely 100 per cent reliable” said a MetroBus spokesperson.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on November 30, 2017, 12:50:43 pm
And for an encore this week, BBC Radio Local reports that Metrobust have admitted that their bus will not actually go up to Parkway station building entrance as originally promised. Seems a lot of their spiralling costs are attributed to spending within the Scheme Dilution Dept.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on November 30, 2017, 12:59:03 pm
Its been clear for almost two years that Metrobus will not visit Bristol Parkway, but Parkway North Park and Ride, which is 5-10 minutes walk away.

The proposed Bristol Parkway to Cribbs Causeway, will connect with Bristol Parkway but will not connect with the two Metrobus routes routes that stop at Parkway Norther park and ride.

It a shame that part of the Metrobus millions could not of allowed construction a bus entrance at  Bristol Parkway, by the Car Park at the back, and all three routes could have met at a common bus stop to provide quick access to local and inter-city trains.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 30, 2017, 01:41:26 pm
Ah, it's Parkway Parkway!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 30, 2017, 02:17:26 pm
Shouldn't that be Partway to Parkway?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 30, 2017, 02:28:30 pm
On the Causeway to Causeway?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on November 30, 2017, 07:29:07 pm
It is beginning to sound like par for the course. MetroBust is supposed to be integrated with everything else, but it won't be going to either of the two main railway stations.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on November 30, 2017, 08:32:35 pm
Shouldn't that be Partway to Parkway?

Rather like Ryanair "nearby" airports.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on February 07, 2018, 09:58:17 am
Planning for SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket began in 2011. Yesterday, it launched the most interesting payload ever sent to space, into an elliptical orbit around the sun that will cross the orbit of Mars. If you didn't know about this, see the BBC report. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-42969020)

Planning for MetroBust began in 2006. Yesterday, the Bristol Post (https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-deny-north-bristol-m1-1168177) reported that the launch of one route had been postponed (again) until summer. It didn't say which summer. The MetroBust spin doctor (I think it may be Comical Ali, from the Iraqi information ministry) explained that this isn't a delay as such.

So it is easier to get a Tesla car from Earth to Mars than it is to get a bus from Cribbs Causeway to Hengrove.

Bristol MetroBust: Not Rocket Science!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: bignosemac on February 07, 2018, 02:54:58 pm
Elon Musk's $1bn penis extension makes for interesting news and it may have seemed easier to do than Metrobus. Around $150m of Mr Musk's hardware was destroyed though. Only a qualified success.
 
Perhaps if there'd been a benefactor with a billion to spare in Bristol we might have had some nice trams, rather than God awful guided buses.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: rogerw on February 07, 2018, 04:25:21 pm
Which aren't even guided for much of the route


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on February 07, 2018, 05:50:00 pm
Which aren't even guided for much of the route



Heard from two bus drivers, "the guided bit isn;t wide enough for a breakdown truck to recover a broken down vehicle" and from one of them, a female bus driver from Nailsea, "they tested the guided bit and it isn't wide enough, when two buses passed each other there was side scrapping on each bus !!!!".

Also the latest excuse for the delay in commencing operation on one of the routes is the failure to install the three-quarter-ton ticket machines and yet previous excuses were, "we need to ensure that the smart technology is reliable", well it has been for Londons Oyster system for years now and also on Glasgows subway. Previous to that it was the need for urgent repairs to the Bromley Heath Road viaduct which has necessitated a further month of contraflow due to unforeseen circumstances. Wonder if the next delay reason will be the failure of Network Rail to replace the Gypsy Patch Lane bridge under which double deckers cant pass unless First Bus wishes to increase their fleet of open toppers.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on February 07, 2018, 10:52:57 pm

Also the latest excuse for the delay in commencing operation on one of the routes is the failure to install the three-quarter-ton ticket machines and yet previous excuses were, "we need to ensure that the smart technology is reliable", well it has been for Londons Oyster system for years now and also on Glasgows subway.

One of the machines is due to be installed in Long Ashton Park & Ride imminently, to make sure it is robust. How that test will help gauge what will happen when a drunken reveller in the city centre tries to pay for his bus ticket with a stream of fresh urine remains to be seen.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on February 07, 2018, 10:55:58 pm
A whole new canvass for spray can taggers, nice!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on February 07, 2018, 11:06:50 pm
Which aren't even guided for much of the route



Heard from two bus drivers, "the guided bit isn;t wide enough for a breakdown truck to recover a broken down vehicle" and from one of them, a female bus driver from Nailsea, "they tested the guided bit and it isn't wide enough, when two buses passed each other there was side scrapping on each bus !!!!".

Also the latest excuse for the delay in commencing operation on one of the routes is the failure to install the three-quarter-ton ticket machines and yet previous excuses were, "we need to ensure that the smart technology is reliable", well it has been for Londons Oyster system for years now and also on Glasgows subway. Previous to that it was the need for urgent repairs to the Bromley Heath Road viaduct which has necessitated a further month of contraflow due to unforeseen circumstances. Wonder if the next delay reason will be the failure of Network Rail to replace the Gypsy Patch Lane bridge under which double deckers cant pass unless First Bus wishes to increase their fleet of open toppers.


If the bus scraping story is true then this could be eye wateringly expensive, again. This means a bit more ship jumping before the chickens comes home to roost. What next? I fear a Cambridge style topple on the elevated section.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Western Pathfinder on February 07, 2018, 11:10:41 pm
Let's hope not .


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on February 08, 2018, 10:59:29 am
Planning for SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket began in 2011. Yesterday, it launched the most interesting payload ever sent to space, into an elliptical orbit around the sun that will cross the orbit of Mars. If you didn't know about this, see the BBC report. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-42969020)

Planning for MetroBust began in 2006. Yesterday, the Bristol Post (https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-deny-north-bristol-m1-1168177) reported that the launch of one route had been postponed (again) until summer. It didn't say which summer. The MetroBust spin doctor (I think it may be Comical Ali, from the Iraqi information ministry) explained that this isn't a delay as such.

So it is easier to get a Tesla car from Earth to Mars than it is to get a bus from Cribbs Causeway to Hengrove.

Bristol MetroBust: Not Rocket Science!


When I saw the footage on TV I suddenly found the soundtrack to 'You Only Live Twice' playing in my head.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Western Pathfinder on February 08, 2018, 11:45:22 am
Moonraker, can just picture Sir Roger arriving at the space station in that car.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: bignosemac on February 08, 2018, 03:24:59 pm
My Facebook status yesterday:

"If Elon Musk doesn't turn out to be a James Bond style super villain, with a secret underground lair, then I'm going to be disappointed.

The car to Mars (even though it missed) is just a smokescreen folks. 🤔"



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on February 09, 2018, 09:04:14 pm
My Facebook status yesterday:

"If Elon Musk doesn't turn out to be a James Bond style super villain, with a secret underground lair, then I'm going to be disappointed.

The car to Mars (even though it missed) is just a smokescreen folks. 🤔"



For fear of 'topic drift' he could pass for Ernst Stavro Blofeld Jnr. Back on topic, could he be behind the dastardly Metrobust?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on February 10, 2018, 07:29:27 pm
For fear of 'topic drift' he could pass for Ernst Stavro Blofeld Jnr. Back on topic, could he be behind the dastardly Metrobust?

 “As you see, I am about to inaugurate a little ordinary bus service. In a matter of hours when America and Russia have annihilated each other we shall see a new power rule the world. Possibly by 2021 or so.”


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on February 11, 2018, 04:32:40 pm
 “As you see, I am about to inaugurate a little ordinary train service: The 19:33 Bristol Temple Meads to Avonmouth, using a new(sic) ultra-reliable Thames Severn Turbo . Possibly by 20:21 or so.”


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on February 21, 2018, 10:28:09 pm
Some while back, before the South Bristol Link Road started to be built, I said that the proposed 2 or 3 buses per hour MetroBust service along it would last a couple of years to prove it was all about public transport, then get quietly dropped.It seems I was being uncharacteristically over-optimistic. Look at the map of the MetroBust network that we all know and love:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4713/40363650432_a6c3b7bd86_z.jpg)

with this new version, released without ceremony:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4754/26537342348_a751b0bf37_z.jpg)

Not only has the SBL vanished like an old oak table, but nothing seems to be heading for Parkway any more. Those poor boffins from the science park won't be able to get to their closest mainline railway station by MetroBust after all, which I seem to remember being a major point in conning the money out of DafT.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on February 21, 2018, 11:22:33 pm
Now why has that got me humming Talking Head's "Road to Nowhere" when I look at that?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on February 22, 2018, 09:30:33 am
One of the problems with buses in Bristol (and lots of other places) is that you have to go through (and often change at) the city centre. Very few "tangential" or "circumferential" services. MetroBus does nothing to address this.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on February 22, 2018, 09:56:42 am
Yes, but not in the case of Cribbs Causeway to Hengrove Park!

A crazy route that should be split in two!, with separate allocated bus resources! If Metrobus does not work then people in North or South Bristol will be without buses trapped in traffic chaos in the other end of the city!

And whoever is responsible for missing out Bristol Parkway ....!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on February 22, 2018, 10:31:45 am
One of the problems with buses in Bristol (and lots of other places) is that you have to go through (and often change at) the city centre. Very few "tangential" or "circumferential" services. MetroBus does nothing to address this.

I have often said that the problem needing resolution is long bus routes passing through the city centre. I have also said that spending £250 million on building new long routes passing through the city centre is not the best way to solve the problem.

And whoever is responsible for missing out Bristol Parkway ....!

Inept and incomplete planning seems, at first sight, to be the issue here. The new road into the northern end of Parkway, built especially for MetroBust, is too small for buses to use it. Good money will now be thrown after bad to rectify this problem, hopefully by 2021. (Yes, 2021!). Further delay arose to the launch of the service from Emersons Green and the Science Park when Bromley Heath viaduct was found to be rotting away and in need of serious work. This shouldn't really have come as a surprise, given its age and lack of maintenance over recent years. Other problems, most notably the delay in procuring the iPoints on which the whole service depends, mean that the Bromley Heath work is not holding MetroBust up, just providing a smoke screen to protect reputations.

The cynic may think that dropping Parkway rather than implementing a proper cross-modal ticket will add passengers to MetroBust services rather than see most of them change to train at Parkway if they are going to Temple Meads.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on February 22, 2018, 10:41:37 am
One of the problems with buses in Bristol (and lots of other places) is that you have to go through (and often change at) the city centre. Very few "tangential" or "circumferential" services. MetroBus does nothing to address this.

I would say it's direr than that, arguably the worst of both worlds. City centre entanglement and round the houses indirectness blended into a complete dogs dinner. I'm still trying to profile the sort of person who would want to use it and pay extra for it. Could be a rare species!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: rogerw on February 22, 2018, 11:15:05 am
Apart from the omission of Parkway, Temple Meads is also poorly served with only the inbound park and ride service stopping.  Howver don't worry Parson Street is served and Bedminster on outbound journeys only  :o.  So much for coordination of public transport


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on February 23, 2018, 03:18:09 pm
Not only has the SBL vanished like an old oak table, but nothing seems to be heading for Parkway any more. Those poor boffins from the science park won't be able to get to their closest mainline railway station by MetroBust after all, which I seem to remember being a major point in conning the money out of DafT.

Parkway is back on a map in the Bristol Post (https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/huge-new-neighbourhood-built-near-1248328) showing the Cribbs Patchway Metrobus Extension

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/cpnn_bus.jpg)

Quote
Thousands of new homes along with schools, a new railway station and community facilities are set to be built at the Cribbs Patchway New Neighbourhood (CPNN) in the next 10 years.

Land identified in the Cribbs-Patchway area will be developed into a new neighbourhood creating around 5,700 homes, around 50 hectors of employment land, open spaces and infrastructure including a dedicated MetroBus route.

[snip]

The Westgate application specifically covers the Charlton Road aspect of the proposed ‘North – South Public Transport Link’ on the former Filton Airfield.

Signing this S106 agreement between developers and local authorities creates the first planning permission for the site.

It also consents to having a new shared use path for cyclists and pedestrians, a new bus only access and installation of a CCTV bus gate, allowing for direct north-south bus connections across the airfield to the San Andreas Roundabout to the north of the site.

The council says the agreement marks another "key milestone for the CPNN development which will deliver much needed housing across the area".

[snip]

Councillor Colin Hunt, Cabinet Member responsible for planning, said: “The new communities planned here will be well-connected with key transport and employment hubs.

"A key feature of infrastructure identified on the former Filton Airfield plans is the proposed ‘North – South Public Transport Link’, which will provide a new bus link across the site connecting Merlin Road/Hayes Way to the north and Charlton Road in Brentry to the south.

"This link will bring significant accessibility and connectivity benefits to large areas of Bristol’s North Fringe, providing a direct public transport link from the parts of northern Bristol south of the airfield to Cribbs-Patchway and the Mall area," he added.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on February 23, 2018, 10:04:49 pm
Within a decade then.  A north-south transport link across the former airfield - wouldn't you expect a road through an estate like that? I happen to know that east to west is a little over 2500 metres, but north to south isn't such a big deal. It should be a nice stroll to the new railway station.

5,700 homes is a lot of busloads of people to shift to work and school, and you will need to get others to those 50 "hectors" of employment land. (Someone didn't proof read that press release).


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on February 24, 2018, 10:11:17 am
"hectors"

I noticed them, too. I think they are Great Big Silly Old Hectors.

Within a decade then.  A north-south transport link across the former airfield - wouldn't you expect road through an estate like that? I happen to know that east to wet is a little over 2500 metres, but north to south isn't such a big deal. It should be a nice stroll to the new railway station.

Having a bit of trouble working out what you mean here, but the new route does seem rather indirect. Presumably most people living in this part of Greater Thornbury will be listening to the soundtrack of La La Land as they sit in their cars driving to work in Swindon or Cardiff.  I can't imagine many catching the bus into Bristol via all points of the compass...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on February 24, 2018, 12:04:04 pm
"hectors"

I noticed them, too. I think they are Great Big Silly Old Hectors.
I loved that programme! Even if I was well into my teens.

Quote
Within a decade then.  A north-south transport link across the former airfield - wouldn't you expect a road through an estate like that? I happen to know that east to west is a little over 2500 metres, but north to south isn't such a big deal. It should be a nice stroll to the new railway station.

Having a bit of trouble working out what you mean here, but the new route does seem rather indirect. Presumably most people living in this part of Greater Thornbury will be listening to the soundtrack of La La Land as they sit in their cars driving to work in Swindon or Cardiff.  I can't imagine many catching the bus into Bristol via all points of the compass...

The runway was orientated east to west (or, to avoid the pedants' step, west to east for runway 09), and was just a little short of 2500 metres in length. It was one of the widest in the country at 91 metres, and at the narrowest points had only about the same either side between the railway line to the south and the road to the north, so you won't be that far from a bus stop wherever you are.

As for catching the bus - 5700 is a lot of homes. By comparison, Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston together total around 8,600 homes. Lawrence Weston has a population of around 10,500. If we assume an average occupancy of 2.3 per home, the Bristol average at the 2011 census, that gives a potential population over 13,000. If half of those need to go to work or school in the morning, MetroBust alone won't cope, giving rise to more traffic on roads that are already busy. But that is nothing new - ask anyone from Bradley Stoke. Infrastructure and services always seem to be an afterthought when building new housing estates.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on February 25, 2018, 07:24:26 pm
... those 50 "hectors" of employment land. (Someone didn't proof read that press release).
Perhaps they left it in deliberately, to remind us to beware of Greeks bearing gifts.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on February 26, 2018, 10:38:42 pm
Perhaps they left it in deliberately, to remind us to beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

Or, in the science park, Geeks bearing gifts.

A lady from Arriva who operate some services on the Luton to Dunstable guided busway was on Points West recently, saying how their route was greeted with scepticism, but is now adored by all, who love the speed compared to buses on ordinary roads, and that Bristolians will fall in love with MetroBust as soon as they experience such speed in our gridlocked city. I wonder if she knew that, unlike her 7.7-mile guided section, following a disused railway line, the Bristol guided busway has been reduced to 1.2 non-continuous miles in length, with a theme-park skew bridge? Maybe not.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on February 27, 2018, 04:45:31 am
Quote
... is now adored by all, who love the speed compared to buses on ordinary roads, and that Bristolians will fall in love with MetroBus as soon as they experience such speed in our gridlocked city ...

I think she may me right.  If you take something that takes an hour is reduced to 40 minutes, you'll get lots of positives - especially by people who don't realise there were other options that could have brought it down to 25 to 30 minutes.    Numbers used are purely illustrational!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on February 27, 2018, 09:29:55 am
Beaten by Luton.  :o And they've got a more famous airport!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on February 27, 2018, 12:59:36 pm
With all the crystal ball gazers forecasting the heavens will be dropping a load of white stuff on us in the next few days I heard last night that snow ploughs cant be used on the guided bit of the metrobus routes. As most snow ploughs available in the area where I reside also double as gritters I said to my informant, 'what with all the millions spent on this project they didn't include the luxury of a sub-surface heating elements to switch on automatically when air temperatures drop to 4 degrees C on the ramps leading up to the Ashton Metrobus flyover ?'  ???

Incidentally, on mentioned the side swiping of two buses on a test run over the route my informant informed me that parts of the route are having to be re-worked.

The only bit of this project in use, the extended bus lane on the M32, is proving itself but is no good for buses using the bus only access point on the M32 and then getting caught in the daily gridlocked traffic from the Hambrook Junction to the Muller Road exit / flyover.

A neighbour of mine with a daughter at UWE travels with his daughter to UWE and then bus to the Cabot Circus tells me that he cant see how buses will be able to achieve a 20 minute journey time from UWE to the central area when currently on his experience it regularly can take 45 minutes to do the journey, a 5 minute journey time reduction might be possible when most commuters want to travel by using the bus only M32 access point.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: PhilWakely on February 27, 2018, 01:20:17 pm
Quote
... is now adored by all, who love the speed compared to buses on ordinary roads, and that Bristolians will fall in love with MetroBus as soon as they experience such speed in our gridlocked city ...

I think she may me right.  If you take something that takes an hour is reduced to 40 minutes, you'll get lots of positives - especially by people who don't realise there were other options that could have brought it down to 25 to 30 minutes.    Numbers used are purely illustrational!
Is that one of your famous typos grahame, did you not mean illusional in the Metrobust context?  ;D


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on February 27, 2018, 04:16:56 pm
With all the crystal ball gazers forecasting the heavens will be dropping a load of white stuff on us in the next few days I heard last night that snow ploughs cant be used on the guided bit of the metrobus routes. As most snow ploughs available in the area where I reside also double as gritters I said to my informant, 'what with all the millions spent on this project they didn't include the luxury of a sub-surface heating elements to switch on automatically when air temperatures drop to 4 degrees C on the ramps leading up to the Ashton Metrobus flyover ?'  ???

Incidentally, on mentioned the side swiping of two buses on a test run over the route my informant informed me that parts of the route are having to be re-worked.

The only bit of this project in use, the extended bus lane on the M32, is proving itself but is no good for buses using the bus only access point on the M32 and then getting caught in the daily gridlocked traffic from the Hambrook Junction to the Muller Road exit / flyover.

A neighbour of mine with a daughter at UWE travels with his daughter to UWE and then bus to the Cabot Circus tells me that he cant see how buses will be able to achieve a 20 minute journey time from UWE to the central area when currently on his experience it regularly can take 45 minutes to do the journey, a 5 minute journey time reduction might be possible when most commuters want to travel by using the bus only M32 access point.

Snowploughs apparently won't fit in the guided busways. So long as the buses can still move, they should still be able to function. They won't be able to skid off the road, I assume! The theme-park skew bridge is not guided, and will close whenever there is any appreciable snowfall. MetroBust from the Long Ashton Park and Ride will therefore use the A370 over Humpty Dumpty Way. It will be interesting to see how services fare in such circumstances, given that they will have to go around Ashton Vale first before getting stuck on Winterstoke Road with everybody else. If sub-surface heater elements were ever specified, they would have been value-engineered down to a couple of guys with hot water bottles ny now.

I have been on a 47 bus along the M32 bus lane, and it is very good. I wonder how the bus will get across the traffic as it joins at Junction 2 from Muller Road, immediately meeting traffic pulling to the left to exit at J3. I have also seen other buses and taxis hurtle past me as I wait patiently in the car, so the bus lane is without doubt a Good Thing for public transport. Did we really need the other £240 million-worth of MetroBust though? Traffic often backs up to the bus-only slip road. When that happens, MetroBust services will back up with it, quickly turning from one every 10 minutes to 3 every 30 minutes.

Interesting to hear about the reworking on the guided bit. MetroBust and the councils have been strangely quiet on that rather major issue.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on February 27, 2018, 06:29:57 pm
I think she may me right.  If you take something that takes an hour is reduced to 40 minutes, you'll get lots of positives - especially by people who don't realise there were other options that could have brought it down to 25 to 30 minutes.    Numbers used are purely illustrational!
Is that one of your famous typos grahame, did you not mean illusional in the Metrobust context?  ;D

What I wrote woz wot I meant ... for wonce!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on February 27, 2018, 08:17:04 pm
...snip...
Traffic often backs up to the bus-only slip road. When that happens, MetroBust services will back up with it, quickly turning from one every 10 minutes to 3 every 30 minutes.
That's a problem to a greater or lesser extent with all bus lanes everywhere, though. Unfortunately.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on February 27, 2018, 09:40:57 pm
Bus traffic will always backup when a route traverses the Temple Meads Gyratory as its half way point in its route.

The Cribbs Causeway route to Hengrove route will FAIL. It will not deliver a reliable, frequent service because there are two many strangle points in the route from Newfoundland Rd to Temple Meads.

The people in charge of this route should have split it into three!

  • Cribbs CauseWay to Bristol Parkway
  • Bristol Parkway to Bristol Temple Meads
  • Bristol Temple Meads to Hengrove

Integrating Bus and Rail tickets would make this service a success. Not integrating them is a FAIL.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on February 27, 2018, 09:50:53 pm
...snip...
Traffic often backs up to the bus-only slip road. When that happens, MetroBust services will back up with it, quickly turning from one every 10 minutes to 3 every 30 minutes.
That's a problem to a greater or lesser extent with all bus lanes everywhere, though. Unfortunately.

Exactly! So why are we spending a quarter of a billion quid on doing the same old same old, and telling everybody it will work?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on February 27, 2018, 10:20:15 pm
I'd suggest that the people in charge want to tick a few boxes in a performance report, without ever having waited for a bus not to turn up, or to arrive late with two of its friends.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on February 28, 2018, 10:37:16 am
...snip...
Traffic often backs up to the bus-only slip road. When that happens, MetroBust services will back up with it, quickly turning from one every 10 minutes to 3 every 30 minutes.
That's a problem to a greater or lesser extent with all bus lanes everywhere, though. Unfortunately.

Exactly! So why are we spending a quarter of a billion quid on doing the same old same old, and telling everybody it will work?
Because councils don't have the guts and/or sense to make bus lanes continuous or where there is only room for one lane, to give them priority over the general lane.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on February 28, 2018, 01:43:57 pm
Bus traffic will always backup when a route traverses the Temple Meads Gyratory as its half way point in its route.

You may be right, but the Temple Circus Gyratory is currently undergoing alterations which, among other things, should streamline the traffic flow. We'll see.

The Cribbs Causeway route to Hengrove route will FAIL. It will not deliver a reliable, frequent service because there are two many strangle points in the route from Newfoundland Rd to Temple Meads.

The people in charge of this route should have split it into three!

  • Cribbs CauseWay to Bristol Parkway
  • Bristol Parkway to Bristol Temple Meads
  • Bristol Temple Meads to Hengrove

Integrating Bus and Rail tickets would make this service a success. Not integrating them is a FAIL.

When I was a boy I used to catch the No.3 bus, which ran from Whitchurch to Filton Church/Patchway - a broadly similar route. In the early 70's, they chopped it in two, with the 32 doing Whitchurch - Centre and the 73/74 covering Centre - Filton Church/Patchway. Later, cross-city routes were re-instated with the 54 and 55.

My point here is that when there are cross-city routes, it tends to look like a good idea to split them to mitigate delays caused by congestion, but no sooner is that done than the convenience of through journeys starts to look attractive. Sadly, Brexit negotiators aside, you can't have your cake and eat it.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on February 28, 2018, 03:26:27 pm
When I was a boy I used to catch the No.3 bus, which ran from Whitchurch to Filton Church/Patchway - a broadly similar route. In the early 70's, they chopped it in two, with the 32 doing Whitchurch - Centre and the 73/74 covering Centre - Filton Church/Patchway. Later, cross-city routes were re-instated with the 54 and 55.

My point here is that when there are cross-city routes, it tends to look like a good idea to split them to mitigate delays caused by congestion, but no sooner is that done than the convenience of through journeys starts to look attractive. Sadly, Brexit negotiators aside, you can't have your cake and eat it.

A most eloquently put argument for light rail services across the city. Unlike MetroBust, such schemes are not easily "value-engineered". Find the optimum termini, join them taking in any other areas that can be connected without losing time and following rail lines or other segregated routes, and voila! If there is any vacant ground being passed, buy it before starting work, then get some of the cost back from selling to developers.

The obvious flaw is that you are providing infrastructure before new houses are built over any possible alignments. Not the Bristol way at all.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on March 16, 2018, 10:29:30 pm
Errm, surprise surprise?

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-wont-ready-until-least-847650

Well the "at least" delayed (again) Easter start date is looming large and it's all quiet on the Metrobust front.  I always look forward to the next wheeling out of the PR dept spokesperson to give us another tale. Tough gig but it was a career choice.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on March 17, 2018, 05:04:55 pm
Well the "at least" delayed (again) Easter start date is looming large and it's all quiet on the Metrobust front.  I always look forward to the next wheeling out of the PR dept spokesperson to give us another tale. Tough gig but it was a career choice.

Comical Ali needed a job - any job that matched his skills - after the Iraq war finished.

I have read that the first route to open will be from Emersons Green to the Centre, as the work on the Bromley Heath viaduct is nearing completion, and no further work is needed as it uses ordinary roads / bus lanes until UWE. It was supposed to be the Ashton Vale to Temple Meads, but all has gone quiet there.

Lest we forget, this was originally scheduled to be up and running in 2015. For an Easter opning, they have until April Fools' Day. MetroBust can find some solace in the fact that the Orthodox Easter is 8 April this year, meaning they could at a pinch have 3 weeks to get it under way without looking stupid.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on March 21, 2018, 05:30:33 pm
Another rework and not one routes operating yet.

My local S supermarket has a bus terminus adjacent to it which is served by three bus companies, First, Stagecoach and Wessex. The powers to be decreed that Metrobus would not serve the aforesaid terminus but would serve a purpose built MetroBus only stop 50 metres as the crow flies but 200 metres on foot from that stop.

It was built with a paved area, raised kerbs and a shelter however. the footpath runs behind the newly constructed bus stop but the other side of a 2 metre high hedge with no gap but if there was a gap intending passengers would have to slide down a grass bank to access the stop or leave the footpath some 30 metres from the stop and walk on a grass verge which the hords of people the powers to be hope will use MetroBus would soon churn up into a muddy quagmire in inclement weather and what secretary to a Bristol Company's Managing Director wants to arrive in the office with her stilettos caked in mud. She has however an alternative, walk in the road on a busy two lane dual carriageway which leads to a roundabout on the A4174 Bristol Ring Road with her BACK TO THE TRAFFIC.

Someone in an elevated position decided the stop as constructed lacked somewhere to lock up pushbikes, the railings at the aforementioned nearby bus terminus was not acceptable and would deter cyclists from using MetroBus so a revised plan was drawn up and the bus stop was modified. Gone went the bus shelter, the previously mention grass bank was cut back and a retaining wall was built to contain any bank slippage and a number of steel U shaped cycle stands installed, no shelter at the moment. When I passed the site last Saturday I did notice 4 orange barriers around a hole in the paved area with a piece of cable emerging  from a length of flexible plastic piping and it dawned on me that this was to be the electricity supply cable and this is where the MetroBus Ticket Machine is to be installed. NO ROOM FOR A SHELTER NOW.

Travelling home after my Saturday visit to S's I was stopped at the traffic lights at one of the roundabouts on the ring road and while there I took a good glance around at the nearly finished bus stops on the ring road towards the M32. No shelters there either but barriers I suppose guarding holes in the slabbed areas for the ticket machines.

I cant wait for MetroBus to commence running, but to be perfectly honest, I await more eagerly the statements from the promoters of this project explaining the disappointing take up of the service WHHEEEENNNNNNNN IT EVENTUALLY STARTS RUNNING.

Thinking to myself, I thought who in their right minds is going to walk 100's of metres from their front door to a MetroBus stop with no shelter on a busy two lane dual carriageway A road in all winds and weathers that takes them half way round the city's ring road to gain access to the M32 only to get caught up in the gridlocked motorway when they could walk 50 metres to a normal bus stop with a shelter and an RTI display, cant see any sign of RTI's at the stops I've described in this post, and travel on a city bus service along the slow moving A432 and still arrive in the city central area earlier than if they had taken MetroBus.

Time will tell.





Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on March 21, 2018, 07:02:47 pm
The long delays to Metrobus do not encourage.

The poor planning, and execution, are depressing!

Who in their right mind would use Metrobus to the centre when Bristol Parkway to Bristol Temple Meades are 10 minutes apart with 4-5 trains per hour, not the 2 buses per hour metrobus will run?

When Metrowest (Filton Four Tracking) Phase 1 is complete, Metrobus MUST

  • integrate with existing and new rail stations
  • have common ticket system
  • prioritise buses by charging cars to use key stretches of roads at peak|busy times

But in the short term, we will have a system that is expensive, unreliable and hard to access as Martjon has shown.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on March 21, 2018, 08:11:55 pm
t.

My local S supermarket...


Just to be clear, as these things are important to me: Do you mean Morrison's?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on March 24, 2018, 09:47:59 pm
ITV local news last night. Interview with Metrobust spokesperson. Still no date for opening. 4 separate attempts at an answer 4 variations on "soon". To be fair, the chap they wheeled out did it with good humour. To be even fairer, it could be seen a a flippant dismissal of local taxpayers concerns.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on March 24, 2018, 09:58:39 pm
ITV local news last night. Interview with Metrobust spokesperson. Still no date for opening. 4 separate attempts at an answer 4 variations on "soon". To be fair, the chap they wheeled out did it with good humour. To be even fairer, it could be seen a a flippant dismissal of local taxpayers concerns.

"Don't know" is a legitimate and honest answer ... though if given for too long and in contradiction to original and more specific plans, it can cause credibility to be lost.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on March 25, 2018, 10:34:45 am
Travelling to and from WWRUG AGM on Thursday and Friday took me on the bus along routes I don't usually use and I noted there is still a lot of work being carried out at new MetroBus stops despite the press informing the public that the MetroBus works in the Centre were complete then they didn't consider the works building the MetroBus stop at the bottom end of Corn Street on Broad Quay as the Centre and of course the works ongoing in Prince Street which is 'just off' the Centre. Non of the stops I could see had the 3/4 ton ticket machines installed either.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on March 26, 2018, 07:31:00 pm
"Don't know" is a legitimate and honest answer ... though if given for too long and in contradiction to original and more specific plans, it can cause credibility to be lost.

I agree. Three years after the original opening date, though, you would expect the man in charge to be able to give an answer to within a month or so. The TV report missed a lot of things, although they did put the man's feet to the fire pretty well. For instance, when did the first route to open change from Ashton Vale to Temple Meads (operator First) to Emersons Green to the Centre (operator as yet unknown), and why?



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on March 26, 2018, 07:55:23 pm
Is there a link for this interview?

I have searched without success!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on March 26, 2018, 08:33:11 pm
Is there a link for this interview?

I have searched without success!

Sadly, no joy finding it either but I did see it live on the local news.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on March 26, 2018, 09:15:06 pm
Is there a link for this interview?

I have searched without success!

This is as good as it gets, but as it is a Facebook post it may not work.

Edit: It will not work unless you are either a friend of the guy or member of the FB group.

Meanwhile, late to the party, the Bristol Post (https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-metrobus-delayed-again-people-1378454) has also taken up the cudgels again:

Quote
Bristol Metrobus delayed again and the people in charge still can't say when it will begin
It could be May, at the earliest...

ByTristan Cork
08:08, 26 MAR 2018

The first Metrobus route in Bristol will not be open for at least another month – and those in charge of the project still cannot say exactly when the first passenger will get on board.

Metrobus has confirmed the first route to open will be the M3 route – which runs from Emersons Green Park and Ride, via the University of the West of England (UWE), to the city centre.

But the route itself will not begin operating for at least another month or more.

The M3 route will not begin running until the roadworks that are restricting part of its route on the Bromley Heath viaduct are finished – and that won’t be until the end of April at least.

(https://i2-prod.bristolpost.co.uk/incoming/article223255.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/MetroBus-map.png)
A map of the current MetroBus routes

The Metrobus project has been dogged by delays and problems, and has gone £30million over its £200million budget.

The last time a delay was confirmed was at the end of November last year. The route between Ashton Vale and Temple Meads in the south of the city was due to initially begin in autumn 2017, and then in the New Year of 2018.

(https://i2-prod.bristolpost.co.uk/incoming/article1301835.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/Metrobus-iPoint-at-Long-Ashton.jpg)
A new Metrobus iPoint at Long Ashton

But in late November, Metrobus confirmed it would be delayed until the spring too, with both the Bristol Post and the BBC reporting that it would be open at Easter.

That will now not happen because of issues with the Ashton Swing Bridge and with installing the huge iPoints where passengers can buy tickets for the service at each Metrobus stop.

Now, there is no date given for the Ashton Vale service – with Metrobus merely saying it will be ‘after’ the M3 opens.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on March 26, 2018, 09:57:29 pm
Thank you!



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on March 26, 2018, 11:00:18 pm
Thank you!

Did it work?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on March 27, 2018, 07:04:23 am
Yes


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on March 27, 2018, 08:32:24 am
Wearing another hat I attend my LA's transport forum. At a past meeting the forum was informed that the current double decker bus profile had changed and the roof of these vehicles was now curved which meant the overall height of the bus was increased. This coupled with the fact that a low bridge had been re-signed and using the DfT's conversion table the bridge height in metres.decimal was now lower but even so these curved roof buses could still physically pass underthe bridge. However, by expressing the height in metres.decimal, this meant that these new vehicles couldn't legally traverse under the bridge although the flat roofed buses still could. Thus, that was the answer to why a bus route had changed.

On the subject of the Ashton Bridge I am of the opinion that those transverse beams which carried and supported the original road surface are not high enough to allow the current vehicle specification double deckers to be used. I am wondering if a derogation application has to be made to some official body somewhere to allow the currently specified vehicle specification double deckers to be used and that application has to go through a myriad of organisations to be approved and that could take months.

Another negative is that the original lower deck of this bridge carried a double tracked rail line which lead to Canons Marsh and to Temple Meads via a double junction on the city side of the bridge BUT for MetroBus use the road surface is a single file lane controlled by signals at each end of the bridge. This effectively means that in some circumstances any time savings on this so-called bus only road will be lost 'waiting another service to clear the single file section'.

Perhaps its time for the promoters of MetroBus to dip their hands yet again into the bottomless barrel of Bristols Council Tax Payers cash and take another £10 million or so and construct step free ramps up to the level of the upper and thus lost road surface and install an upper level pedestrian / cycleway in consultation with English Heritage and in keeping with the historical aspect of the bridge. An added bonus of this would also be to provide a glorious new visitor attraction, an uninterrupted view of Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge and only a 10 minute walk away from Brunel's S S Great Britain and the new Brunel Museum opened only last week.

This brings me to conclude, if I K B were alive today and was tasked with building MetroBus, how much would it cost and how long would he take in its construction.
 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on March 27, 2018, 08:50:41 am
IKB would be spinning in his grave so fast, it would probably send the earth out of orbit.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on March 27, 2018, 09:27:11 am
Wearing another hat I attend my LA's transport forum. At a past meeting the forum was informed that the current double decker bus profile had changed and the roof of these vehicles was now curved which meant the overall height of the bus was increased. This coupled with the fact that a low bridge had been re-signed ...

Does really highlight the need for joined up thinking, doesn't it?   This sort of story isn't unique to the Bristol area ... and for each such story, how many more are there which don't quite happen because someone catches an issue at the last moment.  Classic example nearer to home last night ... avoiding a new bus shelter being erected at a stop where there may be a (positive) re-routing in the Spring.  Right twits our councillors would have looked if the stop had been where the bus used to stop, rather than across the road where it's probably stopping in the future ... but then good on them to ask around, check, and await the new details!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on March 27, 2018, 10:39:05 am
It is getting harder to believe the incompetence of this whole project.

Whilst most of the expenditure is justified for new roads (South Bristol Link, Stoke Gifford Bypass, bus lanes etc) the total lack of integration with rail is STUPID.

Not ordering Pay points until two years after the due date is STUPID.

Not commissioning operators, or even creating a council company to run these routes is STUPID. I find it incredulous that the Emerson Green route may start in 5 weeks, and no operator has been chosen.

Building bridges the correct height for old bus designs, but not current or future designs is unbelievable.

Finally, don't get me started on the current Aztech West controversy ...

The sooner all transport is taken away from local councils and put in the hands of a professional local transport body, say the Avon Transport Executive to run all Rail, Bus and Roads in the area, the better.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: rogerw on March 27, 2018, 10:48:53 am
Not forgetting that the operator will need to give the requisite 56 days notice to the Traffic Commissioner.
I have also heard it suggested that concessionary passes will not be valid on MetroBus.  There are very strict rules applying to the acceptance of these and if the services are registered as local services I don't see how this can be the case.  Is there anything published on this that anyone is aware of?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on March 27, 2018, 04:05:46 pm
The metrobus website on travelwest makes it crystal clear that concessionary passes will be accepted on all metrobus routes.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on March 27, 2018, 06:44:25 pm
Why is it, that the GMPTE can, by and large, get everything so right.. think Metrolink, remodelling of Victoria, Piccadiily stations, free Metro shuttle buses serving the central area for everyone.......and yet Bristol almost exclusively gets everything so wrong,,,,think Metrobus, expansion plans for Temple Meads, unreliable  and expensive 8/9 buses serving the central area.
Answers on a postcard please ( no stamp required) to Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, City hall. ( or has it been defergusonised ?)
At the risk of opening a further can of worms, why don't we rename the Counts Louse as we Bristolians called it for yonks, The Colston Hall, at the same time as the original changes its name to something bland and uninspiring...Marvin Rees Hall anyone?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: ellendune on March 27, 2018, 07:41:19 pm
Why is it, that the GMPTE can, by and large, get everything so right.. think Metrolink, remodelling of Victoria, Piccadiily stations, free Metro shuttle buses serving the central area for everyone.......and yet Bristol almost exclusively gets everything so wrong,,,,think Metrobus, expansion plans for Temple Meads, unreliable  and expensive 8/9 buses serving the central area.
Answers on a postcard please ( no stamp required) to Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, City hall. ( or has it been defergusonised ?)
At the risk of opening a further can of worms, why don't we rename the Counts Louse as we Bristolians called it for yonks, The Colston Hall, at the same time as the original changes its name to something bland and uninspiring...Marvin Rees Hall anyone?

There were some influential councillors after the abolition of Greater Manchester Council, who managed to persuade the 10 District councils that they should work together on transport issues for their mutual benefit.  Once they got their first success (Metrolink) the argument did not need to be made again.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on March 27, 2018, 07:57:27 pm
There were some influential councillors after the abolition of Greater Manchester Council, who managed to persuade the 10 District councils that they should work together on transport issues for their mutual benefit.  Once they got their first success (Metrolink) the argument did not need to be made again.

Similar could happen with MetroBust. A few more years, and they may realise that they are never going to achieve anything worthwhile in transport as a team.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on March 27, 2018, 08:52:02 pm
Fundamentally, Manchester area benefited from GMT, Greater Manchester Transport.

This organisation, like MPTE, West Midlands Transport, TfL controls buses, rails and road and is non political. They work with local councils for government grants, and use this along with ticket revenue and loans to build better, integrated transport systems.

So, why can't we in Greater Bristol, have Avon Transport Executive?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on March 27, 2018, 08:54:17 pm
Ironic that the first route to be up and running, Emersons Green to the City, was not even in the original plan but WHEN it is up and running the route will probably put paid to the current Firsts route X48 which covers practically the same areas of Emersons and Lyde Greens and to which I had a pleasant surprise when I traveled on the route of the numbers using it especially from the Lyde Green area which is still a massive house building site. I suppose this could be a ploy by the promoters to replace a currently well used route by a MetroBus covering 90% of the well used route and trumpet MetroBus as an instant hit with the public, we'll see.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: ellendune on March 27, 2018, 09:10:25 pm
Fundamentally, Manchester area benefited from GMT, Greater Manchester Transport.

This organisation, like MPTE, West Midlands Transport, TfL controls buses, rails and road and is non political. They work with local councils for government grants, and use this along with ticket revenue and loans to build better, integrated transport systems.

So, why can't we in Greater Bristol, have Avon Transport Executive?

But GMT was dismantled and the buses sold off to the usual national companies, resulting in the usual deregulated chaos. TfGM still does not run buses so far as I am aware.

The legislation only allowed PTE's (now superseded) in the former Metropolitan Council Areas (Greater Manchester, Merseyside, West and South Yorkshire, Tyne & Wear, West Midlands).  There was some talk in 1973 that Avon should be a Metropolitan County but it did not happen so Avon never had a PTE. 

GMPTE had done the leg work on Manchester Metro, which was still on the drawing board, but it took a visionary councillor in Greater Manchester to pick up the pieces after abolition and get the districts to push it through even though at the time it was only going to serve 3 out of the 10 districts. The extensions since then mean that its routes now reach into 7 out of the 10 councils. 

So what was different about Bristol? 

1) It was not in a metropolitan county, this had two implications:

  • if it had been the districts would have had far more control over many of their services (they would have controlled education and social services, but not highways and transport) and they might not have built up such bitterness towards each other.
  • they would have had a PTE who could have done the leg work properly.

2) It did not have the visionary councillor to pull the districts together. 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on March 27, 2018, 09:27:09 pm
All true, and Avon had Richard Cotterell MEP, proposing and establishing the Avon Metro, only to have it opposed by local politicians.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on March 27, 2018, 09:28:10 pm
So, why can't we in Greater Bristol, have Avon Transport Executive?


We have now, its the Metro Mayor, Tim Bowles and WECA, West of England Combined Authority. We were advised of that at our last and final meeting of my LA's transport forum and that meetings would in future rotate between Bristol, Bath and Kingswood as long as South Gloucestershire hang on to their centre there in which case it could relocate SG's hosting venue to either Thornbury or Yate.

North Somerset were the killers off of any Avon PTE because the person in the chairmans role at this parish councils Transport Committee had the better CV as regards being CEO of the PTE over Bristols, Baths or SGs but knew he wouldn't get it as Central Government would impose one of their cronies to the role and without a unanimous agreement no PTE could be set up.

The Metro Mayor / WECA have done nothing except call for reports on transport matters since its inception and only in the past week or so have I read that yet another report has been called for. North Somerset, having scuppered the Avon PTE, voted to exclude the parish from the combined authority but now has the audacity to hold their mits out for handouts from WECA AND ARE GETTING allocations from the Metro Mayors £1 billion 3 year budget handed him by Central Government.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: ellendune on March 27, 2018, 09:37:19 pm
North Somerset, having scuppered the Avon PTE, voted to exclude the parish from the combined authority but now has the audacity to hold their mits out for handouts from WECA AND ARE GETTING allocations from the Metro Mayors £1 billion 3 year budget handed him by Central Government.

Of course they are "having your cake and eating it" is now official government policy. 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on March 27, 2018, 09:43:43 pm
North Somerset, having scuppered the Avon PTE, voted to exclude the parish from the combined authority but now has the audacity to hold their mits out for handouts from WECA AND ARE GETTING allocations from the Metro Mayors £1 billion 3 year budget handed him by Central Government.

Of course they are "having your cake and eating it" is now official government policy. 


If I were Tim Bowles I would hold my clenched fist upwards, unfurl my middle finger and say to them, "go to the bakers and buy your own cake".


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on March 28, 2018, 12:33:54 pm
All true, and Avon had Richard Cotterell MEP, proposing and establishing the Avon Metro, only to have it opposed by local politicians.

Just to clarify, from memory, the original proposal by Richard Cotterell / ATA (proposed Avon Transit Authority) was scuppered by Bristol City Council who amongst their elected representatives before she was elected as an MP was a certain Dawn Primarollo. The reason being that a Socialist administration in Briistol could not countenance a private company running a major transport system in Bristol.

Years later an attempt to resurrect the tram network was attempted by Bristol and Northavon (now part of South Gloucestershire) councils but the bickering that killed off that was that Bristol wanted the tram network from the city centre to terminate at the growing Bradley Stoke housing development but Northavon wanted it to continue to the growing Cribbs Causeway retail areas, Bristol fearing it would take away trade from Broadmead.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on March 28, 2018, 04:40:43 pm
So, why can't we in Greater Bristol, have Avon Transport Executive?

**Cough, cough!** **Splutter!** **Etc!**

Did someone just say the thrice-cursed A-word?

Any mention of any form of a transport executive has South Glos and north somerset councils frothing at the mouth and shouting "Avon! Remember Avon!!!"

Now, I shall have to wash the tea from my living room wall, and make myself another cuppa.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on March 28, 2018, 10:16:00 pm
More concerns about Megabust, this time from the WECA scrutineers.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-bosses-have-misled-people-1396437


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: trainer on March 28, 2018, 10:37:15 pm
More concerns about Megabust, this time from the WECA scrutineers.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-bosses-have-misled-people-1396437


It appears from the image printed with the article that the buses 'could look like' left-hand drive vehicles.  I wonder if arranging for the buses to drive on the opposite side of the road to the rest of the traffic could be the main issue causing the delay?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: stuving on March 28, 2018, 10:49:30 pm
More concerns about Megabust, this time from the WECA scrutineers.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-bosses-have-misled-people-1396437


It appears from the image printed with the article that the buses 'could look like' left-hand drive vehicles.  I wonder if arranging for the buses to drive on the opposite side of the road to the rest of the traffic could be the main issue causing the delay?

Not as big a delay as running them in Nantes! The cut-and-paste merchants in the Bristol post couldn't even be bothered to cover up the branding as TAN (Transports de l'agglomération Nantaise) Busway.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on March 28, 2018, 11:15:29 pm
More concerns about Megabust, this time from the WECA scrutineers.

You could get in bother using that name. It's MetroBust.  ;D

Cllr Clarke is of the Green persuasion, and is often heard saying he has been misled. In this case, he is absolutely right, and he is in the perfect place to ask some serious questions. However, he performs intensive scrutiny on WECA, using an intensive scrute, and the new Metro Mayor Tim Bowles will say he inherited it, although he does want to open six more MetroBust routes.

New railways follow the Governance for Railway Investment Projects guidelines, and were this a railway, it would be at the latter end of GRIP 6: Construction, Testing and Commission. But MetroBust is governed by the Conventions on Regulation of Automotive Projects, and is in the middle of CRAP 5: Denial, Misleading, and Blame Shifting. Everyone still involved in this shambles will start trying to blame everybody else.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on March 28, 2018, 11:38:11 pm
Another new acronym there. DMBS!

Edit: Lazy spolling.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on March 30, 2018, 12:25:00 am
...new Metro Mayor Tim Bowles...

Just to be clear, Peter Bowles is not the new Metro Mayor. It just seems like that because he doesn't appear to have done much in the good God is it really nearly a year that he has been in office.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on March 30, 2018, 06:58:58 am
...new Metro Mayor Tim Bowles...

Just to be clear, Peter Bowles is not the new Metro Mayor. It just seems like that because he doesn't appear to have done much in the good God is it really nearly a year that he has been in office.


Who is Peter Bowles then ?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Surrey 455 on March 30, 2018, 09:35:39 am
...new Metro Mayor Tim Bowles...

Just to be clear, Peter Bowles is not the new Metro Mayor. It just seems like that because he doesn't appear to have done much in the good God is it really nearly a year that he has been in office.


Who is Peter Bowles then ?

An actor. Best known for the sitcoms "Only When I Laugh" and "To The Manor Born"


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on March 30, 2018, 10:48:13 am
...new Metro Mayor Tim Bowles...
Just to be clear, Peter Bowles is not the new Metro Mayor. It just seems like that because he doesn't appear to have done much in the good God is it really nearly a year that he has been in office.
Who is Peter Bowles then ?
An actor. Best known for the sitcoms "Only When I Laugh" ....

Oh. I see, "only when I laugh", synonymous with Metrobu*(*), "now don't make me laugh".


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on April 04, 2018, 06:18:06 pm
Tuesday 29th May given as the start date for the Emersons Green - Centre route via UWE.
Introductory offer of 13 free days of transport until June 9th.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on April 04, 2018, 07:14:07 pm
Rather generous start-up offer. I'm sure Nottingham's trams were free for a day. This could be an anti-climax, time will tell. 3 buses per hour doesn't sound very Metro though, and there is no Sunday service.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on April 04, 2018, 08:43:55 pm
And First West to run the service, what a surprise.

With a 20 minute interval service, what will happen to the X48? The route is virtually identical.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on April 04, 2018, 09:25:53 pm
Elephants coming to Bristol, white ones I fear.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on April 05, 2018, 03:58:09 am
And First West to run the service, what a surprise.

With a 20 minute interval service, what will happen to the X48? The route is virtually identical.

Service UWE from Frenchay campas also follows same route and frequency reduced to every 20 minutes from end of April.

Is that the ploy by the promoters, withdraw th X48 and UWE services and replace those services with MetroBus route M3 with free travel for the first 13 days and hey presto they will proclaim instant success with Joe Public of MetroBus.

I bet we won't hear a peep out of the MetroBus promoters after the free trial period when patronage drops off due to the higher fares and users revert back to using the 5, 47, 48, 48A, 49, 70, 71, 72 and new route 49A as I have heard that the cost of a dayrider will be the same as the Bristol Outer Zone Dayrider at £6.40 compared with the Bristol Inner Zone Dayrider at £4.00 currently available on both the X48 and the UWE services.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on April 05, 2018, 06:39:14 am
Service UWE from Frenchay campas also follows same route and frequency reduced to every 20 minutes from end of April.

Is that the ploy by the promoters, withdraw th X48 and UWE services and replace those services with MetroBus route M3 with free travel for the first 13 days and hey presto they will proclaim instant success with Joe Public of MetroBus.

I bet we won't hear a peep out of the MetroBus promoters after the free trial period when patronage drops off due to the higher fares and users revert back to using the 5, 47, 48, 48A, 49, 70, 71, 72 and new route 49A as I have heard that the cost of a dayrider will be the same as the Bristol Outer Zone Dayrider at £6.40 compared with the Bristol Inner Zone Dayrider at £4.00 currently available on both the X48 and the UWE services.

Whether it's a "ploy", good marketing, or a sensible way - when a new service comes in - to kick people into trying out the new, we can discuss.  Perhaps it's all three?

Where there are significant service changes, there is going to be some shakeout as people change their travel patterns to use what's optimal for them after the changes.   And once it gets to the stage of the service pattern being effectively set - I think we are there now - we should remember that the key issue and competition is getting people onto the public transport and out of their cars - to support the new services to the hilt for appropriate journeys and to say "let's make this work".   For sure, early-day issues will occur where there's going to be some tuning - but we should by now be well across the road from protest (about the bits we don't like) towards partnership (where we look to help make the thing work).   Partnership IS also about being the critical friend ... "do you realise that ..." stuff, reviews meetings, fine tuning.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on April 09, 2018, 03:14:41 pm
The operator for the M1 route has been announced. Surprisingly, to me at least, it's Bristol Community Transport who run just a few bus routes (505 and 511). It's a little more complicated than that as they are 'contracted to First'.  Details here.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/longest-metrobus-route-m1-run-1433442

It's refreshing to see a company that reinvests it's profits get the gig and I hope their entanglement with First doesn't end up with unwelcome consequences.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on April 09, 2018, 03:51:11 pm
Also a shame that the route is not split into 2/3 sections.

Just too many pinch points in this long route, the chance of road works, or a major traffic jam will break this Metrobus services.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on April 09, 2018, 04:19:07 pm
The operator for the M1 route has been announced. Surprisingly, to me at least, it's Bristol Community Transport who run just a few bus routes (505 and 511). It's a little more complicated than that as they are 'contracted to First'. 

It's refreshing to see a company that reinvests it's profits get the gig and I hope their entanglement with First doesn't end up with unwelcome consequences.

The cynic in me smells a biorat. I can imagine the uproar that would have resulted had all three routes been given to First, even if no-one else tendered for them, and even if First's support for the idea of MetroBust was at first (sorry) lukewarm to say the least. Hence the "innovative operating model" - BCT run the buses with, presumably, First supplying either the vehicles or cash for the vehicles, and stepping in to take over should things start to go bosoms skywards. Look at the economics of it - how could a company that has only been running a very few routes for under 9 months take on the risk of running a brand new, and risky, service using brand new vehicles by itself? And why would First get involved with sponsoring a competitor?

There's more to this than meets the eye. Although BCT's limited experience of running subsidised buses with very few passengers between places no-one wants to go to may well come in handy on MetroBust, the likelihood of them being used by First as a front can't be discounted.

That said, I hope their staff enjoy at least as favourable pay and terms of service as do First's.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 09, 2018, 04:29:57 pm
I sense you’re starting to warm to the Metrobus project, FT,N!   ;D


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on April 09, 2018, 06:32:28 pm
Points West BBC1 in a few minutes, a 'first look at the new Metrobust'.

Edit: Just seen it. It does look remarkably like a bus service. Any other observations?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on April 09, 2018, 08:44:54 pm
I notice that metro bus and four tracks for Filton are both level pegging on 20 pages each on this forum. Which one will reach the finishing line first? 8)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on April 09, 2018, 10:48:53 pm
I sense you’re starting to warm to the Metrobus project, FT,N!   ;D

Pah!

Points West BBC1 in a few minutes, a 'first look at the new Metrobust'.

Edit: Just seen it. It does look remarkably like a bus service. Any other observations?

The initial propaganda promised us "a tram like experience on a low emission articulated vehicle in segregated lanes". We're getting a bus-like experience in a bus-like bus on a road-like road. This will be accompanied by endless Comical Ali-style pronouncements of how well it is doing.

I notice that metro bus and four tracks for Filton are both level pegging on 20 pages each on this forum. Which one will reach the finishing line first? 8)

It's going to be close, although Filton Four Tracks, Now! has been under way for a few years less. Not much contest as to which will be carrying the most passengers come next year, though. Nor which one will be first to carry the vehicles it was designed with in mind.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on April 12, 2018, 03:40:21 pm
Have we had this already?
Quote
Say the words ‘Metro’ and ‘Bus’ to any Bristolian and your best-case scenario is that they’ll breathe a heavy sigh.

The first route on the long-awaited Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is due to launch on 29 May. But the project has become so unpopular that Tim Bowles, the mayor of the West of England, has commented only half-jokingly that he prefers not to be referred to as a “Metro Mayor”, lest constituents associate him with the project.

MetroBus began life in 2006 as a low-cost mass transit solution: a poor man’s tram which would serve the booming Bristol population and loosen the chokehold the car has on the road network frequently cited as one of the most congested in the UK.

Bus Rapid Transit is, basically, a sexed-up bus. By running largely independently of the normal road network via segregated bus lanes and purpose-built guideways, it offers better speed and reliability. Heres’ the concept being demonstrated in Cambridge:

 

A video of the Cambridge Guded Busway.

The MetroBus scheme was a milestone, as Bristol has never in modern history had planned integrated mass public transport. Other city regions like Manchester may have trams to complement their bus and rail services. But Greater Bristol has remained stubbornly suburban in its thinking, limited by a lack of political will from central government and cowed by pressure from voters who commute by car – even though it’s quicker to cycle than drive in Bristol at rush hour.

MetroBus was an acknowledgement that the city can’t solve congestion by just building more roads. While it may sound counterintuitive that giving up space to bus lanes will help ease congestion, it works: any measure which improves the speed and reliability of buses means people are able to switch from their cars to public transport. This phenomenon is known as ‘modal shift’, and it removes those vehicles from the traffic traffic, easing space on the road network for people who need to drive – disabled people, traders, delivery vans, carers.

Bristol houses just under half a million people, but over 835,000 people are employed in the Bristol Travel to Work Area (Somerset, Bath, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and further afield). All three local authorities which share a border with the city are commuter hubs, with a sprinkling of fast growing satellite towns as a result of house price inflation in the inner city. The region is served by a lacklustre and overcrowded local rail system – though this is set to change with the onset of the MetroWest rail expansion project – and only three park and rides.



The region. Image: West of England LEP.

Bristol’s bus network is patchy and journey times are unreliable, a direct result of the deregulation under the Transport Act 1985 (thanks, Thatcher). It’s hard for a city to plan its transport network strategically, when commercial bus operators can chop and change their routes at will.

So MetroBus was intended to plug this gap. The proposed network would link several areas of the Greater Bristol conurbation: one route runs from the suburb of Ashton Vale to Temple Meads station via a guided busway; a second links Hengrove Park in the south to the Northern Fringe via the M32; while a link road would connect the Hartcliffe and Bishopsworth areas of south Bristol.

All this will facilitate housebuilding and regeneration. Land around the guideway has already been earmarked for residential development, assisting the council to meet its target of building 2,000 homes – 800 of which are affordable – per year by 2020.



The route map. Image: Travelwest.

Two historic bridges have been restored and a new junction and bridge built over the M32 to put the ‘rapid’ into bus rapid transit. So: faster journey times, neatly segregated from the choked arteries of a road network suffering a dire dearth of orbital roads. What’s not to love?

As it turns out, quite a bit. The project will also see the city centre redeveloped to stop motor traffic using it as a cut through into the shopping district. But it has missed an opportunity to create decent cycling infrastructure, with proposals for poorly distinguished shared space paving termed “daft and dangerous” by the Bristol Post.

Meanwhile, the monolithic black ticket machines, iPoints, have also been delayed at the manufacturing stage, and MetroBus can’t launch without them. Pre-board ticketing is vital for speeding up journeys: no waiting for Doris to start digging out her bus pass, or for passengers to be burnt to a crisp by the murderous stare of a driver handed a £20 note. Indecision over ticket zoning has also meant little information has been released publicly about ticket prices, and whether these will differ if bought on the First app.

On top of all that, the project has proven to be both later and pricier than expected. The original route to Temple Meads has changed; local authorities have had to pitch in more than £13m extra than planned after construction industry inflation surpassed expectations; timelines have slipped, and environmental protestors had to be removed from trees marked for felling.

We are now, I believe, on the home stretch: the M3 route is launching in May from Emersons Green via the University of the West of England into The Centre, and will be free for 13 days from Tuesday 29 May. A date for the beginning of services on other routes, however, has yet to be announced. 

Despite the naysayers, once people understand the concept of MetroBus, they’re usually fairly optimistic. I’m personally looking forward to the launch, and hope to be pleasantly surprised by setting low expectations: if I can get from Ashton Gate to the train station in 20 minutes, I’ll count that as a success.

If not…well, maybe we should just hold out for an underground.
https://www.citymetric.com/transport/bristol-finally-about-get-rapid-transit-network-sort-3822


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on April 12, 2018, 04:56:26 pm
Just a couple of thoughts:

1. What on earth does 'sexed-up' mean, in this context? It's just a bus.
2. Metrobus may be further acknowledgement  that "the city can’t solve congestion by just building more roads", but that decision had been made by the time of the 1992 Bristol Draft Local Plan.
3. 'Modal shift' is not a phenomenon, it's a myth. Some people might well stop using their cars and use MetroBus instead, but their road space will soon be filled by others.
4. Bristol absolutely does not 'suffer' 'a dire dearth of orbital roads' - Bristol is, or should be, eternally thankful that the planned Outer Circuit road was not completed. Well, having said that, it might have solved a few problems: no-one would want to live here if they'd built it, so maybe there'd be fewer traffic problems...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Western Pathfinder on April 12, 2018, 06:54:31 pm
And by the looks of things the south Bristol link is to be shelved for the moment just caught a snippet about this on this evenings BBC Points West.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on April 12, 2018, 08:21:59 pm
Just a couple of thoughts:

1. What on earth does 'sexed-up' mean, in this context? It's just a bus.
2. Metrobus may be further acknowledgement  that "the city can’t solve congestion by just building more roads", but that decision had been made by the time of the 1992 Bristol Draft Local Plan.
3. 'Modal shift' is not a phenomenon, it's a myth. Some people might well stop using their cars and use MetroBus instead, but their road space will soon be filled by others.
4. Bristol absolutely does not 'suffer' 'a dire dearth of orbital roads' - Bristol is, or should be, eternally thankful that the planned Outer Circuit road was not completed. Well, having said that, it might have solved a few problems: no-one would want to live here if they'd built it, so maybe there'd be fewer traffic problems...
Yes, no, I don't know. My responses, which might be at odds to those of the writer of that article:
1. It's a bus with attitude. Not just a bus, not a minibus, but a MetroBus! A mighty, mean and green, big and beefy, cool and clean, swift and sexy transportation solutionTM! A bus that people will be proud of travelling in. Okay, it's a bus.
2. Except they are building more roads under the guise of MetroBus, so I'm not sure they've admitted anything to themselves.
3. If a hundred people shift from car to MetroBus, that's a modal shift of a hundred people. This is journalism! (More seriously, projects like this can function as an excuse to introduce other measures which might bring a shift, eg congestion charges, on the grounds that the bus reduces the need to drive.)
4. I reckon it'll be completed before long. The SouthernLinkRoadTM being the latest but not the last part.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on April 12, 2018, 08:42:30 pm
Just a couple of thoughts:

1. What on earth does 'sexed-up' mean, in this context? It's just a bus.
2. Metrobus may be further acknowledgement  that "the city can’t solve congestion by just building more roads", but that decision had been made by the time of the 1992 Bristol Draft Local Plan.
3. 'Modal shift' is not a phenomenon, it's a myth. Some people might well stop using their cars and use MetroBus instead, but their road space will soon be filled by others.
4. Bristol absolutely does not 'suffer' 'a dire dearth of orbital roads' - Bristol is, or should be, eternally thankful that the planned Outer Circuit road was not completed. Well, having said that, it might have solved a few problems: no-one would want to live here if they'd built it, so maybe there'd be fewer traffic problems...

1. 'Sexed up' - you know, like dossiers on weapons of mass destruction. You're right - it's just a bus. Not only that, most of the novel cutting-edge innovations it was intended to introduce, such as newer buses with lower emissions, wifi, onboard information systems, off-bus ticketing etc, have all been commonplace for a couple of years. We didn't really need most of the rest of the quarter-billion pound stuff to do that. I said some time back that public transport would improve in spite of MetroBust rather than because of it.
2. I always said it was a 1990s answer to a 1980s problem designed in the 2000s and obsolete by the 2010s.
3. 'Modal shift" will be a myth if MetroBust is the catalyst. However, and I dread to cause offence by even a slight disagreement, it does happen. In Manchester, the opening of the first Metrolink service not only got people out of cars and onto trams, but also led to a surge in bus ridership as well as use of suburban heavy rail. The roads were, and still are, clogged of course, but a lot of people got to work more quickly. And the investment in the Severn Beach line from May 2008 gave the corridor a useful rail service for the first time in years, leading to at least a trebling of passenger numbers since. But MetroBust is just a bus service. It may tempt a few people out of their cars, especially if the threatened M32 park and ride happens, but most of its customers are likely to come from other bus routes.
4. I entirely agree. If it is short of anything, it is a couple of bridges across the waterways (relatively easily remedied) and a shortage of vision, interest, and political will (much harder to fix). That said, I'm upping anchor and moving to pastures new (metaphorically and literally) next week.

And by the looks of things the south Bristol link is to be shelved for the moment just caught a snippet about this on this evenings BBC Points West.

You may mean this (https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/concerns-pregnant-woman-travellers-occupying-1449841) from the Bristol Post:

Quote
Concerns for pregnant woman as travellers occupying MetroBus route undergo welfare checks

Council officers are concerned about moving a heavily pregnant woman from the encampment in Ashton


Concerns have been raised for a heavily pregnant traveller woman who is a member of the encampment occupying a MetroBus route.

Council officers are currently carrying out all the necessary welfare checks before deciding to evict the group.

Officers visited the site nearby the South Bristol Link Road today after people started moving on to the land yesterday evening.

Caravans were seen parking up on the road from around 6pm, April 11. North Somerset Council have confirmed there are now 13 caravans present.

During their visit, they met a heavily pregnant woman who is a member of the encampment and want to make sure she is fit to travel before they hand the group a ‘notice to quit’.

NHS partners have been contacted and a midwife will be going to the encampment tomorrow to carry out checks on the expectant mother.

Should the notice be served after that, the group will be given a period of time to move from the site.

If they do not exit the land, the council will have to go to court and apply for the group to be forcibly removed.

A spokesperson for North Somerset Council said: “We are currently carrying out all of the normal welfare checks.

“Officers have been to visit the site today and there is one woman who is heavily pregnant and we have contacted our NHS partners and a midwife is going to visit tomorrow to see if she is healthy to travel.

“If all members of the community are okay to travel then they will be served a notice to quit by council officers,” he added.

"This will give them a period of time to quit the land, if they do not move on we will apply to the court to get them forcibly removed."

The MetroBus road on which they are parked is the spur off road called South Liberty Lane built especially for the Metrobuses to quickly nip between the park and ride and Hengrove.

There are no plans for it to be opened for use yet, with Bristol Live reporting yesterday it could now be years before that route is developed, much to the fury of MP Karyn Smyth.

The road has now been removed from the latest version of the MetroBus map and some residents of South Bristol have suggested that while it goes unused it would be better off being put to alternative use.

Reece White, 22, from Hartcliffe said: "I think it’s not being used and as long as they don’t cause any trouble – what is the harm?”

Or this, again from the Post (https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-route-across-south-bristol-1444982):

Quote
Metrobus route across South Bristol mysteriously disappears from the map
The route was on the maps for years - until this week - but it is not planned any time soon


ByTristan Cork

A furious MP has demanded to know why a Metrobus route across South Bristol has mysteriously disappeared from the latest map of the new transport system.

Karin Smyth said she was ‘extremely concerned’ to see the Metrobus link connecting Hengrove with Ashton Vale and the Long Ashton park and ride had vanished from the latest map showing the three Metrobus routes.

The connection, which joins up the southern termini of two of the three Metrobus routes, has been on every map issued by Metrobus until this week, when a new one was published with the announcement – finally – of a start date of one of the routes.

But the South Bristol MP spoke out after spotting that the link between Long Ashton Park and Ride and Hengrove wasn’t on the map showing all three Metrobus routes.

(https://i2-prod.bristolpost.co.uk/incoming/article1445175.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/Untitled-design-22.jpg)
Spot the difference - the Metrobus map last week (left) and this week (right)
The road itself exists – the South Bristol Link Road has been open for almost a year and a spur off that road was constructed especially for Metrobus buses to quickly go from Hengrove to Long Ashton park and ride.

No date has yet been set for either Metrobus routes that use Long Ashton park and ride or Hengrove – although the announcement on Monday included the news that Bristol Community Transport would operate the Hengrove to North Bristol route.

The Ashton Vale – Temple Meads route has been beset by delays, and First Bus is understood to have asked Metrobus to abandon its attempts to get it up and running this spring and instead focus on the Emerson’s Green to City Centre route – which will now open at the end of May.

But while the two routes that end at Long Ashton park and ride and Hengrove will happen eventually – and are expected this year – the connecting route between the two is not planned any time soon.

Karin Smyth said: “While I welcome the launch this week of some Metrobus routes, I’m extremely concerned that the Ashton to Hengrove link seems to have fallen by the wayside.

“This crucial route, designed to properly connect communities currently poorly served by public transport, was a central part of the Metrobus offer – indeed, it still features prominently on their promotional website.
 
“The Metrobus link is also essential to the success of South Bristol Community Hospital - bringing patients and staff to and from the hospital, while also servicing customers using other facilities nearby.

“Local residents have lived with significant disruption and inconvenience while the road that the Metrobus is to use was built. But it would seem that once again, people in this part of South Bristol have been pushed down the pecking order when it comes to community investment.

“I immediately contacted Metrobus following their announcement, but as yet have received no meaningful response. It is my sincere hope that this route is continuing as planned, and will soon launch as promised. Anything less than would be entirely unacceptable, and a betrayal of promises made to local communities,” she added.

The Bristol Post contacted Metrobus earlier this week, and a spokesperson said that the Metrobus maps that have consistently showed a link between Hengrove and Ashton Vale was always a ‘future aspiration’.

“It was on the maps all the time because those maps were for the Metrobus project as a whole,” she said.

“The South Bristol link was part of the original bids for the proposed services, but are not part of the first three routes on the network.

“The South Bristol Link itself is already doing what it is designed to do as a road, but it does have a dual purpose, and it will carry a Metrobus.

“The link itself is future-proofing – we’ve put the infrastructure now, before the route happens in the future. There is likely to be development in this area. The link was part of the Metrobus Project but we knew that it was future proofing this,” she added.

All is clearly not well in South Bristol. The original promotional material for the South Bristol Link Road clearly showed a bus and a bus lane, as well as a racially diverse family strolling by an otherwise traffic-free road - in fact, it was only missing a palm tree or two. There is a bus lane, and there are several bus stops (two of them vandalised and restored without seeing a passenger), and a high frequency half-hourly service was mentioned. The Hon. Ms Smyth is right to protest, although how many of her constituents would want to travel that route remains to be debated. In the absence of MetroBuses, the bus-only short cut from the link road to Long Ashton Park & Ride has been occupied by MetroTravellers.

Worse than that, at least potentially, there seem to be serious issues with the guided busway, Britain and the world's shortest and most pointless. First Bus were lukewarm at best about that particular bit of infrastructure in the early days, saying they saw no need for it and wouldn't pay the access charge (now dropped) to use it. But they were named as the initial operator for that route months ago. They have since emerged as contractor but not operator of the Cribbs Causeway to Hengrove route due to start on 29 May, and are reported to have suggested to MetroBust that their energies, should they have any, be used to progress the final route from Emersons Green to the Centre rather than mending the Ashton Vale to somewhere near Temple Meads route. They must be a shoo-in for that gig, as they would hardly urge MetroBust to hurry up a route for a rival. I think they may have given up on the idea of running a commercial service from Ashton Vale - the Park and Ride service was heavily subsidised, the number 24 plies a reasonable trade from Ashton Vale, and most of the rest of the stops are either nowhere with many residents or within walking distance of Temple Meads and the Centre.

If that proves to be the case, we will still have the theme-park skew bridge for football fans to laugh at, and the busway for them to walk along.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on April 12, 2018, 08:46:47 pm
Since the announcement that route M3 would be launched first there seems to have been a flurry of activity in the Emersons Green area.

A high hedge has been grubbed up and the area around the terminus at Emersons Green has had some footways laid to the slabbed waiting area but no bus shelter yet although I have seen two shelters have been erected at stops on the ring road itself in the last week.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on April 12, 2018, 09:26:03 pm
Since the announcement that route M3 would be launched first there seems to have been a flurry of activity in the Emersons Green area.

A high hedge has been grubbed up and the area around the terminus at Emersons Green has had some footways laid to the slabbed waiting area but no bus shelter yet although I have seen two shelters have been erected at stops on the ring road itself in the last week.

I rest my case.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on April 13, 2018, 06:56:36 am
And so it came to pass, that the utterances of the great prophet FT,N were seen to be coming true. The people of South Bristol, led by their High Priestess Karin Smyth wailed beseechingly to their Metrobust masters 'Where is our bus route'. And the masters replyeth ' it is a figment of thy imagination' What was inscribed of tablets of stone is no more. And the people were sore afraid.

And so  endeth the first day.

The people of the neighbouring country of North Somerset who as travellers in an antique land,  stood sullenly by, led by the blinkered monolithic false gods Ashton and the Ap who as worthless vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the South Bristol link road half sunk a shattered bus shelter lies.


 The metrobus spokesperson whose frown, and wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,tell that its future passengers well those passions read. which yet survive, scrawled on the shelter, stamped on these lifeless things,The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal, these words appear
My name is Marvin//Mark/George/Tim (insert name of choice here) , Mayor of Mayors;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck of Metrobust, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands of Weston-Super- Mayor stretch far away.

And so endeth the second day

The prophet was so dismayed by his own words that he  sayeth that he is hath intending to banish thyself into the outer darkness. And the people cried, wailing beseechingly, renting their garments as they tried to cast off the plague of metrobus excuses that hath engulfed them. 'What will we do without the great prophet to guide us? 

And so endeth the  third day.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on April 13, 2018, 12:13:55 pm
Interesting, Does that explain this, which I spotted on a recent trip to Wessun?

(https://images.rapgenius.com/64983b09fb243b2e65d57134773315db.450x281x1.jpg)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on April 13, 2018, 01:34:01 pm
Bucket and spade holiday at Dismaland?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on April 13, 2018, 02:39:03 pm
And so it came to pass, that the utterances of the great prophet FT,N were seen to be coming true. The people of South Bristol, led by their High Priestess Karin Smyth wailed beseechingly to their Metrobust masters 'Where is our bus route'.

Before that, I had recorded the lamentations of the people of south Bristol when they heard that there would not be trams running along shiny new metallic rails along the New Cut after all:
Quote
"By the rivers of Bedminster
Where we sat down
Yea, we wept
When we remembered iron"

But you are too kind - it is true that I am without honour in my own land, but a prophet?

Wait, though, for a moment. I called the Ashton Vale to somewhere near Temple Meads MetroBust line a dead duck at least a year before Mark Bradshaw called it a lame duck. I predicted a final cost of £250 million when all others were saying £180 million. I said the whole thing was flawed at least a year before George Ferguson. My initial prediction of November 2019 for complete opening (now looking optimistic) was made almost 5 years ago, when the official date was early 2016 AD (Atkins Dominated), and I sagely predicted that a time would come everybody involved would try to blame everybody else. And there was more, much more. Maybe I do have a gift after all!

And the people cried, wailing beseechingly, renting their garments as they tried to cast off the plague of metrobus excuses that hath engulfed them.

I largely buy what I can't steal from clothes lines.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on April 13, 2018, 02:56:21 pm
So you're saying you knew they'd make a bysshe of the whole thing?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on April 13, 2018, 03:29:48 pm
So you're saying you knew they'd make a bysshe of the whole thing?

The very tragic romantic poet I had in mind! Whenever I hear the word "shipwreck" I instinctively think of either Shelley or MetroBust.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on April 13, 2018, 06:01:05 pm
But you are too kind - it is true that I am without honour in my own land, but a prophet?

Wait, though, for a moment. I called the Ashton Vale to somewhere near Temple Meads MetroBust line a dead duck at least a year before Mark Bradshaw called it a lame duck.
...snip...
So it was dead and then it was lame and now it shall walk? Not only a prophet but also Lazarus!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Western Pathfinder on April 13, 2018, 06:39:09 pm
And so it came to pass, that the utterances of the great prophet FT,N were seen to be coming true. The people of South Bristol, led by their High Priestess Karin Smyth wailed beseechingly to their Metrobust masters 'Where is our bus route'.

Before that, I had recorded the lamentations of the people of south Bristol when they heard that there would not be trams running along shiny new metallic rails along the New Cut after all:
Quote
"By the rivers of Bedminster
Where we sat down
Yea, we wept
When we remembered iron"

But you are too kind - it is true that I am without honour in my own land, but a prophet?

Wait, though, for a moment. I called the Ashton Vale to somewhere near Temple Meads MetroBust line a dead duck at least a year before Mark Bradshaw called it a lame duck. I predicted a final cost of £250 million when all others were saying £180 million. I said the whole thing was flawed at least a year before George Ferguson. My initial prediction of November 2019 for complete opening (now looking optimistic) was made almost 5 years ago, when the official date was early 2016 AD (Atkins Dominated), and I sagely predicted that a time would come everybody involved would try to blame everybody else. And there was more, much more. Maybe I do have a gift after all!

And the people cried, wailing beseechingly, renting their garments as they tried to cast off the plague of metrobus excuses that hath engulfed them.

I largely buy what I can't steal from clothes lines.

O Thou art mighty Four Track Now tell us please What is the answer to Life the Universe and Everything to do with Metrobus is it really Fourty Two.?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on April 13, 2018, 10:39:40 pm
So it was dead and then it was lame and now it shall walk? Not only a prophet but also Lazarus!

Lazarus later died again, and stayed dead. I see that as setting a precedent.

O Thou art mighty Four Track Now tell us please What is the answer to Life the Universe and Everything to do with Metrobus is it really Fourty Two.?

No. It's forty-two.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Western Pathfinder on April 13, 2018, 11:01:18 pm
I just knew you'd get that goes to prove how clever you are ......


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on April 16, 2018, 03:01:01 pm
Not to worry folks.....the wheels aren't coming off the M2 route just yet. It's just that they don't fit, and in the words of a metrobus spokes (ha!) person... it has to follow a set process.......... design, construct, test, make adjustments, redesign, process, test etc. If this had been trams running in rails you'd have been pretty sure they fitted !

 4 pages about Metrobus in the latest Buses magazine and a further 4 pages interview with James Freeman to see how far his 4 year vision for Bristol buses has advanced after 3 and a half years. Reckon Bristol buses will be running to the moon before a wheel is turned on the Long Ashton route. Hence my tongue in cheek cynical comments last week.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on April 16, 2018, 08:03:25 pm
Not to worry folks.....the wheels aren't coming off the M2 route just yet. It's just that they don't fit, and in the words of a metrobus spokes (ha!) person... it has to follow a set process.......... design, construct, test, make adjustments, redesign, process, test etc. If this had been trams running in rails you'd have been pretty sure they fitted !

 4 pages about Metrobus in the latest Buses magazine and a further 4 pages interview with James Freeman to see how far his 4 year vision for Bristol buses has advanced after 3 and a half years. Reckon Bristol buses will be running to the moon before a wheel is turned on the Long Ashton route. Hence my tongue in cheek cynical comments last week.

Oh dear, it's all true! At least according to the Bristol Post: (https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/three-years-after-metrobus-m2-1462952)

Quote
Three years after Metrobus M2 work started it's delayed again because bus wheels do not fit guide rails
The real reason why Bristol's first scheduled Metrobus route is delayed


ByTristan Cork
14:31, 16 APR 2018
One of the three Metrobus routes is facing months of further delays after tests revealed the bus wheels do not fit the ‘guided busway’, BristolLive can reveal.

The schedule for the start of the Ashton Vale to Temple Meads route has gone off the rails, both metaphorically and in reality, after tests revealed the 2.5km-long guided busway section of the route needs ‘adjustments’.

BristolLive has learned the rail section of the route – which will be known as ‘M2’ when it is eventually up and running – needs a considerable amount of work at a large number of sections.

BristolLive understands the measurements for the width of the guided elements of the bus had a certain arc of tolerance, but the two element involvements – the guided rail on the track and the guiding wheels on the bus – have come in at the ‘opposite extremes of the tolerances allowed’.

Metrobus has now admitted the wheels don’t fit properly – after months of maintaining there was no major physical reason the M2 route from the Long Ashton park and ride to Temple Meads would not open.

A Metrobus spokesperson confirmed following testing of the height of the guideway, it now needs to be ‘adjusted in a number of places’.

“There is a process, design, build, test, make adjustments as required,” she said.

“Testing has taken place, adjustments at various points along the 2.5km busway need to be made.

“When those adjustments are made a second round of testing with the full range of vehicles - Metrobus vehicles and other buses that might use the guideway in future (including the Airport Flyer and biogas vehicles), road sweepers and gritters, emergency vehicles - takes place,” she added.

The guided busway element of the route is on the newly-built section of the route from Long Ashton park and ride to the point where the M2 route effectively becomes a bus lane along the regular road on Cumberland Road.

That section, made up of more than a mile-and-a-half of bespoke road, is one of the most expensive sections of the entire Metrobus project. After crossing a field and running alongside the industrial estates of Ashton Vale, it is lifted over the main Bristol-South West railway and brought parallel with Winterstoke Road by an S-shaped flyover.

The route then drops down under the complicated Ashton Gate road junction, where the A369 Portishead road meets the A3029 Winterstoke Road and interchanges with the A370 Brunel Way. Finally, the M2 Metrobus route turns right along the back of Paxton Drive, goes under Brunel Way again and crosses the newly-restored Ashton Swing Bridge over the River Avon.

This section is just over a mile-and-a-half and contains the ‘guided busway’ part of Metrobus that makes the project different from a standard bus lane.

After the adjustments, the guided busway will have to be tested again – with all the different vehicles that might use it being driven along it. That will take months, and Metrobus has not put a timescale on when it will happen.

“The M2 route will open once testing has been completed and any necessary adjustment are made to the infrastructure,” a spokesperson confirmed.

The M2 route was supposed to be the first to open, and had been due to open in the autumn of 2017 – two years after initially planned. But then, Metrobus announced it was being delayed until Easter 2018 and then ‘spring’, but last month admitted it was not going to open then.

BristolLive understands at this point, with the information about the faulty busway guided rails known to Metrobus and First Bus – which is going to run the services on the route – First asked Metrobus to put its resources into getting the M3 route, from Emerson’s Green to the city centre open as soon as possible.

All the ticket machines and other infrastructure has now been put into that route, and it is due to open at the end of May.

But the latest delays to the Ashton Vale – Temple Meads route have been criticised by local politicians. Last month, Cllr Stephen Clarke (Green, Southville), who is the chair of the scrutiny committee at the West of England Combined Authority that is overseeing the Metrobus project, accused those in charge of the project of misleading him and the people of south Bristol about the M2 route.

Now, Tony Dyer, former mayoral candidate and the South Bristol’s Green parliamentary candidate at the last election, said Metrobus needed to ‘be honest and realistic’.

“Many of us have expressed our concerns over the years as original proposals for a rapid transit system became, mainly on cost grounds, a guided bus system and then, increasingly, merely a series of over-engineered bus lanes with a bare minimum of guided sections,” he said.

“The fact that the ‘northern route’, which has no guided sections, has now been given priority lends credence to the claims of serious problems with the guided sections of the Ashton Vale route.

“Those responsible for delivering Metrobus need to be honest and realistic with the Bristol public and our elected councillors and MPs about the problems affecting the delivery of Metrobus including a realistic timeframe for full and regular operations to begin.

“Until then, we should take a cautious approach to any further expansion of the Metrobus network until confidence has been restored in the ability of such schemes to be delivered on time and on budget and as specified,” he added.

South Bristol MP Karin Smyth, who last week criticised Metrobus for dropping the Long Ashton – Hengrove route after its absence from the route maps was revealed by BristolLive, said there was ‘a culture of secrecy’ with the project.

“The secrecy and lack of thinking about how this is going to look needs to be dealt with,” said Ms Smyth. “The defensiveness creeps in and people aren’t thinking sensibly about how to be open and honest about what’s going on.”

So those adjustments - a couple of turns of a screwdriver?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: stuving on April 16, 2018, 08:16:02 pm
Oops.*

* Other more appropriate expletives are available.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Timmer on April 16, 2018, 08:48:56 pm
You couldn’t make it up.

Is this what a major city like Bristol deserves?

Well former Bristol MP Dawn Primarolo stopped the trams returning to Bristol and this poor excuse for a substitute really is a joke.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on April 16, 2018, 11:00:06 pm
Quote
All the ticket machines and other infrastructure has now been put into that route, and it is due to open at the end of May.

No it isn't, unless contractors worked feverishly yesterday, Sunday, to put the other infrastructure in place.

AND WHO'S GONNA PAY FOR THE ADJUSTMENTS which is gonna be a bit more than a tweek or two of a screwdriver. From what I've been told it'll be a few days demolition work by a JCB fitted with a hydraulic jack hammer and rework.

See my earlier post on this thread regarding buses side swiping themselves when passing, breakdown recovery trucks unable to use the guided bit and the guided bit being out of bounds to snowploughs.

The latest problem has also raised concerns of the safety of the route as it appears that the curvature in places means that with the length of the vehicles wheelbase the rear wheels are tempted to ride up and out of the wheel channels when negotiating the curves so we may yet see a PW speed restriction on this express metrobus route.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: eXPassenger on April 16, 2018, 11:40:06 pm
Quote
After crossing a field and running alongside the industrial estates of Ashton Vale, it is lifted over the main Bristol-South West railway and brought parallel with Winterstoke Road by an S-shaped flyover.

I see that Portishead is now on the main railway to the South West.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on April 17, 2018, 12:26:00 am
I see that Portishead is now on the main railway to the South West.

I must admit that I missed that bit! Other than that, I feel like the prophet Isaiah, come in from the cold.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on April 18, 2018, 12:07:07 pm
Don't worry, everything is fine. Metrobust said so!

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-winterstoke-road-flyover-no-1468106


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on April 18, 2018, 12:26:51 pm
Don't worry, everything is fine. Metrobust said so!

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-winterstoke-road-flyover-no-1468106

Thur dee bist den, kid!

Has anyone else noticed that the Bristol Post seems to have turned into BristolLive? I for one am delighted to see the Post's latest CamelCase-titled online incarnation; I particularly like the way that it bears no resemblance whatsoever to Bristol247.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: WelshBluebird on April 18, 2018, 12:29:48 pm
Has anyone else noticed that the Bristol Post seems to have turned into BristolLive?

As have all the local papers run by the same company. The Bath Chronicle is now part of SomersetLive.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on April 18, 2018, 03:06:52 pm
Has anyone else noticed that the Bristol Post seems to have turned into BristolLive?

As have all the local papers run by the same company. The Bath Chronicle is now part of SomersetLive.
It's still the Chronic.  ;)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on April 18, 2018, 05:51:15 pm
Has anyone else noticed that the Bristol Post seems to have turned into BristolLive?

But it is still the same old c**p.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Timmer on April 18, 2018, 07:47:49 pm
Yeah most of it click bait. What a sad way to see how far low local newspapers have become online.

The Bath Evening Chronicle was a great local newspaper.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Phantom on April 19, 2018, 11:23:29 am
Don't worry, everything is fine. Metrobust said so!

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-winterstoke-road-flyover-no-1468106

The bend looks much worse in real life than in those pictures, it does seem odd that it was built with such a curve, the speed will be next to nothing in getting around the corners


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on April 19, 2018, 11:35:25 am
The route does look rather eccentric, to a lay person: https://goo.gl/maps/j4xDYHvzs8J2

Can't help thinking that with very limited use of CPO powers, a less seasickness-inducing route could have been found. It's like they really, really didn't want to upset anyone... (ducks).


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on April 20, 2018, 02:05:23 pm
One route much less prone to mal de mer - and much less eccentric - would have been out of Long Ashton Park and Ride, along the existing bus lane then over a new peak-time bus lane across the Plimsoll Bridge and along Hotwells Road to the Centre. This route would have secured the future of the 24 service, and avoided problems with the theme-park bridge and misguided busway by not having them. Having read the business case for the route as it has been built, it seems the alignment was chosen because of the relatively high numbers of elderly and/or disabled residents in Ashton Vale. Those were the ticks in the boxes that made the Benefit Cost Ratio scrape far enough above the magic line to justify the funding. Or more likely, the required number was inserted in the "answer" column, then the sums done backwards to achieve the required question.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: rogerw on April 20, 2018, 03:21:16 pm
Cynical, but probably true  :P


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on April 21, 2018, 07:58:41 pm
Cynical, but probably true  :P

My usual literary style. :)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: metalrail on April 23, 2018, 11:40:59 am
Well it's true...  I mentioned this on another thread recently about lack of rail services in NE Bristol when Metrobust had been proposed as an alternative.  But now it's definitely confirmed what had earlier been reported about Metrobust 'possibly' not being able to serve BPW...

From BBC news this morning...

Quote
Bristol's Metrobus has come in for more criticism after two stops - one at Bristol's second busiest train station - disappeared from the route map.

Campaigners have told BBC Radio Bristol that it "beggars belief" that a stop at the busy commuter station - that sees 2.5m passengers a year - has been temporarily abandoned due to continued access problems.

In a statement Metrobus say Parkway "is a constrained site, and that work to redesign access to it is due to start at the end of the year."

Metrobus will finally launch its M3 route, from Emersons Green to the City Centre, next month.

It's been a rough few days for the network, with further delays to the M2 route in South Bristol due to ongoing testing concerns and stinging criticism from MP Karin Smyth after a planned route from Hengrove to the City Centre appeared to be dropped altogether and was instead described as "aspirational."

Not very often that words fail me, but....  *insert appropriate expletives here*


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on April 23, 2018, 12:49:13 pm
Just imagine how efficient it would be if MetroBug just ran from the depot to the first stop and back again. No delays or problems with ticket machines! None of those pesky passengers!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on April 23, 2018, 01:12:21 pm
Had a good conversation with a friend who is more in the know of this project than I am and he said that you could write a hundred stories about this project with every organisation blaming each other for the problems, foul-ups and everything else but denying their own shortcomings were ever a contributory factor.

Take this one, organisation B says organisation A 'never told us that' to which organisation A replies by saying organisation B 'never asked us that'. What was 'that'. THAT was a simple question which even the proverbial village idiot could answer, "Do the rear wheels of a double decker bus always follow the same profile on the road surface as the front wheels of the bus when negotiating a bend or corner on its route. Apparently architects of the scheme decided they would, like the rear bogie on a rail/tram vehicle follows, as night follows day, the front bogie on a guided rail route and the only difference here is a bus running on rubber tyres rather than a flanged wheelset on a guided busway.

Forced to sit in Bristols Bus station for 50 minutes on Saturday evening I watched the buses coming in and observed that the current fleet comprises a mix of wheelbases. Some of the buses have what I will term standard window and half window. Some buses have a standard window behind the passenger entrance/exit door which is over the front wheel arch then two x standard window, a half window, a standard window over the rear wheel arch. Other buses have a standard window behind the passenger entrance/exit door which is over the front wheel arch then three x standard window with a final fifth standard window over the rear wheel arch.

From photos I've seen testing the guided busway utilised a vehicle with the five standard windows between the wheel arches but another route which it has been planned to use the guided busway is the service A1 of which a new fleet of vehicles has recently been procured to operate this route between Bristols Bus Station and the Airport are four and a half windows between the wheel arches and thus the rear wheel profile on the road surface in relation to the front wheels will differ between the differing wheelbases of the vehicles.

YES YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP, COULD YOU.

 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: metalrail on April 23, 2018, 04:26:45 pm
Quote
YES YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP, COULD YOU.

Big time!

The 2 things that have really been bugging me beyond belief this past week with all of the reported issues are;

1) The Ashton (white elephant) flyover guide wheel problems could - in a parallel universe where cost isn't an issue - have been overlooked, due to small tolerances required.  However, the roads around BPW are visible to ANYONE!  Did some numpty not think about - I dunno just a thought - try driving a bus along those roads to see if they would fit beforehand???!!!

2) THIS IS OUR (TAXPAYERS) MONEY PAYING FOR ALL OF THIS MESS!

This entire project has become one huge out of hand farce and turned Bristol's transport issues into an absolute laughing stock


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: stuving on April 23, 2018, 06:16:09 pm
I think some of those responses are a bit over the top - in the sense that it only requires moderate incompetence to create this kind of problem. Of course good project management would spot the issues a lot earlier and correct them.

The one piece I can find that credits a Metrobus source about the guideways is this one from the Bristol Post (https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/three-years-after-metrobus-m2-1462952). The text does refer to the width of the guideway, but in a paragraph that makes little sense.
Quote
BristolLive understands the measurements for the width of the guided elements of the bus had a certain arc of tolerance, but the two element involvements – the guided rail on the track and the guiding wheels on the bus – have come in at the ‘opposite extremes of the tolerances allowed’.

Note the reference to tolerances. The more direct almost-quote is:
Quote
A Metrobus spokesperson confirmed following testing of the height of the guideway, it now needs to be ‘adjusted in a number of places’.

Now it could be either or both of width and height, but somehow the height sounds easier to get wrong - not quite so obvious, and with a bigger dynamic component (i.e. bus bounce).

If both track and vehicles are within tolerance then it will work fine - even if they are at the opposite ends of the tolerance range. However, there are a number of tolerances to be allowed for different things, and the overall margin has to be partitioned up and allocated to various things: both track and vehicles have design and build to allow for, and the vehicle dynamics is important but hard to measure with a ruler. If you try to combine those separate allowances using the wrong formula you could easily get the wrong answer: I have met engineers who think - wrongly - tolerances are combined by computing the root mean square just because they are tolerances. In this case that would have been enough.

As to the access road behind Bristol Parkway, the reports say it was known to need a new layout from very early on. Presumably Metrobus asked Network Rail and South Gloucestershire (or Bristol City, if you believe the Post) and were told "sure, we'll work out the details later". However, it does look like it was designed as a car park access for cars, and is not very wide and with sharp bends. Now it is "later" it turns out that making the roadway wide enough for regular buses removes some of the space also needed for pedestrians, cyclists, etc., according to the rules for building roads. So everyone has retired to the pub for a few evenings of intense mutual head-scratching.

As I said, such things do happen all the time - but if spotted in time they don't make news.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on April 23, 2018, 08:16:44 pm
.... the roads around BPW are visible to ANYONE! .... try driving a bus along those roads to see if they would fit beforehand???!!!

and everyone can see the buses that use Parkway and the roads around it are very frequent indeed with a mini roundabout at the Hatchet Road entrance and yes the buses do fit as was occasioned at Easter during the Bristol re-signalling project, even on the back road into Parkway although I must admit there are very tight right angle turns on the road which does not provide any obstacle to buses as there is a 5 mph speed restriction on the route being wholly on railway property.

No, the real reason Parkway will not be served is the failure to replace the Gypsy Patch Lane rail bridge. Network Rail document 350164/WTD/BTL/01 describes the selected option decision. I understood that this project was due to be completed by now with the main box section of the bridge being slid into position over Easter 2017 during a four day occupation blockade. Now I find that the latest planning application, PT16/0986/F was only submitted to SGC in February of this year and the illustration I have seen shows it still as a low bridge but as a four lane road with lanes adjacent to the footpaths as bus lanes. That illustration shows a single deck vehicle emerging from under the bridge to confirm this but I understood that the roadway under the bridge was to be lowered as had been done at nearby Filton when that bridge was replaced over 25 years ago to allow double decker buses to be used.   


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on April 23, 2018, 08:28:59 pm
I spent a summer trying to write software to calculate the tolerance stacks for jet engines, once. I learnt a lot, and got to drink coffee (and in all probability, since this was in the olden days, smoke fags. Indoors.) with some very interesting and clever engineers. In the end we decided that it was probably best to keep doing it the old way which, I can state categorically, did not involve a single root mean square. One of my dim recollections was that it all got very interesting indeed when you introduced pins; there would be a tolerance on the centreline of the hole position, but the hole would have a tolerance on its ovality, and then the pin would be a bit oval too... happy days.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: metalrail on April 23, 2018, 08:41:50 pm
I can understand the issue with Gypsy Patch Lane bridge for the Cribbs to Patchway extension route that was proposed, but it's the original Emersons Green to Parkway I don't understand...

As you said there's been buses running round the back roads behind the car park for a while now since the new Stoke Gifford bypass was opened - in part for Metrobus - so why has this particular route suddenly become affected by it too?

It is indeed pretty tight with the roadways round the back there, but short of slicing off the side of the brand new multi storey car park they only finished a couple of years ago where else can they run the buses direct to Harry Stoke / Great Stoke / Parkway North P&R then Parkway?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on April 23, 2018, 09:09:16 pm
Hm. I am pretty sure that Gypsy Patch Lane bridge was only ever intended to be part of the "MetroBust Extension" project. The route from Cribbs Causeway to Hengrove was always going to go via Patchway, Aztec West and Bradley Stoke, so would not use the GPL bridge. The reason it does not take the straight route to Parkway and thence to the UWE is that not enough disadvantaged people live along that route, so the BCR would be low. GPL came up in earnest after the election of Western Super Mayor Tim Bowles, who seems keen to build on the success of MetroBust, even before the first passenger has ridden on the existing bits.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on April 23, 2018, 09:19:20 pm
... but it's the original Emersons Green to Parkway I don't understand...

Wessex Bus route 10 Lyde Green to Southmead Hospital covers it and as a LA contracted service runs through much more residential areas than the Metrobus would and I suspect the promoters of Metrobus have finally come to their senses and realised that having taken so much stick over this project so far they have decided to scrap the EG to Parkway bit rather than start it up only to cancel it in six months time due to lack of patronage because what I have observed of the service 10 at present is that Wessex Bus is a haulage company in disguise transporting mainly fresh air around parts of the north and the north east suburbs of Bristol.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: metalrail on April 23, 2018, 09:39:51 pm
That's because the number 10 takes just under an hour to get from Emersons to Parkway, hence the idea of having a Metrobus to replace it in the first place...  the last 10 service from Parkway back this way is before 8pm and there's no service on Sundays, leaving just the 19 which on a Sunday doesn't run far past 6pm.  My son who works over there ends up having to get taxis home if i'm not about to pick him up!  Just more false promises, and after years of us enduring roadworks on the ring road to get this thing up and running


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on April 24, 2018, 05:54:15 pm
That's because the number 10 takes just under an hour to get from Emersons to Parkway, hence the idea of having a Metrobus to replace it in the first place...  the last 10 service from Parkway back this way is before 8pm and there's no service on Sundays, leaving just the 19 which on a Sunday doesn't run far past 6pm.  My son who works over there ends up having to get taxis home if i'm not about to pick him up!  Just more false promises, and after years of us enduring roadworks on the ring road to get this thing up and running

It is 4½ miles, and wouldn't take much longer to walk! The 10 would be much faster if it didn't go around the houses on the way to Parkway. One assumes that the idea of having a more direct service using main roads and with fewer stops has been considered, but not done because it wouldn't be commercially viable, not even with all those boffins in the Science Park. Which leads me on to MetroBust, and what would work for it that doesn't work already, given that the roads are the same? I can't think of anything other than that MetroBust will call at UWE for all those students and take them to the Centre.

On other matters, I said that everyone would start blaming everyone else, and Cllr Tim Kent, formerly cabinet member for transport and MetroBust cheerleader under the Lib Dem administration, popped up on the lunchtime to blame Western Super Mayor Tim Bowles for the loss of the route between Hengrove and Long Ashton. I am sure there will be more like this soon.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Timmer on April 24, 2018, 06:56:38 pm
Featured on tonight’s BBC Points West which should be available on iPlayer from around 8pm.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on April 24, 2018, 07:38:13 pm
Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyCGjVGruRk


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Timmer on April 24, 2018, 08:43:52 pm
Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyCGjVGruRk
;D :D ;D :D
Absolutely loved Peter Bowles.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on April 24, 2018, 08:45:21 pm
Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyCGjVGruRk

Some issues there, Red Squirrel. Plenty of bust, no Metro.

You might fare better here, which is this evening's bulletin:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0b027s1/points-west-evening-news-24042018#

It starts about the 7 minute mark. After Tin Kent has done his piece, we get Cabinet member for transport Mhairi Threlfall in the studio, putting a brave face and some additional spin. Yes, we won't get buses on most of it, but look at all those lovely cycle lanes, and how much better the centre is for cars! She wasn't even a councillor when MetroBust was spawned, and the Mayor is at best lukewarm about the project. Despite that, she seems to back-pedal and defend the indefensible.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on April 28, 2018, 04:28:55 pm
Been out today eyeing up the M3 route in the Emersons / Lyde Green areas.

Emersons Green Terminus / Start point still lacks a bus shelter and with all the other stops, the information point, new name for a bus stop and ticket machine although I have been told the ticket machines are to be installed during this coming week. we shall see.

A former school friend of my sisters living in Bromley Heath has told her that she will definitely NOT be using Metrobus, walk 2 Km to the nearest Metrobus stop (30 minutes), wait 19 minutes for a Metrobus having just missed one and travel for 25 minutes via UWE to reach the city centre, no way she says. After the M3 starts and other service alterations she will have three options ;-

1. cross the road from her house and get the re-routed First Bus service 5 for a 30 minute journey into the city centre ;

2. walk for 5 minutes to the Badminton Road and get a 48 to the same destination in 25 minutes ;

3. or a 47 from the same stop as 2 above and be in the citys bus station in 20 minutes.

I predict that within 12 months the M3 route will be amended, if not withdrawn due to lack of patronage, to cover more of Emersons Green, Blackhorse, Badminton Road and Bromley Heath areas that are currently being served by the X48 which will be withdrawn when M3 starts operating.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on April 28, 2018, 06:58:41 pm
Just imagine how efficient it would be if MetroBug just ran from the depot to the first stop and back again. No delays or problems with ticket machines! None of those pesky passengers!

Metrobust might be taking notes here! 😀


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on April 28, 2018, 07:24:24 pm
I have said it many times, Metrobus will fail because it does not integrate with a frequent rail service!

A bus every 5 minutes, with connecting trains every 10 minutes ... and so on, all on one ticket!

When Metrobus starts in Bradley Stoke, I'll have a twenty minute stroll to Willow Brook shopping centre, and then a 35 minute bus journey to Bristol Centre, or a two minute stroll and get 73 bus for 50 minutes bus journey, or a 12 minute cycle ride to Bristol Parkway for a 15 minute train journey.

Will I get Metrobus?, yes once to try it out, and then back to my bike and train.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on April 29, 2018, 11:42:58 am
I'm intrigued, what will happen on MetroBus when a stops ticket machine is OOO, will the bus drivers convey passengers to the next stop where the ticket machine is fit and well and make passengers get off, get their tickets and wait while the multitude obtain their tickets and reboard the vehicle, that'll slow down the service.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on April 29, 2018, 01:52:30 pm
I'm intrigued, what will happen on MetroBus when a stops ticket machine is OOO, will the bus drivers convey passengers to the next stop where the ticket machine is fit and well and make passengers get off, get their tickets and wait while the multitude obtain their tickets and reboard the vehicle, that'll slow down the service.

Split ticketing on buses here in Wiltshire works in a way similar to your suggesting - seniors with ENCTS passes who want to travel on a none-easment service just before 09:30 buy tickets to one stop after the place the bus is scheduled to leave at 09:30+, and get off and on again or - if there's no-one official around, walk up to the driver and check in again.

Of course, seniors have this ENCTS watershed five days out of seven, whereas ticket machines - employing modern electronic reliable robust technology - will very rarely by Out of Order, so the delays in this circumstance will be very rare indeed, right?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on April 29, 2018, 04:28:17 pm
.... whereas ticket machines - employing modern electronic reliable robust technology - will very rarely by Out of Order, so the delays in this circumstance will be very rare indeed, right?

Wrong, modern electronic reliable robust technology will still require frequent human intervention to replenish the machines supply of ticket blanks when they run out. ;D


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on April 29, 2018, 06:57:45 pm
I'm intrigued, what will happen on MetroBus when a stops ticket machine is OOO, will the bus drivers convey passengers to the next stop where the ticket machine is fit and well and make passengers get off, get their tickets and wait while the multitude obtain their tickets and reboard the vehicle, that'll slow down the service.

One of a number of questions that are unanswered. Some of them are unasked, and will only become apparent if and when it opens for business.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on April 29, 2018, 07:57:04 pm
We could always look for a precedent - presumably at least one of the hundreds of other operators worldwide who use this sort of system will have come up with a good answer.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on April 29, 2018, 11:20:00 pm
We could always look for a precedent - presumably at least one of the hundreds of other operators worldwide who use this sort of system will have come up with a good answer.

As we don't seem to have consulted any of them before building MetroBust, I shouldn't think we have done much research into ticketing options. Most of the ones I have seen in foreign climes seem to involve a tobacconist's shop next to the stop. The only one I can think of along the MetroBust route is the kiosk in the Asdabury in Bedminster Parade.

Foreign operators would probably stand outside Temple Meads and wonder where the BRT route is. In Buenos Aires, it is the four lane middle bit of Avenue 9 de Julio, just down from Belgrano station, with 6 lanes of traffic either side. We don't have squares that big in Brizzle, let alone roads. In Lisbon, buses follow the tram tracks where they are separated from the roads. I haven't been to Curitiba in Brazil yet, but I am told they have bi-articulated buses running entirely separately from all other traffic, yet fully integrated with all public transport. They would probably look at MetroBust and say "But it's just a bus!" So it's probably best that we don't embarass ourselves by asking for advice.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on April 30, 2018, 11:46:12 am
They would probably look at MetroBust and say "But it's just a bus!"
Nonsense! It's a... Actually, I think we might (as in public opinion, press, etc) be accepting that it is in fact just a bus and a couple of bridges; and the more we accept that, the better, I reckon. At least it will lessen the disappointment from overblown expectations!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on April 30, 2018, 10:04:50 pm
The BristleLivePost, or is it Bristol Post-Life, has a story about "Bristol's silliest bus lane," referring to lane on Cumberland Rd installed for MetroBus. The alleged silliness comes from its short length and the parking spaces in it. Ok, that's silly but Bristol's silliest? The bus lane on Gloucester Rd has exactly the same features, as I'm sure do many others.
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-bristol-silliest-bus-lane-1517434

As an aside I rode my bicycle in this lane yesterday and over the nearby bridge (the one near Create Centre, not the new snaky one!) so I'm going to claim I've already used MetroBus.  :P


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on April 30, 2018, 10:11:31 pm
Bmblbzzz, at this rate you might be able to say we're using the only means of transport on it. 😊


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 01, 2018, 02:18:45 am
The BristleLivePost, or is it Bristol Post-Life, has a story about "Bristol's silliest bus lane," referring to lane on Cumberland Rd installed for MetroBus. The alleged silliness comes from its short length and the parking spaces in it. Ok, that's silly but Bristol's silliest? The bus lane on Gloucester Rd has exactly the same features, as I'm sure do many others.
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-bristol-silliest-bus-lane-1517434

As an aside I rode my bicycle in this lane yesterday and over the nearby bridge (the one near Create Centre, not the new snaky one!) so I'm going to claim I've already used MetroBus.  :P

Are you also referring to the Non Bus Lane Fishponds Road Bus Lane from the Cross Hands in Fishponds to Royate Hill in Eastville by any chance.

On my last reconnaissance over at Lyde Green I noticed that the double yellow line painters have been busy and have completed an almost continuous stretch of double yellow lines through the residential streets that Metrobus will operate along when the service commences at the end of this month.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 02, 2018, 09:53:33 pm
Sorry, no, I'm referring to the lane on Cumberland Rd. And the one on Gloucester Rd, but that's not for MetroBus. I haven't been up Fishponds Rd for quite some time!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 03, 2018, 06:31:52 am
Quote
The bus lane on Gloucester Rd has exactly the same features, as I'm sure do many others.

I interpreted the ' many others ' to include other useless sections of bus lanes within the city boundaries when I referred to the Non Bus Lane Fishponds Road Bus Lane from the Cross Hands in Fishponds to Royate Hill in Eastville.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 03, 2018, 04:06:55 pm
Another Mishap ?

Had a couple of pints lunchtime today with my knowledgeable MetroBus informer and he told me the latest.

When the dimwits at MetroBus HQ announced the start date of the rapidly brought forward / somewhat rather  belatedly opening of this wunderful white elephant with the hurriedly elevation of the route M3 as the launch route of this service they did so without consulting the bus company which had been chosen to operate the service. It transpired that the earliest the service could start going through the set down regulatory procedure relating to the introduction of new local bus services was June 10th. Oh dear, we've already announced it as May 29th, it was intended to be May 28th until it was pointed out that May 28th was a Bank Holiday, never mind said the boss who relishes in spending other people money we'll run it free from the date we've already announced until June 9th provided the operating bus company can provide the resources and we'll reimburse the bus company out of the taxpayers bottomless barrel of cash for doing so. Now the dimwits have to explain to the Traffic Commissioners why the service is not commencing on June 10th as the approved application is now effective from and starting on June 11th instead.

From a press release ;-

Quote
The first MetroBus route, Service M3 will commence operating from 27 May 2018 and will link the City Centre with Emersons Green via UWE every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday between approximately 0600 and 1900 and every 30 minutes between 1900 and 2100. There will be no service on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Service M3 will operate a limited stop service and will take advantage of a number of bus priority measures along the route, including the M32 bus only junction.

Service M3 will be free of charge to use until 9 June 2018.

After 9 June 2018 tickets will need to be purchased off-bus as MetroBus does not allow for tickets to be purchased from the driver. This can be done by Metrobus iPoints, First mTicket app, Travelwest smartcards, payZone stores or Avon/Bristol rider tickets.

Service UWE will be withdrawn from 27 May 2018. Passengers normally using service UWE during the summer holidays will be able to use MetroBus Service M3 for travel between the City Centre and UWE. Service M3 operates up to every 20 minutes between 0600 and 2100.

Also they've dropped clangers in the press release as quoted above. They've stated that the service will commence operating from 27 May 2018 (actually its from 29 May) and operate every 20 minutes from approximately 06:00 to 19:00 and then every 30 minutes until 21:00 and later in the same press release relating to the withdrawal of the UWE service stating that users of the UWE service will be able to use the new M3 service which operates up to every 20 minutes between 06:00 and 21:00.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: rogerw on May 03, 2018, 07:27:45 pm
Up to every 20 minutes means that they may also be less frequent than that at times. They are quoting the maximum frequency


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on May 03, 2018, 07:36:14 pm
Up to every 20 minutes means that they may also be less frequent than that at times. They are quoting the maximum frequency

What are they going to do with the bus lane for the other 19 minutes in 20??


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 03, 2018, 08:14:17 pm
Up to every 20 minutes means that they may also be less frequent than that at times. They are quoting the maximum frequency
What are they going to do with the bus lane for the other 19 minutes in 20??

From press release ;-

Quote
New service T1 will operate every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime and every 60 minutes Sunday / Public Holiday daytime.

The route from Bristol will be via the M32, A4174, Stoke Gifford Transport Link and Bradley Stoke Way to Aztec West, then following the current Service 78/79 route to Thornbury Town Centre.

Within Thornbury, Service T1 will operate a one way loop, which will serve more of Moreton Way and will return directly to Thornbury Town Centre via Gloucester Road

Service T1 will start and terminate at Colston Street in Bristol City Centre and will not stop in Bristol Bus Station.

They're gonna use two of the remaining 57 in the hour for the re-routed Thornbury service 79 which will become the T1 and start from Colston Street which is effectively a cul-de-sac after all the upheaval and revamping in the centre and hope they've tested the feasibility of the buses to adequately perform a three point turn at the bottom of Colston Street outside the Colston Hall.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on May 03, 2018, 08:33:31 pm
... and hope they've tested the feasibility of the buses to adequately perform a three point turn at the bottom of Colston Street outside the Colston Hall.

You'ld be surprised where they can turn a bus  ;D

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/turnabus.jpg)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 03, 2018, 08:54:22 pm
... and hope they've tested the feasibility of the buses to adequately perform a three point turn at the bottom of Colston Street outside the Colston Hall.

You'ld be surprised where they can turn a bus  ;D

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/turnabus.jpg)

Melksham station is a special place but did the driver manage it in a three point turn, I was thinking more of a turntable with a bus stop both sides so that when the bus arrives and terminates passengers get of at the terminal stop and the bus is turned so the stop becomes the departure stop and when the bus leaves the next terminating service arrives onto the empty turntable at a terminating stop and is turned so the terminating stop becomes the departure stop and so on and on and on ....


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 04, 2018, 09:25:12 am

They're gonna use two of the remaining 57 in the hour for the re-routed Thornbury service 79 which will become the T1 and start from Colston Street which is effectively a cul-de-sac after all the upheaval and revamping in the centre and hope they've tested the feasibility of the buses to adequately perform a three point turn at the bottom of Colston Street outside the Colston Hall.

I'm all for criticising JustaBus, but let's not get away from the fact that the roadworks at The Centre constitute an improvement - it has been a hellish mess since they put the Inner Circuit Road through, so the upheaval of finally burying that was well worthwhile.

As for turning buses: I dare say they'll use the, er,  bus turning circle at the junction of Prince St and King St. Probably a bit easier than grahame's example!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 04, 2018, 09:26:24 am
How do you make out Colston Street to be "effectively a cul-de-sac"?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 04, 2018, 12:17:50 pm
.... let's not get away from the fact that the roadworks at The Centre constitute an improvement ....

Evidently you are too young to remember how the Centre looked in the early 1950's

Quote
As for turning buses: I dare say they'll use the, er,  bus turning circle at the junction of Prince St and King St....

But how would they get there from Colston Street ?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 04, 2018, 12:34:10 pm
How do you make out Colston Street to be "effectively a cul-de-sac"?

Since they blocked of the exit from Colston Street onto Colston Avenue, Pipe Lane alongside the Colston Hall now being the exit from Colston Street at the Colston Hall / Colston Tower end of Colston Street unless the buses are going to use a Colston Street / Trenchard Street / Pipe Lane route to terminate in Colston Street. My guess is that the Barons at Metrobus HQ have misquoted the terminating / starting point for M3 as Colston Street when they really mean Colston Avenue and expect us Bristolians to be mind readers.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 04, 2018, 01:57:59 pm
Buses, taxis and cycles can go along the full length of Colston St and turn left on to Colston Av. Unless they've changed it again in the last month or so. There's a sign there calling this a "bus gate", which might make a good description for the whole MetroBus project.  ;D


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 04, 2018, 06:42:33 pm
Buses, taxis and cycles can go along the full length of Colston St and turn left on to Colston Av. Unless they've changed it again in the last month or so. There's a sign there calling this a "bus gate", which might make a good description for the whole MetroBus project.  ;D

I do apologise. I haven't been in the vicinity of the Colston Street, St. Augustines Parade, Colston Avenue junction since the reconstruction of the centre started although I have travelled by bus through Rupert Street and past the War Memorial then left across to Broad Quay and thence Prince Street. Have to take a walk around the Centre when I next visit Harbourside.

PROGRESS at Emersons Green. the bus shelter at the Emersons Green terminus was installed today, today cos I sore it being installed, No Information Point or Ticket Machine yet but Metrobus is slowly, slowly coming together at last after over 10 years in gestation.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: DaveHarries on May 09, 2018, 12:18:35 am
You'ld be surprised where they can turn a bus  ;D
Yes indeed. Not just First who sometimes try and turn them in potentially unsuitable places.

One Saturday, a few years back, my boss asked me to go and collect a car from Redditch. However due to engineering works there were replacement buses in operation from Birmingham New Street to Redditch and the one I ended up on was a Scania Omnicity single-decker, of 12 metres length, from TWM's fleet.

At one point, while inbetween stops, the driver took a left turn just slightly before the one we should have taken and we ended up in a cul-de-sac. The result was a 20-point (at least! -  ;D) turn but, helped by there being a circular space at the end of the road, the driver got out of the cul-de-sac without damaging the vehicle. Most of the residents in the street filmed it but a couple did help the driver who, I presume, had his leg pulled for a while after.

Dave


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 10, 2018, 10:04:52 pm
Timetable at -;

https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/travelwest/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/m3-timetable-May-2018.pdf



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 10, 2018, 10:22:44 pm
.... let's not get away from the fact that the roadworks at The Centre constitute an improvement ....

Evidently you are too young to remember how the Centre looked in the early 1950's


Hey, you're arguing with the wrong bloke here - I wrote the Wikipedia article on The Centre (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Centre,_Bristol). ;)

To be fair, I don't remember it from before the '57 remodelling, but it stayed much the same for 31 years after that - a God-forsaken stinking racetrack with hideous over-manicured lawns and only regimented Golden Irish Yews to lighten the mood. Anyone who hankers after that probably is probably nostalgic about  rickets and diphtheria.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Western Pathfinder on May 10, 2018, 10:48:01 pm
And has there hands painted purple caus they got ringworm .


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 14, 2018, 08:24:01 pm
Seeing it was a nice sunny day got the bus and went for an afternoon stroll around Metrobusland, the Apartment Town of Lyde Green, yes, apartments galore in blocks of eight served by one communal door. If every apartment owner(s) had at least one car I don't know where they all would park and as for washing lines I'm still guessing where they would be BUT I did espy something new, A METROBUS INFORMATION POINT AND TICKET MACHINE at the Lyde Green Park and Ride Citybound stop. All connected up and live but the screen was showing a NOT IN SERVICE message. One of the long sides has a white background / display which I presume will be where the timetable will be displayed and which I surmise can be varied from a central control when timetable changes are made/Sunday/bank holiday timetables operating. On the narrow side facing the road is a point where travellers can charge up their contactless TOUCH cards (Bristols answer to OYSTER) and there is also a microphone / speaker grill on this side bit too. On the other long side is the touch screen with the usual slot and keypad for credit cards and there is also a contactless touch pad. I didn't get round to the fourth side as a bus came which I boarded.

I did a count of the vehicles parked in the park and ride car park, 14.

Walking part of the 'route', well the roads that had bus shelters erected on them I did notice how faded the yellow road markings delineating the bus stop areas and the words BUS STOP are, probably need a revisit from the road markings painters before too long but having compared the route I walked and the route as printed in the timetable leaflet ;-

https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/travelwest/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/m3-timetable-May-2018.pdf

they're not the same. What I did notice was that the 'bus stop flags' attached to the lamp posts had 'temporary stop' written on them and follows the printed route map as per the timetable but the bus shelters are installed on the other route, the route I walked, ahmm.

Seems the bus drivers are unsure of the currently operated routes in this Apartment Town too. One First bus went straight down past the NCC (National Composites Centre) building and then past the science park building onto the Westerleigh Road entering the current Lyde Green terminus by way of the bus only road off of the ring road whilst the next First bus came past the NCC building turned into the terminus area, dropped off its passenger, yes passenger and then did a U-turn utilising a pedestrian area which has no raised kerbs in doing so. A Wessex service bus arrived at the terminus from the bus only road off the ring road, no passengers did a U-turn, parked up by the Metrobus inbound stop to await time and then did a second U-turn following the alignment used by the earlier First bus. A Stagecoach service never even bothered to come into the terminus.

Two weeks tomorrow it all kicks off with FREE travel until June 9th, but no service on Sundays. 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on May 14, 2018, 11:42:46 pm
I'm all for criticising JustaBus, but let's not get away from the fact that the roadworks at The Centre constitute an improvement - it has been a hellish mess since they put the Inner Circuit Road through, so the upheaval of finally burying that was well worthwhile.


As you may have guessed, I'm all for slagging off MetroBust, too. I agree - the layout of the Centre now is, whilst not perfect, a vast improvement on the previous design - at least for me in the car. The previous incarnation, when it first opened, saw some very serious accidents between pedestrians and buses, leading to a swift redesign of the parts they shared. But making it easier for private vehicles to get across the Centre is hardly the job of a quarter-billion quid public transport, is it?

I say not perfect because of some anomalies. First off, I don't think I've been through from Lewins Mead to Anchor Road yet without seeing someone turn left into Baldwin Street. That's clearly a no-no, that needs to be nipped in the bud quickly. Because secondly, pedestrians crossing Baldwin Street outside the soon to be closed Santander bank do not yet seem to have adapted to the way the traffic approaches them from the Hippodrome end. Those cars doing the right-turn legally leave a traffic light synchronised with the pedestrian lights on the opposite side of the Centre. I have seen several people start walking, not realising that the lights they are crossing at only control traffic coming from Baldwin Street in the opposite direction, and I have seen a couple of close calls. Anyone doing the illegal left turn into Baldwin Street will also arrive at the crossing with the pedestrian lights on green.

Finally, there is my favourite new foible. The A1 airport bus, which I was on last month and will be again soon, used to simply turn left into Baldwin Street from Colston Avenue. It can't now, so passes Baldwin Street into Broad Quay, then doubles back along Marsh Street to join Baldwin Street. As it might one day be able to use the misguided busway to regain some of the time lost in making the detour.

I have said it many times, Metrobus will fail because it does not integrate with a frequent rail service!

A bus every 5 minutes, with connecting trains every 10 minutes ... and so on, all on one ticket!

When Metrobus starts in Bradley Stoke, I'll have a twenty minute stroll to Willow Brook shopping centre, and then a 35 minute bus journey to Bristol Centre, or a two minute stroll and get 73 bus for 50 minutes bus journey, or a 12 minute cycle ride to Bristol Parkway for a 15 minute train journey.

Will I get Metrobus?, yes once to try it out, and then back to my bike and train.

You assume the continuation of the 73 service. First have said they will withdraw the X73 as soon as MetroBust starts running, becasue it won't be commercially viable any more. They will make some slight alterations to the 73, then monitor usage. They can't guarantee keeping it at the same frequency for long if numbers drop off.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on May 15, 2018, 01:19:51 pm
This is true, but the new MetroBus route travels along Bradley Stoke Way and does not visit any large population areas of Bradley Stoke, or anywhere for that matter.

Nearly all customers of Metrobus will have a good walk to get to the metrobus stop, for me it will be 20 minutes.

The key fault of metrobus is that it appears to be a 'Trunk' bus service that does not connect with customers, great for going places, but not from communities. The easy fix for this was Bristol Parkway, but alas not!.

So, I think the 73 will survive, they may change the frequency a bit, but so long as it better than every 30 minutes it should be ok



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on May 15, 2018, 05:54:28 pm

So, I think the 73 will survive, they may change the frequency a bit, but so long as it better than every 30 minutes it should be ok

Hardly an improvement though. MetroBust was supposed to improve public transport by opening routes nobody thought were commercially viable, not compete with what is already there.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on May 16, 2018, 09:56:00 am
Just announced this morning further Metrobus delays.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-confirm-further-delays-south-1572004 (https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-confirm-further-delays-south-1572004)

Should just cancel the whole project and tell First Bus to run an extra two or three 'X' services


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 16, 2018, 09:58:16 am
I wonder what would happen to those bridges and bus lanes if the whole project were cancelled?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 16, 2018, 10:02:03 am
Cycle paths!  :) ;) :D ;D 8) ??? ::) :P :-[ :-X :-\ :-* :'(


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 16, 2018, 11:25:13 am
I wonder what would happen to those bridges and bus lanes if the whole project were cancelled?

An instant motorway junction for UWE Frenchay Campus.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 16, 2018, 12:06:52 pm
I wonder what would happen to those bridges and bus lanes if the whole project were cancelled?

An instant motorway junction for UWE Frenchay Campus.
Is I fear what it will become in several years anyway.

Cycle paths!  :) ;) :D ;D 8) ??? ::) :P :-[ :-X :-\ :-* :'(
They'd make good roller coaster rides I reckon!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on May 16, 2018, 10:18:07 pm
I wonder what would happen to those bridges and bus lanes if the whole project were cancelled?

An instant motorway junction for UWE Frenchay Campus.

It's being used for that already! Friends in the area have reported seeing many cars leaving the northbound M32 at the bus-only junction, some apparently unwittingly if social media is to be believed. I was directed to a post in Another Place by a lady who had obeyed the satnav order suggestion to "Leave at the next exit", and was frightened witless that CCTV may have recorded her egress. It didn't, but the council were there with a camera wagon yesterday, and someone was apparently issuing tickets. Others have mentioned seeing multiple vehicles joining the motorway from the Stoke Lane bus entrance, which surely cannot be done by accident.

Cycle paths!  :) ;) :D ;D 8) ??? ::) :P :-[ :-X :-\ :-* :'(

There's been enough name-calling already, thank you, young Red Squirrel!

Just announced this morning further Metrobus delays.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-confirm-further-delays-south-1572004 (https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-confirm-further-delays-south-1572004)

Should just cancel the whole project and tell First Bus to run an extra two or three 'X' services

To address the final sentence first, I'm sure one of the leading bus companies would have done that already had it been commercially viable. Aye, and there's the rub.

Going back to the Post Life article, you have to wonder at whether it is chutzpah, fraud or just incompetence at work.

Quote
Bosses have now confirmed the M2 service, from Ashton Vale to Temple Meads, is not expected to be up and running until Autumn this year. They added: "When we have a more definite date we will let you know."

The Metrobus route from Hengrove to Cribbs Causeway, or M1 service, has now been delayed again until January 2019.

A statement from organisations involved in Metrobus, including Bristol councillors, the managing director of First and the chief executive of HCT which runs Bristol Community Transport called this announcement "good news".

Councillors Mhairi Threlfall, Colin Hunt and Elfan Ap Rees, First managing director James Freeman and Dai Powell from HCT said in the joint statement: "With the preparations for the start of the first Metrobus service the M3 from Emersons Green into the city centre on May 29, are well underway, we are all pleased to give you more good news about the M1 and M2 services.
 
"We can now let you know that the M2 service, from Long Ashton Park and Ride via Temple Meads to the city centre, will start in Autumn, and the M1 service, from Hengrove to Cribbs Causeway, will start in January next year."

Whilst I have long harboured doubts about Messrs Hunt and ap Rees, I had always thought of Mhairi Threlwall as being a reasonably intelligent young lady of the type not prone to taking vast quantities of illegal hallucinogenic substances, and, despite being a councillor and in charge of the transport brief, of at least about average soundness of mind. It seems you can't judge a bus by looking at the livery after all. With the project way over budget and years late, not even Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, aka Comical Ali, at the height of his prowess would ever have described yet more delays as "good news". A quarter of a billion quid, and we can't even organise a replacement for the X73? Not good news at all, if you're a council tax payer in the West of England.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on May 17, 2018, 09:06:44 pm
More Justabus accusations and denials flying around today according to BBC Radio Bristol. Local MP criticising the Western Super Mayor of not helping with the dropped South Bristol route and said Mayor claiming it was nothing to do with him. Correct me if I'm wrong but did he not have plans for more Justabusses recently? Is transport not in his remit?
I predict the political bloodbath is just hotting up.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on May 18, 2018, 12:42:43 pm
Strange.....First bus have the launch of metrobus 'All systems Go' on their website with dignitaries, brass bands ( ok, I made that up) and local schoolchildren travelling on the route for the first time...

But that esteemed organ the Bristol Post leads with the forgotten metrobus route that no-one wants to run ..... ???


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on May 18, 2018, 03:08:38 pm
Had a look at the Posts article on 'the missing link' that local MP Karin Smyth has been speaking about. Seems that Metrobust initially claimed the route was 'aspirational' despite having built a road from the park and ride which is standing disused. Now they are saying the route is dropped as no operator in the country could be found to run it without a subsidy. There was further bluster about new houses in years to come to generate demand and this was all 'future proofing '. Seems Metrobust's PR people are as confused and disorganised as the rest of the outfit.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 19, 2018, 09:19:25 am
Quote
....    Seems Metrobust's PR people are as confused and disorganised as the rest of the outfit.

I well and truly second that.

WHERE WAS I ?

This is one for the members of this forum whom are well acquainted with the central shopping area of Bristol.

I was sitting at a bus stop which from May 27th will become a stop of the inaugural Metrobus route M3 and opposite to me on the other side of this one way thoroughfare is a large cycle shop which trades under the name of Evans. This bus stop is designated as B1.

Yes I guess you've all got it, Lewins Mead.

Translating the bus stop B1 into English it means Broadmead area (B) stop 1, translating the B1 into Metrobus speak it means Broadmead, Broadmead.

From information gathered online other  'B' stops are as under and where I can confirm their usage in timetables I have done so.

Stop B3 is described in timetables as Broadmead, Nelson Street ;
Stop B4 is Rupert Street ;
Stop B5 is Nelson Street ;
Stop B6 is Rupert Street ;
Stop B7 is described in timetables as Broadmead, Haymarket ;
Stop B10 is described in timetables as Broadmead, Haymarket ;
Stop B11 is described in timetables as Broadmead, Horsefair ;
Stop B12 is described in timetables as Broadmead, Union Street ;
Stop B13 is The Horsefair ;
Stop B14 is described in timetables as Broadmead, Union Street ;
Stop B16 is Union Street ;
Stop B18 is describes in timetables as Broadmead, Wine Street ;
Stop B19 is described in timetables as Broadmead, Union Street ;

It so happened that as I arrived and seated myself at the stop a technician was packing up his gear after connecting up the electrics and communications of the Metrobus I point and I pointed to the word Broadmead on it and said that's wrong this is Lewins Mead. "No, replied the technician, this is Broadmead and the next stop is Cabot Circus". "Yes", I replied, "seeing its by a pedestrian entrance to Cabot Circus but Broadmead is 150 metres up to Primark, cross the dual carriageway into Union Street and then another 150 metres to the Tesco Express and Broadmead is the Pedestrian area which runs through from Union Street to Penn Street ". Failure to agree.

So come on forum members, what do you think ?  With all the other bus stops within the 'B' series having them described as Broadmead followed by the actual street name or landmark of the stops location am I right in my assumption that yet again the outfit overseeing this project have got it wrong once again on this issue.

Imagine a visitor to Bristol armed with the free Central Bristol map looking to travel around the area, they look at the timetable to visit Cribbs Causeway,  find the stop is the B7, Broadmead, Haymarket, find Haymarket on the map, tramp there, find the stop and wait for the next bus to Cribbs.

Next day they would like to visit the S. S. Great Britain, find the stop is B18, Broadmead, Wine Street, find Wine Street on the map, tramp to Wine Street, find the stop and visit the attraction.

The following day and the purpose of their visit to Bristol they wish to visit UWE at Frenchay as they are considering enrolling there for a University Degree Course. They find the quickest way to get there is on the M3 and looking at the timetable they establish that the stop for that service is B1 Broadmead, Broadmead and so tramp to Broadmead looking for stop B1, walk up and down the length of Broadmead looking for stop B1 without success and no wonder, Broadmead is a fully pedestrianised area, asking fellow pedestrians where stop B1 is without success they spy an off duty First bus driver and enquire of him. "Oh, you want Lewins Mead", replies the off duty bus driver.

Now where was I sat, Broadmead ?, quick a photograph, caption it me sat at the Broadmead Metrobus I point / bus stop and when I show it to everyone they'll say, " that's not Broadmead, looks more like Lewins Mead ".

Confused ? not me it's those arrogant idiots guiding or not Metrobus.  ;)

By the way whilst I was sat at the stop I did notice that there was a very clear impression of the sole of a boot as if someone have already tried to put the " boot in " on this I point already.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on May 19, 2018, 09:43:40 am

So come on forum members, what do you think ?  With all the other bus stops within the 'B' series having them described as Broadmead followed by the actual street name or landmark of the stops location am I right in my assumption that yet again the outfit overseeing this project have got it wrong once again on this issue.


We have a perfectly good national system - Naptan - which gives a unique code to all bus stops.   I live a few yards from wilamdad, for example. Also known as 4600WIA10813 (AtcoCode) . See https://geopunk.co.uk/bus-stop/4600WIA10813.

The first three letters of the Naptan code are the local transport area, which means that locally you could refer to bus stops with a unique 5 letter name.   So get on the D3 and ask for a ticket to "Amdad" ...


Edit to add - see also https://bus.traveluk.info/stop-finder/postcode/sn12+7ny - to translate postcodes to bus stops and bus routes.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 19, 2018, 10:03:39 am

So come on forum members, what do you think ?  With all the other bus stops within the 'B' series having them described as Broadmead followed by the actual street name or landmark of the stops location am I right in my assumption that yet again the outfit overseeing this project have got it wrong once again on this issue.


We have a perfectly good national system - Naptan - which gives a unique code to all bus stops.   I live a few yards from wilamdad, for example. Also known as 4600WIA10813 (AtcoCode) . See https://geopunk.co.uk/bus-stop/4600WIA10813.

The first three letters of the Naptan code are the local transport area, which means that locally you could refer to bus stops with a unique 5 letter name.   So get on the D3 and ask for a ticket to "Amdad" ...

Edit to add - see also https://bus.traveluk.info/stop-finder/postcode/sn12+7ny - to translate postcodes to bus stops and bus routes.


Very useful if you have a database of https's in your head but not if you are armed with a city centre map and a bus timetable quoting Broadmead, Broadmead (B1).  ;D


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on May 19, 2018, 10:20:44 am
Very useful if you have a database of https's in your head but not if you are armed with a city centre map and a bus timetable quoting Broadmead, Broadmead (B1).  ;D

Then rename it bstgdwa in the timetable  ;D ;D https://bus.traveluk.info/stop-finder/stopcode/bstgdwa


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 19, 2018, 10:31:30 am
Very useful if you have a database of https's in your head but not if you are armed with a city centre map and a bus timetable quoting Broadmead, Broadmead (B1).  ;D

Then rename it bstgdwa in the timetable  ;D ;D https://bus.traveluk.info/stop-finder/stopcode/bstgdwa

Tell Metrobus HQ that or change the white printed word Broadmead on the I point to Lewins Mead or as you state bstgdwa then ask a bus driver where stop bstgdwa is and he'll tell you how the f*** do I know.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on May 19, 2018, 10:34:13 am
... ask a bus driver where stop bstgdwa is and he'll tell you how the f*** do I know.

Answer: "It's on your f***ing official timetable sheet"  ;D ;D


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 19, 2018, 11:12:25 am
... ask a bus driver where stop bstgdwa is and he'll tell you how the f*** do I know.

Answer: "It's on your f***ing official timetable sheet"  ;D ;D

Off out now, will ask a driver if its on his official timetable sheet and see what he says.

Post later or tomorrow.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 19, 2018, 03:52:40 pm
... ask a bus driver where stop bstgdwa is and he'll tell you how the f*** do I know.

Answer: "It's on your f***ing official timetable sheet"  ;D ;D


Saw the official timetable sheet of a service at its terminus of a service I used this pm, no mention of codes for bus stops just the usual commonly known locations such as Morrisons Yate, Smarts Green, Coalpit Heath Church, Willy Wicket, etc.

However, a Metrobus was on display at one of the venues I visited today and timetables were being handed out and it was a revelation that the First bus printed timetable DOES specify the B1 stop, the subject of my earlier substantial post on this subject, as ;-

Lewins Mead (B1) ;-

Good on yer First bus exposing yet another clanger dropped by Metrobus HQ.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on May 19, 2018, 04:16:24 pm
Congratulations on your lucky 777th post martyjon !

Once Tuesday 29th May is here, he might not be the only one aghast as the perceived incompetence of Metrobust  finally becomes a reality!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 20, 2018, 09:56:40 pm
Wine Street; ah, Wine Street. Bristol's main shopping street for maybe a touch less than 800 years, and look at it now. And don't blame the Luftwaffe; blame the planners.

Anyway where was I? Oh yeah: The 'Broadmead' brand is getting stretched a bit thin, isn't it? Once there was just Broadmead, then The Galleries, that transmogriified into the Mallory Galleries (or something); then we had the Merchant's Quarter Cabot Circus, and now they're about to knock down another chunk of it, currently referred to as Callowhill Court (Will that name stick? Hannah Callowhill, although feted in the USA, was married to William Penn, who was a bit a slave trader).

Maybe they should code the bus stops 'T', for 'The shops'.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 21, 2018, 10:40:00 am
... currently referred to as Callowhill Court (Will that name stick? Hannah Callowhill, although feted in the USA, was married to William Penn, who was a bit a slave trader).
William Penn, the noted Quaker and founder of Pennsylvania, a bit of a slave trader? Seems highly unlikely. His father, the admiral, might have been. As for Callowhill, I don't think the name will be widely associated with a person at all (which doesn't mean it will stick though).


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 21, 2018, 11:07:51 am
... currently referred to as Callowhill Court (Will that name stick? Hannah Callowhill, although feted in the USA, was married to William Penn, who was a bit a slave trader).
William Penn, the noted Quaker and founder of Pennsylvania, a bit of a slave trader? Seems highly unlikely. His father, the admiral, might have been. As for Callowhill, I don't think the name will be widely associated with a person at all (which doesn't mean it will stick though).

Yes I do mean him, but I'm guilty of terminological inexactitude: He owned them, rather than trading them. 12 in number, and being (as you say) a Quaker he tried to be nice to them, which I'm sure made them fell absolutely fine about the whole thing. :P

Hannah is (as you say) not that well known in this country, or indeed probably outside Pennsylvania, but the truth is out there...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 21, 2018, 12:53:35 pm
As the continuing Colston Controversy shows, there's no escape from the slaving legacy in Bristol. Rather than try to escape from it, the developers should embrace this aspect of the city's history; I suggest names such as Shackle Street, the Manacle Quarter and the Trading Block. Maybe Pen Street (one n) to join Penn Street. The Live Cargo District, an exciting new development of hipster food stalls specializing in West African cuisine and ship's biscuits, etc.  :o


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on May 24, 2018, 11:27:01 am
Karin Smyth MP asked Jesse Norman..who is the minister for roads not rail... at Transport Questions about Metrobus not running between Hengrove and Long Ashton. He told her that it was a matter for the Metro mayor Tim Bowles....who is at great pains to point out that the Metro part of his name has nothing to do with Metrobus. So is the minister and his civil servants wrongly briefed or is it Tim Bowles not knowing the remit of his job ? Isn't that just what you expect from the typical buck passing associated with this whole damn fiasco ?.

And no sign of Liam Fox asking about the Portishead line ...no surprises there, then.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on May 24, 2018, 11:41:25 am
Good News!

https://www.firstgroup.com/bristol-bath-and-west/news-and-service-updates/news/first-improves-bus-services-linking-thornbury  (https://www.firstgroup.com/bristol-bath-and-west/news-and-service-updates/news/first-improves-bus-services-linking-thornbury)

First Bristol will start running a new express service, every 30 minutes, from Thornbury to Bristol using the new Stoke Gifford Link Road (Metrobus).


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on May 24, 2018, 12:09:26 pm
Good News!

https://www.firstgroup.com/bristol-bath-and-west/news-and-service-updates/news/first-improves-bus-services-linking-thornbury  (https://www.firstgroup.com/bristol-bath-and-west/news-and-service-updates/news/first-improves-bus-services-linking-thornbury)

First Bristol will start running a new express service, every 30 minutes, from Thornbury to Bristol using the new Stoke Gifford Link Road (Metrobus).


Hmm, not for me. The new timetable appears to represent a 50% reduction in the number of busses to and from my Gloucester Road bus stop to get to and from work at Aztec West.

I feared this would happen. Ho hum, guess it'll have to be the 75 from now and the extra mile walk each way. Well done Metrobust!I

Meanwhile, more excuses and spin on:

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/firstbus-wont-offer-metrobus-south-1599192


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on May 24, 2018, 12:41:55 pm

Hmm, not for me. The new timetable appears to represent a 50% reduction in the number of busses to and from my Gloucester Road bus stop to get to and from work at Aztec West.

I feared this would happen. Ho hum, guess it'll have to be the 75 from now and the extra mile walk each way. Well done Metrobust!

There are always some losers and some winners.   Overall, will the result once it's settled down be than more people travel to Aztec West by bus than do at the moment, or less, resulting in an increase in private cars in and out of the business park?   Are there "left field" effects such as more people walking and cycling there?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on May 24, 2018, 04:59:59 pm
I have to say I'm not holding my breath in anticipation. I know it's anecdotal evidence only but not one person I know at work has told me they had any intention of using it and they are all aware of it thanks to the geological time the Aztec roundabout was subject to Metrobust roadworks.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on May 29, 2018, 07:26:17 am
Well, today's the day when it finally launches. I hope that FT,N creator of the tag 'Metrobust' was on the inaugural run ! ???


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 29, 2018, 08:01:49 am
Well, today's the day when it finally launches. I hope that FT,N creator of the tag 'Metrobust' was on the inaugural run ! ???


Well if he wasn't don't blame him, no timetables posted at any stops information points, real time screens that can't be seen in daylight cos the sunshine is too bright where there is a real time display and according to a female MetroBus person who happened to cross my path at the Lyde Green P & R stop last week, the suns not that bright too many days of the year to cause much of a problem. No timetables distributed to households in Lyde Green and other areas formerly covered by the X48 so many are blissfully unaware that its happening today and M3 will only stop at MetroBus stops so for many of Lyde Greens residents, the only residential area M3 will travel through, it will mean at least a 10 minute walk to either the Park and Ride or The Science Park stops.

Never mind I'll try it out later this morning even though it will mean for me 3 buses for my journey into Bristol rather than the more convenient 1 direct bus on either of 3 direct routes, the X47/47/X49.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on May 29, 2018, 10:00:00 am
It will be interesting to compare the M3, Emerson Green to Bristol Metro bus service and the T1, First Bristol new service from Thornbury to Bristol Centre


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on May 29, 2018, 10:20:31 am
As I write, I'm not on the 78 service to work that I used to take as there is not one anymore. 75 now with the extra mile walk. Well, at least it is summer.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: trainer on May 29, 2018, 05:44:59 pm
As I write, I'm not on the 78 service to work that I used to take as there is not one anymore. 75 now with the extra mile walk. Well, at least it is summer.

I assume that under the current law, there is nothing to stop any bus company replacing the discontinued routes with their own if the MetroBus concept is so unpopular and people on these estates are willing to pay for the convenience of a local bus as opposed to the offered speed of the new system.  These 'old' routes would observe all the stops and be part of the traffic queues into Bristol as has hitherto been the case.  I'm not sure what the rules are for any operator using the 'bus only' lanes onto the M32: clearly only adapted vehicles will be able to use the concrete bits currently being re-profiled, but if they were allowed then commercial freedoms would allow a competing regime and only the most popular would survive. 

There will be winners and losers in a purely commercial system and a planned monopoly.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on May 29, 2018, 06:20:51 pm
I assume that under the current law, there is nothing to stop any bus company replacing the discontinued routes with their own if the MetroBus concept is so unpopular ....

I believe you're correct in most circumstances including this one.   In London with their franchise system I suspect you couldn't and I'm not sure what the situation would be if there was an enhanced or advanced bus partnership in place in the area. If the local authority had implemented bus franchising, the extra services would need to operate as part of the franchise or with an exemption certificate.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on May 29, 2018, 09:08:10 pm
For sure there will be winners and losers with the changes due to Metrobust and I know I am one of the latter. My concern is more about the actual net gain for a mere quarter billion pound investment. Looks like it is mostly a win for the road building interests to me as I return home much later now than I would have before the changes.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on May 29, 2018, 11:02:53 pm
I find the idea that winners and losers must co-exist within are transport system sad.

Sure that many people on Thornbury - Bradley Stoke corridor have an improved service because of the new route of the T1 saving 15 minutes of their journey.

I thought the T2 route was the same as the old 78, with an hourly service.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on May 30, 2018, 07:31:09 am
I've been watching this thread and Metrobus from the sidelines ... but I will probably be in Bristol on Friday and wonder whether to have a ride purely for the experience.    Silly question - does this initial route take what looks like almost a perverse delight in avoiding any rail interchanges?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: froome on May 30, 2018, 08:24:00 am
A couple of weeks ago I used the 62 bus that goes from Bristol to Berkeley (and on to Gloucester), returning on it to Bristol in the early afternoon. The relevance of this is that it uses the M32 and so makes use of the bus lane that has been put in for Metrobus.

What actually happened, when we got onto the M32 a bit before 3pm (so well out of the rush hour) was that the M32 was already pretty congested with all lanes of traffic full. The bus took the outside lane, i.e. next to the central reservation, so that it could get into the bus lane when that lane started, which is quite a long way along the M32. However, when it got to that point, the traffic ahead was trying to pull over into the middle lane, as it wasn't allowed into the bus lane, and the traffic in the middle lane wasn't allowing anyone to move over. So the bus was blocked and we had to watch traffic passing us by on the inside, until the bus driver also tried to pull into the middle lane to get round the blocking traffic, which eventually did free up the lane and allowed him to get back over into the bus lane.

So what happens with Metrobus here? I didn't notice any signals to allow it onto the bus lane, but I wasn't able to see that closely, so perhaps there are some. If not, will it too be stuck in the lane like the 62 bus?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on May 30, 2018, 08:49:27 pm
I find the idea that winners and losers must co-exist within are transport system sad.

Sure that many people on Thornbury - Bradley Stoke corridor have an improved service because of the new route of the T1 saving 15 minutes of their journey.

I thought the T2 route was the same as the old 78, with an hourly service.

You are right but it means the half hourly service between the 78 and 79 serving Aztec West roundabout from Gloucester Road A38 has been halved in frequency. This is particularly bad for some of us working into the evening to the top of the hour whereby you just miss the service and have a hour to wait. Such a decrease for such an important employment centre hardly constitutes an improvement for those not travelling from the centre.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on May 30, 2018, 09:23:47 pm
Is the 73 of any use?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on May 31, 2018, 12:46:58 pm
Is the 73 of any use?

If I get away exactly on time (unusual) and really march at the double I might just make it across Aztec to Conniston Road for the 73 but it is 50/50 at best with a long wait for the next one. Quite a few people took the old 79 service back at the same time as me. Not any more.
What is extra stupid is that evening finishers tend to finish at the top of the hour. Having the bus now arriving there at 1 minute past gives no one a chance to catch it.
Thanks for the suggestion though. ☺


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on May 31, 2018, 01:02:10 pm
The owners of Aztech West,  should arrange for a regular bus service from Bristol Parkway to to Aztech West.

At least from Bristol Parkway their are lots of buses, and regular train services


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: SandTEngineer on May 31, 2018, 01:24:04 pm
Last Tuesday I travelled on the A1 Airport bus (from the airport to BTM) and I didn't notice anything to do with METROBUS.  Did I miss anything?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on May 31, 2018, 02:55:38 pm
Went on the M3 from Centre to Emersons Green today . Is that it ? The sense of disappointment and underwhelming expectations was palpable. So disillusioned, that I came back on the 48 which which was marginally more exciting. An object lesson in how to damn with faint praise.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 31, 2018, 06:04:22 pm
Went on the M3 from Centre to Emersons Green today . Is that it ? The sense of disappointment and underwhelming expectations was palpable. So disillusioned, that  came back on the 48 which which was marginally more exciting. An object lesson in how to damn with faint praise.


Wot. you didn't encounter the excitement of will the bus make it up the incline to the bus only bridge, Oh, the new road is suffering subsidence at Begbrooke, those RIGHT angle bends at Lyde Green and the overflowing 54 car space park and ride car park at same location.

Two mates of mine attended a function at the Hotel Du Vin in Lewins Mead on Metrobus opening day and tossed a coin to see who would travel to Emersons Green quickest, the one who won the M3 route said "I'll wait for you at Emersons". When he got there the one who was consigned to the 48 was "waiting for him".

Plenty of riders from the buses I've seen, wait till they gotta pay.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on June 01, 2018, 05:59:40 pm
.... Oh, the new road is suffering subsidence at Begbrooke, ....

Yes, definitely the road at Begbrooke is sick, seems to be suffering from a collapse of the drainage system from a kerbside rainwater drain cover on the inbound side stop with about 4 yellow barriers protecting the dip in the road and 2 roadside cones placed in the subsided dip itself making it a contraflow past the offending stretch of highway.

Grahame, did you make it as per your post earlier in the week. Grahame, no there is no linking up Metrobus to a railhead, Parkway would be the one for this phase of Metrobus, but you should know Bristol, nothings ever joined up here cos we have 4 UA's covering the Greater Bristol Area and ne'er shall any one of the other 3 UA's agree with Bristol or is it the other way ne'er shall Bristol agree collectively with the other 3 LA's ?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on June 01, 2018, 06:26:33 pm
Oh woe, woe and thrice woe ! As uttered by Senna the soothsayer in Up Pompeii. As I adjust my toga before sitting on a cold marble ledge, I cannot help wondering where our great sage FT,N who foretold so much of this debacle is?. He is unusually quiet in coming forward and saying 'I told you so!'


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Western Pathfinder on June 01, 2018, 06:45:53 pm
Titter ye not mrs !.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: trainer on June 01, 2018, 10:44:06 pm
My first impression of the new bus service is that it is...a bus service.  It's like some other services: faster bits and slower bits.  The stops are well spaced out and not obviously near residences, much like many tram stops in some cities, but in those cases you walk to get a rail vehicle which will feel very different to a bus.

The fast link off the M32 has a speed limit of 15mph (or is it 10?) and the bus.  There is at least one right hand turn (on to Stoke Lane) which I thought had no obvious way of prioritising the bus over other traffic in peak times.

Nice buses.  Friendly driver and staff.  No 'wow' factor but not especially awful either.  Perhaps the other routes will make me think that the disruption has been worth it.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on June 02, 2018, 02:07:09 am
My first impression of the new bus service is that it is...a bus service.  It's like some other services: faster bits and slower bits.  The stops are well spaced out and not obviously near residences, much like many tram stops in some cities, but in those cases you walk to get a rail vehicle which will feel very different to a bus.

The fast link off the M32 has a speed limit of 15mph (or is it 10?) and the bus.  There is at least one right hand turn (on to Stoke Lane) which I thought had no obvious way of prioritising the bus over other traffic in peak times.

Nice buses.  Friendly driver and staff.  No 'wow' factor but not especially awful either.  Perhaps the other routes will make me think that the disruption has been worth it.

Agreed

If it walks like a duck bus and quacks like a duck bus, it probably is a duck bus.  This one is even called a duck bus.

In Bristol on other topics ... I took a ride yesterday and saw it in action amongst the other buses.   Some pictures

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mbm3_1.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mbm3_2.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mbm3_3.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mbm3_4.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mbm3_5.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mbm3_6.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mbm3_7.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mbm3_8.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mbm3_9.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mbm3_a.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mbm3_b.jpg)

As the first route to be opened, perhaps it was to be expected that this one would have the least innovative engineering so be the easiest to complete.  Nice bus.  Didn't actually go where I wanted, but then I don't live near its route, so there's no criticism in that.   Noting the comments about "not obviously near residences" and I certainly noted that for one stop - "excellent for getting to the allotments" said a fellow passenger. But then the as a social and development enabler, it brings that area into scope for commuter / dormitory or business development.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on June 02, 2018, 04:01:01 am
.... "excellent for getting to the allotments" said a fellow passenger. ....

That's a real cracker of a comment there, Grahame. Did you notice the subsided road surface at the allotments stop inbound.


I noticed that at Lyde Green they had opened up the gate to the grassed field that doubles as an overflow car park, hope the Councils got a notice ready to erect, "In case of being stuck in this car park when it becomes a muddy quagmire telephone nnnnnnnnnnn, a friendly farmer who will bring his tractor and tow you out for a tenner".

Nice to see the prospect of a bit of diversification in our local countryside.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on June 02, 2018, 05:05:57 am
.... "excellent for getting to the allotments" said a fellow passenger. ....

That's a real cracker of a comment there, Grahame. Did you notice the subsided road surface at the allotments stop inbound.

I did notice the barriers around something there ... wasn't sure whether it was around works not yet completed, or a teething problem.   But I was also enjoying a 60 degree left turn off the M32 followed by a 360 degree right turn crossing the M32 twice, with upsies and downsies at that point in the journey.    Reminded me of a cycle lane of the month site I used to read - often with huge loops for cyclists that must have put them off.

I also noted how good one of those early Metrobus stops just off the motorway is as an unofficial part and ride ... you can park for free all day outside someone's house and take the Metrobus (also free for a short period) into the City Centre.  I suspect this isn't the planner's intent and that the natives residents will get restless and that the council someone will feel the need to apply their power to implement parking restrictions, perhaps combined with a money-raising parking facility for those displaced from what a free and legal opportunity at the moment.

But any system has teething troubles.  A lot of the long term success or otherwise depends on how those little teething issues are sorted out.




 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 03, 2018, 05:32:36 pm
Thought I'd take advantage of the free introductory offer on the m3 this weekend. The travelwest.info website was down on Saturday, and again today (Sunday) - was it overloaded by people desperate to replan their entire existences  around JustaBus, or has it been DoS'd again by Islamic fundamentalists? Either way, I couldn't see a timetable - so, in for a penny, in for one adult one child return from Montpelier to Temple Meads with a railcard what railcard what d'you think how about Family and Feinds, we headed off to The Centre.

Hmm. Unless you're one of those clever types who carries bus stop maps around with you, it's less easy than you might think to find yer stop. Once you've found it - which we did eventually - you can confirm it's the right one from the timetable poster, but a bigger flag would have helped.

Sadly, that's the end of 'Red Squirrel's Review of JustaBus': Justabus don't stop Centre Sundays. Hey ho. Had a look round 'We the Curious' instead, which was also a bit of a disappointment to anyone hoping anything other than the name had changed.

And now I spot grahame's useful shot of the timetable..!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on June 03, 2018, 06:45:10 pm
Getting the distinct impression in this first week of operation, that everyone finds it all a bit predictably boring, ordinarily underwhelming ! I think the number of posts I have made up till now, on this forum, is a most apt numerical metaphor for this 'small beer bus service'.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 03, 2018, 07:22:44 pm
Well, today's the day when it finally launches. I hope that FT,N creator of the tag 'Metrobust' was on the inaugural run ! ???

I was not! I had a better offer, and now live about 3 miles from TVP in lovely Devon. I'll be in Bristol soon, and might go for a ride if it's still running. And free. I'm reading mixed opinions from friends.

Last Tuesday I travelled on the A1 Airport bus (from the airport to BTM) and I didn't notice anything to do with METROBUS.  Did I miss anything?

No. The airport bus should have changed to a new route a year ago, along the MetroBust "special" busway through Ashton Vale. But it was built wrongly, so those travellers who were finding it difficult to park for free in Bedminster before going on holiday will have to wait a bit longer before moving to Ashton Vale.

Oh woe, woe and thrice woe ! As uttered by Senna the soothsayer in Up Pompeii. As I adjust my toga before sitting on a cold marble ledge, I cannot help wondering where our great sage FT,N who foretold so much of this debacle is?. He is unusually quiet in coming forward and saying 'I told you so!'

I told you so!

Sorry I'm late, but MetroBust is not the only major engineering project running a bit late at the moment. Nice chap from Openreach arrived 9 May to connect my (brand new) house to the 21st century. Shortly afterwards, he left, shaking his head, since when people keep ringing me to say that nothing has happened, but at least it was quick. A solution has been found, and a farmer bribed to accept a pole in his field (not the crop-picking type), and soon I may be able to use the web again without sitting in the garden to use my kind neighbour's wifi, or, as I have done today, returning to Bristol for a few days.

Mrs FT, N!, as formidable as she is beautiful, always said I spent too much time on the internet complaining about MetroBust, to the point where I used to pretend to be downloading child pornography, to shut her up. She has changed her tune these last few weeks, and now complains that she, unlike me, has rights to electronic communication, and what am I going to do about it, then? Saying that "I'll send them an email, dearest" got me a handbagging when the penny dropped, but it was worth it.

Getting back on thread, my informants have mixed views. A couple had a lovely quick ride to Emersons Green, somewhere they hadn't been before (and won't be going again). Others complain of late-running services going past them without stopping because they're full of passengers once full of curiosity about whether Emersons Green is a real place, but who stayed on the bus when it got there to make sure of getting a seat on the way home. Others bemoan the passing of the services that were scrapped to make way for MetroBust, leaving them with long walks to bus stops, lower frequency of services, or a car drive instead. Some say £250 million seems a lot to have reduced bus capacity across Bristol and district. None seems surprised. It will be interesting to see how things go when the schools are back in, tickets have to be checked, and reality sinks in, but I reckon my hat is safe.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 04, 2018, 11:37:17 am
Ah, a new website. This one actually works: https://metrobusbristol.co.uk/


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Phantom on June 04, 2018, 12:01:40 pm
Last Tuesday I travelled on the A1 Airport bus (from the airport to BTM) and I didn't notice anything to do with METROBUS.  Did I miss anything?

Nothing sadly - different part of Bristol


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on June 04, 2018, 08:40:22 pm
Question - When is a bus lane not a bus lane ?

Answer - When its a MetroBus lane.


Came home this evening courtesy of First Buses X47 from Cabot Circus specially to time the journey. boarded bus and departed Cabot Circus at 15:57. Past Willy Wicket Metrobus stop at 16:11 and stopped at first X47 stop after Cabot Circus, Kendleshire - Cuckoo Lane at 16:12. A journey time of 15 minutes whereas Metrobus journey time to the Willy Wicket stop is 20 minutes admittedly through using the M32 bus only exit and via UWE Frenchay Campus.

However one thing was noticeable, when the bus exited the M32 the driver made no attempt to use the bus only lanes on the ring road particularly between the Bromley Heath and Willy Wicket roundabouts which are both traffic light controlled despite the fact that two empty coaches passed the bus on them.

When I alighted, knowing the driver, I jokingly said to him, "I see you don't believe in these 'er bus lanes then". He replied, "Its not that, we're not allowed too, if the bus lane camera pick up any vehicle other than a registered Metrobus vehicle then the company gets fined and as the driver the fine is deducted from our money. The unions onto it though".

Will raise this matter if I get a chance at the hastily convened public meeting on Wednesday, 6th June.



 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 05, 2018, 01:10:40 pm
Well, I have been there and done that! I have ridden on MetroBust, from Cabot Circus to Emersons Green and back. I was distinctly underwhelmed by the experience.
The driver was very cheerful. The bus was nice, although the air conditioning upstairs was a bit urgent. But the roads are pretty awful in places, leading to an uncomfortable ride, bumpy and bouncy, especially on corners. With the exception of UWE, where the bus practically emptied, the stops seem sited to suit the needs of the bus, not the passengers.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on June 05, 2018, 01:31:13 pm
Soothing says from the soothsayer ?. Hardly !


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 05, 2018, 03:00:56 pm
Soothing says from the soothsayer ?. Hardly !

Seething, maybe.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 05, 2018, 06:03:16 pm
Well, I have been there and done that!

#MeToo

First impressions:

Waiting at The Centre, it felt like something new - the offboard ticket machine and capacious bus stop felt almost like, well, a tram stop. We managed to collar the front seats upstairs, where the cold blast referred to by FT, N soon had me wishing I had had Squirrel Jr's foresight and worn a hoodie. It didn't take long for the 'tram-like' illusion to dissolve; the bumping and swaying soon confirmed that this was no tram but just a bus.

I take the point about the positioning of stops - the one at Stapleton Allotments smacks of self-parody, though if this were a tram and not just a bus it would almost make sense. Further out on the Ring Road, it appeared that no attempt has been made to make the stops useful or accessible. Further out we found ourselves in a very odd place where none of the houses had chimneys; here was an alleged 'Park and Ride' with spaces for a dozen or so cars (which is roughly the number of commuters that park outside our house in the morning since we were omitted from the Resident's Parking Zones) and some unmade or partially-made roads where the bus has to literally bump over kerbs to negotiate the route.

I'm uncomfortable with being too negative about this - I can't compare it with the regular bus - but it feels like it was designed by someone with two Jags who has heard of buses (and trams) but whose only real experience of them is as an obstacle when they are being driven across town.

A couple of paracetamol seem to be finally getting a grip on the splitting headache that descended on me after 40 minutes under the arctic blast. Overall, I'm happy in the knowledge that I won't have any call to do that again.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 05, 2018, 07:51:58 pm
I'm glad it's not just me. Part of me was hoping to be made to look a pillock after all my years of shouting spite. I was half-hoping (well, 3/64ths) to come home like Saul of Tarsus, on the road to Damascus, scales fallen from my eyes, saying "Guys! Guys! I was wrong! MetroBust is truly the answer to all of our problems!" But no. I had a cup of coffee in Sainsburys, which is much better served by the local buses, then went home. I forgot the toilet cleaner I was going to buy there, so it wasn't even the road to Domestos.

Both ways, I passed through the chimney-free ghost town mentioned by Red Squirrel. When a park and ride is the nearest you get to a heart in a locality, you know the estate agent has problems, too. This bus will be heavily used by UWE students, especially as the previous service was withdrawn, and by a few of the former X48 passengers.

I wasn't expecting much, but it was worse.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on June 05, 2018, 08:33:41 pm
Yesterday I posted ;-

Question - When is a bus lane not a bus lane ?

Answer - When its a MetroBus lane.


Came home this evening courtesy of First Buses X47 from Cabot Circus specially to time the journey. boarded bus and departed Cabot Circus at 15:57. Past Willy Wicket Metrobus stop at 16:11 and stopped at first X47 stop after Cabot Circus, Kendleshire - Cuckoo Lane at 16:12. A journey time of 15 minutes whereas Metrobus journey time to the Willy Wicket stop is 20 minutes admittedly through using the M32 bus only exit and via UWE Frenchay Campus.

However one thing was noticeable, when the bus exited the M32 the driver made no attempt to use the bus only lanes on the ring road particularly between the Bromley Heath and Willy Wicket roundabouts which are both traffic light controlled despite the fact that two empty coaches passed the bus on them.

When I alighted, knowing the driver, I jokingly said to him, "I see you don't believe in these 'er bus lanes then". He replied, "Its not that, we're not allowed too, if the bus lane camera pick up any vehicle other than a registered Metrobus vehicle then the company gets fined and as the driver the fine is deducted from our money. The unions onto it though".

Will raise this matter if I get a chance at the hastily convened public meeting on Wednesday, 6th June.


Well, today my return home was courtesy of the same timed First buses X47 which left the Cabot Circus "Metrobus Station" at 14:01 and we passed the Willy Wicket "Metrobus Station" at 15:15, 1 minute quicker than yesterdays journey AND with the same driver.

I did take a particular note of the BUS LANE signage on the ring road today and they have a pictogram of a single decker bus and a motor cyclist accompanying the three words "Authorised Vehicles Taxis".

AND today as I alighted my friend, the bus driver, said one word to me "sorted" and winked, I knew what he was referring to, when we hit the traffic backing up from the Willy Wicket roundabout and as soon as the driver was able, he pulled into the "MetroBus ONLY Lane" which has seemingly lost the "Metro" bit, maybe something to do with potential "flak" being exploded at tomorrow meeting or maybe the power of this forum. I, however, have an "incendiary" to explode at the meeting tomorrow if I get a chance. Notices at the Park and Ride state in RED wording, "FREE PARKING", and later down the notice reads, "If a Blue Badge is displayed parking is free" and then another phrase on the same notice limits parking time to 12 hours. Yet another phrase promises the Park and Ride commuters a "Penalty fine of up to £70 for exceeding the time limit". This precludes those commuters who may work 12 hour shifts from using MetroBus even though they have contributed to the cost through their General and Council Taxes, nothing like driving business away.

Tomorrows meeting sure is going to be interesting if not explosive.

To conclude this post, for many of you readers not familiar with the area, the Willy Wicket is a very nice Pub / Restaurant adjacent to the Ring Road at the, yes, Willy Wicket roundabout and yes it has its own "MetroBus Station", the Willy Wicket stop.



 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 05, 2018, 08:39:17 pm
To conclude this post, for many of you readers not familiar with the area, the Willy Wicket is a very nice Pub / Restaurant adjacent to the Ring Road at the, yes, Willy Wicket roundabout and yes it has its own "MetroBus Station", the Willy Wicket stop.

So if you've been working hard on your allotment and find yourself almost overcome by thirst and in need of one of those pints at the Willy Wicket...

And I thought MetroBust was pointless!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on June 05, 2018, 09:53:20 pm
To conclude this post, for many of you readers not familiar with the area, the Willy Wicket is a very nice Pub / Restaurant adjacent to the Ring Road at the, yes, Willy Wicket roundabout and yes it has its own "MetroBus Station", the Willy Wicket stop.

So if you've been working hard on your allotment and find yourself almost overcome by thirst and in need of one of those pints at the Willy Wicket...

And I thought MetroBust was pointless!


Could do a pub crawl, after a pint at the Willy Wicket get Metrobus to the next station, Emerald Park, and drop into The Folly, another nice pub / restaurant for a second pint then cross the road and crawl to one's apartment abode in the apartment town of Lyde Green.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on June 05, 2018, 11:31:18 pm
Talking off pub crawls, is it not about time for another forum pub meet soon? Missed the last one yonks ago but willing and able (just about) for another, as long as it isn't on a Justabus route. Mods, feel free to put this on a more relevant thread if appropriate.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on June 06, 2018, 12:36:12 am
Again, nobody takes responsibility.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-tweeted-urging-people-use-1643608


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on June 06, 2018, 07:09:49 am
Again, nobody takes responsibility.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-tweeted-urging-people-use-1643608


For those readers of this forum that find the quoted website a pain to use like I do, the story relates to a twitter tweet urging people to tryout MetroBus for free this weekend [2/3 June] when in fact there is NO SUNDAY SERVICE.

I wonder if forum reader Red Squirrel was one of those taken in by the very same twitter tweet.


Title: Re: Portishead not dead
Post by: Oberon on June 06, 2018, 08:02:53 am
Contrary to the Portishead scheme being dead in the water this newspaper cutting seems to suggest otherwise. So perhaps there is hope..

http://www.northsomersettimes.co.uk/news/portishead-railway-letter-provides-boost-1-5549512


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 06, 2018, 09:14:56 am
I wonder if forum reader Red Squirrel was one of those taken in by the very same twitter tweet.

Squirrels are brighter than that!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on June 06, 2018, 09:26:05 am
Oh so , it's Read Squirrel and not Red Squirrel now is it ? Probably went on the metrobus to get out of all the
Dreyfuss at home !


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 06, 2018, 09:37:44 am
Don't mind me; I'm just trying to remember where I buried me nuts...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 06, 2018, 10:37:11 am
They're in the topic; one in every bite.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: GBM on June 06, 2018, 11:45:44 am
Don't mind me; I'm just trying to remember where I buried me nuts...
Waaay off topic Gentlemen, BUT.
Very many thanks for so many chuckles in any thread on the forum.
A move to the "The Lighter Side" (only in jest before someone shoots me)
Good to have a giggle in a serious life


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: bignosemac on June 06, 2018, 07:29:51 pm
They're in the topic; one in every bite.

I remember that advert.

🎶What has a hazelnut in every bite?🎵

Squirrel s**t "Topic!"


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on June 06, 2018, 08:06:42 pm
I think you were right first time ! ;D


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on June 06, 2018, 08:13:51 pm
Talking of ;-

Quote

Squirrel s**t

The tops of the MetroBus I-points (ticket machines for normal people) in the City Centre are seemingly providing a very handy roosting place for pigeons and seagulls who have no qualms about leaving their trade mark white streaks all down the departure screens and the touch screens for purchasing tickets. One of the MetroBus Ambassadors, you know the student types positioned at some of the MetroBus stops wearing either or both of a red sweatshirt and/or a grey showerproof fleece sporting the m MetroBus logo told me this morning that one day last week he had the task of removing all the defficated material from the touch screen but needed steps or a ladder to remove such matter from higher up on the timetable screen. So a tip to anyone purchasing a ticket from these contraptions, always look up before you make your purchase to ensure there is no rear end of a pigeon of a seagull overhanging when making your purchase or else your credit card might get christened with a white splog whilst you are inserting ir or removing it from the keypad.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on June 06, 2018, 08:24:38 pm
I bet the ticket machine designers didn't consider that for a nano second. Cue nasty grey spikes being inserted on top of said machines just like the ones designed to put off the pigeons in the bus station. I think it would a more salutary lesson for the designers of the hideous concraptions would be  to shin up a ladder with a bucket and sponge,in their designer suits, rather than inflict the onerous  task on studenty ambassaors who are probably being paid a pittance anyway.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 06, 2018, 09:22:34 pm
That's quite a good point. I expect many of the pigeons and gulls are actually in trees and on buildings above the machines, but it's quite predictable that birds congregate in such areas (used to be starlings but they seem to have become quite rare now) and so it should be a consideration for the designers. Maybe recessed screens?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: broadgage on June 07, 2018, 04:37:43 am
According to last nights TV news, another £200,000 of public money is to be spent on metrobust correcting some sections of the guided bus way that have been built to the wrong dimensions.
Further delay is expected before the whole system opens.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on June 07, 2018, 06:47:37 am
According to last nights TV news, another £200,000 of public money is to be spent on metrobust correcting some sections of the guided bus way that have been built to the wrong dimensions.
Further delay is expected before the whole system opens.


Not as simple as that, I was at the meeting and I'll prepare and post a L-O-N-G report when my time permits but in a nutshell, £30,000 was shaved off the guided bit as cost savings during build and then the engineers tried to blame the bus manufacturers and First Buses maintenance regime for the buses not fitting the guided bit, "scuffing", was the word used to describe the non-compliance. This seemed to confirm what my "MetroBus insider" who had previously informed me and I had previously reported on this forum, that the project promoters were blaming the depth of tread left on the bus vehicles tyres and that to remain in the tolerances of the guided bit "as built" the buses would have to have their tyres renewed after about 2500 miles. The design engineers were also blissfully unaware that the ORR (Office of Road and Rail) would have have to sign off the project before it could be used by the public and thus had not involved the ORR in the project until after "hand over". "Not to worry", said the lead engineer, "the cost will be met by cost contingencies built into the budget". My words now, "F***ing H***, the projects already been reported as being £30 million over budget, years late now and your still talking of cost contingencies being built into the budget, TOSH".

My worry now is that the longest route, Hengrove to Cribbs, is to be operated by a registered charity / community interest company who currently run a few council tendered services in Bristol with frequencies of well hourly and are taking on a high frequency service on what may be the longest continuous bus route through the city !!!!

Must finish for now to drive to Lyde Green Park and Ride for my daily MetroBus ride into the Big City of Bristol.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Phantom on June 07, 2018, 10:30:23 am
ITV West news this morning saying that over 25,000 people have used the new service in the first week !
That seems a lot of people in a first week of a new service!

I wonder how it will change once people have to start paying for the privelage?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Phantom on June 07, 2018, 10:32:51 am
From https://travelwest.info/metrobus/metrobus-services-to-start-in-autumn-and-new-year

M2
The m2 and m3 services will be operated by First West of England.

We have recently been testing the Metrobus busway with First.  Our testing has identified a requirement for minor (20mm) adjustments to the road height at three of the bends along the 3km route. These adjustments are planned for mid-summer. This will be followed by a further round of bus testing and we are working together for the m2 service to start in Autumn this year.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 07, 2018, 11:25:27 am
Shows what I know - I sort of assumed that the guidewheel was attached to the body of the bus, in which case 20mm would be neither here nor there given how much the buses heave and roll on bends. (Can I just say: A tram would have given a much better ride. Just sayin.) Anyway this led me to read a Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guided_bus), and quite enlightening it was. The best bit was learning that this system is a kind of flangeway. Now I'm not going to explain why I find this term (a) very amusing, and (b) in this context extremely apposite, so I'll just move on to say that... omg it's also aka a KGB (Kerb-Guided Bus), which again seems about right given its provenance.

Anyway the guidewheels are on the suspension arm or thereabouts, so they go up and down with the wheel. So 20mm does matter.

Edit: corrected unfortunate typo


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on June 08, 2018, 11:52:19 am
BBC local news website reports that the corrections to the bus ways will cost the local taxpayers an additional £200,000. The authorities described these as fairly straightforward adjustments without mentioning the cost. They also claimed 5000 users a day while omitting to include that the service is free to users right now, presumably also being paid for by local taxpayers as First won't be doing it for free.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on June 08, 2018, 01:23:51 pm
BBC local news website reports that the corrections to the bus ways will cost the local taxpayers an additional £200,000. The authorities described these as fairly straightforward adjustments without mentioning the cost. They also claimed 5000 users a day while omitting to include that the service is free to users right now, presumably also being paid for by local taxpayers as First won't be doing it for free.

I posted earlier on this thread "wait until they gotta pay". Next week will be the testing time and the real test will be IF pax are being left behind at stops as they are being at present in the morning peak inbound as I have observed.

The usage figures being quotes are also heavily distorted, by quoting users no account is being taken of persons using the free service just out of curiosity to see if there really is a Lyde Green and an Emersons Green so whilst figures are quoted the terms used are incorrect and figures quoted should in my opinion be cited as JOURNEYS as I have used the service today, inbound from Lyde Green P&R to The Centre at 06:40ish, 11:20ish Centre to Emersons Green for coffee and meet a colleague in Costa, finally Emersons Green to the P&R to drive home. 3 journeys by 1 user / person / individual so dont be taken in by those quoted figures.

WHAT the promoters of this need to get a grip with pretty damn quick too is to ensure people are not left at MetroBus calling points, bus stops to us normal folk, because the bus already has its permitted quota of standing pax. Incidentally, previously when we had an X service from where I live into Bristol, the X8, standing pax were not permitted because the service used the M32 Motorway. Why now, has there been a change in the regs in, well, the last 30 years ?

A simple short term solution, says I, would be to have a spare vehicle standing by at UWE to which pax on an inbound service, loaded to near seating capacity, travelling to Cabot Circus only would be requested to transfer to for a non-stop run, that vehicle returning to UWE empty but authorities seem delighted in being intransigent and obstructive to such short term fixes and make it weeks until shortcomings can be implemented, BUT, when it comes to a situation where an operator fails like Nippybus "all stops are pulled out" to ensure that services can continue THE VERY NEXT DAY, it makes me sick.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 08, 2018, 05:05:52 pm
have a spare vehicle standing by...

Spare vehicle? Yer avin a giraffe..!  :)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on June 10, 2018, 07:07:06 am
Sunday 10 June 2018.

Metrobus don't run SUNDAYS.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 10, 2018, 09:29:33 am
Sunday 10 June 2018.

Metrobus don't run SUNDAYS.

Thanks for the timely reminder. Actually, to be completely honest I was not all that tempted to have another go. I've done my time. :)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: SandTEngineer on June 10, 2018, 09:24:46 pm
Well, yesterday I travelled back on the A1 Airport Flyer from BTM station to the Airport.  Absolutely no sign anywhere of METROBUS so I don't know what all the fuss is about..... ::)

As an aside, I downloaded the Bristol City Centre A1 Bus map from the Airport Flyer website to check where to pick up the bus at BTM station.  Its shown as Stop Tb https://flyer.bristolairport.co.uk/stops-and-maps.  No such stop onsite.  In fact it picks up way down the station approach road and I had to run to catch it.  Well, the map is dated 2013...... :P  Very helpfull indeed (not).

I have sent an email using the contact page on the website.  Lets see if anything changes?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 10, 2018, 10:59:09 pm
Gosh, there's some interesting detail on that map - like the Bristol General Hospital, which closed in 2012, and the ghost of the dual carriageway across Queen Square which closed in 1992. Temple Circus Gyratory doesn't look much like that anymore either, but that's only been a year or so so perhaps we'll forgive that... The Centre has changed quite a bit since 2013 too, there's no stop Cp there now. Then there's the flights of pure fantasy - Queen's Avenue looks like it would be a pretty useful road, if it went where the map shows, and can anyone tell me the difference between the Theatre Royal and the Old Vic? I could go on, but I think I can hear snoring at the back...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Phantom on June 11, 2018, 02:43:18 pm
As an aside, I downloaded the Bristol City Centre A1 Bus map from the Airport Flyer website to check where to pick up the bus at BTM station.  Its shown as Stop Tb https://flyer.bristolairport.co.uk/stops-and-maps.  No such stop onsite.  In fact it picks up way down the station approach road and I had to run to catch it.  Well, the map is dated 2013...... :P  Very helpfull indeed (not).

The layout got changed last year so to enable more taxis to park up when waiting, previously the taxis were parking up all over the place.
The bus stop was basically where the front of the taxi queue is now.

Before then it was where the number 8 service no goes from, and now it is (like you say) on the incline nearer the main road than the station.
The new stop isn't great considering all the financial investment the buses have had - even a basic shelter would be of use

One good thing is the frequency of the buses, they are in and out constantly so would never have long to wait for a bus to turn up


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on June 11, 2018, 10:38:34 pm
Quick question, there there a park and ride anywhere on the current route?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on June 12, 2018, 06:28:41 am
Quick question, there there a park and ride anywhere on the current route?

Lyde Green.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on June 12, 2018, 06:57:24 am
Quick question, there there a park and ride anywhere on the current route?

Lyde Green.

Now that free riding is over ... how are passenger numbers holding up and is the ticketing system working?

Over half an hour from the Park and Ride to the City, with over half that time spent on the road in North Bristol before the bus joins the Motorway.  Is that going to be attractive enough?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: bradshaw on June 12, 2018, 12:43:44 pm
Not sure if this is the right place for this. Please correct if not

This is from the RAIL website today

https://www.railmagazine.com/news/network/funds-provided-for-metrowest?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 12, 2018, 03:39:23 pm
Couldn't be wronger if you nailed it to a squirrel and called it 'Martin'. You've made the same mistake Bristol City Council made back in 2006; a network of gimicky bus lanes is not the same as a rail-based system:  Try here: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=17915.105  ;)

(Edit: Thinks: You're not Mark Bradshaw, are you?)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: eightf48544 on June 12, 2018, 03:50:49 pm
As a non Bristolian and only knowing the rail network and the motorways of Bristol plus the Avon to Portishead. I wonder if it would be possible for some kind person to include a map of Metrobust. I not really sure what it is and where it goes. Is it like the Cambridge busway.?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on June 12, 2018, 04:15:05 pm
.... Metrobust. I not really sure what it is and where it goes. Is it like the Cambridge busway.?

Yes.  Delivered late, over budget and disappointing many.

But now that it's here (or some of it is), we should really look to make the best use of it as a bus with 35 people on is better that 25 cars carrying 1.46 people each!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 12, 2018, 04:43:12 pm
Is it like the Cambridge busway.?

No. The Cambridge Busway is a busway; JustaBus, in order of relevance, is some road schemes, a public realm improvement, and a very short busway.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 12, 2018, 05:32:29 pm
... can anyone tell me the difference between the Theatre Royal and the Old Vic? I could go on, but I think I can hear snoring at the back...

Similar to the difference between Ashton Gate stadium and Bristol City FC. The Theatre Royal is the historic building, within which the Bristol Old Vic theatre company has been based since 1946. Similar to MetroBust in that one aspect is a long-running work of dramatic fiction, the other being a bus. Just a bus.

Spare vehicle? Yer avin a giraffe..!  :)

It is actually in the plan. Each of the three MetroBust routes will have its own special colour of livery for its vehicles, with a number of spares of a fourth colour which can be run on any route. By 'plan', I don't know if they mean something that might actually happen, or an 'aspiration', like the frequent services on the South Bristol Link Road, recently downgraded from plan to aspiration.

Anyway, it's all been very successful, according to the Comical Ali school of spin doctors at MetroBust HQ, even if, almost 18 months after the South Bristol Link Road opened a way into the southern hinterland, signs at the Wills Roundabout still direct lorries the old way. Although had someone built a railway with the tracks 20 mm out of alignment, like the somewhat misguided busway from Ashton Vale to Somewhere Near Temple Meads, heads would have rolled.

.... Metrobust. I not really sure what it is and where it goes. Is it like the Cambridge busway.?

Yes.  Delivered late, over budget and disappointing many.

But now that it's here (or some of it is), we should really look to make the best use of it as a bus with 35 people on is better that 25 cars carrying 1.46 people each!

And there's the rub! On the day MetroBust opened for business between Keith Emersons Green and the Centre via UWE, the X48 service between Keith Emersons Green and the Centre was withdrawn. The UWE express service was also withdrawn, as it is at the end of every term, but it will be interesting to see how it returns next term, given that MetroBust follows exactly the same route.  The number 5 bus, which follows a somewhat tortured route to the Centre, and will be extended to Bromley Heath to serve those passengers who used to have a frequent express service to town via the X48 (as did I when visiting young FT, N! junior in Fishponds). Win some, loose some, grahame. It has not gone down well with some people who now have the choice of a slower bus, a long walk to a MetroBust stop, or driving to work. In Ashton Vale, tension mounts as the opening of M2 draws near, and the 24 bus service hangs in the balance.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 12, 2018, 06:20:21 pm
... can anyone tell me the difference between the Theatre Royal and the Old Vic? I could go on, but I think I can hear snoring at the back...

Similar to the difference between Ashton Gate stadium and Bristol City FC. The Theatre Royal is the historic building, within which the Bristol Old Vic theatre company has been based since 1946...


I knows that, and you knows that, but the map we were talking about shows two buildings on King St - the Old Vic, and the Theatre Royal. I was trying to be funny. The younger Squirrels keep telling me that this is an aspiration that I should abandon.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on June 12, 2018, 06:59:05 pm
This is not really MetroBus and I sincerely apologise for this and I hope all readers will see the "funny side" of this post.

After alighting from MetroBus this morning I alighted and walking to my clients office and I noticed a "HASHTAG" on the edges of the coping slabs topping a low wall and I thought I'll get a shot of that going home but unfortunately the speed of the Bristol Council today saw just the last few characters to be pressure washed off.

The HASHTAG

#joinusinamasspissintothecityhallmoatasaprotestagainstmarvinsmassclosureofthecityspisshouses


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on June 12, 2018, 08:54:52 pm
Quick question, there there a park and ride anywhere on the current route?

Lyde Green.

Now that free riding is over ... how are passenger numbers holding up and is the ticketing system working?

Over half an hour from the Park and Ride to the City, with over half that time spent on the road in North Bristol before the bus joins the Motorway.  Is that going to be attractive enough?

Travelled into town yesterday and today, first two days of pay to travel.

A number of roadside I Points still to be installed, those that are DO work although there is a software fault which flags up ERROR and restarts with an intermediate screen. The error screen which I saw was an attempt by a mother to buy a child, a student and an adult weekly tickets. The mother tried again requesting a child, a student and an adult day ticket, failed again, the bus had arrived, they boarded and bus driver attempted same transaction for day tickets which failed again so transaction was done as one day ticket at a time for each ticket with three contactless transactions, three tickets and three receipt slips.

Another transaction I saw fail was a party of four of which the two children were severely disabled and in wheelchairs, the girl about 15 and the boy about 8. The female panicked but the driver showed great compassion, patience and assistance while the mother took it slowly and successfully obtained the tickets and they boarded the bus and for the drivers actions I today commended him to a First Bus inspector at the city centre stop.

Today coming home two teenage females were trying their luck with the I Point unsuccessfully and the bus arrived, they despaired at the driver that they couldn't get tickets and again this driver showed patience and told them to try again, he would wait and if they still couldn't do it he would issue them tickets on the bus. At this point I stepped forward and advised them and hey presto the tickets were dispensed so tomorrow I will again commend that driver to First Bus.

The drivers I have experienced are all very pleasant and helpful.

My MetroBus insider remarked to me that the I Point software, after I mentioned to him that there seems to be a fault on it, remarked that London Transport replaced the same software 5 years ago, not surprised, this is Bristol.

Did hear a disquieting remark today, remarker said she had heard that parking charges at the P & R are to be introduced in September, one I'll have to follow up.

One funny on this mornings journey along the 2+ lane on the ring road, the bus pulled up at the Hambrook stop when a passenger behind me exclaimed, "Oh look theres a tailors dummy in that cars front passengers seat, and yes there was strapped in using the seat belt but it was only from the waist level upwards. Had that driver taken a leaf out of Noel Edmunds book who used to drive into Bristol using the bus lanes to record the Deal Or No Deal program in his "taxi" with a tailors mannequin in the back.

Usage now punters gotta pay, well I have not seen anyone refused boarding due to being full nor anyone retreat back down from the upper deck through lack of seating up top and available seating on the lower deck when leaving the last stop inbound before the city central areal both yesterday and today but from my journeys yesterday and today numbers are down. 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on June 12, 2018, 09:24:05 pm
Tried Metrobust today, here is my tale. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

Started at Cabot Circus for the 14.22 to the end of the line and back. Got there 10 minutes early, just as well as needed five attempts for the card reader to work.
The ipoint counted the minutes down until it showed 'due'. It continued to show due and due and due and, well you get it. 20 mins 'due' later it finally arrived with it's following sevice due at the same time, already showing a few minutes late.
And so onto the bus, only half full and probably half of that was due to the fact that two buses should come by then instead of one. The journey went on toward the motorway like, well, like other buses do. No traffic light priority and only the slightly harder seats to distract me.
The motorway part of the journey was much like other motorway bus journeys from other services using that stretch but it did labour a little on the uphill stretch. The motorway exit road was taken at a crawl, probably for the best looking at the slope and the bends on what looked like a go cart track.
We passed various stops along the route. None got on and the few that got off looked like they had a bit of a walk to the nearest buildings of any description. The route continued without any traffic light priority, just like for any bus.
Finally reached the end of the line, technically 20 minutes late. Caught the nearly empty return service which had now tangled up with the following service which had by now caught up with it. This caused a bit of a bus jam at UWE where the bus that should have been 20 minutes behind us was now ahead and while it waited there, held us up further.
More of the same back to the Centre where progress was just like any other bus but sped up by the benefit of not having anyone get off or on.
Disembarked at the Centre to swap thoughts with my brother who came with me to form some sort of opinion on it. We both agreed that the best bits where underwhelming but the overriding thought was "Bristol, what have you done"?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 12, 2018, 09:55:51 pm
This is not really MetroBus and I sincerely apologise for this and I hope all readers will see the "funny side" of this post.

After alighting from MetroBus this morning I alighted and walking to my clients office and I noticed a "HASHTAG" on the edges of the coping slabs topping a low wall and I thought I'll get a shot of that going home but unfortunately the speed of the Bristol Council today saw just the last few characters to be pressure washed off.

The HASHTAG

#joinusinamasspissintothecityhallmoatasaprotestagainstmarvinsmassclosureofthecityspisshouses

#MeToo!

Now that free riding is over ... how are passenger numbers holding up and is the ticketing system working?

Over half an hour from the Park and Ride to the City, with over half that time spent on the road in North Bristol before the bus joins the Motorway.  Is that going to be attractive enough?

It's not much of aa park and ride - maybe 40 spaces? Given that there is only one stop in Lyde Green, I can see those being used by local residents rather than out of town visitors.


The ipoint counted the minutes down until it showed 'due'. It continued to show due and due and due and, well you get it. 20 mins 'due' later it finally arrived with it's following sevice due at the same time, already showing a few minutes late.

Eureka! I've figured it out! The software is incorrectly set to Italian, and the display is telling you there are two coming.

Quote
The motorway exit road was taken at a crawl, probably for the best looking at the slope and the bends on what looked like a go cart track.
We passed various stops along the route.

There's a 15 mph speed limit on the outbound slip road off the motorway. It feels like reducing to a crawl, especially with all the other traffic belting past at 80 mph.

Quote
We both agreed that the best bits where underwhelming but the overriding thought was "Bristol, what have you done"?

Not just me and Red Squirrel then! It didn't seem like a quarter-billion quids' worth.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 12, 2018, 10:12:52 pm
It's not much of aa park and ride - maybe 40 spaces? Given that there is only one stop in Lyde Green, I can see those being used by local residents rather than out of town visitors.

A squizz on Google Maps reveals about 16 disabled spaces and maybe 38 abled, but there looks to be provision to double or maybe treble that. But I'm sure you're right, they're meant to be local spaces for local people; presumably the intent is that they drive 2-300m from their house to the bus stop...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: trainer on June 12, 2018, 10:20:07 pm
But I'm sure you're right, they're meant to be local spaces for local people; presumably the intent is that they drive 2-300m from their house to the bus stop...

Perhaps a series of feeder bus services would help.  ::)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on June 13, 2018, 11:32:04 am
Two of my observations about the infrastructure, there are more which when time permits I'll relate on this forum.

Bus activated traffic lights.
I can identify one only instance. Its the pair of signal heads on the Stoke Lane hill where the bus travels in the newly created Stoke Lane Bus Lane and the road narrows before crossing the M32 bridge which has'nt been altered, passengers at the front on the top deck can see the black bitumen diamond shapes sealing the detector loop into the road surface. On two instances the traffic has been so light that the bus I was on pulled straight out into the trafficless main stream without bothering to use the Bus Lane so avoiding following traffic needlessly having to stop.

Lyde Green P&R.
In total I would guess there is parking for about 200 cars / small vans in total, there are two areas which are marked out. These two areas are separated by a brook and are connected by a pedestrian bridge very conveniently positioned to lead to the actual bus stop. There are also two overflow areas again separated which is accessed through wooden gates and on first appearance would appear to be grass fields but there is strips of some kind of honeycombed metallic material pressed into the surface to prevent vehicles sinking into the morass during and following inclement weather.
Its termed a P&R but I bet the promoters of this project did not envisage commuters driving their cars to this P&R, extracting a cycle from their cars boot or removing it from the cars cycle carrier and RIDING their bike the last few miles to places like Aztech West, Abbey Wood or UWE daily to "keep in trim". I've seen at least half a dozen folk do this.
A concern I have about this site however is the site is all open so it presents an open invitation to the travelling community to set up, until evicted, a camp on the grassed areas, sort out their junk leaving piles of rubbish for the UA to clear away. We'll see what the future unfolds. 



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Noggin on June 14, 2018, 09:57:00 am

Its termed a P&R but I bet the promoters of this project did not envisage commuters driving their cars to this P&R, extracting a cycle from their cars boot or removing it from the cars cycle carrier and RIDING their bike the last few miles to places like Aztech West, Abbey Wood or UWE daily to "keep in trim". I've seen at least half a dozen folk do this.


Not unusual at all. A number of acquaintances have recently moved out of Bristol to north Somerset and frequently do the same thing, not wanting to commute down country lanes, but being quite happy to sail down the Bath Road.

We were in the pub the other night discussing whether there was a market for a rural version of Slide with a bike trailer, or for some kind of secure bike storage container that you could rent in a P+R.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on June 14, 2018, 07:11:24 pm
Well it WAS MetroBust today. Waiting at the P&R stop today a, probably empty, vehicle passed heading for the next and last stop at Emersons Green terminus but was conspicuous in being a red liveried vehicle. Never mind, minutes later it appeared and all appeared fine. The journey seemed to be progressing without incident and the Ring Road traffic was a little bit heavier than on my previous journeys, probably due to a combination of the strong wind and the drizzle issuing from on high. When we arrived at UWE there was another vehicle at the M3 stop with a high-viz jacket wearing mechanic standing with the waiting passengers. Our driver hared off and spoke to the mechanic and returned to our bus and ordered everyone off and join the other bus but was very pleasant about it as his words were something like, "please would you all transfer to the bus in front for the remainder of your journey, I shall be driving" which we all did and this together with the heavier traffic resulted in leaving UWE 17 minutes late and thus picking up passengers for the next service which in theory should have been just 3 minutes behind us thus resulting in standing pax but non were left at any stop. A passenger spoke to the mechanic who said there was a minor fault on the vehicle and they did not want it breaking down on the M32. whilst we were stopped at Stoke Lane, the next stop from UWE, the original vehicle passed us and turned left onto the bus only road to the M32, stopping at the Allotments stop to advise pax of the delay and preceded us on the the M32 where we lost it in the dust. We finally arrived at the City Centre at about 22 minutes behind schedule. Oh well these things do happen. thats life !!!!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on June 14, 2018, 09:53:30 pm
A fellow passenger, queuing alongside me for the 20 minute late arrival of my inaugural journey was bemoaning the lack of reliability and poor punctuality of the service that she had already experienced.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Pavement on June 21, 2018, 03:59:40 pm
Hello, is there a good reason the M3 doesn't do a loop of the city centre, following the route of the M2, before heading back north? Surely a fast bus between Temple Meads and UWE would be very beneficial and well used.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 21, 2018, 04:23:47 pm
I wondered about that. If you did want to go from UWE to Temple Meads for some strange reason, like catching a train, you would need to change buses or walk. There seems to be only one common bus stop, and I haven't seen anything to say you can do it on one ticket. Which you would expect from a groundbreaking integrated transport system, like what the Welsh are getting.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on June 21, 2018, 05:44:14 pm
I wondered about that. If you did want to go from UWE to Temple Meads for some strange reason, like catching a train, you would need to change buses or walk. There seems to be only one common bus stop, and I haven't seen anything to say you can do it on one ticket. Which you would expect from a groundbreaking integrated transport system, like what the Welsh are getting.

I note that the M3 bus route is not yet complete - it's due to carry on to the south and will server the stations at Bedminster and Parson Street.

Welcome to the forum, Pavement.   

If you suggest that Bedminster and Parson Street are less useful that Temple Meads, I would have to agree.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 21, 2018, 06:03:34 pm
My apologies for my awful manners, Pavement, and a very warm, if belated, welcome from me too!

I note that the M3 bus route is not yet complete - it's due to carry on to the south and will server the stations at Bedminster and Parson Street.

Welcome to the forum, Pavement.   

If you suggest that Bedminster and Parson Street are less useful that Temple Meads, I would have to agree.

So a walk from the centre, a walk from Redcliffe, or a train from Parson Street, and I still don't know if you will need a second bus ticket.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on June 21, 2018, 06:42:35 pm
I wondered about that. If you did want to go from UWE to Temple Meads for some strange reason, like catching a train, you would need to change buses or walk. There seems to be only one common bus stop, and I haven't seen anything to say you can do it on one ticket. Which you would expect from a groundbreaking integrated transport system, like what the Welsh are getting.


Why not use the UWE to Temple Meads bus from UWE to Temple Meads, the 71, I think, without changing buses and on one single ticket. The First Bus Bristol Inner Zone day ticket will give a days travel within the Inner Zone or at a slightly higher price, the Bristol Rider day ticket which permits travel on any bus operators services in the Inner Zone. At a higher price, the Bristol Outer Zone ticket covers the area from Bath to Weston-Super-Mare. down south to Wells and north to Thornbury and Chipping Sodbury with the Avon Rider ticket covering all operators services in the outer Zone. If it is still marketed, the First day ticket which permitted travel on First Group buses in the Bristol Outer Zone and First Group rail services between Bath and Weston-Super-Mare and to Bristol Parkway and Yate.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on June 21, 2018, 06:51:12 pm
Hello, is there a good reason the M3 doesn't do a loop of the city centre, following the route of the M2, before heading back north? Surely a fast bus between Temple Meads and UWE would be very beneficial and well used.

I like that suggestion but not a loop, just continue to Temple Meads via Prince Street, The Grove, Redcliffe Way and the Temple Mead Gyratory returning the same way but if the higher ups decree it should be a loop then I for one would be "just content" with that.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 21, 2018, 09:11:35 pm
Temple Meads Gyratory? That's gone the way of the Tempry Flyover.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 22, 2018, 04:21:14 pm
Why not use the UWE to Temple Meads bus from UWE to Temple Meads, the 71, I think, without changing buses and on one single ticket. The First Bus Bristol Inner Zone day ticket will give a days travel within the Inner Zone or at a slightly higher price, the Bristol Rider day ticket which permits travel on any bus operators services in the Inner Zone. At a higher price, the Bristol Outer Zone ticket covers the area from Bath to Weston-Super-Mare. down south to Wells and north to Thornbury and Chipping Sodbury with the Avon Rider ticket covering all operators services in the outer Zone. If it is still marketed, the First day ticket which permitted travel on First Group buses in the Bristol Outer Zone and First Group rail services between Bath and Weston-Super-Mare and to Bristol Parkway and Yate.

But that makes it look as though MetroBust is nothing more than three stand-alone bus routes.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 23, 2018, 06:56:19 pm
Went out cycling with one of the offspring this afternoon, and stumbled upon the South Glos Link Road. For the benefit of anyone who is still under the misapprehension that JustaBus is some sort of guided busway, I attach a photo of this. It is astonishingly wide; perhaps the best thing you could say about it is that you could squeeze a couple of tram tracks up the middle of if and hardly notice.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: ellendune on June 23, 2018, 07:23:17 pm
Went out cycling with one of the offspring this afternoon, and stumbled upon the South Glos Link Road. For the benefit of anyone who is still under the misapprehension that JustaBus is some sort of guided busway, I attach a photo of this. It is astonishingly wide; perhaps the best thing you could say about it is that you could squeeze a couple of tram tracks up the middle of if and hardly notice.

Well you did photograph it where it widens out for the junction.  I am not sure you could squeeze tram tracks further up the hill (especially where it crosses the railway) unless you make it a single track road!



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 23, 2018, 08:38:59 pm
Ah, well we didn't go that far - Squirrel Jr was complaining about hills. The section from Hambrook Lane to Filton Rd is what I'm talking about, something like 850m of road, which seems like more than a junction fanout.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Noggin on June 24, 2018, 11:07:46 pm
I believe that the rough history of that bit of road was:
- Yeah, so we're going to build this link road for buses, cycles, but it's not going to be car-friendly and we only really want to build it so the impoverished folk of south Bristol can access employment, and the environmental impact will be minimal
- (the road is built as a car-friendly bit of ring-road, and jolly useful for the wealthy of Bristol to get to the airport faster)
- Ah, we're not quite ready to run MetroBus on that stretch of road yet (the reality being that First want a subsidy to run on it)
- To make that stretch of the MetroBus economically viable we're going to allow a few thousand houses to be built


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 25, 2018, 09:12:39 am
Ah, now I think you're talking about the South Bristol Link Road, but I can see why you might get confused - there are gestational similarities. I was talking about the South Glos Link Road, or, as Google Maps has it now I see, the Stoke Gifford Bypass.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 25, 2018, 09:44:33 am
Stoke Gifford bypass is probably a more sensible name for it. Unless it's actually a Bradley Stoke bypass, or maybe a Little Stoke bypass.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Western Pathfinder on June 25, 2018, 01:20:16 pm
The Bristol Parkway Bypass,if you ask me.😎


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 25, 2018, 02:07:31 pm
Ah, reminds of Muir and Norden's sketch. To paraphrase, probably quite badly: Time has passed old Stoke Gifford by, and so shall we.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on June 25, 2018, 02:09:56 pm
After the 'free' travel period where Metrobust and BCC where publicly and loudly announcing high usage figures on the newly opened route, they seem to have gone very quiet on the figures now that passengers and not local taxpayers are paying for the tickets. Have I missed any announcements? I've tried to keep my ears and eyes open but to no avail so far.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 25, 2018, 06:01:22 pm
In one of the necks of the woods most affected by the MetroBust construction, around Frenchay Park Road, opinion is divided. There are some with warm words of praise, usually those living close to a stop, and those others who are worried that their existing bus service may be unfavourably affected should MetroBust soak up the passengers.
Someone who works at the Science Park was heard to say he had been waiting for MetroBust for 4 years. Now, ignoring the fact that the rest of us waited for much longer, I had always thought that the folks at the Science Park wore white coats, had mad hair, skin that never sees sunlight, and were working on trips to Mars, cures for all known illnesses, and a clockwork TV set. If they get so excited by a new bus route, I may have overestimated them.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: stuving on June 25, 2018, 09:14:13 pm
Stoke Gifford bypass is probably a more sensible name for it. Unless it's actually a Bradley Stoke bypass, or maybe a Little Stoke bypass.

Its official name is Stoke Gifford Transport Link. Its planning application was PT14/0600/R3F (after an initial one in 2013) - that's useful to answer questions about the road layout, since Google haven't had a lad with a phone lurking overhead for a year.

I'm sure Red Squirrel knows why it's so wide really - bus lanes! Plus, there's the rules, about things like central reservations, footpaths, etc. Bus lanes are now easier to see since the late design change to a red surface, but they only use that where it is right beside another lane. Where there is a little bit of hatching in between, the surface reverts to black/grey/road coloured.

What looks like an extravagant swelling of the central hatchery on the run up from Ham Brook to Oxleigh Way is there to push the bus lane plus southbound lane aside to make room for a right-turn lane and two non-refuges (pedestrians being unwelcome on them). Them's the rules, apparently. What isn't obvious is why there are two bus lanes running through the junction at Hambrook Lane (a bridge at grade, in that all lanes of all roads have "ahead only" written on them) but the bus lane stops being exclusive before the junction with Oxleigh Way. 

If they are applying rules about cycle provision I can't fathom what they are. I mean, is the half-width green-painted lane from the bus stop towards Filton Road for cycles? It widens slowly and turns into a (red) bus lane, so ...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 25, 2018, 09:24:41 pm
Its official name is Stoke Gifford Transport Link...

I'm old enough to remember when the official name for the QE2 was 'Q4'... I seem to remember they followed the build on 'Blue Peter'.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Western Pathfinder on June 25, 2018, 10:32:28 pm
Its official name is Stoke Gifford Transport Link...

I'm old enough to remember when the official name for the QE2 was 'Q4'... I seem to remember they followed the build on 'Blue Peter'.

I don't remember Spike Milligan on Blue Peter 😉


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 25, 2018, 10:56:06 pm
I don't remember Spike Milligan on Blue Peter 😉

What are we going to do now?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 26, 2018, 09:25:27 am
Its official name is Stoke Gifford Transport Link...

I'm old enough to remember when the official name for the QE2 was 'Q4'... I seem to remember they followed the build on 'Blue Peter'.
Was it in the Sunken Garden?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: stuving on June 26, 2018, 06:15:00 pm
Wokingham Borough Council have just rejected a planning application (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-44618754) from Reading Borough Council for their (small) bit of the Reading Mass Rapid Transit - a bus lane on stilts. As neighbours go, these two never have been particularly friendly, but this one stings quite a bit.

Wokingham, on the other hand, mainly make do with access roads provided for big housing developments under section 106. then they call them bypasses or ring roads, even if they were not designed as such and will route heavy vehicle through these new residential areas.

The latest to open - Winnersh bypass* - is now all 30 mph, but with some odd features such as 30 mph signs on entering side roads and blanked out repeater signs. When new, for a day or two, it was 40 mph (as I recall). The road it bypasses is 40 mph and wider, though sharing unconvincingly with cycle lanes. I wonder: which will be better used? I note it has no road signs at either end, as if they are not sure what traffic they want to use it.

*apart from the bit WBC are building, which they haven't started on yet.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 28, 2018, 04:55:18 pm
Was it in the Sunken Garden?

Possibly in the Night Garden, starring one of only two actors to have been knighted in more than on one country.

Oh no! It's the Ninky Nonk!

If you don't know what I am talking about, then you have no grandchildren and have never taken hallucinogenic drugs. I couldn't possibly comment.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 28, 2018, 05:16:45 pm
My favourite bit of In The Night Garden was the sequence at the end, when David Cameron fell over.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 28, 2018, 11:04:00 pm
Red Squirrel on acid. Now, there's a thought.

(And I have met him!)

Wasn't it Iggle Piggle? My daughter met Dave, both officially and otherwise, at RAF Brize Norton, and the Ganges in Witney. Plus Ed Sheeran, Gary Barlow, Katie Melhua, the Princess Royal, some French guy whose name eludes her, that Obama fellow.

Dave, BTW, arrived unannounced on his bike, to sort out servicemens problems over a brew. Didn't do him much harm politivcally.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on July 12, 2018, 03:41:25 pm
Bristol Evening Post has an article and some pictures of what could be some further difficulties with testing on the Ashton Avenue swing bridge.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/watch-what-happened-metrobus-test-1767786

Cannot draw any firm conclusion but a successful test would be a normal service speed run though surely?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: SandTEngineer on July 12, 2018, 04:09:43 pm
I don't think you would want to do a clearance test/check at normal speed.  The railway certainly doesn't.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on July 12, 2018, 04:22:06 pm
I don't think you would want to do a clearance test/check at normal speed.  The railway certainly doesn't.

Ah yes, I put that rather badly. A clearance test needs to be done gradually, clearly. It's probably the lack of any reported successful run though that drew my attention.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on July 12, 2018, 04:41:14 pm
Quote
MetroBust has dismissed claims its buses cannot fit through the newly-built guiderails near Ashton Avenue Swing Bridge


Oh no! It looks as if the buses cannot fit through the newly-built guiderails near Ashton Avenue Swing Bridge!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on July 12, 2018, 05:43:59 pm
Next time I see my Metrobus insider I'll ask him whats up but I did hear earlier in the week that rectifications to the guide rails could cost up to £2 million as they, the guide rails, have to be modified to allow "vertical springing" to take into account the varying depth of tread on the vehicles tyres using the guided busway. Incidentally, the bus shown in the BEP article was not a Metrobus vehicle but one of the fleet that operates the A1 Bristol Bus Station - Bristol Airport service which I think has a shorter wheelbase to the M3 Emersons Green route vehicles and which will be diverted to use the guided busway when/if it ever becomes a reality. The intended rerouting is not going down very well with airline/travel company staff who work at the airport and travel from the Bedminster area particularly those who are billeted in the Mercure Hotel on Redcliffe Hill and are not always provided with a crew minibus to/from the airport.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: bignosemac on July 12, 2018, 09:41:29 pm
Lay some CWR and get some flanged steel wheel vehicles. Problems solved.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 12, 2018, 09:49:32 pm
Lay some CWR and get some flanged steel wheel vehicles. Problems solved.

It does seem to me that guided buses take all the worst elements of trains, trams and buses and combine them together.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on July 12, 2018, 10:15:08 pm
Next time I see my Metrobus insider I'll ask him whats up but I did hear earlier in the week that rectifications to the guide rails could cost up to £2 million as they, the guide rails, have to be modified to allow "vertical springing" to take into account the varying depth of tread on the vehicles tyres using the guided busway. Incidentally, the bus shown in the BEP article was not a Metrobus vehicle but one of the fleet that operates the A1 Bristol Bus Station - Bristol Airport service which I think has a shorter wheelbase to the M3 Emersons Green route vehicles and which will be diverted to use the guided busway when/if it ever becomes a reality. The intended rerouting is not going down very well with airline/travel company staff who work at the airport and travel from the Bedminster area particularly those who are billeted in the Mercure Hotel on Redcliffe Hill and are not always provided with a crew minibus to/from the airport.

"Vertical springing"? On a bus lane? You don't get highly technical stuff like that on railways , do you? Someone is making this up as they go along, I reckon, to try to explain why the jewel in the crown of Bristol's amazing public transport hasn't seen a bus run in anger yet, despite the many millions lavished. It may look like throwing good money after bad, but this is the bit that makes MetroBust "special" - without the guided bit, it looks just like a bus service, and not a very good one at that.

I would ask Comical Ali at headquarters for his highly spun explanation of the problems, but I have been blocked from the Twitter feed. And after all the nice things I've said about MetroBust's crap scheme over the many, many years it has been in development. I mean!

I'm slightly puzzled by the reported antipathy of flight crew at the Mercure. I thought the MetroBust stop in Redcliffe Hill was the same as the current Flyer stop?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: eightonedee on July 12, 2018, 10:48:41 pm
Apologies for butting in on something out of my area, and a thread I have not been following, and repeating something that may have been said already, however today's post caught my eye this evening.

I have had a very peripheral involvement with new public transport schemes in Cambridgeshire, whose county council fell in love with guided bus lanes some years ago, concreting over the old Cambridge to St Ives branch - a scheme that ran hugely over program and budget, and ended up as a massive claim against the contractor.

In the course of my involvement I was informed by an experienced transport consultant that the bus companies do not actually  like them.They involve expensive additional fitments to buses and the additional risk of damage from the bus way structures. They would rather just have ordinary roads built with access restricted by barriers or signage.   



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on July 12, 2018, 11:10:11 pm
In the course of my involvement I was informed by an experienced transport consultant that the bus companies do not actually  like them.They involve expensive additional fitments to buses and the additional risk of damage from the bus way structures. They would rather just have ordinary roads built with access restricted by barriers or signage.

{like}

The latest extension to the Cambridge system is using a WAGS rather than raised steel or concrete structures to provide direction to the buses.

WAGS - Wheel Assisted Guidance SystemA system in which a vehicle is directed by a modest change in the direction the wheels are pointed in, usually controlled by the driver rotating a controlling wheel (a.k.a. a steering wheel) from an observation position.  White lines are often painted on the driving surface (a.k.a. a road) to help the driver keep in line without the need for extra hardware, and to ensure horizontal spatial separation from vehicles headed in the opposite direction.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on July 12, 2018, 11:24:33 pm
Apologies for butting in on something out of my area, and a thread I have not been following, and repeating something that may have been said already, however today's post caught my eye this evening.

I have had a very peripheral involvement with new public transport schemes in Cambridgeshire, whose county council fell in love with guided bus lanes some years ago, concreting over the old Cambridge to St Ives branch - a scheme that ran hugely over program and budget, and ended up as a massive claim against the contractor.

In the course of my involvement I was informed by an experienced transport consultant that the bus companies do not actually  like them.They involve expensive additional fitments to buses and the additional risk of damage from the bus way structures. They would rather just have ordinary roads built with access restricted by barriers or signage.   

Bristol's MetroBust team has often cited the Cambridgeshire scheme as the exemplar, and as justification for what they are trying to do in Bristol.This is despite the huge difference in length of guided busway, with Bristol's guideway being cut down to under 4Km, in a number of pieces. Where it does follow the Cambridgeshire example is in late delivery and budget busting, but they can't say they weren't warned.

Much was made at the "consultation" phase of the reduced width of guided busways in comparison to roads, but when a service track is added, that seems marginal. It may still be one reason for guideway rather than road, but if bus companies don't like them, and it took a long time to produce an operator for the M2 route which does not have guided parts, they will not tender to operate the routes, and no more guided busways will be built. The Bristol one would have been abandoned long ago were it not for the fact that it is all that makes MetroBust "special", and therefore eligible for government money to build roads with under a thin veneer of public transport improvements.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: rogerw on July 16, 2018, 08:26:10 pm
Any indications on loadings now that passengers have to pay. I saw one today just after 1300 at Bromley Heath heading towards the city full of fresh air and nothing else.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on July 16, 2018, 09:20:00 pm
Any indications on loadings now that passengers have to pay. I saw one today just after 1300 at Bromley Heath heading towards the city full of fresh air and nothing else.

Ah, so that's the idea behind Metrobust. Bristol city center apparently needs more fresh air. Cunning but typically wasteful thinking from Bristol City Council!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on July 16, 2018, 09:58:25 pm
Any indications on loadings now that passengers have to pay.


Don't be silly, asking questions like that will be replied with "commercially sensitive information and not for public release" despite the fact that oodles of council taxpayers cash might be being used to prop up the project to save some local politicians faces.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on July 16, 2018, 10:05:48 pm
Any indications on loadings now that passengers have to pay.


Don't be silly, asking questions like that will be replied with "commercially sensitive information and not for public release" despite the fact that oodles of council taxpayers cash might be being used to prop up the project to save some local politicians faces.

Yes, odd though that they were rather less muted about numbers when Bristol council tax payers were stumping up (again) for the "free" rides days.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on July 19, 2018, 09:06:05 pm
Any indications on loadings now that passengers have to pay.


Don't be silly, asking questions like that will be replied with "commercially sensitive information and not for public release" despite the fact that oodles of council taxpayers cash might be being used to prop up the project to save some local politicians faces.

They don't like criticism. I, and many others, have been banned from #MetroBust's twitter feed. This is despite all the nice things I have said about their crap white heffalump scheme.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on July 20, 2018, 05:54:33 am
Did a journey into the City Centre earlier this week. Caught the 14.20 service from Emersons Green, was only revenue earning passenger on service (ENCTS card) from EG to UWE where 12 boarded plus a further 1 person at the Stapleton Allotments stop.

Cant see First Bus continuing to operate the service with the abysmal level of patronage on journeys like that for long unless they get oodles of subsidy from the LAs as other services I have seen running seem to be carrying tons of fresh air particularly between UWE and Lyde Green / Emersons Green area.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on July 20, 2018, 04:32:13 pm
Subsidies are strictly verboten, according to Bristol City Council. That said, there are a few publicly funded sweeteners - First are getting their gas buses paid for, and the fuelling plant, which they will use for all buses eventually. MetroBust have waived all the route access charges for the foreseeable, so the bus companies can use all that new infrastructure FOC. If they want to.

Social media, or at least the bits I am not yet banned from, carry grumbles from quite a few passengers, a particular moan being late running of services. There was a bit of a rant from someone who bemoans the cancellation of the UWE express in favour of MetroBust, but I'm not sure if he represents the many or the few. There has been a lot of negative comment about the withdrawal of the X4, though.
Now there is talk of MetroBust to Nailsea. Madness.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on July 20, 2018, 05:22:37 pm
Subsidies are strictly verboten, according to Bristol City Council. That said, there are a few publicly funded sweeteners - First are getting their gas buses paid for, and the fuelling plant, which they will use for all buses eventually. MetroBust have waived all the route access charges for the foreseeable, so the bus companies can use all that new infrastructure FOC. If they want to.

Social media, or at least the bits I am not yet banned from, carry grumbles from quite a few passengers, a particular moan being late running of services. There was a bit of a rant from someone who bemoans the cancellation of the UWE express in favour of MetroBust, but I'm not sure if he represents the many or the few. There has been a lot of negative comment about the withdrawal of the X4, though.
Now there is talk of MetroBust to Nailsea. Madness.

I presume you mean the X48, and have you heard anything about MetroBust to Yate/Sodbury, route number Y1 has been mentioned at a Public Meeting to complement T1/T2 to Thornbury for which the T1 uses the Stoke Gifford to Ring Road Link and then the M32 to City Centre (Colston Hall) calling at MetroBust stops outbound.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on July 20, 2018, 10:01:00 pm
I presume you mean the X48, and have you heard anything about MetroBust to Yate/Sodbury, route number Y1 has been mentioned at a Public Meeting to complement T1/T2 to Thornbury for which the T1 uses the Stoke Gifford to Ring Road Link and then the M32 to City Centre (Colston Hall) calling at MetroBust stops outbound.

I did indeed mean the X4 . I have just realised that the numbers  and  are not working on my laptop. I shall have to use the on-screen keyboard or character map.

The T1 is excellent news if you live in Thornbury and want to get to Bristol, but less so if you are heading to Filton or Southmead hospital.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on July 22, 2018, 10:37:53 pm
The 78/79 change to T1 and T2 has made my Tues and Weds evening commutes home more 'interesting'. The 50/50 dash across Aztec West to get to the 75 service in time has been augmented by a 30% no show rate since the service change. It's not just me as the significant numbers of frustrated passengers at each stop verifies. Worst Bristol's Customer Punishment Dept has been very industrious again.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on July 24, 2018, 05:55:48 am
My insider tells me that route M2 has been cleared to start operating and a start date of September 3rd is mooted. Clearance for some non-passenger service vehicles is yet to be confirmed. There is now a mad panic to get the I-points plinths completed and where needed electrics and comms cable wiring runs installed to the I-points bases. Apparently last Saturday was the busiest day of the service to date, well it had to be, didn't it, was Harbour Festival weekend in the city. The blank paper ticket roll can be monitored remotely and on Saturday morning the P&R Inbound I-point recorded 70% ticket roll remaining but by the afternoon this had reduced to 19% and thus gave "kittens" to the promoters fearing that the ticket machine had been hacked and was issuing "freebies".

Once again travelled inbound on the 1420 X Emersons Green but this time I was joined on the upper deck front row by a male and his child daughter at the P&R and we were the only passengers until UWE where about 10 - 12 passengers boarded and picking up 1 more pax at the Stoke Park stop before joining the M32. I have never noticed it before but yesterday I took a good look at the landscape, the eastern slopes of Purdown, noticing a monument high up before the PO Tower and wondered how beautiful this area would have been when Duchess Lake was there before it was drained to make way for the M32. Progress ? Maybe not.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on July 24, 2018, 09:19:02 am
...wondered how beautiful this area would have been when Duchess Lake was there before it was drained to make way for the M32.

Grade II listed, it is. Wouldn't get away with it now...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: rogerw on July 24, 2018, 09:41:11 am
Although Duchess Pond was to be drained for the construction of the M32, mother nature intervened before that took place as during the bad storms in late July 1968 the pond overtopped and eroded its banks with the water flowing across Park Road and down Broom Hill, across the river bridge then back to the river through the adjoining houses.  If you know the area you will appreciate how shocked the residents were.  I was working on the M32 at the time as a student and as far as I can remember I think that the contractor and consultant liaised with the residents to assist.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on July 24, 2018, 10:13:47 am
I took a look at MetroBust's website this morning, and found
Quote
We have recently been testing the Metrobus busway with First.  Our testing has identified a requirement for minor (20mm) adjustments to the road height at three of the bends along the 3km route. These adjustments are planned for mid-summer. This will be followed by a further round of bus testing and we are working together for the m2 service to start in Autumn this year.

I suppose 3km sounds more impressive than 1¾ miles, but it does seem rather pointless having to adapt buses to run on such a short guided busway, especially when it will lengthen the journey from the park and ride for many people. I think the reason is that without the guided bit, MetroBust wouldn't be "special", and would look just like a bus route.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on July 26, 2018, 06:42:02 pm
My Metrobus insider e-mailed me today :-

Service Change 16 September 2018

Service M3 – First Bus (Emersons Green – UWE – Bristol Centre) introduction of Sunday and bank holiday service operating every 30 minutes between UWE Frenchay Campus and Bristol Centre.

New late evening/early morning journeys introduced Monday to Saturdays every 20 minutes between UWE Frenchay Campus and Bristol Centre. Last journey from Bristol Centre at 0412.

Timetable amended but frequencies remain the same during the day Monday to Saturdays. No change to route.

Service U3 – First Bus (UWE – Bristol Centre) new service between UWE Frenchay to Bristol Centre via Coldharbour Lane. Service operates Monday to Friday every 20 minutes during the day and more regularly during peak times. Metrobus service M3 operates from UWE to Bristol Centre on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.


Comment.

So the "successful" M3 service is not, according to the above, having the hours of operation to Lyde Green / Emersons Green locations extended unless this is covered by the phrase, "Timetable amended". Sunday and Bank Holiday service only to operate between UWE and City Centre so still no indication of a Sunday service to Lyde Green / Emersons Green in this announcement.

Interesting the introduction of the U3, will this be interleaved with the M3 and thus provide a 10 minute interval service from UWE to City Centre.

End of comment.


Also further changes revealed ;-

Metrobus type services to be introduced to operate to the Yate / Sodbury area as follows ;-

Y1 replaces 47/X47 running at 30 minute intervals on route of X47 but NOT serving the Bus Station, operating to and from Bristol Centre Colston Street(opposite the Colston Hall) instead;

Y2 replaces 47 running at 60 minute intervals between Bristol Bus Station and Yate Bus Station only serving Fishponds and Downend as the 47 does at present.

Y3 replaces X46 running at 60 minute intervals deviating at the Stover Road roundabout to operate via Stover Road and Yate Station to Yate Bus Station thence a loop round North Yate back to Yate Bus Station before returning to Bristol as outward deviation, Evenings the Yate loop will be covered by the Y4.

Y4 replaces 46 running at 60 minute intervals deviating to operate direct to Yate Bus Station and not serving the Airfield Estate. Evenings this service will provide the North Yate loop.

Y5 replaces X49 running at 60 minute intervals M - S and 120 minute intervals Su.

Y6 replaces 82 running at 60 minute intervals M - S and 120 minute intervals Su.

Whilst in Yate today saw a red liveried Metrobus vehicle, probably on a driver route familiarisation duty as it didnt enter the Yate Bus Station on its two passes of the Bus Station entrance.

Still no definitive news on start of M2 but there is a meeting arranged between Metrobus and Karin Smyth MP to see if anything can be salvaged out of the proposed and then abandoned route from Hengrove the the LA P&R.

Hope I haven't confused anyone with the above info, might have more info after tomorrows meeting in Kingswood.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on July 26, 2018, 07:57:58 pm
...NOT serving the Bus Station, operating to and from Bristol Centre Colston Street(opposite the Colston Hall) instead;

So what were they thinking when they built the (original, but on the same site) Bus Station back in 1958? Plainly they gave no thought to integrating buses with rail services; it's a good 20 minute walk from Temple Meads. Nor did they care much about integrating the country buses and coaches that terminate at the Bus Station with local services; it's a 10 minute walk from The Centre, where most city buses either terminate or pass through. Prior to 1958, long distance services terminated at Prince Street, which at least had the benefit of being sort of between Temple Meads and The Centre...

Maybe now that The Centre has been remodelled, more services to Bristol's outer northern suburbs could terminate there? They could even build a tower from which Temple Meads was visible, thus providing Metrobus-levels of integration with rail services.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on July 26, 2018, 08:05:55 pm
So what were they thinking when they built the (original, but on the same site) Bus Station back in 1958? Plainly they gave no thought to integrating buses with rail services ...

At that time, railway passenger services were seen much more as a declining relic ... Bristol far from alone; I don't know when it dates from, but Chippenham bus and train station are at opposite ends of the town too, and I don't think the bis station in Salisbury (when it had one!) was designed for rail interchange.

Loved seeing the Irish system last month.  Amongst characteristics of the fingers that stretch out west from Dublin is that they terminate at a station where you can walk straight out to the buses waiting in the bus stations that leave soon after the train has arrived for towns and villages in the hinterland.  As those same buses have come in, passengers have been disgorged to connect into the returning train to Dublin.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on July 26, 2018, 08:20:24 pm
.... Prior to 1958, long distance services terminated at Prince Street ....

and also on the Centre near the War Memorial on Magpie Park, opposite Eagle House. I used to travel home from school (Cotham Grammar) on one of the 5 services which ran beyond Downend where the family moved in 1955. I had the choice of the 25, Chipping Sodbury to Clevedon, the 131 Chipping Sodbury to The Centre, the 31 Swindon to Bristol, the 32 Cirencester to Bristol and finally the 400 Stroud to Bristol which I had to leave at Downend Horse Shoe pub and walk the last mile or so home.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on July 26, 2018, 08:26:36 pm
.... They could even build a tower from which Temple Meads was visible ....


Its built, Colston Tower from which you can see Temple Meads from the top.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on July 26, 2018, 09:09:20 pm
.... They could even build a tower from which Temple Meads was visible ....


Its built, Colston Tower from which you can see Temple Meads from the top.

Aha, I see that we could kill two birds with one stone here: instead of naming the tower after a historical figure who made his money by transporting millions of people against their will to places they didn't want to go where they suffered unimaginable cruelty, they could rename it the MetroBus Tower!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on August 01, 2018, 08:22:40 pm
One very big Czech HGV got lost on the M32 this afternoon and ended up exiting the M32 on the bus only exit and only just managed to negotiate the bus exit route. A very exasperated Czech driver was happily put on the right track to the ring road by motorists travelling down Stoke Lane. Probably he was obeying his sat-nav which told him to, in Czech, "take next exit", and couldn't read the English "Buses Only" and translate same into Czech.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on August 01, 2018, 11:21:03 pm
Just watched a cyclists video of his ride along the Ashton Metrobus Guided Busway, the work of graffiti artists can clearly be seen already on the bridge section.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: rogerw on August 02, 2018, 08:10:42 am
the work of graffiti artists can clearly be seen already on the bridge section. I wonder if that should really read the work of graffiti vandals??


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on August 02, 2018, 10:29:24 am
The Beeb and Bristol Evening Click Bait are both reporting that the next Metrobust route will start on 2nd September. For example:

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-exclusive-south-bristol-m2-1850640

Claims made in the article that the route connects to Temple Meads seem a little exaggerated and it means that First will be pulling an existing service which further dilutes the benefits.

Everybody concerned still seems to be vague about the original route's uptake since the so called free rides intro period last April. For example do the 120,000 journeys said to have been made on Metrobust include the two weeks council taxpayer paid for "free" fortnight?  Given the "huge uptake" claims made during the intro period, the same voices have been rather more muted since then about usage.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 02, 2018, 11:52:38 am
The new cycle path alongside the busway between Brunel Way and the Ashton swingbridge is yet another example of how investing just £300,000,000 in high-quality public transport can have knock-on benefits for other travellers. I've found it shaves several seconds off my journey. However I have one minor observation: Looking at these, what for want of a better work I shall call 'rails', I can't help thinking that if they got rid of them it would be possible to run any old bus, and perhaps even taxis down this, what for want of a better word I shall call 'road':

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a5/Ashton_busway.jpg/1024px-Ashton_busway.jpg)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: eightf48544 on August 02, 2018, 02:37:26 pm
Is there room for buses to pass the 6' doesn't look that wide.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on August 02, 2018, 03:37:17 pm
http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=17049.msg242578#msg242578

Opening date for route M2 revealed in my post above so not so EXCLUSIVE as BristolLive claim.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Pavement on August 02, 2018, 06:32:23 pm
Some footage of a bus negotiating the guideway:
https://youtu.be/PF9TqQOxw7o


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on August 02, 2018, 07:14:03 pm
M2 timetable now up on travelinesw website (http://www.travelinesw.com). No Sunday services for shoppers, is this still the parish council of north somerset still being obstinate and still refusing to remove the covenant that prevents the LA P&R being used on Sundays, one plus though. later services together with the busway will allow football and rugby fans to park there and travel to Ashton Gate and return to their cars after matches by Metrobus. One thing that puzzles me, will the P&R still be locked up after services cease daily or is that a thing of the past which will allow fans to park up there on a Sunday and walk along the busway to / from  the Ashton Gate encounter.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Phantom on August 03, 2018, 12:24:13 pm
M2 timetable now up on travelinesw website (http://www.travelinesw.com). No Sunday services for shoppers, is this still the parish council of north somerset still being obstinate and still refusing to remove the covenant that prevents the LA P&R being used on Sundays, one plus though. later services together with the busway will allow football and rugby fans to park there and travel to Ashton Gate and return to their cars after matches by Metrobus. One thing that puzzles me, will the P&R still be locked up after services cease daily or is that a thing of the past which will allow fans to park up there on a Sunday and walk along the busway to / from  the Ashton Gate encounter.

The big problem with letting us use the P&R for Ashton Gate, is it is deemed unsafe to walk due to the lack of lighting !
The fact that people have parked on the grass verges for decades seems to have been bypassed


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Phantom on August 03, 2018, 12:39:11 pm
Apologies for what is probably such an obvious question, but I thought the M2 service was supposed to go to Temple Meads?

Just looking at the new timetable (as linked above) but only shows service going to St Mary Redclife


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 03, 2018, 12:46:49 pm
It loops round the central area, and one of the stops claims to be at Temple Meads on the basis that with a ladder and some glasses you can see Temple Meads from there (if it wasn't for the houses in between). With a stout pair of walking boots you can walk from the stop to the station in less than 10 minutes - or you could get a cab.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on August 03, 2018, 02:10:38 pm
"With a ladder and some glasses
You could see St Philip's Marshes
If it wasn't for the station in between."


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on August 03, 2018, 05:38:22 pm
Apologies for what is probably such an obvious question, but I thought the M2 service was supposed to go to Temple Meads?

Just looking at the new timetable (as linked above) but only shows service going to St Mary Redcliffe


This is down to the clowns running this MetroBus project, if it runs within a mile of a "desired to serve" location then the stop is named as the "desired location".  I pointed this out when the stop in Lewins Mead was adorned with the I-point naming the stop as Broadmead when the stop is actually half a mile from Broadmead, in Lewins Mead outside the Premier Inn in Lewins Mead and opposite the Evans Cycle Emporium in Lewins Mead and the First Bus m3 timetable booklet refers to the stop as, yes, Lewins Mead.

Today the BristolLive website is reporting that the m2 should not be used by football and rugby fans going to Ashton Gate as they don't have enough buses to run the route even though there is a MetroBus stop at Ashton Gate for the fans that are anticipated will want to use the m2 to get to the matches.

Another fact that I noted today and can confirm that contractors are still faffing about with the Stoke Park I-point plinth (outbound) so passengers boarding there have no option other than buy their ticket on the bus unless they use m-tickets or the Travelwest travel card (Bristols part answer to Londons' Oyster card).


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on August 03, 2018, 11:15:14 pm
Apologies for what is probably such an obvious question, but I thought the M2 service was supposed to go to Temple Meads?

Just looking at the new timetable (as linked above) but only shows service going to St Mary Redclife

It's no less obvious than anything else to do with MetroBust. It goes from somewhere near Temple Meads to somewhere near Ashton Gate. There will be one every 20 minutes, which will also serve the park and ride, if it can get past the hordes of football fans walking down the busway.

You would probably have a shorter walk from Temple Meads if you catch a train to Parson Street. First recommends taking the ABus shuttle from Temple Meads, which they say will be faster than using the new £60 million bus route. Speaks volumes...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on August 09, 2018, 10:32:49 am
Local bus operator First Bristol will start operating the new m2 metrobus service from Monday 3 September.

The m2 service will run between Long Ashton Park & Ride and the City Centre serving Ashton Gate Stadium, SS Great Britain, Wapping Wharf, Temple Meads Station and Cabot Circus. It replaces the current 903 service between Long Ashton P&R and the city centre, which is operated under contract to Bristol City Council.

On Mondays to Saturdays the m2 Service will run from 6am, with the last bus leaving the Long Ashton Park & Ride at 9.30pm. During peak times it will operate every 10 minutes, every 12 minutes during the off-peak, and three times per hour after 7pm. On Saturdays the service operates every 12 minutes between 10am and 6pm, and three times hourly at other times.

A key benefit for all passengers, including current 903 users, is that all of First’s wide range of day, season and group tickets will be accepted on the m2, allowing through travel onto other services.

In the first two weeks of service, First will be offering m2 customers discounted travel with a promotional m2 week ticket for just £10, which is a 41% discount compared to a normal £17 FirstWeek ticket.

The m2 uses a guided busway for part of its route which allows services to avoid the often congested Brunel Way and Cumberland Basin.



New Sunday and night time service for m3...

Bus users using the premium m3 metrobus service between Lyde Green Park and Ride and the City Centre will be able to catch this quality service seven days a week.

Following the successful launch of the UK’s first buy-before-you-board service outside London, m3 operator First Bristol is expanding the existing Monday to Saturday timetable to include a Sunday service running half-hourly between 9am and 7pm. The new timetable starts from Sunday 16 September.

From the same date, the m3 will also provide evening and night journeys between 9pm and 4am on Mondays to Saturdays between The Centre and the University of the West of England (UWE), and on weekdays an additional U3 University service will mean that a frequent service will be provided between UWE and the city centre.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on August 09, 2018, 11:25:46 am
So we have a gold standard service between Bristol City Centre and UWE.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on August 09, 2018, 11:33:38 am
Shame that the m1 service is so late, two years from the initial estimate. It would be have been a great help with NR|GWR shutting Parkway for three weeks next month.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 09, 2018, 11:46:54 am
...the UK’s first buy-before-you-board service outside London...

I presume you're quoting a press release here, but I'm intrigued by this statement. 'Buy-before-you-board' implies that they're talking about some sort of transport service, but plainly there are other such services outside London e.g. Nottingham trams. So do they mean it's the first buy-before-you-board bus service? Is that true?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on August 09, 2018, 12:00:58 pm
I think you are right to think it is the first buy before you board bus service. Given the number of press releases over the years, from Metrobus, they have nearly always contained a fair few erroneous claims !


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on August 09, 2018, 12:26:58 pm
But London buses are not buy-before-you-board. They are pay on entry. In fact I don't think you can buy a ticket for a London bus before you board – or even after boarding, as no such ticket exists.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on August 10, 2018, 03:26:03 pm
You can't - the only way is with a card, either Oyster or contactless debit / credit. It's brilliant, IMHO, with a flat fare so you don't have to tap out at the end of the journey, and a daily cap. It's what we should have in Bristol, instead of the monolithic ticket machines.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: rogerw on August 10, 2018, 04:13:07 pm
Before the introduction of contactless payment, London buses were pay before you board within the central area and pay driver elsewhere


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on August 10, 2018, 06:17:49 pm
You can't - the only way is with a card, either Oyster or contactless debit / credit. It's brilliant, IMHO, with a flat fare so you don't have to tap out at the end of the journey, and a daily cap. It's what we should have in Bristol, instead of the monolithic ticket machines.
I agree. I presume the reason we're stuck with ticket machines is because we don't have the funding available to set up an electronic system. And maybe because only TfL is powerful enough to get multiple operators to use one system.

Before the introduction of contactless payment, London buses were pay before you board within the central area and pay driver elsewhere
Ok, so it does make sense then, albeit out of date.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on August 10, 2018, 08:39:07 pm
.... And maybe because only TfL is powerful enough to get multiple operators to use one system.

What about the "Bristol Freedom Travelpass" ticket available for travel on most buses and trains within an area bounded in the west by Weston-S-M, in the east by Freshford and the north by both Pilning and Yate. The ticket is available in a combination of zones and for periods of 1 day, 7 days or a calendar month. My only gripe with this ticket is the map shows Cribbs Causeway to be north of Pilning in Zone C when the blob for Cribbs should be next to Patchway in Zone A.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on August 11, 2018, 02:34:02 pm
I hadn't heard of that. But it's clearly a bit of a "special ticket" rather than a unified payment system for all and every journey.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on August 12, 2018, 03:24:09 pm
I agree. I presume the reason we're stuck with ticket machines is because we don't have the funding available to set up an electronic system. And maybe because only TfL is powerful enough to get multiple operators to use one system.

We are stuck with ticket machines because of a complete lack of vision. The "multiple operators" will be down by one soon, as Wessex goes the way of all flesh, and First aren't looking too secure. A loss of over £300 million has put the rat among the pigeons, and Stagecoach are rumoured to be looking at cherry picking. There are also Turners, Buglers, Eastville Coaches, ABus, and a lot of others, but most run one route somewhat irregularly. If the Western Super Mayor would stop worrying about MetroBust and concentrate on improvements to public transport instead, we could have a properly joined up network similar to how London works. We have the technology already - the bus machines are all ITSO compliant, and there has been a substantial "back office" to divvy up the fares for more years than there have been bus operators running the system. The totems could remain to give information about next buses, some of it accurate, but where is the sense in having to use a bank card to buy a ticket when you could use the card to board the bus?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on August 13, 2018, 10:44:47 am
where is the sense in having to use a bank card to buy a ticket when you could use the card to board the bus?
Nicely put. I'll try to remember this and use it, if you don't mind! A fare has to be paid, a ticket represents this and we have become used to conflating the ticket with the fare.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 13, 2018, 05:30:15 pm
As I watched one of those lovely new buses swish past earlier today with its single passenger, for some reason the old strapline of the Evening Post came to mind: The Paper all Bristol asked for and helped to create. Perhaps MetroBus could adopt that for its motto: MetroBus: The transport solution all Bristol opposed and tried to prevent...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on August 20, 2018, 08:31:47 pm
More negative press comment :-

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/new-metrobus-route-take-longer-1916133

Not at least a bit surprised.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 23, 2018, 09:26:22 am
Here's a piece of clickbait that ticks all the boxes for some forum members!

Looks like they've had the decorators in:

Quote

GRAFFITI REMOVAL ‘NOT A PRIORITY’ FOR METROBUS

Less than a fortnight before Bristol’s second MetroBus route is due to open, a new multimillion-pound bridge is already strewn with graffiti.

The tags are both on the ground level and high up on the crash barriers of the new skew bridge near Ashton Gate, which buses on the m2 service will use to avoid Winterstoke Road and the Cumberland Basin.

But despite the proliferation of tags, a MetroBus spokesman told Bristol24/7 that regular removal of graffiti on the route’s new infrastructure “is not something the council, or MetroBus project, has budgeted for as a priority”.

Read more at Bristol 24/7 (https://www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/news/graffiti-removal-not-a-priority-for-metrobus/)




Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: SandTEngineer on August 23, 2018, 10:04:34 am
That had me in stiches Red Squirrel......


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Phantom on August 23, 2018, 10:34:57 am
Here's a piece of clickbait that ticks all the boxes for some forum members!

Looks like they've had the decorators in:

Quote

GRAFFITI REMOVAL ‘NOT A PRIORITY’ FOR METROBUS

Less than a fortnight before Bristol’s second MetroBus route is due to open, a new multimillion-pound bridge is already strewn with graffiti.

The tags are both on the ground level and high up on the crash barriers of the new skew bridge near Ashton Gate, which buses on the m2 service will use to avoid Winterstoke Road and the Cumberland Basin.

But despite the proliferation of tags, a MetroBus spokesman told Bristol24/7 that regular removal of graffiti on the route’s new infrastructure “is not something the council, or MetroBus project, has budgeted for as a priority”.

Read more at Bristol 24/7 (https://www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/news/graffiti-removal-not-a-priority-for-metrobus/)




The easy answer would have been whilst the recent upfest was on in that area they let people put some proper artwork onto it and then it is not so bad


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on August 23, 2018, 11:17:33 am
Quote
And Calculus agreed: “Graffiti can look a mess. It can contain inappropriate messages. But good graffiti can be great. Council cannot afford a continuous clean-up, so find a way to engage with graffiti artists to make the whole thing positive…. and to ensure their safety should a bus hurtle round. Graffiti could put the ‘metro’ in ‘Metrobus’, ‘cos actually it’s just a bus.
https://www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/news/tagging-is-like-a-dog-peeing-on-a-lamppost-to-define-its-territory/


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on August 25, 2018, 06:02:36 pm
The best way is to paint something racially offensive on to, in 3ft high letters. They'll be round before the paint dries.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on August 26, 2018, 06:17:24 pm
My opinion of the graffiti on the metrobus bridges etc: I think that graffiti can be aesthetically pleasing and a benefit to its surroundings. Murals by another name. Two examples of this might be the work of Banksy (though I don't like his style personally) and Upfest. But what we see on the video ^^ is simply tagging, a larger, more colourful and perhaps sometimes more stylish version of "Kilroy was here." It's not aesthetically pleasing and it does not improve its environment. But if we stop and look at what is under the tags, it's just a blank, grey concrete wall. It's also not aesthetically pleasing. It's simply an unadorned structural element. Brunel (and his less-remembered collaborators and competitors) was an engineer out to make thinks work, not look pretty, but he did not neglect the aesthetic impact of his constructions. Obviously today's deadlines and profit-driven projects do not have the budget for fancy ironwork, but the simple and free answer would be to invite chosen graffiti artists to paint the concrete walls and embankments before the routes open. Free decoration and a deterrent to future tagging.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: SandTEngineer on August 26, 2018, 07:16:17 pm
Obviously today's deadlines and profit-driven projects do not have the budget for fancy ironwork, but the simple and free answer would be to invite chosen graffiti artists to paint the concrete walls and embankments before the routes open. Free decoration and a deterrent to future tagging.

Don't agree BMBLBZZZ.  Its vandalism full stop.  Trouble is we do let them get away with it, and so they know they can easily do it again un-contested.  Personally I think it makes our infrastructure look as bad as in France (where they have the same attidude).  Have a trip by train through the PARIS suburbs and you will see what I mean.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on August 26, 2018, 07:40:11 pm
Is it vandalism if it's done by invitation at specified times and locations? And possibly even running the rough designs past a body for approval, or at least filtering out anything potentially dodgy? The kind of thing that happens at Upfest and some similar events or locations. I'm talking about ending up with a wall full of stuff like this:
Bristol graffiti (https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=bristol+graffiti&client=opera&hs=8QN&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjPtMrcrYvdAhUMBsAKHYJGDpwQ_AUICigB&biw=1366&bih=658)
which you might not personally like (and I'm not sure I like all of it) but is an improvement on competitive name-scrawling, IMO – which is what is going to happen, or rather does happen, otherwise. And there is plenty of evidence that painted surfaces discourage tagging.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on August 29, 2018, 08:18:17 am
Had a coffee with my Metrobus insider yesterday morning. “What's the latest”, I asked him as if I didn't already know much of which he was going to impart to me.

“M2 is starting in September and is already courting much adverse comment regards the route leaving passengers which have used the Long Ashton Park and Ride service for years to travel to the Hotwells / Anchor Roads and Centre / College Green areas are furious that now they will have to ride almost around the city loop to get to near where they want adding up to 20 minutes  to their morning commute or alight at Wapping Wharf and walk through the area and along the Harbourside to Prince Street Bridge, over it past the Arnolfini and then over Peros Bridge to Millenium Square and through @Bristol to Anchor Road, a time the M2 timetable states is achievable in 9 minutes”. He continued, “yes, 9 minutes if you are a fit road walker but not if you are a fit 20 something female secretary to a Managing Director wearing six inch high heels cautiously negotiating all the sunken railway lines around the M shed and the cobbled streets around the Arnolfini and the @Bristol building not mentioning the occasional need to close the Prince Street bridge to swing it for vessels whose headroom is insufficient to pass under it”. Also DR of Bus Users UK told me that he has had phone calls from no lesser that the PA of Steve Lansdown he of HL and Bristol Sports asking what DR was doing about the loss of the 903 as many users of the service work at HL and the many nearby financial businesses.

I expressed my view that if, as is stated, the current 903 is subsidised how is it that M2 is going to operate without a subsidy assuming that passenger numbers and hence farebox income remain roughly.static. He laughed and told me that the modelling used to justify the M2 route predicted at least a 20% increase in passenger numbers and thus income. I asked him where those extra 20% of passengers were going to come from, all those sports fans travelling to Ashton Gate for matches who have been told not to use Metrobus because they would'nt have enough vehicles to cope. He rocked with laughter again.

I remarked that there is still no sign of a Sunday service and that overnight parking at the LA P&R is not permitted which will put workers that do night work off from using M2.

His response was, “look, you and I could put our heads together, having read the original legal documents relating to the LA P&R site, prepare a codicil on less than half a sheet of A4 detailing the changes to the original planning permissions that are needed but the rip-off lawyers will insist that it needs a 10 page deed of variation costing £10,000 per page to draft to achieve, its already taken over two years just to process the purchase of the land, I suppose the freehold of the land the LA P&R stands on and still there is no firm date for completion let alone changes to the hours that the site can be used. If it were kids you could grab hold of their hair and bang their heads together and tell them to sort it but with the dodery old bold headed retired idiots thinking they know best you'd have to grab them by the collar and headbutt them together telling them to FWGOWI (? well get on with it).

I think I'll conclude this post here with a promise of a second post detailing the rest of our conversation over our coffee meetup yesterday.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on August 29, 2018, 08:31:52 am
I suggest Mr Moneybags Lansdown provides a morning and evening boat shuttle across the Floating harbour, at no cost to his employees, instructing his staff to get off Metrobus m2 at the Gas ferry stop. It could operate for an hour before and after office hours.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on August 29, 2018, 08:45:25 am
I suggest Mr Moneybags Lansdown provides a morning and evening boat shuttle across the Floating harbour, at no cost to his employees, instructing his staff to get off Metrobus m2 at the Gas ferry stop. It could operate for an hour before and after office hours.


DR told me that he did suggest to SL's PR that SL fund a peak hour P&R service to the Harbourside (Lloyds Building) turning at the Millenium Square Turning Circle.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on August 29, 2018, 08:51:08 am
The onus is definitely on SL  to come up with a solution,not the employees. It is not as if, they have not been able to see it coming. So to quote your own words in your earlier post, why don't they FWGOWI ?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Phantom on August 29, 2018, 10:32:53 am
The onus is definitely on SL  to come up with a solution,not the employees. It is not as if, they have not been able to see it coming. So to quote your own words in your earlier post, why don't they FWGOWI ?

Why is it up to the majority shareholder to provide transport for his staff?
Is this actually done anywhere else?

Apart from the few hours on a match day there are not that many staff based at Ashton Gate

As for not seeing it coming, am I not correct in saying that one of the routes that was sold as being in this area mysteriously vanished at a very recent press release


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on August 29, 2018, 10:47:44 am
I was not referring to Ashton Gate supporters on Saturdays, but the employees of Hargreaves Lansdown who are by far the majority employer on Harbourside during the week !. Furthermore the section of route most likely to be used by employees of HL is the Long Ashton P&R to Bristol City centre. At the moment the 903 drops right outside HL HQ. With Metrobus the service will go on the opposite bank and loop around the city centre adding another 20-30 minutes travelling time at both ends of the day. This has been a known known for a long time, and has no connection (literally!) with the apparently vanished stretch from Long Aston P&R to Hengrove.
I am not directly affected by it, so have no axe to grind, but feel that Mr Lansdown should show some understanding and sympathy for his employees who are most affected by this.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on August 29, 2018, 11:53:31 am
Why not run the M2 service in an alternating loop around the city centre?

Why not split proposed the very long M1 route into M1 and M4 and increase the service frequency of these two routes? 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on August 29, 2018, 01:18:32 pm
Why not run the M2 service in an alternating loop around the city centre?

1. Is the special infrastructure in there to go both ways around?

2. Which side of the road would you wait (towards the middle of the loop) for the next service to Long Ashton

3. If it was 2-way between Temple Meads and the City Centre, would it abstract traffic from other services?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on August 29, 2018, 01:28:12 pm
All good questions, but the P&R bus already does part of this route, so I assumed yes.




Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on August 29, 2018, 02:08:40 pm
Why not run the M2 service in an alternating loop around the city centre?

Why not split proposed the very long M1 route into M1 and M4 and increase the service frequency of these two routes? 

The road surface is two grey for the precious bus to run over.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on August 29, 2018, 10:16:52 pm
I am astonished by the claim that Metrobust will be in the council taxpayers interest as the 903's subsidy will come to an end. What on earth do they think the cost to said taxpayers is with what the 30 to 50 million pounds and climbing overspend will be?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Phantom on August 30, 2018, 02:39:13 pm
1......... but the employees of Hargreaves Lansdown who are by far the majority employer on Harbourside during the week !.

2....Furthermore the section of route most likely to be used by employees of HL is the Long Ashton P&R to Bristol City centre.

1....But surely these staff are all coming from different points of a compass so how would a designated pick up be of any use?

2... Why would the staff be using the P&R

I'm confused.com


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on August 30, 2018, 06:18:34 pm
I am astonished by the claim that Metrobust will be in the council taxpayers interest as the 903's subsidy will come to an end. What on earth do they think the cost to said taxpayers is with what the 30 to 50 million pounds and climbing overspend will be?

It isn't just that. The original finance model for MetroBust had a charge for use of the somewhat useless special busway. That has been dropped to try to make sure that somebody uses it, which is an effective subsidy. First also got cash from some central government fund to buy gas powered buses, and the cost of a gas fuelling station.

The 903 was being subsidised by accident, as Bristol City Council continued to pay the company who opened and closed the gates at the Park and Ride for years after they needed to, according to the BBC. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-37563320) The payments stopped around 2 years ago, but threats to stop running the buses appear to have been idle ones.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if Mr Lansdown did make alternative arrangements to bus his staff in from the P&R. My guess is that he would be refused access to the bus stop inside the car park. He would be able to charge a fare - after all, his staff have paid £4 per day thus far, so would not be disadvantaged - but he would have to find an operator to do it. It wouldn't bode well for MetroBust, though.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on August 30, 2018, 07:06:07 pm
For this part 2 following my coffee with my metrobus insider earlier this week I'll concentrate on the M3. A new timetable to operate from mid September is available and whilst this shows later services from the Centre and a Sunday service, the later services Monday to Saturday only operate to UWE, the spread of services to Lyde Green and Emersons Green remain as at present, the later services only serve the UWE until the last service from the city centre at 04:12, so much for the hard done by students having ludicrous tuition fees but can manage to stop out at the city's nightclubs until the early hours, crawl back to their student accommodation, crash out till midday then turn out for tutorials and lectures before returning to the city's nightclubs for another session.

There are concerns over the passenger numbers using the service outside of the peak hours as other posters and myself have addressed on previous posts to this thread. Would this explain the lack of additional services to EG evenings, the current service means the last bus back to EG is too early for patrons of the Colston Hall, Hippodrome, Bristol Old Vic and the Cabot Circus Cinema complex. Yes, there is a claim that 120,000 passengers have used the service since its inception bit how many of that number were between UWE and the City Centre only.

The new South Gloucestershire LYNX Network Route Y1 from Chipping Sodbury and Yate may well entice some passengers away from the M3 as this replacement for the 47/X47 will commence on 02/09/2018 and although only serving one common stop inbound with the M3, Hambrook, passengers waiting there may well prefer to use the Y1 as that service will run direct to the City Centre via the M32. Outbound this service will also serve the Willy Wicket Metrobus stop and thus entice more customers for a quicker homeward commute than the M3 will provide.

Elected SG Council members had requested that the Y1 be allowed to use the bus only exit/entry roads to the M32 to enable the service to provide a link between UWE and Yate/Chipping Sodbury, even the new service, U3, which is down to operate every 20 minutes in conjunction with the M3 and provide a 10 minute interval departure service from and to UWE from the City Centre (6/7 minute headway in peak hours) will not be allowed to use the infrastructure, infrastructure which residents of South Gloucestershire helped to pay for through their council and general taxes.

I questioned my insider about the inability or unwillingness or whatever why the dickheads running the Metrobus outfit rule out a Metrobus service serving Parkway station when during the few full closures of Parkway station lately the RR buses quite happily negotiate the 'not suitable for buses' route through the grounds of Parkway station to gain access through the new Stoke Gifford Link Road and thence the M32 to Temple Meads, to Gloucester/Cheltenham (fast) and to Yate and Cam and Dursley or just Yate when services from/to Gloucester turn back at Yate. His response was, “You already said it, the dickheads don't know what their doing”. There is nobody in overall control of the project, nobody who had drawn up an Activity Chart detailing every high level activity and the periods over which those activities would take place.

I did point out that in a meeting that I was present at, a councillor, who claimed to be well versed with the rail network asked when Yate was going to get the promised turn back facility to enable the 30 minute interval service to be provided. The councillor was surprised when I told them that a turnback facility already existed for both directions of travel and has been used during the recent prolonged full closures of the South Wales Main Line between Westerleigh Junction and Parkway Station. This turn back has also been used when the Severn Tunnel was closed for the installation of the OHL of the electrification project and the empty Cardiff – Portsmouth units were run to Yate and stabled on the Tytherington branch as insufficient siding space was available to accommodate the stock at Parkway itself.

Roll on till the whole thing collapses.   


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on August 31, 2018, 11:13:21 am
1......... but the employees of Hargreaves Lansdown who are by far the majority employer on Harbourside during the week !.
2....Furthermore the section of route most likely to be used by employees of HL is the Long Ashton P&R to Bristol City centre.
1....But surely these staff are all coming from different points of a compass so how would a designated pick up be of any use?
2... Why would the staff be using the P&R
I'm confused.com

Yes, you are confused

1. HL are not the major employer on the harbourside, have you forgotten Lloyds Bank, I would suggest has a larger square footage of office space in their 3 buildings than HL, this includes the LB gym. Then there is the Handelsbankenn and City Hall workers who disgorge and alight the 903 on Anchor Road

2. The P&R is a large free car park owned by BCC but in the confines of North Somerset (Parish) Council and to which many commuters from North Somerset converge and pay a fare to travel into the heart of the city where I've known parking charges to be £25 a day in a private car park and £3 per hour in an NCP Car Park attached to a Holiday Inn Express establishment. So to use the P&R makes economical sense.

What is the bugbear here is the NSPC who are the successor planning authority to the planning authority which approved planning permission for the P&R at the outset. As I understand it the car park officially only has planning permission for the parking of cars of commuters working in Central Bristol. I have, however, not heard of NSPC stationing "gestapo police" at the entrance to the P&R to ensure that only commuters and not shoppers enter the P&R. Saturday afternoons when there is a game at Ashton Gate Stadium many fans park at the P&R and walk the last mile or so to the stadium and have been publically requested NOT to use Metrobus because there is not enough vehicles to meet anticipated demand although there is a stop designated "Ashton Gate" on the Metrobus m2 route.

Bristol Sport are being pursued to provide extra parking for fans which was a condition of planning consent for the recent enlargement of the Stadium implementable when the average gate attendance at the stadium surpassed a certain figure. Bristol Sport would quite happily pay for the opening of the P&R on a Sunday when there will be NO metrobus service so the fans could walk the route so far and then cross the railway line at the now little used level crossing. NSPC stance is that the conditions attached to the Planning Permission 20 years plus ago still stand today. Really you couldn't make it up. NSPC well and truly earn their Parish middle name, that council voted as a council NOT to become part of WECA but now WECA exists are invited to their meetings, they even hold their hands out for contributions from the WECA Mayors £1 billion HMG gift. If I were the WECA Mayor I would tell the NSPC representative, your authority voted not to be part of WECA so, pointing to the door, There is the door, GET OUT.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Pavement on September 01, 2018, 10:11:36 am
Surely the simple solution would be to extend the route of the 71 from it's last stop at UWE to the P&R. It looks like that would only add 5 minutes tops to the journey time of those people going from the P&R to Anchor Road.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on September 01, 2018, 10:59:09 am
Surely the simple solution would be to extend the route of the 71 from it's last stop at UWE to the P&R. It looks like that would only add 5 minutes tops to the journey time of those people going from the P&R to Anchor Road.

Not allowed by BCC who own the P&R LA site, only solution BCC can't veto is the current P&R service from LA P&R to Clifton which goes up Jacobs Wells Road with pax alighting near Anchor Road/Hotwells Road/Jacobs Wells Road roundabout, even to re-route the Clifton P&R service to run along Anchor Road to turn right into the Harbourside area turning at the Lloyds building turning circle back to Jacobs Wells Road is opposed by BCC/Metrobus. 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: eightf48544 on September 01, 2018, 04:18:12 pm
Not being from Bristol the finer details elude me but my observation is you "Couldn't make it up"


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on September 01, 2018, 06:05:05 pm
For this part 2 following my coffee with my metrobus insider earlier this week ...

A very interesting view / set of thoughts.  I do have a question in my inbox asking me if there's some unparliamentary language in use here and I have to admit - yes - I think there is (or close to it).   I happen to know a Mr Richard Head, and he should not be compared with the people who run the Metrobus, though I have to admit he would probably not do too good a job of it. At least I think he would have the common sense not to try!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on September 01, 2018, 06:17:20 pm
Surely the simple solution would be to extend the route of the 71 from it's last stop at UWE to the P&R. It looks like that would only add 5 minutes tops to the journey time of those people going from the P&R to Anchor Road.

Not allowed by BCC who own the P&R LA site, only solution BCC can't veto is the current P&R service from LA P&R to Clifton which goes up Jacobs Wells Road with pax alighting near Anchor Road/Hotwells Road/Jacobs Wells Road roundabout, even to re-route the Clifton P&R service to run along Anchor Road to turn right into the Harbourside area turning at the Lloyds building turning circle back to Jacobs Wells Road is opposed by BCC/Metrobus. 

It does make it look as though BCC are going to extreme lengths to try to force commuters to use MetroBust! In other places, I have seen posts by many unhappy people who currently live in Portishead or Clevedon and work in central Bristol. One solution some are going to try is to switch to the Avonmouth P&R. For many, there will be something of an improvement, even over the 903. The drive from junction 19 of the M5 can be stop-start from as far away as Abbots Leigh. The quick nip over the bridge to J 18 might be a pain because of the convoluted nature of the slip roads, but the bus enjoys a bus lane from Sea Mills to the suspension bridge, after which traffic is never as bad as was made out at the MetroBust public inquiry.

It reinforces the point that we should have had improvements to public transport rather than MetroBust.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 02, 2018, 10:56:19 am
...£1 billion HMG gift...

This, for those who are new to this topic, is one of these new definitions:

Gift (n): A sum of money belonging to a person or organisation which you allow them to keep as long as they spend it on things which you agree, on a timescale you determine, subject to your whims and last-minute sixpenny turns.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Oxonhutch on September 02, 2018, 03:09:13 pm
For this part 2 following my coffee with my metrobus insider earlier this week ...
A very interesting view / set of thoughts.  I do have a question in my inbox asking me if there's some unparliamentary language in use here and I have to admit - yes - I think there is (or close to it).

I distinctly remember the Vicar of Dibley - when composing a letter to the Water Company - asking her Parish Councillors if the word was hyphenated or not  :)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on September 02, 2018, 04:59:31 pm
Another 3 howlers unearthed today.

Timetable for tomorrows start of m2 has a square photo with rounded corners of sports fans extolling the virtues of Ashton Gate Stadium as being stadium, conference & events revealing nearest metrobus stop: Ashton Gate yet two weeks ago the local Bristol rag had a message for sports fan NOT to use metrobus for travel to the stadium by metrobus as they haven't enough vehicles to cope with the hordes of fans expected at fixtures.

On service 903 which m2 is replacing you could buy a 10 or 20 ticket package, if any passenger has any journeys left on these packages they will not be accepted on m2 even though it could mean travel between exactly the same points on m2 as the holder travelled on the 903. You can get a refund so it seems some organisation has to set up a section to deal with these refunds which probably will not be a at minimal cost, crazy.

Controversy has raged over the mysterious disappearance of the South Bristol Link route from the LA P&R to Hengrove as detailed in the original spec for the project. Guess what. The self same route has now mysteriously re-appeared on the Metrobus map posted at Metrobus stops as a dotted line together with the m1 route as a solid line with more dotted line in the North Bristol area on said maps.  ??? ??? ???

Will be out tomorrow for my first ride on a guided (justa)bus. 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Clan Line on September 02, 2018, 07:03:39 pm
...£1 billion HMG gift...

This, for those who are new to this topic, is one of these new definitions:

Gift (n): A sum of money belonging to a person or organisation which you allow them to keep as long as they spend it on things which you agree, on a timescale you determine, subject to your whims and last-minute sixpenny turns.

..............which explains why "gift" means "poison" in German !


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on September 03, 2018, 06:34:37 pm
Well now...I caught the m2 just after 11am from the euphemistically named Ashton Gate stop heading into Bristol. I had my concessionary card ready, but couldn't see any times on the ticket machine and when I scrolled the map with my finger it took me to East London!.

As the bus pulled in, I noticed the flywheel that keeps it within the guided kerbs, immediately noticed how fast it was turning, and thought that will probably need replacing at frequent intervals.Got on board,about 15 passengers and sat upstairs front right hand side where the air con was delivering a cool hurricane.

As we went over Ashton Avenue swing bridge, (which hasn't swung since 1951), I was struck by the interplay of light and shadow between the girders. Once we pulled up at the traffic lights to join Cumberland Road, the guided bus became justabus. The road was virtually empty, we picked up no-one and it stayed like that until the euphemistically named Temple Meads stop. The stop names all sound very attractive until you realise that all these attractions are some walk away, but in the same breath, I would add that the walking times given, are a bit unrealistic. A young art student bowed down with folders of coursework might find Bower Ashton does take 20 minutes to walk from Ashton Gate, but this reasonably fit pensioner was able to do it in 7 minutes. Perhaps there is a bit of reverse psychology going on here ? .The rest of the journey around Bond Street, Broadmead, the Centre, and Queen square was quiet both traffic and passenger wise.

I was somewhat surprised that the driver continued straight on through Prince Street and back around the Redcliffe roundabout, all the way back to the Long Ashton P&R as the diagrams on the buses seem to indicate that Queen Square is the final stop. Overall, it was a calm, unhurried journey,with no fuss, but by contrast, hardly worth all the time effort and money that has gone into getting it up and running.

 I think that there will be a stop outside St Mary Redcliffe inbound eventually, for all those wanting the Harbourside offices.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on September 04, 2018, 12:37:50 am
I think that there will be a stop outside St Mary Redcliffe inbound eventually, for all those wanting the Harbourside offices.

If we are talking about the same harbourside, most dismounted at Wapping Wharf for the 10-minute schlep up Prince Street. Fairly pleasant in fine weather, less so in winter or carrying baggage, and much less convenient than being dropped outside the office in 8 minutes, especially with a 33% hike in cost.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on September 05, 2018, 10:14:02 am
Well Monday was opening day for Metrobus m2 route, DISASTER day from what I saw and heard.

Departed Lyde Green P&R on the m3 09:00 service from Emersons Green to the Centre which had to wait time at UWE and surprisingly only picked up 1 passenger there to add to the 6 already on the bus. Pulled up behind one of the new m2 route vehicles at Cabot Circus and had to wait, and wait, and wait before the driver of my bus threw the gear selector into reverse. Backed a bit and then pulled out into the Bond Street traffic to travel onto the City Centre.

Once on the Centre I looked around for wheelchair user DR who I said I'd meet there but there was no sign of him. Went to the Colston Hall for a comfort break and returned to obtain a tea from the trailer tea/coffee vendor opposite the forces recruitment office, saw DR there and called out to him and before I had crossed the road DR advised me that there was chaos at Temple Meads. No signs pointing to where to get the m2, passengers exiting the station looking around on the incline for this new super dooper bus service to the city centre were being advised to get the 8/9 to the city centre or the X39 from the bottom of the incline outside the Holiday Inn Express. Other passengers were being advised to return to the station entrance and use the side entrance, walk down to the Temple Mead gyratory roundabout under construction and then along Temple Way to the stop at the back of the hotel there, I knew it as the Crowne Plaza but I think its different now. A walk of about ¾ of a mile from the booking hall at the station and with luggage, well, I'll not comment further.

Well DR and myself decided that we take the approaching m2 out to Long Ashton. Bus pulled up and DR requested the bus body be lowered so he could board, no way, lowering the body would damage the bodywork of the bus so at many stops the driver has to leave the driving cab and manually operate the ramp which is what happened when we arrived at the LA P&R site. Didn't establish whether the body lowering function on the vehicles had been isolated for this service. On the ride out to the P&R DR filled me in with the comments made on Radio Bristol earlier in the morning which was nothing but criticism and derision.

At the P&R site there were 3 First personnel, 5 persons wearing the red Metrobus polo shirts which may or may not have been First employees too but in the 2 hours we were there at times all 8 of these persons were fending off criticism of this shambles leaving drivers having to leave their buses and doing their best they could to talk the passengers through how to buy their tickets, I saw passengers walking up to the ticket machine (I-Point in Metrobus language) with notes in hand so the “no cash” message hadn't reached the ears of some.

When one of the First persons was free I remarked to him how I would have thought the outfit running this Metrobus project would have produced a video on how to obtain their tickets before travel and show it on a screen in the LA waiting room as a repeating video loop and should have been loaded onto the onboard computers on the m3 when that service started up and was free for the first two weeks of operation, instead all that was displayed was an alternating “flying” f  / First, the operator and HANNOVER, the manufacturer of the flat screens. That individual agreed with me on that. I also mentioned the problem of the bus body not being lowered for DR to aboard, and the individual looked puzzled, shouldn't be a problem. He went to the driver of a bus which was waiting and asked the driver to lower the bodywork while he observed, an inch at a time then stop. He came back to me and confirmed that whilst the body could be lowered, at a low kerb the “jockey wheel”, as he called it, might damage the bodywork due to the way its attached to the vehicle so the driver was right and played safe.
 
The waiting room at the LA P&R has been tarted up to give it a refreshed look and make it into an 'm2 waiting lounge', two very nice toilets which I used both, The first by ignorance. You see one toilet door has roundel pictograms of both a lady and a wheelchair user and the other has a pictogram on it of, err, a lady, I plumped to use the one with the two pictograms on it and use the disabled facility, that WAS the ladies too, the other was the gents, the one with the single pictogram of a lady on the entrance door. It was funny watching the female sex pushing that door and suddenly retracting themselves when faced with the sight of two urinals and having a retake on the entrance door, yes it does portray a lady there. One young girl went in and didn't retract herself immediately but came out laughing her head off telling her friends she went in there and after as she emerged from the cubicle there was an old geezer having a pee in front of her. All she wanted to do was wash her hands and was directed to the genuine ladies room, meanwhile her friends took it in turns to push the outer and inner dors to the gents fotting the door with the ladies pictogram on it showing the urinals behind the two doors.

DR was very concerned that although the 505, the BCT contracted service operating a ½ hourly service to Southmead Hospital from the P&R is still in being despite the media being informed it had been withdrawn, there were no timetable leaflets for this service to be found. DR is concerned that this service could face the axe as a connection from m2 to the 24 can be made at Redcliffe Hill which would then take punters on a mystery tour of Bristol via The Centre, Nelson Street, Broadmead, Old Market, Stapleton Road, Fishponds Road, Muller Road, Lockleaze, Horfield finally depositing them at Southmead Hospital an hour later having missed their appointments.

I really looked forward to my first ride on a guided busway, I was, more than mildly disappointed, I was mortified actually. Apart from one small, say 20 degree curve to the left outbound, right inbound, all the guided bits are, umm, dead straight and with a bit of common sense the whole project could have been constructed without the need for any guided bits at all. Even the Village Idiot Construction Company could have done better.

On the outward journey, on Cumberland Road, there were long term roadworks taking place just past the junction with Prince Street and adjacent to the Wapping Wharf construction site. A tipper truck was being loaded with spoil from these roadworks. The bus had to wait for a gap in the oncoming traffic but there was insufficient room for the bus to pass and so the driver had to mount the offside pavement to pass the obstructing tipper. That would not have been possible had the Metrobus shelter and seating been installed there and it probably will be 12 months before the Wapping Wharf development is complete. There was of course the Metrobus I-point there standing in the middle of what was left of the sidewalk with barely enough room for a wheelchair or wide childrens buggy to pass due to the encroachment of the construction sites hoardings into the said sidewalk. Further along Cumberland Road nearly all of the area for coach and car parking near the Harbour Masters offices was occupied by contractors vehicles working on the project to stabilise the bank of The Cut which has slipped and caused the railway line which the harbour chuffer used to be closed and could lead to Cumberland Road itself subsiding into The Cut. What would happen to Metrobus then ?

Arriving back at the Centre DR and myself retired to SUBWAY for nourishment and it so happened the lunchtime Points West news bulletin was on the tv screen which we watched. The MD of FWOE was interviewed. I have met JF on a number of occasions and he, as Grahame will confirm, is a very approachable person and I have great respect for him and in the PW interview I thought he looked a very angry man, angry because he and his staff and the few others were having to fend off the unhappy punters criticisms and insults and NO ONE from the Metrobus organization or the council were anywhere to be seen, what a cowardly way to foist a high profile project onto the public, a project the people of Bristol didn't want.

Although some of you reading this may disagree, I said to DR the best bit of that was viewing the graffiti that has appeared on the pristine concrete sculptures that masquerade as road infrastructure, when is the Bristol School of Graffiti Artists going to finish their project and colour in the rest of this pristine concrete sculpture. 

Any forum members reading this just put a date in your diary, Saturdays 22nd and 29th September on which days travel on m2 will be free and under the slogan “m2 try it for free” and enjoy a few hours in Bristols Central area, Harbourside or maybe visit the Great Britain or go on that shopping spree that you have been promising yourself for yonks.



 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 05, 2018, 10:50:31 am
Thanks for that, martyjon - entertaining and informative as ever!

I too experienced the very long wait at Bond Street - no idea what he hold up was, except that a bloke who appeared to be acting in some sort of official capacity had told our driver to pull up very close behind a long-distance bus which didn't appear to be going anywhere in a hurry.

Just as an aside, the Temple Circus Gyratory isn't under construction; it's under destruction. The old roundabout was a bit like MetroBus - it was expensive, no-one wanted it, and it didn't work very well. It is now being replaced by a simple crossroads, which will make journeys quicker and free off land for better uses. Now then: how hard would it be to lay rails along the guided busway?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on September 06, 2018, 09:33:04 am
I think that there will be a stop outside St Mary Redcliffe inbound eventually, for all those wanting the Harbourside offices.
If we are talking about the same harbourside, most dismounted at Wapping Wharf for the 10-minute schlep up Prince Street. Fairly pleasant in fine weather, less so in winter or carrying baggage, and much less convenient than being dropped outside the office in 8 minutes, especially with a 33% hike in cost.

There is a stop handy for St. Mary Redcliffe on Redcliffe Hill outside the Mercure Hotel, the next stop being Temple Way.

To answer a question that Grahame posed in an earlier post on this thread, there is Metrobus infrastructure to allow alternating services to run in a clockwise loop around the central area apart from Cabot Circus South, in my view not needed, just exit Cabot Circus by the Bond Street exit and use the pedestrian crossing to the M3 stop which is also the stop for the Falcon, 62, T1, Y1, Y2, Y3, Y4 and Y5 services to name most. The only clockwise stop needed would be one on Temple Way opposite the existing anti-clockwise stop. One problem though, waiting for a clockwise service seeing an anticlockwise service traversing the loop in that direction might have got one to LA quicker than the next clockwise service. However it should be re-iterated that all 3 of the high profile P&R services, the Brislington, Portway and the m2 Long Ashton, all operate roughly on an anticlockwise route around the central area as does the A1 to/from the Airport.

As an aside to this, a number of high profile employers have re-located from the Harbourside to Temple Quay, Bruges Salmond being one and the recent moving of many council workers into 100 Temple Street from the many distributed locations in the central area of the city.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on September 06, 2018, 10:04:43 am
Just had a telephone conversation with an insider, a cool £250,000 in fines issued for using bus only M32 infrastructure since m3 launch. According to him Google Maps are directing travellers via the bus only exit to access UWE.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Western Pathfinder on September 06, 2018, 10:07:21 am
Also mentioned on BBC Points West in Breakfast this morning ,the fines may help to offset some of the cost !.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on September 06, 2018, 10:19:35 am
Also mentioned on BBC Points West in Breakfast this morning ,the fines may help to offset some of the cost !.

So that'll be a million in a year, only 229 years to go and its all paid for.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 06, 2018, 10:32:07 am
According to him Google Maps are directing travellers via the bus only exit to access UWE.

According to me, it doesn't.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on September 06, 2018, 10:44:08 am
According to him Google Maps are directing travellers via the bus only exit to access UWE.
According to me, it doesn't.

Perhaps Google has been corrected, I know that when it opened sat-navs were saying 'take next exit' and I have been on an m3 service which followed and continental arctic up and over the bus only bridge, the arctic driver was happily put on his way to the ring road by our bus driver when the bus on which I was on had to stop so as the arctic could exit from the allotments stop onto Stoke Lane.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 06, 2018, 11:17:40 am

Perhaps Google has been corrected...


That's the good thing about Google Maps; it gets updated. I recently looked into updating the built-in satnav in my car, and found that the manufacturers want over £200 for an updated SD card... er, I'll leave it then thank you.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on September 06, 2018, 11:46:23 am

That's the good thing about Google Maps; it gets updated. I recently looked into updating the built-in satnav in my car, and found that the manufacturers want over £200 for an updated SD card... er, I'll leave it then thank you.

I had similar, but not so expensive at £65. In any case, it wouldn't send me off the M32 at Bridgy McBridgefarce. I can understand someone being momentarily confused when the satnav orders them to "Leave the motorway at the next exit", but there are signs telling them not to at the bus-only junction. I know, though, that there were some who did it perfectly deliberately to get to UWE a bit quicker, until the cameras went up.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on September 06, 2018, 12:38:18 pm
Google maps not directing me off the bus exit, nor are any of the other mapping apps I sometimes use. How much are the fines per incident? £250,000 sounds like an awful lot of infringements (also sounds like a rather rounded figure).


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on September 06, 2018, 01:12:59 pm
Google maps not directing me off the bus exit, nor are any of the other mapping apps I sometimes use. How much are the fines per incident? £250,000 sounds like an awful lot of infringements (also sounds like a rather rounded figure).

The standard bus lane infringement penalty is £60, or £30 if settled within 14 days. I assume that is what is levied. You could make exactly £250,000 with a combination of those, but it would suggest a minimum 8,000 being caught. That seems a lot, even though people I know overlooking the bridge say there is no shortage of vehicles of all shapes and sizes using it.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on September 06, 2018, 06:45:07 pm
The local Bristol rag is quoting £500,000 plus as total of fines issued.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on September 06, 2018, 07:17:58 pm
The local Bristol rag is quoting £500,000 plus as total of fines issued.

So it is - see here. (https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/more-500k-fines-dished-out-1977743?utm_source=bristol_post_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=tbc1&utm_campaign=daily_newsletter)

Quote
More than £500k of fines dished out to drivers for using Metrobus-only M32 bridge
Nearly 9,500 people were caught in the 100 days after enforcement cameras were switched on

ByAlex Wood

Nearly 9,500 motorists have been caught driving over the bridge, which is situated next to Stoke Lane in Stapleton, since Metrobus’ M3 service was launched on May 29.

In just 100 days, a total of 9,458 people were caught and fined for using the bridge - which equates to fines totalling £567,480.

Although the amount may appear staggering, Bristol City Council is unlikely to receive this amount as some fines may be appealed and others reduced to £30. So far, the authority has collected a little more than £186,000 in fines from approximately 6,000 people.

The bridge provides a shortcut between the M32 motorway and the University of the West of England (UWE) campus and is reserved for buses only.

But with some drivers reportedly being directed to use the route by sat-nav apps such as Google Maps, few realise they have been caught out by the bridge’s 24-hour CCTV until it is too late.

(https://i2-prod.bristolpost.co.uk/incoming/article875158.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/1_M32-bridge1.jpg)

The MetroBust bridge over the M32

Of the 9,458 people who have so far been caught using the bus-only lane, approximately 6,000 have paid their fines to Bristol City Council - equating to £186,485.

A spokesperson for the local authority warned anyone attempting to use the bridge will be hit with a £60 penalty notice.

“The bridge and the surrounding roads leading up to it have been clearly marked as a bus only route since it was created and it remains a crucial element of the Metrobus route, helping it to be quicker and more reliable than other bus services,” the spokesperson said.

“24 hour CCTV is in place along the bridge and we will issue penalty notices for up to £60 to anyone caught using this route without permission.

“If someone feels they have been fined incorrectly they can always appeal the decision by following the instructions on the back of their notice.”

It is understood the £60 fine is reduced to a discounted rate if paid within 14 days.

All proceeds raised from the Metrobus bridge fines are used to cover the cost of enforcement, with any surplus funds reinvested in transport initiatives such as concessionary bus fares and filling potholes.

Metrobus M32 bridge fines

A breakdown:

Since May 29, 9,458 people have been caught and fined for using the Metrobus bridge over the M32, leading to fines worth £567,480
That works out at an average of 95 people driving over the bridge every day
The £60 fines are reduced if paid within a certain time frame, usually 14 days
Of those caught, approximately 6,000 have paid their fines of either £60 or £30 to Bristol City Council - making the council £186,485 in the process
That works out at approximately £1,860 in fines per day


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 06, 2018, 07:29:46 pm
I seen what you done there - you have added a letter 't' to the Post's copy. Can any of the other children spot it?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on September 06, 2018, 08:51:24 pm
I seen what you done there - you have added a letter 't' to the Post's copy. Can any of the other children spot it?

Well done, young Squirrel! The headmaster will give you your special prize later, behind the bicycle sheds.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Western Pathfinder on September 06, 2018, 09:54:36 pm
Better go and see Matron later .


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: bignosemac on September 06, 2018, 10:48:23 pm
Better go and see Matron later .

(https://image.ibb.co/fDwaNz/4986448_ori.jpg)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on September 14, 2018, 07:07:55 pm
From a blog I read which was posted today ;-

My work is based in the Harbourside area. Many of my colleagues in the (large) building were regulars on the 903 to/from Anchor Rd. Latest updates on an internal forum, which has a page specifically set up relating to Metrobus, revolve around the number of colleagues who are now either getting the Excel in from Nailsea and the like instead of using the P&R, or are parking at the P&R and then walking to get the X1/X6/X9 in. Either way, they have already given up on the m2.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: WelshBluebird on September 18, 2018, 12:22:50 pm
So Bristol Sport have announced plans to add a 4000 capacity sports and convention centre amongst other things in a new development next door to Ashton Gate. The interesting bit is that as part of it, they are proposing "an integrated transport hub to connect the Metrobus; the railway line; cycle routes and crossing sections over the Winterstoke Road". You mean the Metrobus that doesn't actually serve Winterstoke Road and that people have been told not to use to get to Ashton Gate despite the stop being named Ashton gate and it only being a 10 minute at most walk away from the stadium?



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 18, 2018, 12:59:06 pm
...they are proposing "an integrated transport hub...

This is an integrated transport hub, 2018-style:

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bc/Purley_multi-storey_car_park_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1314700.jpg)



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: eightf48544 on September 18, 2018, 05:17:22 pm
Where? Presumably TFL territory.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 18, 2018, 05:39:33 pm
Purley. FAY-mous place...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on September 18, 2018, 09:18:00 pm
Used Metrobus to get into Centre yesterday and Today (17 & 18/09/28). Yesterday was also the start of the U3 service from the Centre to UWE only. Apparently students have been told to use the m3 as the quickest route between Bristol Centre and the campus. Students were therefore sitting and the Centre stop oblivious of the nice newly painted blue bus sat at the stop with a First Logo on the side but operated by CT Transport would take them to the same stop at the UWE campus even though the side destination display was stating U3 UWE Frenchay and the drivers were having to gee em up to board what would have been an empty bus departing to the campus.

I an amazed at the campus, there are blocks of accomodation at the campus described as family apartments and indeed one blue U3 service I witnessed departing was carrying 4 Oriental looking females each pushing a babies buggy and tugging behind them older children, 1 having what I would guess was a 5 and 3 years old and another a 4 year old with all 4 buggies stowed in the wheelchair space and the space made available by folding up the 3 seats on the drivers side after the stairs to the upper deck. And yes there is a nursery and kindergarten on the campus.

One thing that intrigues me is this, the U3 is operated by CT Transport who will operate Metrobus route m1 when it commences operating, U3 will become part of that route but route U3 CANNOT use the M32 Bus Only lanes to exit and join the M32, only in Bristol could such ludicrous conditions be concocted,

Also I noted this evening that stops on South Gloucestershires patch still has the old timetables displayed, I might vandalise the Lyde Green Park and Ride stop in the morning by sellotaping a copy of the new combined U3/m3 timetable to the timetable display case as a public spirited individual providing information to the pulic as the LA can.t be arsed to do it.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on September 19, 2018, 09:33:51 am
As an alumnus (dropped out of a part-time course c.1991), I can confirm that UWE even then did not have a policy of discrimination against parents of young children. The cohort of foreign students was large in many departments, and their fees, substantially higher than those charged for home-grown talent, effectively subsidised the locals. Heads of departments spent periods in the far east every year (not usually for as long as the mayor) drumming up business, and the college estate was increasing to accommodate them, as it still is.

The U3 service is a bit of a mongrel. Passengers have to buy tickets in advance, as with MetroBust, but it cannot, as martyjon says, use the umpteen million pound bus-only bridge. The reason for this is to be found in the MetroBust rules of engagement. Operators using MetroBust facilities have to sign up to the  Quality Partnership Scheme QPS).{/url] Buses using the MetroBust infrastructure have to conform to exacting standards. In particular, part C of the QPS says that:

 (https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/travelwest/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/MetroBus-QPS.pdf)
Quote
All buses used to operate MetroBus Services shall, as a minimum:
• conform to the agreed MetroBus branding (see paragraph D13).
• be fitted with dual doors so as to facilitate swift loading and boarding, and be no more than 6 months old when first operated as a MetroBus Service.
• offer step free access and have a kneeling facility to match kerb heights at MetroBus Stops.
• have high quality vehicle interiors and passenger features, to include individual seats, audible and visual real time information and next stop displays, and wi-fi connections for passenger use.
• be fitted with a package of both active and passive temperature control measures.
• be equipped with a two way radio allowing communication between the driver and the depot or control centre, a driver emergency button, and on-board
GPS-based equipment and a driver display monitor that is fully compatible with the Authorities' Real Time Passenger Information system.
• be equipped as necessary to meet all requirements relating to fares and ticketing (see paragraphs B1 to B15).
• meet the further standards set out in paragraphs C2 to C16 below.
• for services operating via the AVTM Guided Busway, be equipped with guide wheels and guide arms. Manufacturers’ maintenance schedules and guidance must be fully complied with to ensure the guide wheels maintain suitable contact with the guideway on both sides of the vehicle.

It also says that vehicles must have engines to Euro VI standard for emissions. I spent a bit of time looking at things in the city centre yesterday, and the two buses I saw working the U3 were 16 years old, so would stand no chance of meeting the standards. Presumably, the refusal to allow them on the network is to incentivise the operators to buy some new buses at £400,000 apiece, ASAP, or at least sub-lease some from First.

I did notice that the inbound U3 was near empty, whereas the outbound M3 was full of young people of about student age. When I had a ride on the M3, it was full by the time it left Cabot Circus, and emptied at UWE. There is absolutely nothing to stop students eschewing the slow and antiquated U3 in favour of the much more comfortable and direct M3. That isn't going to help anyone unfortunate enough to want to travel to Keith Emersons Green, I think that may prove to be a problem.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 19, 2018, 10:46:48 am
Dual doors are a thing, aren't they? When one person operation was introduced by the Bristol Omnibus Company back in the seventies, all OMO* buses working city services (in Bristol, Bath, Gloucester and, if I remember correctly, Cheltenham) had dual doors. You could see the sense in this as it allowed the driver to fire up their trusty Setright machine and start taking fares that bit quicker, but the layout died with the last of the RELLs and VRTs by which time presumably people had forgotten how much better life was when buses had conductors. I find it odd that this system should make a comeback on services with off-vehicle ticketing.

* One-man operated. This was, as I say, the seventies.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on September 19, 2018, 11:54:27 am
Dual doors are probably a good thing, once passengers realise that they can actually use them, and not just for storing pushchairs. The official reason for withdrawal was to stop people sneaking on without paying, but the central London buses seem to manage with three doors, yet only one driver. I have noticed that the new T1 and Y1 etc series of routes use dual doored vehicles, and I would not be surprised to see them as standard when new buses are procured for the Bristol area.

Blackpool's spanky new Bombardier Flexity 2 trams have, IIRC, four doors on each side. They hold up to 200 passengers, and normally have at least two conductors on board, one of whom usually makes it to your seat before you do. From my experience, I would say dwell time, even at busy times, is around 30 seconds, and they are punctual unless something has gone wrong because of external factors en route. Despite this apparent over-staffing, Blackpool Transport returns £1 million to the council's coffers.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on September 19, 2018, 12:45:18 pm
Dual doors are a thing, aren't they? When one person operation was introduced by the Bristol Omnibus Company back in the seventies, all OMO* buses working city services (in Bristol, Bath, Gloucester and, if I remember correctly, Cheltenham) had dual doors. You could see the sense in this as it allowed the driver to fire up their trusty Setright machine and start taking fares that bit quicker, but the layout died with the last of the RELLs and VRTs by which time presumably people had forgotten how much better life was when buses had conductors. I find it odd that this system should make a comeback on services with off-vehicle ticketing.

* One-man operated. This was, as I say, the seventies.
Your insight is DAZzling!













Sorry...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on September 19, 2018, 12:50:07 pm
On a serious note, I think dual vs single door is probably down to passenger volumes rather than staffing. The more rural routes run by Bristol Omnibus back in the 70s and 80s had single doors and you paid the driver, even if they ended in Gloucester or Bristol. And there are many city services where the driver only drives and fares are only inspected by randomly wandering inspectors, if at all, which have double doors. (And obviously many other variants.)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 19, 2018, 02:31:40 pm
In BOC (pre-National Bus Company) days there was a clear distinction between city and country services. Bristol city services were latterly numbered 1-99 and operated by Bristol Joint Services vehicles, half-owned by the corporation, whilst Bristol Country services were in the 300-399 range and were operated by wholly-owned BOC vehicles. To make the distinction BJS fleet numbers were prefixed 'C' e.g. C5003. City services got dual-door vehicles, whilst country services got the single-door variant; there were occasions when vehicles were rebuilt to single-door format on transfer to country services. Clearly as you say this reflected the passenger volume, but staffing didn't come into it - dual door vehicles were only crew-operated on 'jazzer' services.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on September 19, 2018, 05:39:55 pm

Your insight is DAZzling!


If Daz don't whiten it and Omo won't brighten it...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KxZnWSNswgA


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Western Pathfinder on September 19, 2018, 05:42:56 pm
Then Bugger it . Best universal grit grime and effluent remover ?
A good chap that Fred Wedlock.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on September 19, 2018, 06:47:14 pm
Finest Universal Cleanser Known was the response I believe. Could almost say the same about Metrobust !


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 19, 2018, 08:57:44 pm
Arguably this FW song is also relevant to this topic: https://youtu.be/G0-OO7eWGX0

I used to really like Fred Wedlock - even saw him live once - but I'm not sure he's quite stood the test of time...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 19, 2018, 09:29:15 pm
Fred was great - West Country, through and through.  He had a song about the Harry Brown - remember her?

I saw him live once, down in Somerset: "Do you know, the number of people who think the M5 is cobblestones beyond Taunton ... ?"

CfN.  ;)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on September 20, 2018, 10:24:57 am
Arguably this FW song is also relevant to this topic: https://youtu.be/G0-OO7eWGX0

I used to really like Fred Wedlock - even saw him live once - but I'm not sure he's quite stood the test of time...

#MeToo

I remember him telling about his neighbour, the Major, who fought with Montgomery and Eisenhower. Didn't get on with anybody.

He would have had fun with #MetroBust. but you're right, he didn't quite stand the test of time. Pneumonia, IIRC.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on October 02, 2018, 08:53:20 am
Caught sight of the latest Justabus service yesterday mid afternoon round the back of Gaol Ferry Steps. The one I saw was carrying an axle busting 2 passengers but the service seems a little more frequent than the Lyde Green one. Must say, those guided section attachments on the front look a bit flimsy but we shall just have to rely on that they know what they are doing....... ah, I see a possible stumbling block now.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on October 02, 2018, 09:41:34 am
Why is the M1 route so late?

Why could they not run for a trial period with normal buses whilst Bristol Parkway is shut, and later when Filton Abbey Wood shuts for three weeks?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on October 04, 2018, 06:02:19 pm
Why is the M1 route so late?

Why could they not run for a trial period with normal buses whilst Bristol Parkway is shut, and later when Filton Abbey Wood shuts for three weeks?

What, and prove that MetroBust could serve Parkway station without millions being spent on new roads? Crazy idea.  ;D


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: welshman on October 04, 2018, 06:34:06 pm
And now there's this (https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-airport-metrobus-bus-route-2071126)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on October 04, 2018, 06:34:38 pm
Quote
Why is the M1 route so late?

1. The buses are probably still in kit form at the bus builders.

2. I did hear that there were problems with the power units which are bio-gas fueled.

3. The re-fueling facility at the depot of the appointed operator is still being installed.

I did enquire about the range of the vehicles to be used on this route as the "POO BUS" demonstrator run on the appropriately numbered route number 2 a couple of years ago could only operate about 4 round trips on that route before having to re-fuel for which it had to travel to the Avonmouth sewage works where the gas fuel was collected and purified.

I was told that they would be able to cover a normal days duty on one fueling, I have my doubts !


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on October 04, 2018, 07:06:17 pm
Why is the M1 route so late?
Why could they not run for a trial period with normal buses whilst Bristol Parkway is shut, and later when Filton Abbey Wood shuts for three weeks?
What, and prove that MetroBust could serve Parkway station without millions being spent on new roads? Crazy idea.  ;D

I have posted on this forum before that the RRB are using the back entrance/exit to the Parkway station complex with no problems during all the recent rail closures of Parkway and also the constructed MetroBus route over the Stoke Gifford Link Road which is also open to other traffic too.

The trouble is the people that hold the power are BLIND.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on October 05, 2018, 10:09:58 am
This post may not really be on the right thread but here goes.

The current Lord Mayor of Bristol has suggested that the council buy her a Tesla electric car for her travel to and from her civic duties.

I suggest the council give her a Travelwest contactless travelcard for her to use on MetroBus and the cities other bus services to travel to and from her civic duties and then she will see what the citizens of Bristol have to endure in their daily lives with late running buses, buses terminating short due to the drivers being out of hours all because both councillors and council officers have in the past decades failed to come to grips with the city's traffic problems.

Many of these traffic problems can be alleviated with short quick fixes, but no, they must be put into schemes and properly budgeted for and if the councillors do not agree the schemes are dropped and the traffic situation continues to get worse.  Instead the council are spending money on consultations on how we citizens would consider solving todays problems by the year 2032. FW have I and other frustrated commuters have to wait 14 years just to remove 2 car parking spaces at the top end of Colston Street and paint 2 yellow lines where those spaces are so as the bus drivers can make an impeded journey into Colston Street from the hospitals direction without having to wait until a courteous driver half way down Colston Street flashes their headlights to indicate to the bus driver that they'll wait there for the bus to pass through.

I've shown councillors piccys on my phone of the problem and their stock answer is that they know all about the problem. For how long I ask, why hasn't anything been done about it then. The answer, it has to go forward and be put in a scheme. Oh, here we go again, into another round circle.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on October 05, 2018, 10:52:50 am

The current Lord Mayor of Bristol has suggested that the council buy her a Tesla electric car for her travel to and from her civic duties.


Can't blame her for trying; I'm told they are rather nice and they befit her ancient office. It's the Mayor and the Super Mayor that I would force to endure the local public transport, what for want of a better word I shall call, system.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Western Pathfinder on October 05, 2018, 12:53:29 pm
In days gone by the Lord Mayor of Bristol used to be driven about on Ceremonial duties in AE1 which for as long as I can remember was A Daimler Limousine,and very nice it was as well,then in the late 90s this was changed to a Ford Granada Scorpio,these days they use some non discript Vauxhall which when I was last at city hall (the council house)
a couple of weeks ago was in a dreadful state ,and looked like it had not seen a bucket and sponge for months ,lack of Civic Pride !.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: bignosemac on October 05, 2018, 01:29:05 pm
Maybe less civic pride but using one of BCC's fleet vehicles is surely better on cost grounds. Then again, if looking at costs, is the office of Lord Mayor actually necessary? How many times has Bristol's Lord Mayor exercised his or her one and only political function - that of a casting vote? Does city promotion and welcoming Brenda or her clan  really require a berobed non-elected ceremonial dignitary?

As regards a vehicle for him/her if it is necessary. There's a huge fleet of vehicles owned by the city council, 456 of them - cars, MPVs, vans, minibuses. Just use any spare vehicle when required. One dedicated vehicle used infrequently is somewhat profligate.

There are hybrids, electrics and LPG vehicles in said fleet. The current Lord Mayor is a Green Party member. I can perfectly understand if she chooses not to use a dedicated gas-guzzling vehicle.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on October 05, 2018, 04:08:49 pm
The Lord Mayor is elected in the same way as other city councillors and then elected from their number by the councillors, so in fact twice elected. By tradition and/or convention he or she doesn't cast a vote. But when my son was at primary school, he sang in a carol concert (or something, I've forgotten exactly what) in St Stephen's church, at which the LM was present in all his robes and chain and looking very splendid for the kids.

As for LM's vehicle, as the present LM is a Green, I'd have thought she could reject any form of car and go for a Mayoral bicycle or maybe a rickshaw?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on October 05, 2018, 04:20:22 pm
The Lord Mayor is elected in the same way as other city councillors and then elected from their number by the councillors, so in fact twice elected. By tradition and/or convention he or she doesn't cast a vote. But when my son was at primary school, he sang in a carol concert (or something, I've forgotten exactly what) in St Stephen's church, at which the LM was present in all his robes and chain and looking very splendid for the kids.

As for LM's vehicle, as the present LM is a Green, I'd have thought she could reject any form of car and go for a Mayoral bicycle or maybe a rickshaw?


An electric bike at that because with all those robes and chain of office I doubt whether shae would be able to pedal a pedal cycle so yes a rickshaw would be a good second choice.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on October 05, 2018, 04:30:48 pm
Maybe less civic pride but using one of BCC's fleet vehicles is surely better on cost grounds. Then again, if looking at costs, is the office of Lord Mayor actually necessary? How many times has Bristol's Lord Mayor exercised his or her one and only political function - that of a casting vote? Does city promotion and welcoming Brenda or her clan  really require a berobed non-elected ceremonial dignitary?

As regards a vehicle for him/her if it is necessary. There's a huge fleet of vehicles owned by the city council, 456 of them - cars, MPVs, vans, minibuses. Just use any spare vehicle when required. One dedicated vehicle used infrequently is somewhat profligate.

There are hybrids, electrics and LPG vehicles in said fleet. The current Lord Mayor is a Green Party member. I can perfectly understand if she chooses not to use a dedicated gas-guzzling vehicle.

Aah, but the Lord Mayor has an official limo registration number AE1, which is always transferred from vehicle to vehicle when a change in the LM's official car occurs.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on October 06, 2018, 03:35:40 pm
As former Mayor George Ferguson said of former Lord Mayor Alistair Watts, "I'm the power, he's the glory".


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on October 06, 2018, 05:15:19 pm
 Hopefully not Forever and ever ! Amen, to that!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on October 24, 2018, 08:29:32 am
Not really MetroBus but its Bristol Buses.

Visited a new client in the Knowle/Wells Road area yesterday and returning to the City Centre I arrived at the Bus Stop and I was gob smacked to see on the tree trunk of the adjacent tree there was a yellow/black diagonal warning plate attached as a warning that "this tree leans out into the bus lane bus drivers". Seated on the LH side of the bus I counted 3 more trees with similar signs on the journey from the Broad Walk to the London Inn/Tesco bus stops. No wonder Bristols buses are coming in for a hammering over unreliability when they cant use the bus lanes provided due to obstructions like this.

Why the FH don't BCC chop down these offending trees, remove the stumps and plant new saplings in their place, Oh I'm forgetting BCC are hard up so why don't they just chop the trees down at the 4 feet level to let the buses use the bus lanes provided.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on October 24, 2018, 05:00:01 pm
Because we like trees. Those signs were there long before the unfortunate incident on Fishponds Road involving an unmarked tree.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on October 24, 2018, 05:38:30 pm
Back in my youth I well remember the jolly clatter of those very trees as I passed that spot on the No.3 bus heading for skool. Muller Road's KSW's almost all had thoroughly dented panels at the front of their top decks; all done without the benefit of bus lanes too.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: GBM on October 25, 2018, 08:25:34 am
Back in my youth I well remember the jolly clatter of those very trees as I passed that spot on the No.3 bus heading for skool. Muller Road's KSW's almost all had thoroughly dented panels at the front of their top decks; all done without the benefit of bus lanes too.
{Way off topic alarm} As do most of First Kernow busses, especially those around the Landsend area with very indented roof-lines.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: GBM on October 25, 2018, 09:03:31 am
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/first-boss-reveals-cause-delays-2134184?fbclid=IwAR1JBQm_mCi-W97a5AimBIeI0kjWEXH91dIlYtxfPeUWJY_XSVJd-zOHS0k


The managing director of the company running almost all Bristol's buses has got behind the wheel of one of his buses himself - to see exactly why his company has come in for fierce criticism in recent weeks.

With complaints about cancelled, late or overcrowded buses continuing, and even a protest against the level of service on Bristol's buses planned, James Freeman has written to the people of Bristol to express his concern, and to relate how he spent his Saturday.


Mr Freeman has previously explained that the nightmare being experienced by thousands on the buses around Bristol since September has been due to a number of factors.

These include an increase in traffic when the school run re-started in September, an influx of tens of thousands of students filling up buses in mid-September, starting a number of new routes, particularly around Thornbury and Yate and the Metrobus in south Bristol, roadworks and a bus driver shortage which has left them a reporter 150 drivers short across the region, and having to bring in drivers from as far afield as Cornwall to drive buses in Bristol.

But on Saturday, Mr Freeman decided to see what the problems on the roads were for himself. He still has a bus drivers' licence, so took to the wheel.

READ MORE
Full statement from First Bus boss after weeks of poor service for Bristol
In an open letter to the people of Bristol, he said he was 'very concerned' about the levels of service from First bus recently.

And he said his experience driving a bus - the 349 between Bristol and Keynsham - for a day, opened his eyes to just how challenging it is keeping a bus on time in the face of roadworks, crashes and the huge levels of traffic.

"I am very concerned, like you, the people who use our services every day, along with my fellow team-members from First West of England, about the reliability of our buses at the moment and the effect that this is having on us all," he said.


James Freeman, MD at First Bus in Bristol

"As some people may know I hold a full PCV licence, so I availed myself of the opportunity to do a day’s bus driving on Saturday. It was very instructive and supported what so many members of our driving team at First West of England have been saying to me recently.

"Much has been made recently of our current driver shortage, but I am really worried that this is obstructing our collective appreciation that the real problem is congestion.

READ MORE
'Why I'm organising a mass rally in protest at Bristol's bus service'
"That is not to down play the driver shortage problem, which is clearly our immediate problem, but it is essentially a short-term issue and we are already making great strides to deal with it.

"But what I experienced as a bus driver on Saturday worried me a lot so I wanted to share this with the wider public…

"I did three round trips on the 349 service from Bristol Bus Station to Keynsham starting at 11am, and following a break I did two more trips on the same route, finishing at 8pm.

"On each trip I was careful to leave 'on the button' and get away absolutely on time, but each time my progress was hampered by events that we couldn’t have foreseen or by the road system itself. This meant that for almost all the people waiting for the bus, it was late!


(Image: BristolLive)

"To give you all a flavour, during the day several things happened:

"Firstly, I was stopped entering Rupert Street by a minor road traffic collision which was cleared away quite quickly but delayed me by several valuable minutes.

"Negotiating the traffic system at Temple Meads, where the road system is being radically changed in a series of stages that is lasting two years, added an unscheduled seven minutes to the journey as we crawled through the sets of repeated traffic lights more slowly than you could have walked it.

READ MORE
First bus boss admits it will be 'few weeks' before Bristol bus nightmare is sorted
"In Keynsham, I was confronted with a set of pop-up traffic lights, courtesy of Wessex Water who were presumably doing some essential maintenance, which held me up towards evening for several minutes but had disappeared by the time of my next trip!

"The inbound section of the A4 in Brislington was terrible on every trip except the last one, adding five to seven minutes to the journey each time. And everywhere there was congestion and slow-moving traffic couple with long delays at traffic lights for no very apparent reason. Despite this, I did manage to accomplish all five trips because the route has seventeen minutes’ relief time to catch up after each round trip.


"I talked to the other drivers in the canteen. All around me there were similar stories of delay and indeed frustration at not being able to meet the needs of our customers. And this was on a relatively quiet sunny Saturday.

"We all know it’s worse in the week.

"For the buses to succeed we need more priority than so far has been provided – above all, the priority needs to be joined-up. Bus lanes are only part of the answer: In increasingly congested cities, all-too-often they just take us from one delay to the next!


READ MORE
Passengers lament 'terrible' FirstBus service following 'two weeks' of disruption
"As a bus operator we have apologised and take full responsibility for those issues that are within our control that have contributed to the reliability issues of late, and we are working hard to resolve those.


"But traffic congestion is the single biggest obstacle to running a reliable bus service. The causes of traffic congestion in our region are complex and manifold, and they need both a constructive mindset and joined-up action from all parties involved.

"Bristol deserves a better bus service, and I fully intend to deliver it – but we at First West of England cannot do this on our own," he added.

((If only managers in other areas would follow this example))


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on October 25, 2018, 09:58:28 am
((If only managers in other areas would follow this example))

I have a very great deal of time for James who really is switched on to the problems faced on Bristol's congested roads.   Good to hear / read of him getting an update by driving on a Saturday; actually I doubt this was a one-off - I'm sure he got a better feeling for the current pulse, but suggestions that much was new to him are probably wide of the mark.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: WelshBluebird on October 25, 2018, 10:11:58 am
I have a very great deal of time for James who really is switched on to the problems faced on Bristol's congested roads.   Good to hear / read of him getting an update by driving on a Saturday; actually I doubt this was a one-off - I'm sure he got a better feeling for the current pulse, but suggestions that much was new to him are probably wide of the mark.

Indeed.
As much as I give First in Bristol and Bath a lot of stick, I must give credit where it is due and agree with your comments about James. Saw a few people also say he was driving a couple of weeks ago to in an attempt to fill in for the lack of drivers they have.
It can't be easy for First, even just the roadworks and congestion in the area would be enough to mess around with any operation, let alone a shortage of staff or buses. My main criticisms of them are to do with communication with passengers when things go wrong rather than the actual service a lot of the time.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Phantom on October 25, 2018, 10:56:27 am
An interesting one, the 349 service is opertated by aBus and not First Bus, I wonder why he didn't go out in "one of his own"?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on October 25, 2018, 11:40:07 am
So, according to Mr Freeman a lot of the blame is down to those pesky customers wanting a bus, those ingrates in Bristol who don't want to work for Worst and those darned drivers who daren't risk their job commuting by bus.
Late buses aren't the biggest part of the issue to me anyway. On a personal level, over the last few month, the no show rate for my evening commute home is now passing 75% on an at best half hourly service. On occasion I've had to walk 6-7 miles home, often one or two miles.
This has been happening before the students came back (and the line closures) but then again, perhaps I'm just one of those pesky customers at the root of the problem.

Edit, speling correction.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on October 25, 2018, 12:00:32 pm
An interesting one, the 349 service is opertated by aBus and not First Bus, I wonder why he didn't go out in "one of his own"?

The 349 is one of a few services operated by aBus on behalf of First Bus in the Bristol Area, First Bus being the holder of the licence for the route and operates the route evenings. In this respect from Sunday 28th October these journeys will be curtailed at Keynsham Church and First have contracted Cityfox taxis to meet these services and provide transport for the passengers beyond the Church to their destinations.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: BandHcommuter on October 25, 2018, 12:17:45 pm
It seems to me that the causes of late running are largely predictable. For example: Students have turned up in September in previous years; the roadworks near Temple Meads were know about long in advance; general congestion due to volume of traffic happens each day. I can't believe that this was a surprise to the manager who went out to drive the bus. These factors all need to be taken into consideration when designing the timetable. The result would be longer (potentially much longer), more realistic journey times in the timetable, especially at peak times. The problem for the operator is that to maintain service frequency with longer journey times requires more vehicles in traffic. Sadly it appears that First are struggling to provide enough vehicles/drivers even for the current timetable.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: WelshBluebird on October 25, 2018, 12:22:19 pm
It seems to me that the causes of late running are largely predictable. For example: Students have turned up in September in previous years; the roadworks near Temple Meads were know about long in advance; general congestion due to volume of traffic happens each day. I can't believe that this was a surprise to the manager who went out to drive the bus. These factors all need to be taken into consideration when designing the timetable. The result would be longer (potentially much longer), more realistic journey times in the timetable, especially at peak times. The problem for the operator is that to maintain service frequency with longer journey times requires more vehicles in traffic. Sadly it appears that First are struggling to provide enough vehicles/drivers even for the current timetable.

To be fair, the roadworks at Temple Meads were supposed to be finished by now! Obviously anyone with half a brain could tell they wouldn't be mind you. Though it was only in June that completion was officially delayed till next year.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: GBM on October 25, 2018, 02:30:55 pm
It seems to me that the causes of late running are largely predictable. For example: Students have turned up in September in previous years; the roadworks near Temple Meads were know about long in advance; general congestion due to volume of traffic happens each day. I can't believe that this was a surprise to the manager who went out to drive the bus. These factors all need to be taken into consideration when designing the timetable. The result would be longer (potentially much longer), more realistic journey times in the timetable, especially at peak times. The problem for the operator is that to maintain service frequency with longer journey times requires more vehicles in traffic. Sadly it appears that First are struggling to provide enough vehicles/drivers even for the current timetable.
Won't happen (well, sorry, unlikely to happen).
First are a business and highly unlikely to lay on additional vehicles - they would require drivers, fuel, cleaners, engineers, tax, etc. Greater costs.
First are desperately cutting vehicles from the roster to reduce costs.  Meaning vehicles are more intensively utilised, so late in, even later out. The cycle will continue throughout the day.
It would be a brave manager to lay on additional vehicles and crew in the face of targeted reductions.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on October 25, 2018, 10:32:51 pm
It is interesting to read that the new MetroBust route is partly to blame for the poor showing!I am vindicated.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on November 02, 2018, 06:38:24 am
I may be late to the party (and come bearing a gift that someone's already brought) ... but I picked up this 2 month old link:

https://busandtrainuser.com/2018/09/04/bristols-latest-metrobus-m2-begins/

which struck me as a very fair review .... and lots of maps, pictures, video for those of us who don't live on on near the M2 route


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on November 02, 2018, 07:42:44 am
I may be late to the party (and come bearing a gift that someone's already brought) ... but I picked up this 2 month old link:
https://busandtrainuser.com/2018/09/04/bristols-latest-metrobus-m2-begins/
which struck me as a very fair review .... and lots of maps, pictures, video for those of us who don't live on on near the M2 route

From the articles text ;-

Astonishingly the Park & Ride is closed on Sundays and route m2 doesn’t run! That is a bizarre omission.

When the P&R was originally granted planning permission I believe it was green belt land and a covenant was placed in the conditions that the development was for commuters working in central Bristol which didn't exclude shoppers and the opening hours was set in those planning conditions. Efforts have been made in recent years to extend these hours and whilst there has been some relaxation of these conditions North Somerset Parish Council still refuse to relax the opening hours further. For example Bristol Sport (Bristols Football and Rugby teams) would like the P&R opened up on Fixture Sundays for fans to park and walk to the nearby Ashton Gate Stadium, likewise for evening games although the current evening closure time does give fans time to attend an evening fixture and make a rapid foot journey to the P&R before it is locked up for the night and if they want their car after "lock-up" there is a hefty charge for a keyholder call out.


The busway has sections of guided track which, just like in Leigh in Greater Manchester, are completely unnecessary. I suspect it may be to do with getting grant funding from the DfT that required a certain percentage of route to be ‘guided’, if so it’s bureaucracy gone bonkers as it slows the bus down, costs more to build and operate when there’s no issue with available road width.

I agree completely with the above and as the embedded videos show the "guided" bits are mainly straight stretches and where they do curve, its only by a few degrees.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on November 02, 2018, 10:01:53 am
Damned with faint praise.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 02, 2018, 10:26:51 am
The reviewer mentions the "drab livery" of the buses. I think the dark grey with red highlights looks quite smart, but yes, it is smart in a drab, dark, dismal way. For me this is one of the most depressing things about using many buses. The lack of light and visual stimulation. A minor thing compared to how the system actually runs, but easily and cheaply fixed. At least they don't cover the windows with adverts, unlike some places.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on November 02, 2018, 08:44:16 pm
I thought the livery was one of the better aspects of the service, but then I prefer the minimalist approach. Some of the Blackpool trams I rode to school on as a kid had the windows covered with adverts. You could still see out, but through a glass darkly. The worst was one for Embassy Regal, with the leading character Reg saying "I smoke 'em 'cos me name's on the packet". I can't believe I fell for it.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on November 13, 2018, 12:36:45 am
More news on #MetroBust. The Commons Transport Committee rode into twon (by train, then their own personal electric bus) to hear from the council, the Western Super Mayor, and First Bus exactly why Bristol is a Utopia of public transport. They weren't fooled, it would seem, but my favourite quote of the day came from First West of England MD James Freeman speaking to the Post (https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/first-boss-says-more-bus-2211045) later.

Quote
First boss says more bus lanes needed to solve Bristol travel nightmare
Bristol buses 'still in disarray' admits boss of city's main bus company


ByTristan Cork Senior Reporter
15:22, 12 NOV 2018


The boss of Bristol’s biggest bus company said politicians in the city needed to ‘make politically tough decisions’ to create more bus lanes and restrict normal traffic if they want the buses to run on time.

James Freeman, the managing director of First West of England, said he had solved the company’s recruitment crisis - which prompted a huge rise in complaints since September, and an apology from the company.

But the buses were still ‘in disarray, frankly’, within minutes of the start of rush hour each morning, because of the congestion that brings the city to a standstill.

Mr Freeman spoke out as three members of the House of Commons transport committee arrived in Bristol to hold a special session in the city on the buses.

They and West of England Metro Mayor Tim Bowles hailed the situation with the buses in Bristol as a success story - because the city has seen a 40 per cent rise in bus passenger numbers in the past decade.

But that increase in passengers - coupled with an increase in congestion - has led to an increase in complaints from passengers of late buses, cancelled buses and overcrowded buses, particularly on key routes in the morning and evening rush hours.

(https://i2-prod.bristolpost.co.uk/incoming/article2211087.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/0_ML_BRI101118bus_002JPG.jpg)
Parliament's House of Commons Transport Committee on board a First Bus to take them to City Hall (Image: BristolLive)
Speaking on board a special First bus laid on to take the House of Commons Transport Committee from Temple Meads to City Hall on Monday morning, Mr Freeman said drastic action was needed, including more investment in more buses and more drivers to try to cope with demand.

But he said the people leading the city needed to make what might be politically unpopular decisions, to curtail normal traffic and give more preference to buses to get them through the congestion.

“We are getting the recruitment problem, which we apologised for, sorted now. We are able to put a driver in every bus now,” said Mr Freeman.

“But that isn’t the problem now. The big issue is the traffic congestion.

(https://i2-prod.bristolpost.co.uk/incoming/article14769.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/James-Freeman-2JPG.jpg)
James Freeman, MD at First Bus in Bristol
“We watch all the buses go out absolutely fine first thing in the morning, and by 8am or 9am it’s in disarray, frankly. Everything falls apart because the buses simply get stuck in traffic,” he added.

While campaigners who are calling a protest rally later this month are calling for the local authorities to take over control of public transport and running the buses in Bristol - something the West of England metro mayor now has the power to do - Mr Freeman said the issue of ownership wasn’t the most pressing.

“The issue isn’t who owns or runs the buses, the issue is getting the buses through the traffic,” he said.

“We’ve had Metrobust, which was a public project built by those local authorities, and yet it is supposed to take 35 minutes to go from Lyde Green to the city centre on the M3 Metrobust, but it takes an hour and 35 minutes instead.

“We need to join it all if we are going to sort this out. The buses have got to be able to get through the traffic.

(https://i2-prod.bristolpost.co.uk/incoming/article2211093.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/0_ML_BRI101118bus_004JPG.jpg)
Parliament's House of Commons Transport Committee are hold their first ever session outside Westminster (Image: BristolLive)
“I think there’s a really interesting realisation that there’s no other option here. We are looking at how we alter the way we operate, but we’re looking for politicians to make some tough decisions to restrict the movement of some of the cars around this area,” he added.

The Transport Committee chair Lilian Greenwood MP, who wrote exclusively for Bristol Live before arriving in the city, said: “The very reason the Transport Select Committee is conducting this inquiry is to find out what are passenger experiences are of using the bus. What are the things that stop you from using the bus?

"We want to hear from the Metro Mayor about how those new powers are helping or not helping in being able to improve public transport in this area. We want to hear from him about the choices he’s making or not making.

“We’ll want to understand what First Bus’s strategy is - whether their focus is maximising their profit or whether it is building a network that serves the interests of passengers across Bristol. We also want to hear what they think of working in partnerships with the local authority.

"We’re not afraid to ask them tough questions,” she added.

The emphasis is mine in Mr Freeman's quote. I am beginning to respect him. MetroBust is taking three times the time it was supposed to end-to-end, resulting in the bunching-up of services that I, and many others but not the experts, predicted as far back as 2012.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on November 13, 2018, 12:46:13 am
It might have occurred to the select committee that the higher than national average bus usage in Bristol is a result of having lower than average local rail options. I hope they are aware of this.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on November 13, 2018, 12:48:36 am
It might have occurred to the select committee that the higher than national average bus usage in Bristol is a result of having lower than average local rail options. I hope they are aware of this.

That, and the expansion of UWE.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on November 13, 2018, 06:48:22 am
That, and the expansion of UWE.

At a recent meeting that I was an attendee the First Bus attendee stated that they had had requests for the M3 to operate direct via the M32 and ignore the loop to the UWE campus as this adds about 10 minutes to the journey to the City Centre. Another First Bus (supervisor/inspector ?) person has told me that the current usage of the U3 is at such a level that it could easily support another vehicle on that circuit to ease the pressure on the M3 particularly at peak times. Yesterday there must have been a failure of one of the DD vehicles used on the U3 and a SD vehicle was in use and when it left The Centre with few seats unoccupied and this was mid-afternoon. Of course I don't know what the loadings on the M3, of which the U3 reverts to after the last M3 through to Emersons Green has departed The Centre, reverts to and runs through the early hours of the day until the last service from The Centre at 04:29. If any UWE student misses that one, well they only got 1 hour 31 minutes to wait until the first service of the new day at 06:00.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on November 13, 2018, 07:04:19 am
The emphasis is mine in Mr Freeman's quote. I am beginning to respect him. MetroBust is taking three times the time it was supposed to end-to-end, resulting in the bunching-up of services that I, and many others but not the experts, predicted as far back as 2012.

Quote
“We’ve had Metrobust, which was a public project built by those local authorities, and yet it is supposed to take 35 minutes to go from Lyde Green to the city centre on the M3 Metrobust, but it takes an hour and 35 minutes instead.

The article quoted is at https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/first-boss-says-more-bus-2211045 on BristolLive ... except it appear to have talked about "Metrobus" rather than "Metrobust".   Here is part of James Freeman's comment as currently shown by the source web site:

Quote
"We’ve had Metrobus, which was a public project built by those local authorities, and yet it is supposed to take 35 minutes to go from Lyde Green to the city centre on the M3 Metrobus, but it takes an hour and 35 minutes instead.

I suspect that someone has used the term "Metrobust" so often than his autocorrect made a change  ;D ;D



Quote
They and West of England Metro Mayor Tim Bowles hailed the situation with the buses in Bristol as a success story - because the city has seen a 40 per cent rise in bus passenger numbers in the past decade.

It is not a success story where a journey takes nearly three times as long as it should.  

* Multiply the average extra time taken by a bus (in hours) by the average number of passengers on a bus by the number of bus journeys per annum by the minimum wage -  call that "A"

* Take the average time in minutes that people wait at a bus stop and subtract the average time you would expect them to wait at the stop if they planned journeys to a bus's reliable schedule. Divide by 60 - call that "B". Multiply by the number of passenger journeys made per annum on the buses and that by the minimum wage. Multiple the result by "B" and call it "C".

* Take Bristol's air pollution and work out the number of additional deaths per year cause by the noxious fumes of traffic jams (i.e. current figure v figure as it would be without jams) and multiply it by the cost of a life.  Call that "D"".

Add "A", "C" and "D" and you have an indication of the current cost of Bristol's Congestion on the economy.  Would anyone care to come up with estimated numbers?

You can tell that a system's not running "fit for purpose" when the people who are supposed to be protagonists for it choose to travel differently.   I recall that - famously - the team going to Waterloo to plead for the Lynton and Barnstaple railway's retention scored an own goal when they drove to Waterloo.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on November 13, 2018, 07:23:05 am
I have stated it before on this forum but many of the problems of congestion on Bristols streets in the amount of on-street parking which the council seem to be blind too. A 28 foot wide carriageway, kerb to kerb, 6 foot reserved each side for road side parking leaving just 16 foot down the middle for two 8 foot 6 inch wide buses to pass each other ???? Then there are arterial routes into the city, the A37, Wells Road, the A432, Fishponds/Downed Road, Staple Hill Road where mature trees are so close to pavement edges that the trunks have expanded over the kerb edgings into the gutters like a 'muffin top', or lean out into the carriageway so much that it makes some Bus Lanes dangerous to use. A few years ago a rush hour passenger carrying service from my area to Bristol lost its roof when it lurched to the left as it passed one such tree whose roots had disturbed the road surface. Chop the b****y things down and that'll allow Marvin the Mayor to save some money on the annual removal of the Autumn leaf fall from the citys streets so that he can re-open some of the citys public loos especially at some bus terminii which bus drivers relied on to take a comfort break. 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: metalrail on November 13, 2018, 11:28:43 am
It might have occurred to the select committee that the higher than national average bus usage in Bristol is a result of having lower than average local rail options. I hope they are aware of this.

Exactly, and because of that we're basically stuck in a catch 22 'stalemate' situation

The Greater Bristol area has expanded - and continues to expand - far too rapidly for the transport infrastructure to cope with.  Plus UWE has already expanded, and Bristol Uni is to follow soon with the planned expansion of the Arenal island!

Long and short of it - we have no more room on the roads, period.  Run an unreliable bus service (am sticking just with the congestion aspect here, not lack of drivers) and people who continually struggle to get to and from work on time will more likely switch to their cars.  That obviously then leads to more congestion on the roads.  Plus - in my area at least - we've had some of our bus services slashed now so can no longer get to places by bus that we could previously

The suggestion of adding yet more bus lanes - aside from the fact the construction of them can in some situations cause traffic delays and misery for months on end, the M3 metrobus route being a prime example - will only add to even more congestion, as the Bus Lane (if it takes away a lane of traffic currently used by all vehicles) will only cause even more tailbacks!

To try and sort out the road situation - basically Buses vs Cars - in this way could take literally decades to solve, and yet as the city expands further it could potentially always be playing catch up anyway

Until someone realises that the ONLY sure fire way to help alleviate this mess is to provide alternative public transport either by using existing rail infrastructure, adding to that rail infrastructre, and / or introducing non-road running rapid transport options, I honestly don't see a way out of this

I've said it before on here, that when I lived in London for a while the idea of owning a car was ludicrous.  But returning to Bristol I literally had no other option to enable me to get to work, and most other places I needed to get to, for that matter.  The same applied with a mate of mine who moved to Manchester

And back to johnneyw's original quote, my first thought was of that British Rail ad from the 80's - "And who's ever heard of a train jam?"


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 13, 2018, 12:42:03 pm
To try and sort out the road situation - basically Buses vs Cars - in this way could take literally decades to solve, and yet as the city expands further it could potentially always be playing catch up anyway

Buses v cars v pedestrians v cyclists, isn't it?

Planning policy can help - let people live nearer where they work, play and go to school, and they need less transport. Essentially this means building at higher density, something which cities everywhere are doing, but this, as you say, takes decades.

I don't know where Mr Freeman thinks he's going to put his bus lanes though; as far as I can see there aren't many gaps. Come to that, I don't know where Mr Rees thinks he's going to run his almost metro-like white-line-following buses. I can't see any option but to go underground, but there doesn't appear to be the will or wherewithal to do this.

No easy answers to this one.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 13, 2018, 01:12:40 pm
It might have occurred to the select committee that the higher than national average bus usage in Bristol is a result of having lower than average local rail options. I hope they are aware of this.
Note it's national average, not average of big cities. I suspect anywhere with a population over say 50,000 will have higher than national average bus usage, simply because so many smaller places no longer have any bus service.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on November 13, 2018, 02:55:27 pm
I think Mr Freeman is indirectly hinting that we need to create Bus Lanes by introducing road charging at peak times.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 13, 2018, 05:23:29 pm
I think Mr Freeman is indirectly hinting that we need to create Bus Lanes by introducing road charging at peak times.

I can see that road pricing could be used to fund public transport improvements - I just can't see where they'd put new bus lanes.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 14, 2018, 10:33:54 am
Road pricing could be used to give buses priority but it would have to be an extremely sophisticated and sensitive system capable of making minute-by-minute lane-by-lane pricing changes. And even then it implies that the bus could share a lane with anyone willing and capable of paying. Far cheaper and easier to simply extend bus lanes, use filtered permeability and so on. An easy start would be to make the bus lanes we already have more useful for buses, by keeping them clear of parked cars (both legally and illegally parked) and eg giving the bus lane priority over the general traffic lane where the two merge, as well as making bus lanes continuous through junctions. In terms of pricing, a general congestion charge might reduce city centre traffic and speed up bus (and car and lorry, and even pedestrian) journeys, but it wouldn't be a bus priority scheme as such.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on November 14, 2018, 10:49:39 am
I see now that you can purchase Airport Flyer tickets, singles or returns from the Metrobust I-Point ticket machines but you are now unable to purchase the West of England Zone day ticket (previously the Bristol Outer Zone day ticket which you could buy) from the same apparatus, you can buy a West of England monthly ticket at a cost of £80 though. I only want a West of England day ticket so do I say to the Metrobust driver the I-point is not working, it won't sell me the ticket I want ?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 14, 2018, 12:02:45 pm
Road pricing could be used to give buses priority but it would have to be an extremely sophisticated and sensitive system capable of making minute-by-minute lane-by-lane pricing changes. And even then it implies that the bus could share a lane with anyone willing and capable of paying. Far cheaper and easier to simply extend bus lanes, use filtered permeability and so on. An easy start would be to make the bus lanes we already have more useful for buses, by keeping them clear of parked cars (both legally and illegally parked) and eg giving the bus lane priority over the general traffic lane where the two merge, as well as making bus lanes continuous through junctions. In terms of pricing, a general congestion charge might reduce city centre traffic and speed up bus (and car and lorry, and even pedestrian) journeys, but it wouldn't be a bus priority scheme as such.

I can see that there are places where changes like these would help, but aren't they sticking plasters for a patient who needs multiple stents?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: metalrail on November 14, 2018, 12:27:53 pm
Road pricing could be used to give buses priority but it would have to be an extremely sophisticated and sensitive system capable of making minute-by-minute lane-by-lane pricing changes. And even then it implies that the bus could share a lane with anyone willing and capable of paying. Far cheaper and easier to simply extend bus lanes, use filtered permeability and so on. An easy start would be to make the bus lanes we already have more useful for buses, by keeping them clear of parked cars (both legally and illegally parked) and eg giving the bus lane priority over the general traffic lane where the two merge, as well as making bus lanes continuous through junctions. In terms of pricing, a general congestion charge might reduce city centre traffic and speed up bus (and car and lorry, and even pedestrian) journeys, but it wouldn't be a bus priority scheme as such.

I can see that there are places where changes like these would help, but aren't they sticking plasters for a patient who needs multiple stents?

My point exactly...  we can't just keep going for 'quick fixes' all the time.  The entire Greater Bristol public transport system needs a huge, complete & integrated overhaul.  And pronto, before we end up with permanent gridlock!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 14, 2018, 12:29:28 pm
Road pricing could be used to give buses priority but it would have to be an extremely sophisticated and sensitive system capable of making minute-by-minute lane-by-lane pricing changes. And even then it implies that the bus could share a lane with anyone willing and capable of paying. Far cheaper and easier to simply extend bus lanes, use filtered permeability and so on. An easy start would be to make the bus lanes we already have more useful for buses, by keeping them clear of parked cars (both legally and illegally parked) and eg giving the bus lane priority over the general traffic lane where the two merge, as well as making bus lanes continuous through junctions. In terms of pricing, a general congestion charge might reduce city centre traffic and speed up bus (and car and lorry, and even pedestrian) journeys, but it wouldn't be a bus priority scheme as such.

I can see that there are places where changes like these would help, but aren't they sticking plasters for a patient who needs multiple stents?
Yes of course, if you're referring to alterations to or increases in bus lanes. If you mean some form of road pricing and other measures to reduce the total amount of traffic, then they might be one of a series of stents, both for patient Bus and patient Bristol. Unfortunately I think most of those stents depend on action at national or global level.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: eXPassenger on November 14, 2018, 05:39:35 pm
I see that Bristol has committed to going carbon neutral by 2030.  That will require a drastic reduction in cars and substitution of diesel engines for electric.

Looking forward to seeing the detailed (or even summary) plan and not just a council resolution.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 14, 2018, 06:11:07 pm
Hmm; 2050 isn't it?

https://news.bristol.gov.uk/news/bristol-leaps-towards-carbon-neutrality


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: eXPassenger on November 14, 2018, 10:28:50 pm
The Guardian states 2030 and references the recent report requiring major change within 12 years:
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/nov/14/bristol-plans-to-become-carbon-neutral-by-2030


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 15, 2018, 09:18:17 am
Well the Graun never makes a mistake so I'm sure it's more correct than the council! But it's not clear from the Gr and even less clear from the council what they mean by "city". If they're just talking about things the city council is directly responsible for, then it's going to take a lot of work but it's probably doable. If they mean the city as a whole, residents, businesses and so on, it's going to need a lot of changes the council can't directly influence, like people changing energy suppliers.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 15, 2018, 09:19:57 am
The Guardian states 2030 and references the recent report requiring major change within 12 years:
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/nov/14/bristol-plans-to-become-carbon-neutral-by-2030


Hmm, interesting! I can find reports of the 2030 figure, but the only thing I can find on the Bristol City Council site is this, which has the 2050 date: https://www.energyservicebristol.co.uk/wp-content/pdf/City_Leap_Prospectus%204-5-18.pdf . But that dates back to May, so it sounds like things have moved on. 2050 does sound hopelessly unambitious; I plan to be thoroughly ensconced in my box by then.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: froome on November 15, 2018, 09:24:30 am
The Guardian states 2030 and references the recent report requiring major change within 12 years:
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/nov/14/bristol-plans-to-become-carbon-neutral-by-2030


It is now 2030, following this week's council vote, inspired by the recent IPCC report on the impending climate catastrophe. I look forward to seeing other south-western towns following this initiative soon.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on November 15, 2018, 09:27:58 am
So what can we expect to help deliver this worthy goal?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Phantom on November 15, 2018, 09:59:53 am
So what can we expect to help deliver this worthy goal?


Monorail


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on November 15, 2018, 10:31:13 am
The Guardian states 2030 and references the recent report requiring major change within 12 years:
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/nov/14/bristol-plans-to-become-carbon-neutral-by-2030

And at the rate BCC does things they might be lucky to achieve it by 3020 aka Metrobust.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on November 15, 2018, 08:52:41 pm
I see now that you can purchase Airport Flyer tickets, singles or returns from the Metrobust I-Point ticket machines but you are now unable to purchase the West of England Zone day ticket (previously the Bristol Outer Zone day ticket which you could buy) from the same apparatus, you can buy a West of England monthly ticket at a cost of £80 though. I only want a West of England day ticket so do I say to the Metrobust driver the I-point is not working, it won't sell me the ticket I want ?


Further to the above revelation I have made further enquiries and I have recieved the e-mail reply from Metrobus/TravelWest ;-

Dear Mr. XXXXXX

Thank you for your email.  I have spoken to First today who have confirmed that unfortunately you are not able to purchase the West of England day tickets on the iPoints.  This is a decision by First Bus.  However, you can purchase these tickets online on the Travelwest website and can ‘collect’ them at the iPoints.  To do this you just need to put your card in the side reader of the iPoint any time from 2 hours’ after topping up and the tickets will automatically download.

I do apologise for the inconvenience this causes and if you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me on (tel. no. hidden) or email me directly on (e-mail hidden).  Our office hours are 9am-5pm Monday to Friday  If you contact us outside of these hours then we will endeavour to contact you as soon as possible upon our return.

 
Kind Regards,

 
XXXXXX

 
XXXXXX XXXXXXXl

Customer Support


end of e-mail.

So much for the buy before you board concept of Metrobust if at the first fares review following MetroBusts birth a ticket type previously available on the I-point ticket machines, the Bristol Outer Zone Day Ticket, is now not available as its reincarnation as the West Of England Day Ticket.

Annoying part of this is that when you press the I-point screen for information it displays the map in which the Bristol Outer Zone Ticket was valid and is I would say is 90% of the area which is covered by the expanded West Of England Zone.

Time for an e-mail to the Bristol Post to hammer once again First Bus ?

Is it within the remit of the Traffic Commissioners to investigate this anomony as its a discrimination against customers who wish to buy a day ticket from I-points which covers a wider area than that covered by the Bristol Zone Day ticket.

Last week I could turn up at the Lyde Green P&R and buy the Bristol Outer Zone ticket and load it onto my TravelWest card and ride the M3 to the City Centre, cross the City Centre and catch the Nailsea bus all on the one transaction. Now its 2 unless I go out of my way and pre-purchase one and have it loaded on my travelwest card in advance at the bus station or I can buy one at an extra cost of £1 on the Y1 service into Bristol but its the principle of being informed in First Buses 'Fares Are Changing' Booklet that the West Of England day ticket is available from I-points when actuality proves otherwise.

https://www.firstgroup.com/uploads/node_images/Fares%20Guide%2011%20Nov%202018_0.pdf


 

 



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: metalrail on November 15, 2018, 09:14:20 pm
Insane and disgusting.  For a group of services introduced which promised the latest technology to (supposedly) allow faster and easier journeys to then take a VERY backward step at the first opportunity is beyond baffling!  Someone seriously needs to step in and sort this mess out


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 20, 2018, 10:53:35 am
I'm not sure if it's been mentioned already, but the Brizzle Post is reporting that the recently-struck Gypsy Patch Lane Bridge will be shut for two years (or perhaps 344 days, they mention both periods of time) while the bridge is rebuilt to allow the Metrolbus under it. But they make no mention of whether rail services will be disrupted.
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/road-bristol-going-closed-two-2235378


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 20, 2018, 11:08:16 am
I'm not sure if it's been mentioned already, but the Brizzle Post is reporting that the recently-struck Gypsy Patch Lane Bridge will be shut for two years (or perhaps 344 days, they mention both periods of time) while the bridge is rebuilt to allow the Metrolbus under it. But they make no mention of whether rail services will be disrupted.
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/road-bristol-going-closed-two-2235378

Just to be clear, this is not Hatchet Road bridge (the one by Parkway which was hit by a bus the other day) but Gypsy Patch Lane bridge, which is to the north-west on the South Wales line. I think this is another example of Metrobus money being used to fund a long-overdue road improvement - it'll be much safer for cyclists and pedestrians too.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 20, 2018, 01:07:58 pm
Sorry, that was my mistake. I'm not sure why I confused Gypsy Patch Lane with Hatchet Road.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on November 20, 2018, 05:33:56 pm
I'm not sure if it's been mentioned already, but the Brizzle Post is reporting that the recently-struck Gypsy Patch Lane Bridge will be shut for two years (or perhaps 344 days, they mention both periods of time) while the bridge is rebuilt to allow the Metrobus under it. But they make no mention of whether rail services will be disrupted.
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/road-bristol-going-closed-two-2235378

I have looked into this and seen the plans for the bridge. It is a four lane roadway with the two inner lanes being the Bus Lanes. The two years mentioned is for the roadworks and preparatory work for the new bridge itself which would allow the passage of double deckers. Network Rail were quoted as indicating the bridge overbridge itself would be installed over a prolonged block, probably Easter 2018, yes 2018 and the pre-fabricated box section was to be built on the adjoining former Rolls-Royce site but now, from my observations, construction of industrial units is taking place on the site now so Network Rail has missed the boat on that plan. More recently I've seen an artists impression of the finished new bridge and it shows a Metrobus vehicle in the illustration, a single decker. I'll try and post a link to the S. Glos. web site to view what i've described above.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on November 20, 2018, 06:19:30 pm
Took the Metrobus into Bristol today, front seat, top deck and thought Marv might like to enquire of Network Rail if he could hire a 'leaf busting train', convert it to a RRV set. He could then run it through the streets of Central Bristol to remove the annual autumn leaf fall before it causes the daily gridlocked Central Bristol traffic to slip and slid all over the place adding to that gridlock.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 20, 2018, 06:58:44 pm
I'm not sure if it's been mentioned already, but the Brizzle Post is reporting that the recently-struck Gypsy Patch Lane Bridge will be shut for two years (or perhaps 344 days, they mention both periods of time) while the bridge is rebuilt to allow the Metrobus under it. But they make no mention of whether rail services will be disrupted.
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/road-bristol-going-closed-two-2235378

I have looked into this and seen the plans for the bridge. It is a four lane roadway with the two inner lanes being the Bus Lanes. The two years mentioned is for the roadworks and preparatory work for the new bridge itself which would allow the passage of double deckers. Network Rail were quoted as indicating the bridge overbridge itself would be installed over a prolonged block, probably Easter 2018, yes 2018 and the pre-fabricated box section was to be built on the adjoining former Rolls-Royce site but now, from my observations, construction of industrial units is taking place on the site now so Network Rail has missed the boat on that plan. More recently I've seen an artists impression of the finished new bridge and it shows a Metrobus vehicle in the illustration, a single decker. I'll try and post a link to the S. Glos. web site to view what i've described above.

Go to https://developments.southglos.gov.uk/online-applications/ and search for PT18/0986/F . Lots to see!

These plans were passed by South Glos in July 2018.

The Indicative Compound Layout, dated Feb 2018, shows access via a compound west of the railway and south of Gipsy Patch Lane.

The headroom looks to be 5.8m; more than enough to fit a decker through. This will be achieved by digging down somewhere around 1-2m below the current road level.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 20, 2018, 08:17:21 pm
Lowering the road that much does make me worry about flooding. I'm sure there are drains but even so, drain covers get overwhelmed by exceptionally heavy rain (the type of exceptional that seems to happen every spring), especially if they're bunged up.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on November 20, 2018, 08:32:15 pm
There may be planning permission for South Glos to convert the road from a single lane through a bridge to a four lane road connecting the former  Filton Airfield to where the people  who move there will work, but there is no railway need for the work to be done. I assume that Network  Rail, and only Network Rail, will commission the work, and that the Western Super Mayor will pay for it, including the cost of closure.
Wouldn't it be a better idea to reopen the railway through the airfield to passenger traffic instead?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 20, 2018, 09:23:07 pm
Wouldn't it be a better idea to reopen the railway through the airfield to passenger traffic instead?

No.

When Gipsy Patch Lane bridge was built there was no airfield, no factories, no Regional Shopping Centre, no Bradley Stoke or Charlton Mead, no UWE; Yate and Filton were villages... as the area has developed, all this traffic has had to squeeze through a narrow arch designed to cater for a couple of horse-carts a day. It should have been replaced decades ago.

It goes without saying that I agree that the Henbury Loop should be reopened quickly, but actually if I had to phase it I would probably do Gipsy Patch first.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on November 20, 2018, 09:41:07 pm
As if by royal command I have just taken a look at the Bristol Post website on my mobile and there is a repeat of the artists impression of the GPL bridge that I referred to in an earlier post this evening. This does. as my earlier post stated, show a single decker travelling towards the artist but as if to validate the artists impression a double decker has been added in this published version. Looking at the headroom remaining over the top of the single decker I doubt whether the double decker would emerge the other side of the new GPL bridge without conversion to a. err. open topper. Also artists licence has given the artist responsible for this impression the vision to install the overhead catenary over the projected rail overbridge. seemingly, just one Metrobus length apart.

By the way, January 9th is the start date of route m1, brought forward a week to coincide with the start of the University's new term. It was previously announced as commencing on January 16th.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 20, 2018, 09:53:26 pm
As if by royal command I have just taken a look at the Bristol Post website on my mobile and there is a repeat of the artists impression of the GPL bridge that I referred to in an earlier post this evening. This does. as my earlier post stated, show a single decker travelling towards the artist but as if to validate the artists impression a double decker has been added in this published version. Looking at the headroom remaining over the top of the single decker I doubt whether the double decker would emerge the other side of the new GPL bridge without conversion to a. err. open topper. Also artists licence has given the artist responsible for this impression the vision to install the overhead catenary over the projected rail overbridge. seemingly, just one Metrobus length apart.

By the way, January 9th is the start date of route m1, brought forward a week to coincide with the start of the University's new term. It was previously announced as commencing on January 16th.

I agree. It's a shame their artist didn't hang around to imagine the subsequent carnage. Let's hope that when they build it, they choose to follow the plans - allowing 5.8m headroom - rather than the Evening Bristol's artistic rendering of them:

(https://i2-prod.bristolpost.co.uk/incoming/article2235356.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/0_Metrobus-Gipsy-Patch2JPG.jpg)

Image: Bristol Post (https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/road-bristol-going-closed-two-2235378)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on November 20, 2018, 10:02:48 pm
Lowering the road that much does make me worry about flooding. I'm sure there are drains but even so, drain covers get overwhelmed by exceptionally heavy rain (the type of exceptional that seems to happen every spring), especially if they're bunged up.

Agreed and to add to your concerns, if you didn't know, there is a stream next to Station Road which leads from GPL to Patchway station which is currently culverted under GPL. It then follows the curve of the embankment of the Patchway to Parkway line until the stream reaches a point where excesses can flow into a catchment/overflow reservoir adjacent to Hatchet Lane.  


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: stuving on November 20, 2018, 11:30:57 pm
Lowering the road that much does make me worry about flooding. I'm sure there are drains but even so, drain covers get overwhelmed by exceptionally heavy rain (the type of exceptional that seems to happen every spring), especially if they're bunged up.

Agreed and to add to your concerns, if you didn't know, there is a stream next to Station Road which leads from GPL to Patchway station which is currently culverted under GPL. It then follows the curve of the embankment of the Patchway to Parkway line until the stream reaches a point where excesses can flow into a catchment/overflow reservoir adjacent to Hatchet Lane.  

You'll be reassured to know there is a drainage strategy among the plans. Mostly that is based on the existing discharges to the nearby watercourses, and perhaps you'd be a bit less reassured that they don't know where the existing discharges are half the time.

Water from the road under the bridge does currently go into that stream next to it, and that outfall will be reused. They identify the roadway lowering as meaning gravity won't suffice to get the water out fast enough, so there will be pumps. There will also be big pipes to carry water to the pumps, oversized to provide storage to buffer peak flows (aka attenuation). The actual sizes vary between documents, but one plan shows a pair of pipes of 1050 mm diameter - now that is really big. There are to be two pumps rated at 9 l/s, each with a backup, in a sump.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on November 21, 2018, 02:21:17 pm
Meantime,  word  reaches me that  two of the  MetroBust M2 buses  were  vandalised last night, and that the  replacement vehicles  can't use the misguided busway. Pasengers wanting to board at Cumberland Basin, Ashton Gate or Ashton Vale are advised  to schlep over to either the Long Ashton Park and Ride or SS Gert Britain. It raises a few  questions:
How many adapted buses are there?
If they cost best part of  £400K apiece, where are  they kept   overnight?
Does Tony (Formerly Four Track, Now!) have an aliibi?
(The answer to the last one is "Yes", and my EasyJet account will confirm it.)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 21, 2018, 02:46:38 pm
Lowering the road that much does make me worry about flooding. I'm sure there are drains but even so, drain covers get overwhelmed by exceptionally heavy rain (the type of exceptional that seems to happen every spring), especially if they're bunged up.

Agreed and to add to your concerns, if you didn't know, there is a stream next to Station Road which leads from GPL to Patchway station which is currently culverted under GPL. It then follows the curve of the embankment of the Patchway to Parkway line until the stream reaches a point where excesses can flow into a catchment/overflow reservoir adjacent to Hatchet Lane.  

You'll be reassured to know there is a drainage strategy among the plans. Mostly that is based on the existing discharges to the nearby watercourses, and perhaps you'd be a bit less reassured that they don't know where the existing discharges are half the time.

Water from the road under the bridge does currently go into that stream next to it, and that outfall will be reused. They identify the roadway lowering as meaning gravity won't suffice to get the water out fast enough, so there will be pumps. There will also be big pipes to carry water to the pumps, oversized to provide storage to buffer peak flows (aka attenuation). The actual sizes vary between documents, but one plan shows a pair of pipes of 1050 mm diameter - not that is really big. There are to be two pumps rated at 9 l/s, each with a backup, in a sump.
Those sound like mighty pumps. Glad they're there! Would be even better if they weren't needed, but I guess the only other way to achieve clearance under the bridge would be to raise the bridge itself, which would surely involve more disruption especially to the railway.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: WelshBluebird on November 21, 2018, 03:06:14 pm
Meantime,  word  reaches me that  two of the  MetroBust M2 buses  were  vandalised last night, and that the  replacement vehicles  can't use the misguided busway. Pasengers wanting to board at Cumberland Basin, Ashton Gate or Ashton Vale are advised  to schlep over to either the Long Ashton Park and Ride or SS Gert Britain. It raises a few  questions:
How many adapted buses are there?
If they cost best part of  £400K apiece, where are  they kept   overnight?
Does Tony (Formerly Four Track, Now!) have an aliibi?
(The answer to the last one is "Yes", and my EasyJet account will confirm it.)

Based on some comments on Twitter it sounds like at least one of the buses was targeted whilst in service?
According to local media there have been recent attacks on buses in service, so would add up.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on November 21, 2018, 05:39:24 pm
Sadly,  for some inexplicable reason I am banned from MetroBust's Twitter feed, despite all the nice things I have  said about it over the years.


I agree. It's a shame their artist didn't hang around to imagine the subsequent carnage. Let's hope that when they build it, they choose to follow the plans - allowing 5.8m headroom - rather than the Evening Bristol's artistic rendering of them:

(https://i2-prod.bristolpost.co.uk/incoming/article2235356.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/0_Metrobus-Gipsy-Patch2JPG.jpg)

Image: Bristol Post (https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/road-bristol-going-closed-two-2235378)

I  may be missing something, but that looks a lot less of a public transport scheme than it resembles a road-widening plan.  I have no objection to  GPL having a bridge wide enough  and high enough to let modern traffic through. What I do not like is schemes such as this being loosely disguised as  MetroBust. There are funds for building roads, and funds for public transport, and using the latter as a Trojan horse  to pay for the former is dishonest, and means that public transport will not prosper.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on November 21, 2018, 07:59:50 pm
(https://i2-prod.bristolpost.co.uk/incoming/article2235356.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/0_Metrobus-Gipsy-Patch2JPG.jpg)
Image: Bristol Post (https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/road-bristol-going-closed-two-2235378)

The element of cynicism in my brain suggests the developers of the former Rolls-Royce site beyond the bridge to the left planning section 106 contribution screwed out of the developer by South Glos Council will form a large proportion of the cost of this project.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 21, 2018, 08:32:24 pm
I  may be missing something, but that looks a lot less of a public transport scheme than it resembles a road-widening plan.  I have no objection to  GPL having a bridge wide enough  and high enough to let modern traffic through. What I do not like is schemes such as this being loosely disguised as MetroBust. There are funds for building roads, and funds for public transport, and using the latter as a Trojan horse  to pay for the former is dishonest, and means that public transport will not prosper.

That's the beauty of MetroBus - it's just a bus, and buses are public transport, and they go on roads, and the money's being spent improving roads so that buses can use them more easily... it's hard to argue that this does not constitute a proper use of the money.

For it to be improper, you'd have to spend public transport money to build a stretch of road that had failed to get funding for decades as a pure road scheme, in the full knowledge that no operator was ever going to run a bus down it. But surely that would never happen.

The element of cynicism in my brain suggests the developers of the former Rolls-Royce site beyond the bridge to the left planning section 106 contribution screwed out of the developer by South Glos Council will form a large proportion of the cost of this project.

Isn't it right that the developer of the adjacent site should make an S106 contribution to this? Presumably it'll improve the value of their site.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on November 22, 2018, 08:46:54 am
The widening of this road will probably add very little to the East Site development. That development will be finished long before this bridge is replaced.

One thing it will do is remove one of the main causes of some of the terrible traffic jams in the area.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 22, 2018, 09:10:17 am
Removing traffic jams on your doorstep is going to add to property value, I'd have thought, though by what amount is arguable.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on November 22, 2018, 09:18:05 am
To be honest, I think the traffic jams will remain, just be moved to the traffic lights at GPL on the A38.

The only way to eliminate the traffic jams is to persuade people not to drive, and for that we need the carrot of good, reliable and affordable public transport, and the stick of congestion and pollution charges. This is now the job of WECA, I believe!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 22, 2018, 09:59:27 am
To be honest, I think the traffic jams will remain, just be moved to the traffic lights at GPL on the A38.

The only way to eliminate the traffic jams is to persuade people not to drive, and for that we need the carrout of good, reliable and affordable public transport, and the stick of congestion and pollution charges. This is now the job of WECA, I believe!


For road journeys originating to the west of the SWML, the quickest way to the motorway network will most likely be be via the A38 and Almondsbury; this traffic, as you point out, will still have to negotiate the Gipsy Patch - A38 junction. That suggests that the biggest benefit of the new bridge is that it will be possible to fit a 'decker under it; the current bridge is limited to 4m which is too low. So (for fear of banging on!) this is to a large extent a public transport improvement, with the additional benefits that it will make things safer for cyclists and pedestrians too.

There are many ways to reduce traffic jams, the best of which is to use the planning system to reduce car dependency. This takes decades to have an effect though, and for the moment much of what is happening in South Glos seems to be heading in the wrong direction, with low-density dormitory suburbs connected by big roads still being built. As to carrots and sticks: sticks are cheap, and carrots are expensive - so expect more of the former, and precious few of the latter!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: WelshBluebird on November 22, 2018, 11:18:10 am
A couple of articles on the Bristol Post site that seem to concur with the vandalism of the Metrobus buses happening in service with rocks being thrown at buses. A few photos showing the damage, including broken windows too. Looks like the yobs who have been attacking the 75/76 buses and the A4 Bath - Bristol Airport buses have found new targets.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 22, 2018, 01:07:25 pm
A couple of articles on the Bristol Post site that seem to concur with the vandalism of the Metrobus buses happening in service with rocks being thrown at buses. A few photos showing the damage, including broken windows too. Looks like the yobs who have been attacking the 75/76 buses and the A4 Bath - Bristol Airport buses have found new targets.
Worrying.

There are many ways to reduce traffic jams, the best of which is to use the planning system to reduce car dependency. This takes decades to have an effect though, <snip>
Though local effects can be felt immediately on completion. That was the case with Gorgeous George's RPZs, for instance, and it might be the case with this bridge too, at the bridge itself.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 24, 2018, 07:34:21 pm
https://www.citymetric.com/transport/bristol-s-buses-are-chaos-here-are-four-fixes-won-t-break-bank-4364
Extra doors, kerb build-outs, contactless payment, better mapping, more frequent services running direct lines with changes, and regulation to increase passenger numbers, according to this. But also:
Quote
A metro system is in the early stages of planning, but is many years away.
:o


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: WelshBluebird on November 27, 2018, 04:29:45 pm
So Metrobus have tweeted out an image of a fairly detailed route map for the M1.
Not sure if this is new or not, but it is more detailed than anything I have seen anyway, and I can't help feel even more annoyed considering how close to Temple Meads and Parkway it comes, but is just a bit too far away from either to be useful for them!
https://twitter.com/metrobusBristol/status/1065978379005059072 (https://twitter.com/metrobusBristol/status/1065978379005059072)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on November 27, 2018, 09:17:24 pm
The BBC article

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-46359339 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-46359339)

appears to be mixing up its bridges. The picture is of the Stoke Gifford bridge at Bristol Parkway, whilst the article refers to to The Little Stoke bridge in Gypsy Patch Lane.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: metalrail on November 27, 2018, 09:24:06 pm
So Metrobus have tweeted out an image of a fairly detailed route map for the M1.
Not sure if this is new or not, but it is more detailed than anything I have seen anyway, and I can't help feel even more annoyed considering how close to Temple Meads and Parkway it comes, but is just a bit too far away from either to be useful for them!
https://twitter.com/metrobusBristol/status/1065978379005059072 (https://twitter.com/metrobusBristol/status/1065978379005059072)

Good old Greater Bristol Non-Integrated Transport Solutions!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 27, 2018, 09:26:58 pm
The BBC article

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-46359339 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-46359339)

appears to be mixing up its bridges. The picture is of the Stoke Gifford bridge at Bristol Parkway, whilst the article refers to to The Little Stoke bridge in Gypsy Patch Lane.

Bless 'em. Not the first to make that mistake; perhaps they've fallen behind when reading this forum: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=17049.msg252155#msg252155


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 28, 2018, 09:59:40 am
The BBC article

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-46359339 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-46359339)

appears to be mixing up its bridges. The picture is of the Stoke Gifford bridge at Bristol Parkway, whilst the article refers to to The Little Stoke bridge in Gypsy Patch Lane.

Bless 'em. Not the first to make that mistake; perhaps they've fallen behind when reading this forum: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=17049.msg252155#msg252155
[/quote
I'm such a trendsetter.  :-[ And now they've added a third bridge to the confusion!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: metalrail on November 28, 2018, 02:02:23 pm
More roadworks to look forward to...

Seven new routes planned for Bristol's Metrobus project

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-46370321?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/localnews/2654675-Bristol/0&link_location=live-reporting-story

"It is part of an 18-year transport strategy run by councils across the greater Bristol area"

No mention of rail improvements & enhancements within this strategy, aside from the part about a route from Bristol Parkway to The Mall, which I thought was already being sorted anyway with the upcoming Gypsy Patch Lane works...



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 28, 2018, 03:56:20 pm

No mention of rail improvements & enhancements within this strategy, aside from the part about a route from Bristol Parkway to The Mall, which I thought was already being sorted anyway with the upcoming Gypsy Patch Lane works...


Funny lot, journalists; the Evening Bristol got a lot more out of it: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=20426.msg252896#msg252896

Can't wait to see how different this draft of the JLTP is from the JTS published in 2016... (https://www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk/gf2.ti/-/757442/23234053.1/PDF/-/Joint_Transport_Study__Transport_Vision.pdf)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 28, 2018, 07:21:24 pm
As an aside, I found a couple of pie charts in the Bristol Transport Strategy document that summarised Bristol's transport problem rather neatly: One showed the number of vehicles using the A38, and the other showed the number of people. I have put the figures in a table, which doesn't quite do it justice; if you prefer you can look at the original here (https://bristol.citizenspace.com/growth-regeneration/bristol-transport-strategy/user_uploads/bd10559---bristol-transport-strategy-2018_webv3-2.pdf)

Mode     Vehicles (%)People (%)
Car6138
Bus432
Walk-14
Cycle205

Anyone who has stood by Zetland Road Junction (still named after the long lamented tram junction!) during the rush hour will be unsurprised to learn that 20% of traffic is bicycles, but it hadn't occurred to me that with their single occupancy they would only carry 5% of the people. Buses, on the other hand, appear to be extraordinarily efficient - although if you counted the space each mode took, you'd get another picture again!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Lee on November 28, 2018, 07:32:49 pm
As an aside, I found a couple of pie charts in the Bristol Transport Strategy document that summarised Bristol's transport problem rather neatly:

Cheers for that - There was me thinking the problem was no-one knowing their backside from their elbow!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on November 28, 2018, 10:29:23 pm
Went to a WECA meeting today to raise an issue on Metrobus ticketing which I have aired on this thread (more on this in a day or so).

However I was despaired to hear that both the Portishead and Henbury projects are dying ducks in the water.

It transpired, according to my informant, that the promoting body of MetroWest Phase 1 decided to split the project into MetroWest Phase 1A and MetroWest Phase 1B and Chris Grayling has told them, the promoters, its no Phase 1A, its no Phase 1B, its Phase 1 or nothing and that also includes the hoped for new station at Charfield.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on November 30, 2018, 07:24:59 am
Surprised that no-one has come forward to confirm or deny this rumour.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: metalrail on November 30, 2018, 08:29:43 am
Surprised that no-one has come forward to confirm or deny this rumour.

Let's hope it is just a rumour after all this time


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on November 30, 2018, 01:19:29 pm
Took my first and probably only trip on the Justabus route from Long Ashton park and ride to the centre. Now, I knew there was not a great deal of guided busway and that it was only there to secure the government funding. What I found was that there was even less of it that I ever imagined and most, if not all, of it was utterly unnecessary. To describe it as a token gesture would be about as far as you could claim. It really looks like an act of low cunning used to secure money by false pretences for a road building scheme and must have damaged our reputation with central government.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 30, 2018, 01:37:52 pm
That's assuming that central government didn't introduce the requirement as a sop in order to cover for road building schemes under other names.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on November 30, 2018, 06:30:41 pm
Went to a WECA meeting today to raise an issue on Metrobus ticketing which I have aired on this thread (more on this in a day or so).

However I was despaired to hear that both the Portishead and Henbury projects are dying ducks in the water.

It transpired, according to my informant, that the promoting body of MetroWest Phase 1 decided to split the project into MetroWest Phase 1A and MetroWest Phase 1B and Chris Grayling has told them, the promoters, its no Phase 1A, its no Phase 1B, its Phase 1 or nothing and that also includes the hoped for new station at Charfield.

That was Wednesday, today also attended another WECA meeting and it looks like a re-opened Saltford is looking like a third dying duck in the water too.

Looks like WECA will be having to fund the salaries of 200 or so staff being transferred to it from Bristol CC, BaNES UA and S Glos UA.

N Somerset were there in a token presence but I heard one of their members informally remark, when challenged, why don't you come into WECA, what join in an organisation where decisions are made by one man - no thanks.

I too had my informal two pennuth worth and remarked I'd get em into WECA, dangle a piece of string with a pot of money on the end marked with £50m and  say its yours for the Portishead Line on condition you join WECA and they'll be in there yesterday.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on November 30, 2018, 09:37:35 pm
Don't quite know what to make of this, martyjon. I can believe that there were plenty of sceptics about, but aren't these meetings about signing off an 18-year plan? Are you saying that they are not going to sign off the JLTP?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 01, 2018, 06:38:18 am
Don't quite know what to make of this, martyjon. I can believe that there were plenty of sceptics about, but aren't these meetings about signing off an 18-year plan? Are you saying that they are not going to sign off the JLTP?

My impression of WECA is its nothing more than a white elephant talking shop, sign off a JLTP, yes, but when it comes to implementing the plan and the money is not there, what then.

A leading light of FOSBRA was at Fridays meeting and departed at the lunchtime break even though a statement had been submitted by the individual which entitled the person to speak in the afternoon session. A second leading light of the same organisation said to me, "we've (FOSBRA) lost our way". The first leading light mentioned approached me before the meeting started and asked me if our little group at Yate which has morphed from 'Friends of Yate station' into 'Yate and surrounding area transport forum', would be interested in joining a "Bristol Rail Revival Group', What do you make of that ?

In another brief conversation with the same individual mention was made of tram-train, what did I think. My response was, 'Do you think NR will allow a tram-train to operate beyond Temple Meads to Bath and beyond meaning Westbury direction, to Yate / Gloucester, I don't.' Their eyes lit up, 'your thinking along the same lines as me' but the despondency was there and the individual, as stated above, didn't remain for the afternoon session.

Now if Tim Bowles and WECA had done their homework, or even Chris Grayling. who suggested tram-train in the first place, had done his, how about the class 230 Vivarail conversion of ex LT District Line stock. Remember earlier this year Grahame brought this forums members attention to an AGM of his favorite lines supporting group where the speaker was to extol the virtues of 'GO-OP'. Thats gone all quiet on that front, hasn't it, perhaps the remotest thoughts of re-opening the Portishead line using the Class 230 is getting too close to having to spend WECA money with the 1000's of Portishead people jumping up and down saying yes, yes, yes, we'll have it is getting too close for the comfort of TB.

A subject that reared its ugly head was cross boarder public transport, buses. It was mentioned that if a bus service which uses infrastructure provided solely for a metrobus type service crosses the border, even for a distance of less than 100 metres say, the authority into whose territory the service briefly traverses will have to give permission for the service to operate as the metrobus type service may extract revenue from a service supported by that authority. Knocking North Somerset Parish Council (NSPC) here.

From my observations of yesterdays meeting and previous encounters Tim Bowles and Marvin Rees (he was not there yesterday) seem to be in cahoots with each other even though they are of opposing political entities and both have their eyes on re-election times. Tim Bowles likes to stand in front of cameras to have his piccy took like the recent piccy standing at the roadside at Bences Garage on the A37 where road improvements have recently been completed probably under the complete direction of BaNES UA with not one word of input from TB or one penny of WECA's money. The improvements at the AZTEC roundabout the same, directed by S Glos UA with both schemes probably partly funded, due to them being A roads, by Central Government (DfT), but TB is in the piccy.

Evidence of the unease being felt by the 3 UA's forming WECA and the NSPC was the number of statements submitted by elected councillors from these other bodies and believe me a couple of them didn't mince their words. I also submitted a statement of which I will post on this thread together with my prepared speech although in reality I did precis my speech a bit as I wished to save my breath as I distinctly felt my words were falling on deaf ears. 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on December 01, 2018, 10:17:18 am
Well I commend you for your patience, martyjon - I think I would have left before lunchtime, from what you say. Do you hold out any hope that WECA might become more effective as it grows and takes on more staff? 



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on December 01, 2018, 10:33:39 am
Further to that, this report discusses the various packages of work that would interest us here - including buses, MetroBus, Bristol East jct, tram/train and so on. Looking forward to 1 Feb 2019 when they will update us:

https://westofengland-ca.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s692/15%20-%20WECA%20Transport%20update%2030.11.18%20final%20draft%2019.11.pdf

Meanwhile, this report details how WECA would like to take on the transport responsibilities of the constituent councils... I may have missed something (I usually do!) but this looks like progress to me:

https://westofengland-ca.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s689/13%20-%20WECA%20ITA%20Functions%20paper%2030%20Nov%20final%2019%20Nov.pdf


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: metalrail on December 01, 2018, 10:39:22 am
Well I commend you for your patience, martyjon - I think I would have left before lunchtime, from what you say.


I'll second that!  It's absolutely shameful what's going on.  How many more headlines about never ending rush hour gridlock - and non rush hour congestion - must there be for the powers that be (whoever they are this week) to finally do something about it rather than just scrap one committee and form a new one with exactly the same remit?!

I've said it before that never mind trying to sort out transport needs to support the future needs of the Greater Bristol area's ever growing population, it's way way behind even being able to support the existing one.  With the amount of politics involved in trying to sort out even the slightest improvement, nothing major ever gets done

And now with the chance of the first stage of major rail improvements - which had already gone all the way up to central government and worked thru the GRIP process - being quietly dropped, you lose faith in anything - of worth at least - EVER happening

I despair



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 01, 2018, 12:41:07 pm
Meanwhile, this report details how WECA would like to take on the transport responsibilities of the constituent councils... I may have missed something (I usually do!) but this looks like progress to me:

https://westofengland-ca.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s689/13%20-%20WECA%20ITA%20Functions%20paper%2030%20Nov%20final%2019%20Nov.pdf

TB was elected in May 2017, so was Andy Burnham, Metro Mayor for Manchester. By November 2017 Andy had his Transport  Function all set up with a Public Transport Forum in being.

WECA has taken all the same period of time JUST TO PRODUCE A REPORT on how to combine the transport function of the constituent authorities. Doesn't bode very promising for the future.

Metrobus was well underway and running well behind schedule when TB was elected but he/WECA seems to be patting themselves on the back on the successful introduction of Metrobus.

By the way, take a look at the lastest A0 adverts at the metrobus stops in the central area, METROBUS, coming soon, January 2019. Passenger says to operative who had just put poster in two display cases in Lewins Mead Metrobus stop. 'Oh yea, so whats this we've been travelling on since last May then, A VISION ?' I loved it but I did note that right at the top left of the poster there was a rounded corners white square, sounds like metrobus language doesn't it, with a m1 designation in the rounded square.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 01, 2018, 12:57:01 pm
Rail related really but I just heard a funny.

Old lady gets on train and settles down in a seat.
Conductor / Guard comes along, 'tickets please'.
Old lady says to Conductor / Guard, ' is this train going to be on time today ?'
Conductor / Guard says to old lady, 'why is it always late when you're on it'.
'Yes', says old lady.
Conductor / Guard, 'well perhaps its your fault its always late when you're on it'.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: ellendune on December 01, 2018, 01:04:11 pm
TB was elected in May 2017, so was Andy Burnham, Metro Mayor for Manchester. By November 2017 Andy had his Transport  Function all set up with a Public Transport Forum in being.

WECA has taken all the same period of time JUST TO PRODUCE A REPORT on how to combine the transport function of the constituent authorities. Doesn't bode very promising for the future.

Greater Manchester had an effective (former) county-wide transport authority in place before Andy Burnham came along.  From 1969 to 1974 it was called SELNEC (South East Lancashire - North East Cheshire) PTA (Passenger Transport Authority) which ran the SELNEC PTE (Passenger Transport Executive), from 1974 to 1986 it was a function of the Greater Manchester Council which ran GM PTE.

After abolition of the Greater Manchester Council in 1986 it was replaced by the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority which under good leadership managed to secure effective cooperation of all 10 district councils* which continued to run GM PTE.  This was replaced 2011 by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority when the PTE became Transport for Greater Manchester.

All this was in place when Andy Burnham was elected first Metro mayor in 2017.

Don't you think that might have given him a bit of a head start?

* Spot the difference with Bristol


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 01, 2018, 01:22:18 pm
TB was elected in May 2017, so was Andy Burnham, Metro Mayor for Manchester. By November 2017 Andy had his Transport  Function all set up with a Public Transport Forum in being.

WECA has taken all the same period of time JUST TO PRODUCE A REPORT on how to combine the transport function of the constituent authorities. Doesn't bode very promising for the future.

Greater Manchester had an effective (former) county-wide transport authority in place before Andy Burnham came along.  From 1969 to 1974 it was called SELNEC (South East Lancashire - North East Cheshire) PTA (Passenger Transport Authority) which ran the SELNEC PTE (Passenger Transport Executive), from 1974 to 1986 it was a function of the Greater Manchester Council which ran GM PTE.

After abolition of the Greater Manchester Council in 1986 it was replaced by the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority which under good leadership managed to secure effective cooperation of all 10 district councils* which continued to run GM PTE.  This was replaced 2011 by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority when the PTE became Transport for Greater Manchester.

All this was in place when Andy Burnham was elected first Metro mayor in 2017.

Don't you think that might have given him a bit of a head start?

* Spot the difference with Bristol


Acknowledged, I'll go and stand in the corner with the dunces cap on for the rest of today.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: metalrail on December 01, 2018, 01:36:51 pm
TB was elected in May 2017, so was Andy Burnham, Metro Mayor for Manchester. By November 2017 Andy had his Transport  Function all set up with a Public Transport Forum in being.

WECA has taken all the same period of time JUST TO PRODUCE A REPORT on how to combine the transport function of the constituent authorities. Doesn't bode very promising for the future.

Greater Manchester had an effective (former) county-wide transport authority in place before Andy Burnham came along.  From 1969 to 1974 it was called SELNEC (South East Lancashire - North East Cheshire) PTA (Passenger Transport Authority) which ran the SELNEC PTE (Passenger Transport Executive), from 1974 to 1986 it was a function of the Greater Manchester Council which ran GM PTE.

After abolition of the Greater Manchester Council in 1986 it was replaced by the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority which under good leadership managed to secure effective cooperation of all 10 district councils* which continued to run GM PTE.  This was replaced 2011 by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority when the PTE became Transport for Greater Manchester.

All this was in place when Andy Burnham was elected first Metro mayor in 2017.

Don't you think that might have given him a bit of a head start?

* Spot the difference with Bristol

Plus there was the majorly hyped 'Northern Powerhouse' essentially guaranteeing loads more funding for the North...  once that was in place it opened up endless new (and more than likely long hoped for) projects that could start to be rolled out

When our multiple councils / metro mayor & Bristol's 'my way or the highway' (pun intended) mayor who ignores the rest of his own council whenever he likes can't seem to get it together between them, what hope do us poor folk in the West have?  Aside from the fact that we're growing constantly, one thing the powers that be always love to brag about


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on December 01, 2018, 02:10:39 pm
...When our multiple councils / metro mayor & Bristol's 'my way or the highway' (pun intended) mayor who ignores the rest of his own council whenever he likes can't seem to get it together between them, what hope do us poor folk in the West have?  Aside from the fact that we're growing constantly, one thing the powers that be always love to brag about

It ought to matter that Greater Bristol is a very successful economy. The alternative to letting the region spend some of its own tax surplus alleviating the congestion problems that this success brings is to allow congestion to strangle that growth; I may be politically naïve but I can't see in whose interest that would be.

I've been following Bristol's transport developments for a very long time, and know the meaning of the word 'frustration', but there just isn't any point in assuming that WECA and the JTS and JLTP are bound to fail: maybe they will, but (as Winnie the Pooh might say) maybe they won't; either way they are the only game in town. Isn't it just possible that Bristol and Northavon/South Glos might have learnt something from their past struggles?



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: metalrail on December 02, 2018, 09:06:50 am
It ought to matter that Greater Bristol is a very successful economy. The alternative to letting the region spend some of its own tax surplus alleviating the congestion problems that this success brings is to allow congestion to strangle that growth; I may be politically naïve but I can't see in whose interest that would be.


My point exactly, and that's what makes it all the more frustrating


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 02, 2018, 06:49:35 pm
Metrobus

 At the launch of this project the slogan -;

Buy Before You Board ;

was used to promote the service however on November 11th this slogan mutated into -;

Buy Before You Board IF YOU CAN.

IF YOU CAN why ?

Until and inclusive of November 10th customers were able to purchase at I-Points both the Bristol Inner Zone Day Ticket and the Bristol Outer Zone Day Ticket.

On November 11th these two products mutated into the Bristol Zone Day Ticket and the West of England Zone Day Ticket of which only the Bristol Zone Day Ticket is available at the I-Points, the re-incarnated Bristol Outer Zone Ticket as the West of England Day Ticket is not.

As a retired IT professional I see no valid reason why the West of England Day Ticket and its cousin, the 7 day West of England Weekly Ticket cannot be included on the screen which gives the sole West of England Monthly Ticket to give a selection of three West of England Zone Tickets, the Day Ticket and the Week and Monthly Season on a single screen display as many of the other ticket seem to be grouped in 3's.

I look forward eagerly to the Authority's excuses why this situation prevails and the reasons for the Authority's future procrastinations in preventing a swift resolution to customers like myself who find themselves disadvantaged.

Can customers like myself legitimately claim the I-Point is not working, it won't sell me the ticket I want. No, I've tried it, the female driver who I enquired about this situation agreed with me, the West of England Day Ticket SHOULD be available at the I-Point after she had consulted the I-Point at the Emersons Green Terminus and then consulted the on board ticket machine and found no West of England Day Ticket on there either.

STUMPED, so am I.

End of statement to WECA.


I prepared a further statement to read as was my right but starting to read it I could see TB leaning to one side (his right) listening to what the bod on his right was whispering in his ear and then he leaned to his left and spoke to the legal eagle and that's when I cracked. They aren't listening to a f***ing word I'm saying so I precised my speech finishing with word nothing and I wasn't surprised, I got not one word, Not even a thank you for your statement like the others got so I wasn't surprised.


The following is the statement I had prepared to read out.


Thank you mayor Mr. Bowles.

I don't need three minutes to vent my exasperations and frustration at not being able to buy before I board under the new Firsts fare structure despite being advised in this leaflet that I would be able to at Metrobus I-Points. I'll forfeit the remaining time allocated to me to allow you. Tim, to explain to me and this assembled gathering what you / WECA are going to do to rectify the situation I so clearly described in my statement and I do not expect an answer being any other than a one word, nothing, thank you.


 


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on December 02, 2018, 08:18:35 pm
It has to be said that the ticketing system could be easier to understand:

Quote
When buying tickets online, you’ll be able to collect them at a metrobus iPoint 2 hours later, or on the bus (except First buses and metrobus services) and Bristol Park & Ride sites the following day from 6am (when ordered before 11pm).

Source: travelwest (https://buytickets.travelwest.info/)

While I was looking into this I couldn't help noticing that the uri metrobus.co.uk belongs to the Go-Ahead group who use it for 'ordinary' bus services in Sussex, Surrey and Kent. To distinguish the West of England (WoE) operation, they had to come up with a different name... For some reason, they seem to have avoided the obvious metrobuswoe.co.uk and  registered metrobusbristol.co.uk, almost acknowledging the existence of Bristol...



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on December 02, 2018, 09:24:41 pm
For some reason, they seem to have avoided the obvious metrobuswoe.co.uk and registered metrobusbristol.co.uk, almost acknowledging the existence of Bristol...

If anyone's looking to set up a transport information site for the West or England area, all the domains transportwoe.* that you might want are available  ;D ;D .



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: metalrail on December 02, 2018, 09:42:34 pm
You just literally end up feeling like shaking them all to try and get the message to hit home, at least for starters

Secondly you want at the very least an acknowledgement of the issues raised

Thirdly you want some kind of commitment - and timescale - for the issues to be addressed

And finally (if you can wait that long) you want the issues resolved!

If this new Metrobus system and all of it's various flaws from initial conception to an extremely delayed - and in some cases still not running - service which firstly is unable to run to the initial advertised faster travel times, and secondly at the first price change (after only a few months of running) one of the major selling points of the service - the buy before you board - fails, then it leaves you very little hope for the future of our transport solutions being addressed in any kind of timely manner


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: stuving on December 02, 2018, 11:17:33 pm
While I was looking into this I couldn't help noticing that the uri metrobus.co.uk belongs to the Go-Ahead group who use it for 'ordinary' bus services in Sussex, Surrey and Kent. To distinguish the West of England (WoE) operation, they had to come up with a different name... For some reason, they seem to have avoided the obvious metrobuswoe.co.uk and  registered metrobusbristol.co.uk, almost acknowledging the existence of Bristol...

But there are guided Metrobuses in Crawley, called Fastway! Mind you, there's even less guided busway than in Bristol, and Go-Ahead don't exactly make a big thing about their guidedness - they're just buses serving Gatwick.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 03, 2018, 08:55:05 am
I am told this piccy is of the first vehicle for the m1 metrobus route leaving the factory on its delivery run complete with a trade plate displayed behind the front windscreen.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/122507681@N02/46017650391


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on December 03, 2018, 10:14:19 am
I am told this piccy is of the first vehicle for the m1 metrobus route leaving the factory on its delivery run complete with a trade plate displayed behind the front windscreen.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/122507681@N02/46017650391

Gosh! Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

No, it's a bus.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: patch38 on December 03, 2018, 10:27:25 am
Blimey - are they expecting people to sit on the roof? What's that handrail for?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on December 03, 2018, 10:42:44 am
Blimey - are they expecting people to sit on the roof? What's that handrail for?

Most buses in Bristol have them. to deflect tree branches.

Travelwest's spin doctor website says that Bristol Community Transport are spending £7 million on 21 new biogas buses to run the M1. That sounds like an awful lot of cash for a charitable company that currently runs two park and ride sites, the hospital free bus, and a few school services - all under contracts. The M1 is supposed to be a commercial venture, isn't it?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on December 03, 2018, 10:45:27 am
I am told this piccy is of the first vehicle for the m1 metrobus route leaving the factory on its delivery run complete with a trade plate displayed behind the front windscreen.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/122507681@N02/46017650391

Gosh! Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

No, it's a bus.

Comparing it with this, I can hardly spot any differences:

(http://www.publicsectorexecutive.com/write/MediaUploads/Bristol_MetroBus_crop-20140828121759751.jpg)

Image: Public Sector Executive (http://www.publicsectorexecutive.com/Public-Sector-News/dft-grants-34m-funding-to-controversial-bristol-metrobus-)

I do like they way they were going to cover the wheels - makes it look more tram-like, but perhaps impractical for steering... talking of which, where are the not-very-tram-like ikkle guidewheels?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on December 03, 2018, 12:07:51 pm
I do like they way they were going to cover the wheels - makes it look more tram-like, but perhaps impractical for steering... talking of which, where are the not-very-tram-like ikkle guidewheels?

Not needed on the M1, which uses a normal bus-like bus on normal road-like roads to give that promised tram-like feeling.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 03, 2018, 06:02:01 pm
Blimey - are they expecting people to sit on the roof? What's that handrail for?

Most buses in Bristol have them. to deflect tree branches.

Travelwest's spin doctor website says that Bristol Community Transport are spending £7 million on 21 new biogas buses to run the M1. That sounds like an awful lot of cash for a charitable company that currently runs two park and ride sites, the hospital free bus, and a few school services - all under contracts. The M1 is supposed to be a commercial venture, isn't it?


This is something I can't get my head round.

The spin doctors said that they would be powered by biogas produced from food and human waste (poo in other words) but they are reputedly powered by CNG (Compressed Natural Gas).

They are procured by First for use on the m1 route which will be operated by BCT under contract and on behalf of First and as I understand will cause the current U3 City Centre to Frenchay Campus to cease operating. The body near side panel between the lower and upper decks windows does in fact state BCT on the vehicles used on the m3 which I find remarkable as these vehicles should be purely First owned.

The current m3 / U3 timetable is a combined timetable with the short journeys Centre to UWE only reverting to a m3 route designation after the full Centre to Emersons Green journeys cease around 20:00 weekdays and anyone with a copy of the printed timetable would have every right to assume that it was a First Bus operated service.

The current U3 operated by BCT is currently using Plaxton President buses which carry the flying F First logo but the legals on the back nearside panel quotes BCT as the operator with their Parson Street address and are painted a Royal Bluish colour although I have seen a plain white vehicle on the service whilst on the 76 route I have seen one Royallish Blue vehicle operating.

The bus pictured in my post earlier has apparently arrived at the Avonmouth premises of Scania and I was told that driver training and route familiarisation will start next week with First conducting the training.

I am interested in how long it took to travel from the bus builders Falkirk body shops to Avonmouth and how many refuelling stops had to be made on the delivery run.

Its nearly as complicated or is it more complicated than the status of the Long Ashton Park and Ride site but then this is Bristool where nuffinks ever simpool or bent forewerd.

I wouldn't blame anyone if they thought there are a fair few number of porkies orbiting Bristol at present.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on December 03, 2018, 06:16:43 pm

The spin doctors said that they would be powered by biogas produced from food and human waste (poo in other words) but they are reputedly powered by CNG (Compressed Natural Gas).


Natural gas and biogas are both principally methane; perhaps the bus doesn't care how it's made and perhaps the gas doesn't know.


I am interested in how long it took to travel from the bus builders Falkirk body shops to Avonmouth and how many refuelling stops had to be made on the delivery run.


How we long for the simple days when they would build a bus chassis in Brislington, put up elementary cardboard screens and (wearing flying helmet, gauntlets and Stadium No.8's) drive to Lowestoft to have the body built, before driving back to Bristol!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on December 03, 2018, 07:48:16 pm

I am interested in how long it took to travel from the bus builders Falkirk body shops to Avonmouth and how many refuelling stops had to be made on the delivery run.


How we long for the simple days when they would build a bus chassis in Brislington, put up elementary cardboard screens and (wearing flying helmet, gauntlets and Stadium No.8's) drive to Lowestoft to have the body built, before driving back to Bristol!
I once saw that, but not buses, Brislington nor Lowestoft. It was lorry chassis in grey primer being driven by drivers dressed as you describe (I'm presuming "Stadium No.8's" refers to crash helmets) heading west on the A419 through Stroud. About 1984. I've no idea where they had come from or where they were going.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on December 03, 2018, 07:49:57 pm

The spin doctors said that they would be powered by biogas produced from food and human waste (poo in other words) but they are reputedly powered by CNG (Compressed Natural Gas).


Natural gas and biogas are both principally methane; perhaps the bus doesn't care how it's made and perhaps the gas doesn't know.

The methane produced by the company - such as GENeco at Avonmouth - is pumped into the national gas grid. The consumer, in this case the bus company, signs a contract with the supplier, pays a bit more than the standard tariff, and gets a certificate to say it is green energy. The actual molecules pumped into the bus may have started life deep below the North Sea, or could have been fracked in the US and brought to us by tanker, but the bus company gets a stiffcut. This would not sound like a green accounting procedure if the waste plant stopped producing gas when it had met all of its orders, but it doesn't. It continues to pump the stuff into the grid.

Personally, I very much like the idea of converting waste into power rather than burying it in the countryside or pumping it into a convenient river. I think that if it can be done at a reasonable cost and with true ecological benefits, then all of our organic waste should go the same way, so solving two problems at one go. My slight air of cynicism comes from the application of a layer of eco-babble on top of the fact that the bus will use gas, which is less environmentally damaging than diesel. At least this week. I can also see a day coming when every scrap of waste this country produces is rendered into usable power, and because of the subsidies we begin to ship in huge volumes of poo from China to make more, whilst burning wind turbine blades for additional green power. Similar has already happened, with the use of kiln-dried wood pellets imported from Canada and the US in power stations converted from coal.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on December 03, 2018, 08:06:14 pm
...I'm presuming "Stadium No.8's" refers to crash helmets...

Nearly. Goggles, actually:

(http://d39jj55bl6wreq.cloudfront.net/image-thumb?w=534&h=345&p=/files/lot-images/SA-0005553/0.jpg)
Image: Silverstone Auctions (http://www.silverstoneauctions.com/vintage-stadium-mkviii-flying-goggles)



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 03, 2018, 08:21:26 pm
Am I right, when I was a little boy did the chassis of future Bristol Buses only have to be driven part way across the Bristol area from Brislington to Longwell Green and many of Bristols buses were built at the Longwell Green Coachworks.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on December 03, 2018, 08:25:14 pm
The majority of buses, by a long chalk, went to ECW (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Coach_Works) in Lowestoft. Lorry cabs were built by Longwell Green Coachworks, however.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 07, 2018, 09:44:58 pm
In Bristol today a driver of the poor half brother service to the M3, the U3, showed me mobile piccy of two brand new vehicles for the M1 route which were delivered yesterday. I don't know if one of the two was the one I reported earlier this week had arrived at the Avonmouths premises of SCANIA. The driver said to me, imagine these buses travelling through Hartcliffe and Knowle West, they'll be trashed within a few days. He asked if I'd heard that an I-Point had been trashed in Hartcliffe within 20 minutes of the contractor leaving the site after installing it.

I am told that the West of England Zone ticket is now available to be purchased at an I-Point but when I checked with my TravelWest card at approx 15:00 it wasn't available but it was available to be purchased on a ticket machine on a U3 service at £6 which is the buy before you board price, buy on the bus is £7 according to the literature but maybe they were playing safe and allowing the buy before you board price cos you couldn't buy that product at the I-Points, I shall see tomorrow.

Grahame, if you are reading this, DR has to have an op on Monday at St. Thomas's in London and I wished him well when I spoke to him earlier this evening and I know those members of this forum who are acquainted with him would wish him well too.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on December 07, 2018, 09:52:24 pm
Grahame, if you are reading this ...

... yes and following up in "And Also" ... 

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=20808.0


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on December 09, 2018, 05:02:44 pm
There's a stretch of cycle path that runs alongside the MetroBus route between Brunel Way and the Ashton Swingbridge, which I just happened to be cycling along this afternoon when an A1 bus passed me heading for town. It slowed down, as it must, to engage its little wheels on the guideway, and from then on I was easily able to keep pace with it - until it got to the end of the guideway, when it sped off.

Did I miss a memo? I thought the point of the guideway was that it made the buses faster, not slower...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on December 09, 2018, 05:19:54 pm
Admit it, you just wanted to boast about your thighs of Hoy.  :o ;)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on December 09, 2018, 10:37:59 pm
There's a stretch of cycle path that runs alongside the MetroBus route between Brunel Way and the Ashton Swingbridge, which I just happened to be cycling along this afternoon when an A1 bus passed me heading for town. It slowed down, as it must, to engage its little wheels on the guideway, and from then on I was easily able to keep pace with it - until it got to the end of the guideway, when it sped off.

Did I miss a memo? I thought the point of the guideway was that it made the buses faster, not slower...

You're so funny...  ;D


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on December 10, 2018, 09:23:08 am
Admit it, you just wanted to boast about your thighs of Hoy.  :o ;)

Not to mention the calves of Man if you were an island lover.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: dhassell on December 11, 2018, 06:23:27 pm
There's a stretch of cycle path that runs alongside the MetroBus route between Brunel Way and the Ashton Swingbridge, which I just happened to be cycling along this afternoon when an A1 bus passed me heading for town. It slowed down, as it must, to engage its little wheels on the guideway, and from then on I was easily able to keep pace with it - until it got to the end of the guideway, when it sped off.

Did I miss a memo? I thought the point of the guideway was that it made the buses faster, not slower...

The speed limit on the guided section is 30mph afaik. The buses should be able to enter/exit guided sections at this speed... but the drivers seem to have a habit of slowing right up to enter/exit each tiny section of guided busway... Think it varies driver to driver, as I've had some not even touch the brakes, others bring the speed right down to a few mph. Not sure what they are instructed to do.

Using the Cambridge Guided Busway manual as an example, "The maximum mandatory speed of approach and entry to any
guideway section is 30 mph (48 kph)."

Here is the link for the Cambridgshire Guided Busway 'operations handbook' for those interested.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/424906/response/1024493/attach/4/FOI%208129%20APP1%20CGB%20Operations%20Handbook%20v1.10.1.pdf


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Phantom on December 12, 2018, 09:55:27 am
Think it varies driver to driver, as I've had some not even touch the brakes, others bring the speed right down to a few mph.

I wonder how many of them slow right down as they are worried about damaging the rails etc?
It is still amazing how many times a bus drives into a kerb when pulling into a stop - would imagine the cost of replacing damaged kit is part of the concern


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 12, 2018, 10:13:34 am
To those who know DR, I have spoken to him this morning. He sounded fine, op went well, he's in London today for checks and he faces further treatment and tests.

I told him that at the moment his health is more important to him than bus passengers, to which, being DR, he added' "and train passengers".

Speedy recovery DR.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on December 12, 2018, 04:52:54 pm
Think it varies driver to driver, as I've had some not even touch the brakes, others bring the speed right down to a few mph.

I've had one trip to the airport where the driver drove straight through at a constant speed, and got it absolutely perfect. The other drivers I have had experience of have slowed down, save one, who gave us rather a jolt.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 12, 2018, 10:11:02 pm
Seen a copy of new m3 timetable to be operated from 06.01.2019.

5 inbound morning peak services Hambrook - Cabot Circus and 7 outbound afternoon peak services Cabot Circus - Hambrook will operate directly between these locations, i.e.will not operate via UWE and the route designation will be m3x for these services.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on December 13, 2018, 10:19:33 am
Seen a copy of new m3 timetable to be operated from 06.012.2019.

5 inbound morning peak services Hambrook - Cabot Circus and 7 outbound afternoon peak services Cabot Circus - Hambrook will operate directly between these locations, i.e.will not operate via UWE and the route designation will be m3x for these services.

That makes perfect sense, except that it will be an express express service, which I thought was expressly forbidden.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 13, 2018, 12:11:45 pm
Seen a copy of new m3 timetable to be operated from 06.012.2019.

5 inbound morning peak services Hambrook - Cabot Circus and 7 outbound afternoon peak services Cabot Circus - Hambrook will operate directly between these locations, i.e.will not operate via UWE and the route designation will be m3x for these services.

That makes perfect sense, except that it will be an express express service, which I thought was expressly forbidden.


When m3 started I made a comment to (useless) officials that I can see no reason reason why the m3 didn't go straight down the M32, UWE could be covered by the 19/19A by using the Hambrook stops in both directions as an interchange point. In them early days prospective passengers for the m3 at the Stoke Lane and Begbrook stops were being denied boarding cos students were filling up the service at UWE to travel into the City Centre. The (useless) officials denied this was possible because they (metrobus) had a contract with UWE to provide a regular fast service to the city centre from the UWE transport hub.

Come last September when it was these embarrassed (useless) officials that realised (privately) that their computer model had got it wrong and the U3 service was introduced operating only between the city centre and UWE but not able to operate via the bus only M32 links. From my observations, the U3 would amply cover its running costs with the volume of student travel alone and its only the student travel usage of the m3 that keeps this service on its 20 minute interval service throughout the day. It would be interesting to see passenger loadings on the m3 between Emersons Green and UWE in both directions outside of the peak hours but I don't think the relevant bodies will put a casual observer (usually a retired person) on the route to accurately record actual numbers using the service and give us council taxpayers exactly how much 'fresh air' is being carried between Emersons Green and UWE off peak, must be in the greater than 90% figure.

A recent conversation I had with a person of another political persuasion to mine used an expression which intrigued me, "the council gives First Bus a sum of money for 'unspecified support'". The conversation also revealed that this 'unspecified support' is in addition to the support which we see on the printed First Bus timetables footnotes as 'This service operates with financial assistance from Xxxx Council' and is usually attached to a routes early morning / late evening and Sunday services.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on December 13, 2018, 12:22:26 pm
For 'unspecified support' read 'b****r all' ::)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 13, 2018, 12:33:26 pm
For 'unspecified support' read 'b****r all' ::)

It was explained to me as being to provide (limited) bus services on a Bank Holiday, or is it, err, a Public Holiday, no it isn't, umm, its a National Holiday.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on December 13, 2018, 05:08:28 pm
[Come last September when it was these embarrassed (useless) officials that realised (privately) that their computer model had got it wrong and the U3 service was introduced operating only between the city centre and UWE but not able to operate via the bus only M32 links. From my observations, the U3 would amply cover its running costs with the volume of student travel alone and its only the student travel usage of the m3 that keeps this service on its 20 minute interval service throughout the day. It would be interesting to see passenger loadings on the m3 between Emersons Green and UWE in both directions outside of the peak hours but I don't think the relevant bodies will put a casual observer (usually a retired person) on the route to accurately record actual numbers using the service and give us council taxpayers exactly how much 'fresh air' is being carried between Emersons Green and UWE off peak, must be in the greater than 90% figure.

If they didn't see this one coming, they are dafter than I thought. What student, given the choice of a ride to town in a brand new bus that goes over the bus only bridge and doesn't stop at Begbrook would choose instead to ride on a 15-year old bus, going the long way round?

As for studies of usage, that won't be so straightforward now it's all one fare. It will need someone on board to count. I know that the issue of buses not stopping at Begbrook has been the subject of correspondence with the local MP as the councillors weren't getting very far.

Edit: The  new timetable (https://www.facebook.com/download/342947796533322/m3%20timetable%20Jan%2019.pdf?hash=AcrZSFvdOk06E0K7) confirms that the M3X will be non-stop from Hambrook to Cabot Circus. A bit like the X48 service that was scrapped when MetroBust kicked off. Plus ca change, eh? This hasn't gone down well in the area around the Stoke Park and Begbrook stops.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on December 14, 2018, 07:54:42 am
With this modified route, how do students who live in the Emerson Green area get to UWE at peak time?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: rogerw on December 14, 2018, 08:42:09 am
Alternate services run direct and via UWE


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 14, 2018, 10:07:49 am
I know that the issue of buses not stopping at Begbrook has been the subject of correspondence with the local MP as the councillors weren't getting very far.

The issue there was that the buses were full hence the introduction of the U3 last September to reduce the loadings from / to UWE on the m3..

Quote
.... This hasn't gone down well in the area around the Stoke Park and Begbrook stops.

But Stoke Park and Begbrook will have the m1 service from January at a service frequency of every 10 minutes from 06:00 until midnight, no reason to grumble at that.

Quote
With this modified route, how do students who live in the Emerson Green area get to UWE at peak time?

Either interchange with the 19/19A at Hambrook or travel on a peak time m3 which will still serve UWE.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on December 14, 2018, 12:37:50 pm
For the sake of completeness, the forthcoming M1 timetable is here. (https://s3-eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/metrobus/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/13084823/J12790-metrobus-m1-timetable-AW-web.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1Lh2ChRR92piziyzT8f_63s2z9M_Z6vfggtpUbLERFsuWCPL1R4CqzOXo) This is the one I think will be most problematic. It has the longest route, rather convoluted, the majority of which is on ordinary roads. With a 10-minute frequency, I think we will see them running in twos and threes before long. One hour 25 minutes for the peak-time journey end to end seems unlikely.
Unlike the others, it at least stops by a railway station, even if it is only Parson Street.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on December 14, 2018, 03:32:01 pm
I hope they split route from M1 to M1 and M4 with both M1/M4 looping the city centre and heading back north|south.

This will at least reduce the chance of buses being stuck at one place effecting the whole north|south route.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 14, 2018, 04:14:36 pm
I hope they split route from M1 to M1 and M4 with both M1/M4 looping the city centre and heading back north|south.

This will at least reduce the chance of buses being stuck at one place effecting the whole north|south route.

You got little hope of that happening. It would be just a little TOO much egg on their faces of the arrogant team behind the metrobus project to do that. The team have already had to 'accept defeat' on the m3 but are actually claiming 'customer request' in running some peak hour morning journeys non-stop between Hambrook and Cabot Circus and some peak hour afternoon / evening journeys non-stop and between Cabot Circus and Hambrook rather than accept the move was as a result of 'passenger disgruntlement'.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on December 14, 2018, 04:32:30 pm
Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on December 14, 2018, 05:34:21 pm
As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly, or so I understand. I said some time ago that the answer to the problems caused by having bus services running over long routes through the Centre was unlikely to be found by starting new bus services running over long routes through the centre. The revised layout of the Centre has helped, but there are still too many pinch-points, especially south of the New Cut.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 18, 2018, 03:01:41 pm
Any members of this forum up for a freebie, Metrobus route m1 commences Sunday January 6th 2019 and its free travel on that date too AND brand new CNG powered buses to travel on as well.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on December 18, 2018, 05:38:54 pm
... brand new CNG powered buses to travel on as well.

What's a Congleton powered bus?  Or have I completely missed a definition somewhere?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Western Pathfinder on December 18, 2018, 05:41:25 pm
CNG /= Compressed Natural Gas.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on December 18, 2018, 06:18:26 pm
Any members of this forum up for a freebie, Metrobus route m1 commences Sunday January 6th 2019 and its free travel on that date too AND brand new CNG powered buses to travel on as well.

I will if I'm in Bristol. It will beinteresting to see how close to the projected timetable the bus can make it on a Sunday.

Edit: I think I will be between Oxfordshire and Bristol part of the day, then heading back to Devon to start packing. Keep me posted!

CNG /= Compressed Natural Gas.

Duly added to the Acronyms / Abbreviations page.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: dhassell on December 18, 2018, 06:45:37 pm
CNG /= Compressed Natural Gas.

One of the many reasons M1 was delayed was because they had to fit special CNG tanks to the BCT Group depot in Bedminster, beforehand only First's Lawrence Hill depot had the correct kit for the job.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on December 19, 2018, 10:44:48 pm
CNG /= Compressed Natural Gas.

One of the many reasons M1 was delayed was because they had to fit special CNG tanks to the BCT Group depot in Bedminster, beforehand only First's Lawrence Hill depot had the correct kit for the job.

I knew that First obtained planning permission and £1,000,000 or so of public money for a CNG refuelling thingy at Lawrence Hill, but I didn't know that BCT were getting one too.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 20, 2018, 01:51:10 pm
For forum members interested the m1 timetable is at ;-

https://www.firstgroup.com/uploads/maps/J12790%20metrobus%20m1%20timetable%20AW%20web.pdf


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on December 20, 2018, 04:24:21 pm
For forum members interested the m1 timetable is at ;-

https://www.firstgroup.com/uploads/maps/J12790%20metrobus%20m1%20timetable%20AW%20web.pdf

It hasn't changed since I posted it last week then.  ;D


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 20, 2018, 05:52:57 pm
For forum members interested the m1 timetable is at ;-

https://www.firstgroup.com/uploads/maps/J12790%20metrobus%20m1%20timetable%20AW%20web.pdf

It hasn't changed since I posted it last week then.  ;D


Sorry Tony, hadn't realised or remembered that it had already been notified to forum members by yourself.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on December 20, 2018, 06:09:45 pm
No problem! I think I found out from Another Place. You are my usual scout for MetroBust news, be it grave or trivial.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 20, 2018, 10:04:35 pm
One thing that is a puzzle to me and to my suspicious mind is the link between the Metrobust organisation, First Group and BCT (Bristol Community Transport).

Way back in the darker days of delays with the preparation of the infrastructure a news headline read something like the Metrobust organisation were unable to find a bus operator to operate this lengthy m1 route. The timescale on this may have been before the decision of the Metrobust organisation to abandon the concept of the service operator paying the organisation fees to use the infrastructure (akin to Network Rails Track Access Charges).

Then there came the surprise that BCT, a charitable organisation, were to operate the m1 route, whats more. is to operate the route using brand new CNG fuelled vehicles. Now where has a charity got cash resources to splash out on what £700,000.00 each on a fleet of buses to operate the service on what, I have read, under contract to First Bus. Maybe, First Group, would not have been eligible for grants to obtain the fleet of vehicles to operate the route but by nominating a charitable body to operate the service, the Metrobust organisation was able to manipulate the rules. By now I sense a nasty smell drifting past my sensitive nose particularly as an earlier post suggested that First Bus had received a £1 million grant to install a CNG refuelling point at the Lawrence Hill depot. I have seen it reported that delays to the opening of the m1 service being due to the need to install a CNG refuelling point at their Parsons Street depot which BCT have moved into latterly because their previous premises were too small to operate this m1 service out of.

Earlier today I saw a photo on the Bristol Post website of a line up of at least 7 branded vehicles for the m1 route in which JF appeared together with 3 males which I did not recognise. I CAN understand why JF was in the piccy due to the 'under contract to First' emphasised in recent publicity but it would be nice for Metrobus to acknowledge the assistance First Bus has given the Metrobus outfit in getting m1 ready to commence services on January 6th 2019.

Also the paper tickets issued at the I-Points alse bare all the hallmarks of being a First Bus ticket, I cant see the Metrobust organisation modifying the I-Point software to issue the paper tickets for use on First Bus service m3 only of or for use on BCT operated service m1 only. they'll all be issued as First tickets although the credit/debit card receipt comes out baring the logo of TravelWest. That's something else !!!!

I shall have to be quick now as I'm quickly getting to the point where I will need oxygen to survive but having browsed online a combined timetable earlier today of the m1, m3 and U3 service, it has all the hallmarks of being a typical First Bus Bristol publication. See it at ;-

https://www.firstgroup.com/uploads/news-attach/m1_m3_u3.pdf


Now wheres that oxygen.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on December 20, 2018, 11:47:48 pm
I have wondered at the setup too. Back at the dawn of the MetroBust project, when Tim Kent was the Bristol Councillor in charge and the Lib Dems (remember them?) were in charge of the council, charges to use the infrastructure were an important part of the plan. The idea was for the councils to be able to borrow enough money to pay for their share of the £160 million cost of the three schemes, and recover it in part from payments by grateful bus operators. There would not just be the Long Ashton Park and Ride, oh no! All the buses from Portishead, Clevedon and Weston Super Mare would use the new guided busway too. The Post asked someone from First - might have been James Freeman, I'm not sure - what they thought of this. The short answer was that they didn't see any need for the guided bit, and wouldn't pay to use it. They also said it would be silly to have the out-of-town buses using it because of the considerably lengthened journey time, what with the distance and the wait for the single-track section.

The lack of an operator so long into the process was another puzzlement. The Cambridgeshire BRT had two operators signed up before construction began, although their expensive new buses had to wait 3 years to use the guided bit. Now whatever some people in Bristol may think, First know how to run buses. So do Stagecoach, RATP, Arriva, Goahead, and others. You would have expected quite a tussle between the big boys if this was ever going to be a jewel in the crown, but there was only silence. Because?

Maybe because the nature of MetroBust is not that of a franchise. Any operator can apply to run services on it so long as they agree to abide by the terms of the Quality Partnership Scheme (QPS) (https://travelwest.info/projects/metrobus/quality-partnership-scheme-qps) which covers quality of vehicles, frequency, fares, performance monitoring etc. This rather leaves the councils over a barrel. First only agreed to take on the M2 and M3 routes after the tolls were suspended for an unspecified period. Any other operator could test the water, but none has chosen to do so. If they decide to reinstate the fees, the bus operators can say no, and alter their routes. The WECA mayor could take control under the powers he has been urged to use, but that takes the risk largely out of the bus companies' hands,a and they can tell him that if he is effect making them use toll roads, he had better pay the tolls for them.

Of course, we are now looking at how the councils will fund their share of a much bigger bill - around £250 million that has been admitted so far. There is no other guaranteed revenue stream - much depends on Community Infrastructure Levy payments from developers for houses not yet at the planning stage, and they are not normally used to pay off debt incurred previously. Another source of income was going to be voluntary donations by local companies eager to help a scheme that will profit them greatly. So far, the Airport has chipped in a million, and that's it. You could say there is something of a black hole in the finances.

So why BCT? Were MetroBust reluctant, having told us what a magnificent change in the way we do transport MetroBust would be, to hand the whole lot over to the dominant player in the city on a plate? Or are First boxing clever, and offloading at least some of the risk of running potentially the most awkward of the three routes? The grants martyjon mentions for buses and refuelling kit were not, IIRC, awarded to specific companies - I don't know what deal was struck behind closed doors to allocate the cash. First are the operators of the route, AIUI, and have contracted the actual work to BCT. Has a similar setup ever happened somewhere else?

I'm puzzled.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on December 21, 2018, 07:55:25 am
Is BCT not owned by the City Council? Could it be that it was seen as a way to support a charitable organisation when the council don't have the funds?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 21, 2018, 08:50:02 am
Is BCT not owned by the City Council? Could it be that it was seen as a way to support a charitable organisation when the council don't have the funds?

No. AIUI BCT is part of the HCT group. Google 'HCT Group' for more detail.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 21, 2018, 09:50:51 am
https://www.firstgroup.com/uploads/news-attach/m1_m3_u3.pdf

Anyone spotted the deliberate mistake tracing the route of the U3 on the route map. Any double decker complying with the routing shown starting as a double decker would end up at the other end as a single decker. If single deckers are used have the visionaries of Metrobust produced a visionary exit from and entry to the M32 from Hambrooks Filton Road.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on December 21, 2018, 11:16:28 am
Not sure which low bridge you have in mind, but I have to agree that passengers would feel one hell of a bump when they turned left off the M32 slip road and fell 4m onto Filton Road...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 21, 2018, 11:42:31 am
Not sure which low bridge you have in mind, but I have to agree that passengers would feel one hell of a bump when they turned left off the M32 slip road and fell 4m onto Filton Road...

That's the low bridge which carries the M32 and slip roads over Filton Road, Hambrook but what I posted was misleading as it would only apply in one direction, UWE to the City Centre would the double decker conversion occur. Posted before I had engaged my brain again.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on December 21, 2018, 07:56:39 pm
Is BCT not owned by the City Council? Could it be that it was seen as a way to support a charitable organisation when the council don't have the funds?

No. AIUI BCT is part of the HCT group. Google 'HCT Group' for more detail.
You're right. And their website says they run several non-Metro bus routes in Bristol too.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on December 22, 2018, 12:41:48 am
Is BCT not owned by the City Council? Could it be that it was seen as a way to support a charitable organisation when the council don't have the funds?

No. AIUI BCT is part of the HCT group. Google 'HCT Group' for more detail.
You're right. And their website says they run several non-Metro bus routes in Bristol too.

Correct about HCT, and also correct about other non-MetroBust services in the area. The latter tend to be the oddments of the network, though, those little low-frequency services between points that other companies don't think would work, using smaller single-deck vehicles. The ones I know about in Bristol are:
505 - Long Ashton Park and Ride to Southmead Hospital
506 - Broadmead to Southmead Hospital
511 - Bedminster to Hengrove
512 - Broadmead to Bedminster
52 - South Bristol Hospital to Old Market

The 511 and 512 take a less than direct route, to connect up bits of the city in between. I think the 52 was taken over from ABus. All are subsidised. It seems a huge leap from six bus a day community bus routes run in other companies' hand-me-downs to six buses per hour in spanky new ultra-green vehicles.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on December 22, 2018, 09:53:47 am
Is BCT not owned by the City Council? Could it be that it was seen as a way to support a charitable organisation when the council don't have the funds?

No. AIUI BCT is part of the HCT group. Google 'HCT Group' for more detail.
You're right. And their website says they run several non-Metro bus routes in Bristol too.

Correct about HCT, and also correct about other non-MetroBust services in the area. The latter tend to be the oddments of the network, though, those little low-frequency services between points that other companies don't think would work, using smaller single-deck vehicles. The ones I know about in Bristol are:
505 - Long Ashton Park and Ride to Southmead Hospital
506 - Broadmead to Southmead Hospital
511 - Bedminster to Hengrove
512 - Broadmead to Bedminster
52 - South Bristol Hospital to Old Market

The 511 and 512 take a less than direct route, to connect up bits of the city in between. I think the 52 was taken over from ABus. All are subsidised. It seems a huge leap from six bus a day community bus routes run in other companies' hand-me-downs to six buses per hour in spanky new ultra-green vehicles.

My bolding in the quotes above summarises precisely what led me to post earlier on this thread of an obnoxious smell drifting past my nose and led to my puzzlement coupled with my suspicious mind in questioning whether or not there is something underhanded 'work in progress' to get this final phase up and running.

By the way, can I make a request to First Bus, I am fed up viewing the video on these lovely SCANIA buses and am fed up with being told that if everyone used m-tickets it would save 98,123 litres of fuel, 148,987 trees, 987 miles of paper tickets .... Can we have a new video for the New Year please.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on December 22, 2018, 01:39:41 pm
...By the way, can I make a request to First Bus, I am fed up viewing the video on these lovely SCANIA buses and am fed up with being told that if everyone used m-tickets it would save 98,123 litres of fuel, 148,987 trees, 987 miles of paper tickets .... Can we have a new video for the New Year please.

I'm not sure why you are asking our permission to do this, but I for one am more than happy for you to make such a request! Here are their contact details: https://www.firstgroup.com/bristol-bath-and-west/about-us/contact-us :):):):)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on December 27, 2018, 09:04:21 am
With 2018 coming to an end, and the fabled M1 route about to start in a weeks time, is Metrobus ready?

With the lack of any pre 0730 trains today, I decided to use the T1 bus from Willow Brook Centre this morning. One of the bus stops is still lacking its Ticket and Information point.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: chuffed on January 10, 2019, 06:15:05 pm
Big Eval reincarnated on the metrobus m1 announcements ! First time I have heard a regional accent announcement on a bus ! Radio Bristol aficionados of the 70's will remember her classic 'conversations' (if you can call them that!) with 'Old Pete' Lawrence. Those were golden halcyon days for the station.  IMHO. Half expecting Roger Bennett and the blue notes jazz band to get on board. We were thanked for travelling with Bristol Community Transport and I thought an 'orl roight me luvver? might have been forthcoming but it wasn't, so i just used the default Brizzle fallback of 'Cheers Drive'! ;D


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on January 10, 2019, 09:04:09 pm
Yep, nearly spilt my coffee as we approached Queen's Square with her pronunciation - so Bristolian.

Really refreshing after all the antiseptic announcements on other buses and trains.

Today was the first time I have seen back to back M1 buses. Missed the first one by seconds (@Broadmead), got ready for a 10+ minute wait but then next bus appeared seconds later.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on January 10, 2019, 11:05:38 pm
Today was the first time I have seen back to back M1 buses. Missed the first one by seconds (@Broadmead), got ready for a 10+ minute wait but then next bus appeared seconds later.

So was one 9 minutes late or the other 9 minutes early?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on January 11, 2019, 07:29:38 am
Not sure, just crossing Rupert St as the first M1 went past heading for Cribbs Causeway.

About a minute later I had crossed Rupert St (Pedestrian crossing lights ...), and the next M1 appeared and I had to dash to get to the Broadmead stop on Lewins Mead.

Not sure if I care much about the time table, the frequency is the most important thing. Was so impressed, but feel sorry for whoever had the extended wait.



Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on January 11, 2019, 09:28:24 am
Yep, nearly spilt my coffee as we approached Queen's Square with her pronunciation - so Bristolian.

Really refreshing after all the antiseptic announcements on other buses and trains.

Today was the first time I have seen back to back M1 buses. Missed the first one by seconds (@Broadmead), got ready for a 10+ minute wait but then next bus appeared seconds later.


Lucky you, I was waiting at ASDA in East Street Bedminster 25 minutes for an ostensibly 10 minute interval service on Monday and when an m1 finally arrived the driver was apologetic but explained it was a White Van Man irresponsibly parking his White Van in the highway in West Street Bedminster whilst he made a delivery to two premises there.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on January 11, 2019, 12:45:41 pm
I've seen reports elsewhere of MetroBusts queueing through Bemmy and Aztec West. The limited infrastructure just means they get to the pinch points more quickly. There are also grumblings about the withdrawal of some services from South Bristol.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on January 11, 2019, 02:26:46 pm
I've seen reports elsewhere of MetroBusts queueing through Bemmy and Aztec West. The limited infrastructure just means they get to the pinch points more quickly. There are also grumblings about the withdrawal of some services from South Bristol.

If only some of that road traffic at Aztec West could go be rail.   Let me see ... the nearest railway line to Aztec West is ... right by it.  And it has ... 2 local trains (Turbos are local trains, right?) and 2 expresses every hour going through already.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on January 11, 2019, 03:02:13 pm
And adding a  new M4 junction by Emerson Greern will free up traffic from the M4|M32 junction, which will in turn free up traffic from M5/Aztech West. (planned)

Adding better local buses linking Bristol Parkway to Aztech West to Chalton Hayes and Cribbs Causeway would help (wish)

Then adding a combined bus|rail smart card for local traffic will encourage more people to use public transport (common sense)

Finally, you prior suggestion of moving Patchway Station about 400m along the line to provide a joint new Patchway Station and Aztech West would also help (wish)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on January 11, 2019, 11:01:22 pm
I've seen reports elsewhere of MetroBusts queueing through Bemmy and Aztec West. The limited infrastructure just means they get to the pinch points more quickly. There are also grumblings about the withdrawal of some services from South Bristol.

If only some of that road traffic at Aztec West could go be rail.   Let me see ... the nearest railway line to Aztec West is ... right by it.  And it has ... 2 local trains (Turbos are local trains, right?) and 2 expresses every hour going through already.

"This is a job for Superman" see sorry "SEWWEB", man!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on January 12, 2019, 12:46:00 pm
Big Eval reincarnated on the metrobus m1 announcements ! First time I have heard a regional accent announcement on a bus ! Radio Bristol aficionados of the 70's will remember her classic 'conversations' (if you can call them that!) with 'Old Pete' Lawrence. Those were golden halcyon days for the station.  IMHO. Half expecting Roger Bennett and the blue notes jazz band to get on board. We were thanked for travelling with Bristol Community Transport and I thought an 'orl roight me luvver? might have been forthcoming but it wasn't, so i just used the default Brizzle fallback of 'Cheers Drive'! ;D

If, like me, you are never likely to travel on an m1 bus, you may like to hear what Fran Edwards sounds like: Here she is: https://youtu.be/kn6WEpFOa4A


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on January 25, 2019, 03:07:34 pm
My MetroBus insider tells me that some duty sheets are not being able to be completed due to these CNG fuelled vehicles prematurely running out of gas.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on January 26, 2019, 10:45:22 am
My MetroBus insider tells me that some duty sheets are not being able to be completed due to these CNG fuelled vehicles prematurely running out of gas.

I have heard reports of older buses working the MetroBust routes - can't be the M3 though. Could this be down to them spending time idling in traffic?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on January 26, 2019, 02:17:06 pm
My MetroBus insider tells me that some duty sheets are not being able to be completed due to these CNG fuelled vehicles prematurely running out of gas.

I have heard reports of older buses working the MetroBust routes - can't be the M3 though. Could this be down to them spending time idling in traffic?

I have SEEN older buses working the m3 route, not an avid bus fan but those were what I think are Wright Streetdecks and on many occasions in the past couple of weeks there seems to be a shortage of SCANIAs for the Y1 and led to moans from passengers about taking our lovely new buses away.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on January 26, 2019, 08:15:50 pm
Quote
I have heard reports of older buses working the MetroBust routes - can't be the M3 though. Could this be down to them spending time idling in traffic?

I have SEEN older buses working the m3 route, not an avid bus fan but those were what I think are Wright Streetdecks and on many occasions in the past couple of weeks there seems to be a shortage of SCANIAs for the Y1 and led to moans from passengers about taking our lovely new buses away.

I still get them muddled up! It CAN be the M3, can't be the M2, which needs the lower vehicles. So where have the Scanias gone?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on January 26, 2019, 09:21:15 pm
The undermentioned cut an pasted from a local news sheet, The Week In.

I guess his patience has worn thin at the lack of action by the LA's and WECA and I don't blame him one iota, this was brought to the attention, with photo evidence, of the authority's when m3 was launched last May


Turn 2+ lane into a proper bus lane

Dear Editor

Further to the letter from Nick in Oldland in Issue 557, headlined ‘Appalling’ abuse of ring road’s 2+ lane. He omits another alternative solution to the problem of the regular and continuing abuse of the 2+ lane on the A4174 Ring Road.

The obvious solution is to turn the 2+ lane into a proper bus lane. This would be easier to police and dramatically improve timekeeping of the metrobus and South Glos Lynx services from Yate, benefitting many hundreds of users at peak times.

James Freeman
Managing Director
First West of England


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: simonw on April 30, 2019, 05:45:46 pm
Well, the metrobus phase 1 network of

  • m3/m3x
  • m2
  • m1

has been running for three months (some parts much longer) and I can safely say today will be my last regular day. I may still use it occasionally, but it has failed my regularity test.

Today two consecutive M1 buses failed to turn up (16:12+16:22 @centre). This may not sound serious, and probably isn't, but if I want to a commute of under one hour, consecutive missing buses do not help, when compared with much shorter train journeys and frequent services.

Over the past few weeks, Metrobus m1 has been late virtually everyday, and on several days they have gone round the centre in pairs.

This was supposed to be the dawn of a new type of Bus Service. Well apart from the upgraded buses, nothing has changed.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: rogerw on April 30, 2019, 08:12:26 pm
However they dress it up it is still a bus and will get caught in traffic


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on May 01, 2019, 07:48:05 am
I got back to Bristol yesterday afternoon to see two M1s, empty, processing towards Rupert Street.

MetroBust have posted information on their facebook page, along with a picture of a happy passenger of average racial and sexual stereotype enjoying the latest Alma Cogan hit on her eye pod, about changes to the M3 during school and university holiday periods:

Quote
Metrobus BristolLike Page
April 22 at 10:12 AM
m3 new timetable from 28th April.

From Sunday 28th April, the m3 and m3x will run to a new timetable. We have seen from previous school holidays that the roads are much quieter, and often the buses are having to wait for long periods of time along the route to keep to the timetable.

Therefore, the new timetable for the quieter summer months has reduced journey times, which will allow you to get to and from Bristol more quickly.

Please check the revised times carefully as some of the m3 and m3x journeys now operate earlier than before.

The new timetable is available on our website here: http://tiny.cc/76qd5y , and new timetable leaflets will be put onto the buses this week.

Whilst this is a sensible step, it is also the first official admission that spending a quarter of a billion quid on new bus routes does not solve the problem of delays due to congestion. At least, it isn't as efficient as school holidays at making public transport faster and more reliable.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Celestial on May 01, 2019, 08:58:54 am
I'm puzzled.  In my day, the school year ran until the middle of July. So why are they speeding things up from the end of April?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: jamestheredengine on May 01, 2019, 09:11:51 am
I'm puzzled.  In my day, the school year ran until the middle of July. So why are they speeding things up from the end of April?
Presumably the effect of a good chunk of the kids being on study leave for exams?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on May 01, 2019, 10:55:06 am
I'm puzzled.  In my day, the school year ran until the middle of July. So why are they speeding things up from the end of April?
Presumably the effect of a good chunk of the kids being on study leave for exams?

and the students finish before the schools too, many now preparing for imminent exams without the need to attend lectures.

With regard to observations about empty Metrobust/Justabus sightings. Where do the figures come from saying it's such a success? All the ones I've seen have benefitted from a higher mileage due to lack of passenger weight. For the sort of money it cost they ought to be much fuller than the average bus, otherwise one might as well have just laid on a new ordinary bus route.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: GBM on May 01, 2019, 11:57:12 am
I'm puzzled.  In my day, the school year ran until the middle of July. So why are they speeding things up from the end of April?

Yes, it's all changed these days...
School will finish around mid/late July.
College will usually finish early July.
University will finish at the end of May.
However, as most will have be completing/have completed exams a slow drop off in public transport ridership will ensue.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 02, 2019, 08:29:18 am
In the past few days I have ridden the the m3x (Emersons Green Express) twice. Loadings not as many as I would have expected for this Express Service. The first and initial journey was 31 minutes from the Central Bristol starting point to my alighting at Emersons Green and yesterdays was 35 minutes for the same journey. Couldn't do it much quicker by car if I included walking to a car park and retrieving vehicle. I am surprised that there is no morning outward express services to Emersons Green and no evening inbound express services from Emersons Green to cater for those employed on the Emerald Park / Science Park Business Parks. Off peak however the service is still carrying a high proportion of fresh air around. I would be interested to see what the loading figures are for this service but I know that any divulgence of this information would be classified as 'commercially confidential' and therefore unavailable but how long can First Bus continue to operate this service at the current 20 minute frequency off peak which must be eating into the proceeds of the farebox and thus profitability achieved by the patronage in the peaks,


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Lee on May 02, 2019, 09:43:55 am
The fate of express bus services has always interested me. One of the very first lessons I got in bus service planning was when, as a fresh-faced young un in the early 90s, the Managing Director of Southdown Portsmouth, the short-lived, ultimately Monopoly-destroyed merger of Stagecoach and former corporation bus operations in the city, kindly agreed to have lunch with me.

We discussed express bus services, particularly in the context of access to much of Portsmouth being facilitated by the motorways that interact at the top of Portsea Island, and this is what he said:

Quote
Personally I love the idea of express bus services, Lee, as they look great from a network perspective. In reality though they dont work, as there just arent as many opportunities to get passengers on the bus as there are with regular bus routes.

Southdown Portsmouth was broken up not long after, and much of their Portsmouth operations were taken on by Transit Holdings, the successor group of Devon General. As was their style, they introduced high-frequency minibus operations across their network, including a number of express routes under the Blue Admiral brand. These all promptly bombed, and lasted barely longer than the minimum notice period for service changes.

I have lost count of the number of times I have seen that happen in the years since.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: GBM on May 02, 2019, 10:57:12 am
The fate of express bus services has always interested me.

I have lost count of the number of times I have seen that happen in the years since.

Fascinating, thanks Lee ;D


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 02, 2019, 11:26:24 am
It was a curious aberration, that minibus craze. Here in Bristol, in the mid-80's, they flooded routes that had hitherto used proper buses with a mixture of nearly 200 16-seater Ford Transits and 20-seater Mercedes 608Ds, branded as 'City Darts'. They were so ubiquitous that they even appeared in the soap opera 'Casualty' branded as 'Holby Hoppas'.

Standing at The Centre now, surrounded by fully-loaded full-spec double decker buses, it is hard to believe that Bristol's bus network once largely consisted of, essentially, delivery vans...


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 02, 2019, 11:42:05 am
"Holby Hoppas"  ;D

<irrelevant digression follows>
Mrs Bmblbzzz grew up in rural Poland. The buses to the nearest city, about 30km away, are provided by two services. One is the remnant of the old state-run buses (now, I think, a sort of public-private hybrid run on a regional basis), which trundles along on an timetable every hour or so using proper buses. The other is a variety of private enterprises which run at higher frequency to a purely nominal timetable using "delivery vans with seats" – most of them even still have the van doors at the back. Fares are about the same and journey time is similar, as the ex-state buses trundle slowly but only stop at scheduled stops, whereas the private minibuses reach higher speeds but stop to cram in more passengers at every opportunity. Given the choice, we always take the bigger buses, simply because it's far more pleasant to have a seat than to be crammed into a small vehicle where, even if you do get a seat, someone will be standing in your lap. Vehicle type really does make a difference. (Though another difference is the driving of the private minibuses can sometimes be a bit scary.)
<please resume Metrobus discussion>


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: johnneyw on May 02, 2019, 12:04:33 pm
It was a curious aberration, that minibus craze. Here in Bristol, in the mid-80's, they flooded routes that had hitherto used proper buses with a mixture of nearly 200 16-seater Ford Transits and 20-seater Mercedes 608Ds, branded as 'City Darts'. They were so ubiquitous that they even appeared in the soap opera 'Casualty' branded as 'Holby Hoppas'.

Standing at The Centre now, surrounded by fully-loaded full-spec double decker buses, it is hard to believe that Bristol's bus network once largely consisted of, essentially, delivery vans...

Wasn't the raison d'etre for these mini buses supposed to be that they were more suited to smaller roads, sharper turnings and presented less of an obstacle to other traffic than ordinary buses?
I can't now remember if any of their routes were where bigger buses feared to roll but it looks like the potential advantages they presented were never really there in the first place.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Reading General on May 02, 2019, 08:51:26 pm
As a driver, express or skip stop buses cause confusion and conflict with passengers. From a passenger point of view, nobody likes to stand at a bus stop and watch buses sail past possibly empty while waiting for the appropriate service, modern private bus companies wouldn't want this to happen to any potential passenger either.  I would say that express services would only work with a large grade separated road during the route but if this route also bypasses a large passenger traffic generator then potentially it wouldn't be worthwhile.
I would suggest that in many towns and cities, stop reduction on an overall bus route would be better than an express service and present a happy medium. I'm sure all of you wherever you are based could think of a main road or location where bus stops are too close together. There are two locations in Reading I can think of that have a stops with a distance of about four bus lengths between them, and they are both on the same bus route!


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on May 02, 2019, 08:56:38 pm
It was a curious aberration, that minibus craze. Here in Bristol, in the mid-80's, they flooded routes that had hitherto used proper buses with a mixture of nearly 200 16-seater Ford Transits and 20-seater Mercedes 608Ds, branded as 'City Darts'. They were so ubiquitous that they even appeared in the soap opera 'Casualty' branded as 'Holby Hoppas'.

Standing at The Centre now, surrounded by fully-loaded full-spec double decker buses, it is hard to believe that Bristol's bus network once largely consisted of, essentially, delivery vans...

Ah, young-ish Squirrel, but they boldly went where no-one had gone (nor split infinitives) before! I lived in Cotham before it got posh, then Redland before that climbed the ladder. Everywhere I moved out of seemed to enjoy a rapid rise in house prices for some reason, but I digress. At the time, the nearest bus was to be found on Gloucester Road, which meant I walked to work in Bedminster before acquiring my motorcycle. But then along came the number 20 City Dart, transforming travel! Sadly, from my selfish point of view, it became a victim of its success. The early days where I could choose my seat soon became horror stories of rain-sodden passengers steaming in proximity too close for comfort, and giving each other a fit of the vapours, and the full-sized single deckers came along. Being of the commuter belt, they were full twice a day, but never quite good enough to see the car left at home. The 20 (and 21/22) saw several changes to the outer limits of the routes, moving from Westbury, by Canford Crem, to Southmead and even Lawrence Weston, and at the other end from Ashton Vale to Whitchurch and Hengrove. Crossing the Centre made them unreliable, and the 20 became the 90 south of the Hippodrome and the 70 en route to Thornbury in the opposite direction. My point is that had it not been for the City Fart blazing the trail, there may not have been the services there are now.

Fond memories include a bearded bespectacled driver, hipster-ish before the time came and clearly living the dream, enthralled his captive audience in the days before smart phones with a full description of the subtle differences between the particular bus we were on and the rest of the fleet, because of it having come from Scotland. The door was, seemingly, an inch or two to the left of the norm, with an extra strap on the grab rail for those unable to get a seat. The stunned silence could be cut with the bluntest knife, and some people even forgot to say "Cheers Drive" on disembarkation. And there was that young lady, one of the first of the Polish imports, who, with me being her only passenger, asked me for directions. I got her as far as my front door before telling her "I haven't been further than this on the bus - you're on your own. Dziękuję Drive!"

In the past few days I have ridden the the m3x (Emersons Green Express) twice. Loadings not as many as I would have expected for this Express Service. The first and initial journey was 31 minutes from the Central Bristol starting point to my alighting at Emersons Green and yesterdays was 35 minutes for the same journey. Couldn't do it much quicker by car if I included walking to a car park and retrieving vehicle. I am surprised that there is no morning outward express services to Emersons Green and no evening inbound express services from Emersons Green to cater for those employed on the Emerald Park / Science Park Business Parks. Off peak however the service is still carrying a high proportion of fresh air around. I would be interested to see what the loading figures are for this service but I know that any divulgence of this information would be classified as 'commercially confidential' and therefore unavailable but how long can First Bus continue to operate this service at the current 20 minute frequency off peak which must be eating into the proceeds of the farebox and thus profitability achieved by the patronage in the peaks,

Tricky! The new fare structure of First in Bristol is something of a double-edged sword here, although largely beneficial. Ignoring the differences between cash or mTicket (cash not an option on MetroBust) and going for the cheapest option, any trip bar the "three stop hop" costs £2.00. If you are heading from town to Keith Emersons Green to work and are planning to go home afterwards, then a £4.00 day ticket is the no-brainer. Everybody pays the same, and the people who used to drive part of the way then park in a local street to pay a cheaper fare now go from home by bus. Others that thought an occasional bus ride at £1.50 to be good value may now walk rather than pay £2.50 because they aren't signed up to the relevant app. If First could fill the bus three times on a single route, they may make a killing, but express services generally don't do that.

Time will tell.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Lee on May 05, 2019, 10:49:23 am
Simon Ford, Commercial Manager for First West of England, has provided the following insight on the subject of express bus routes for the benefit of forum members:

Quote from: Simon Ford, Commercial Manager for First West of England
As a starting point, express bus routes that can offer comparable or ideally better journey times than travelling by car are the ones most likely to succeed.

However, there needs to be sufficient customer demand to fill the bus, which of course means stopping at bus routes. The new Service m3x is a good example where the service stops at a number of bus stops in or near residential areas before running non-stop into the City Centre. The setup of this route means the bus can fill with customers at the start of the route, where the average speed is slower and then operate non-stop.

We have recently introduced a number of other express bus routes, such as Service T1 from Thornbury, Service Y1 from Yate and Service X1x from Weston-super-Mare. These are all showing encouraging signs of customer growth.

The express buses tend to appeal much more to commuters and therefore work well at peak times Monday to Friday. Off-peak and leisure travellers do not tend to be so worried about time and the demand reduces, so express buses at these times tend not to work so well.

With express buses, we often get requests to add additional stops. While this can be good from an increasing customer numbers point of view, it can does slow the buses down and therefore there is a fine balance required. In the past we have added many additional stops to express buses and before long they simply become normal bus services, with lower average speeds and increased journey times.

We plan to introduce further express bus routes at peak times where viable in the future, however, there are a number of commercial considerations that have to be given to this. For example, operating a bus is very expensive and if the bus can only be filled in the morning peak and afternoon peak and there is no use for the bus during the off-peak, this may not actually be commercially viable.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on May 06, 2019, 08:40:58 pm
Good points from Mr Ford, and we shall see how it all works out.

Meanwhile, things are not so good in South Bristol. From MetroBust's Facebook page:

Quote
Metrobus Bristol
23 hrs ·
**m1 Important Update**

Due to another vandalism attack at Inns Court, the m1 will not serve the stops at Novers Lane, Inns Court or Filwood Broadway for the rest of the night (Sunday 5th May).

Apologies for the inconvenience we appreciate that this causes.

Notwithstanding the criticism I have levelled at MetroBust since its inception, some of it fairly harsh, I most certainly do not condone this. It does not, sadly, come as a complete surprise.The bus companies have in past times been forced to withdraw "ordinary" buses - those without a M before the number - from the area at certain times because of vandalism. Inns Court is a sprawling low rise housing estate with labyrinthine pathways offering easy escape for the sort of pondlife that enjoys throwing rocks at anything big, shiny and expensive.  I consider that MetroBust only went there to collect more BCR stickers to get the funding.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Reading General on May 06, 2019, 10:20:17 pm
Brave to withdraw. Reading Transport never withdrew from estates or sections of route because of vandalism. Largely youths biting the hand that feeds them in situations like these, who probably use the buses every other day.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on May 06, 2019, 11:11:22 pm
Brave to withdraw. Reading Transport never withdrew from estates or sections of route because of vandalism. Largely youths biting the hand that feeds them in situations like these, who probably use the buses every other day.

First never truly withdrew. Inns Court , one of the housing estates in which I plied my trade for more years than I care to count, has a sort of square that used to house a bus terminus for a couple of services that served Knowle West, the adjacent larger council estate, giving bus access to the central area. Drivers used to take a short break there. When the trouble broke out some years ago, drivers didn't stop there for breaks any more, but drove ECS to what was then an abandoned tobacco factory car park and is now Imperial Park. When that didn't stop all of the problems, some evening services were withdrawn, and eventually the terminus of the one remaining route was shifted to Hengrove. The theory that the loss of some services would lead to dobbing in of the culprits proved optimistic. Things seemed to have returned to normal in recent years, but the arrival of MetroBust seems to have stirred things up. I don't think for a second that there is any political motivation involved, just mindless vandalism, but the other services that used to pass by have been routed away. That means that the M1, run by charity BCT on behalf of First on behalf of MetroBust bears the brunt, and the expense, of the attacks.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 07, 2019, 08:06:49 pm
Over the next few days there will be a series of drop-in sessions to discuss the upcoming closure of Gipsy Patch Lane bridge, in June 2019. This initial one-month closure is required by BT; it is hoped that it may be possible to keep the route open for pedestrians and (dismounted!) cyclists. The main work of demolishing the stone arched bridge and replacing with a much wider structure, to accommodate the Cribbs Patchway Metrobus Extension, will take place later in the year.

The sessions are as follows:

Wednesday 8 May 5pm to 7pm  - Little Stoke Primary School, Little Stoke, BS34 6HY
Monday 13 May 3pm to 6pm - Patchway Community Centre, Rodway Road, Patchway, BS34 5PF
Tuesday 14 May 3pm to 5pm - Cherry Room, Baileys Court Activity Centre, Baileys Court Road, Bradley Stoke, BS32 8BH
Monday 20 May 3.30pm to 6.30pm - Stoke Gifford Parish Council, Community Hall, Little Stoke Lane, Little Stoke, BS34 6HR
Tuesday 21 May 4pm to 7pm - St Michael's Centre, The Green, Stoke Gifford, BS34 8PD
Wednesday 22 May 3pm to 6pm - BAWA Centre, 589 Southmead Rd, BS34 7RG


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: grahame on May 12, 2019, 06:35:31 am
A chance to use the Metrobus to Long Ashton Park and Ride yesterday - my first trip on this route

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/pr_20190511_01.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/pr_20190511_02.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/pr_20190511_03.jpg)

Echoing (perhaps) what's already been said / asked ... I really wonder why there's a "need" for the guided sections and wonder if a simple road for bus and emergency service use only would be just as good, and perhaps cheaper as it's such a standard thing to build flat roads and to build buses to run on them.   I also found myself wondering at the rather curvy route ... so much so, I rather found myself turned around and not knowing which direction was which!

Park and ride ... buses quiet (but then it was the quiet middle of the day, and a Saturday) and lots of available spaces in the P&R for growth - at least on Saturday.  How is it doing the rest of the week?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 12, 2019, 06:56:31 am
A chance to use the Metrobus to Long Ashton Park and Ride yesterday - my first trip on this route
(http://www.wellho.net/pix/pr_20190511_01.jpg)
(http://www.wellho.net/pix/pr_20190511_02.jpg)
(http://www.wellho.net/pix/pr_20190511_03.jpg)
Echoing (perhaps) what's already been said / asked ... I really wonder why there's a "need" for the guided sections and wonder if a simple road for bus and emergency service use only would be just as good, and perhaps cheaper as it's such a standard thing to build flat roads and to build buses to run on them.   I also found myself wondering at the rather curvy route ... so much so, I rather found myself turned around and not knowing which direction was which!

Park and ride ... buses quiet (but then it was the quiet middle of the day, and a Saturday) and lots of available spaces in the P&R for growth - at least on Saturday.  How is it doing the rest of the week?

That blue cars registered keeper will get a nice letter dropping on the their doormat shortly cos they shouldn't have been where they were in that piccy. Hmmmm.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on May 12, 2019, 10:35:53 pm

Echoing (perhaps) what's already been said / asked ... I really wonder why there's a "need" for the guided sections and wonder if a simple road for bus and emergency service use only would be just as good, and perhaps cheaper as it's such a standard thing to build flat roads and to build buses to run on them.   I also found myself wondering at the rather curvy route ... so much so, I rather found myself turned around and not knowing which direction was which!

Park and ride ... buses quiet (but then it was the quiet middle of the day, and a Saturday) and lots of available spaces in the P&R for growth - at least on Saturday.  How is it doing the rest of the week?

The need for the whole busway has been questioned by many, certainly me. The chief mysteries are the guided bit and the winding route, as you have spotted. The answers lie in the daft way we do transport in Britain. Without the dog-leg to pass close to the edge of the houses in Ashton vale, the route would not have attracted sufficient brownie points on the Benefit Cost Ratio spreadsheet to make it worthwhile. Fortunately, a significant number of the residents count as deprived, being old, infirm, or both, which helped greatly. Also, as MetroBust is the booby prize after nearly getting a tram network, it has to be "special" in a way other bus schemes are not, hence the shortest guided busway in the world.

It's supposed to have traps to stop cars getting onto it. If they are installed at the Cumberland Road end, then it doesn't look as though they work very well, but that won't save the driver of the car from a fine. Just as well really - the access charges for bus operators were dropped, removing the sole revenue flow for the project, so sixty quid from a careless driver will be a welcome contribution to the repayment of the rather large loan taken out to pay for it.

The park and ride has never been particularly well patronised. First thing in the morning and afternoon peak are pretty busy, but I have never seen it come close to being full. Such popularity as it enjoys is likely to drop somewhat when the Portishead railway opens.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 13, 2019, 10:38:01 am
The 'car trap' is at the southern end of that bridge. In fact the driver of the blue car has just passed the sign warning of it, though I'm sure there are other signs where the route joins Cumberland Road.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 13, 2019, 11:44:18 am
It was a curious aberration, that minibus craze. Here in Bristol, in the mid-80's, they flooded routes that had hitherto used proper buses with a mixture of nearly 200 16-seater Ford Transits and 20-seater Mercedes 608Ds, branded as 'City Darts'. They were so ubiquitous that they even appeared in the soap opera 'Casualty' branded as 'Holby Hoppas'.

Standing at The Centre now, surrounded by fully-loaded full-spec double decker buses, it is hard to believe that Bristol's bus network once largely consisted of, essentially, delivery vans...

Ah, young-ish Squirrel, but they boldly went where no-one had gone (nor split infinitives) before! I lived in Cotham before it got posh, then Redland before that climbed the ladder. Everywhere I moved out of seemed to enjoy a rapid rise in house prices for some reason, but I digress. At the time, the nearest bus was to be found on Gloucester Road, which meant I walked to work in Bedminster before acquiring my motorcycle. But then along came the number 20 City Dart, transforming travel! Sadly, from my selfish point of view, it became a victim of its success. The early days where I could choose my seat soon became horror stories of rain-sodden passengers steaming in proximity too close for comfort, and giving each other a fit of the vapours, and the full-sized single deckers came along. Being of the commuter belt, they were full twice a day, but never quite good enough to see the car left at home. The 20 (and 21/22) saw several changes to the outer limits of the routes, moving from Westbury, by Canford Crem, to Southmead and even Lawrence Weston, and at the other end from Ashton Vale to Whitchurch and Hengrove. Crossing the Centre made them unreliable, and the 20 became the 90 south of the Hippodrome and the 70 en route to Thornbury in the opposite direction. My point is that had it not been for the City Fart blazing the trail, there may not have been the services there are now.
City Dart buses are hailed by the Bristol Post-Life today in one of those "Wasn't everything great before they made it good" pieces.
Quote
They were a bit rubbish, small, and not exactly efficient, but they were Bristol’s. Cheap, convenient and with the word ‘dart’, like it was going to get you there quicker than a giant double decker, it was like being in a big car with the family you didn’t know.
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/6-things-bristol-loved-most-2856319

(I'm glad the flyover's gone)


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: martyjon on May 17, 2019, 06:57:49 am
So BCC is not the only LA to waste money on bus shelters being erected AFTER a route has been axed, BBC R4 news reporting residents of an area of Rotherham are perplexed after council workman arrived and erected a £6000 bus shelter at a stop that had recently seen the service axed. Reminiscent of the £20000 BCC spent in the Lawrence Weston area on 2 bus shelters opposite each other on a route where First Bus re-routed their service and the Wessex contracted service was withdrawn. Oh well its only taxpayers money and theres plenty of that sloshing around looking for a project to be spent on.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Reading General on May 17, 2019, 08:05:16 am
This occurs everywhere and demonstrates the lack of communication between councils and bus companies. The three councils which cover the suburban areas of Reading not in the Borough, continue to make mistakes with public transport investment. A few years ago South Oxfordshire council changed the road layout at Peppard Common without even realising it was a bus terminus, leaving buses to reverse for a few weeks until somebody let them know. Wokingham council, that cover east Reading, fitted Kassel kerbs on the wrong side of the road on a terminal loop in Lower Earley. Reading borough council even own Reading buses but have still fitted Kassel kerbs in the wrong position at stops and renew bus flags long out of use. One was renewed a few years back on a section of route which buses could no longer fit down and hadn't been used since the 80's. It is still there now!
Public transport planning should include all parties and mimic the corporation transport departments of the past. However, things have changed and bus companies now see themselves as selling a product rather than providing an integrated service and no longer like to bother themselves with attention to detail like the location or use of stops. Similar, councils simply install the latest bus stop technology at every stop whether on a route or not and don't seem to be bothered if it works or not just happy to tick a box.
Incidentally, many Kassel kerb installations I see around the country, unless parallel with the roadway, are largely in the wrong locations and useless, damaging the vehicles more than helping them. Most modern vehicles have the drop floor ability and wheelchair ramps so these types of kerb are no longer necessary and it's about time money stopped being wasted on them. They are a bit of a watered down version of the original idea anyhow. To be useful, the gutter would have to be part of the kerb to provide level boarding.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: ellendune on May 17, 2019, 08:32:14 am
All this seems to be as much about the ridiculous government policy that took public transport regulation powers from local authorities outside London as it does about the timing and location of bus shelters. 

Since funding for bus shelters presumably comes from local transport grant funding, is the problem also tied up with the lead times on those grants and the specificity that has to be included in those applications that amounts to micro management from London?


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on May 17, 2019, 03:13:35 pm
As the transport minister reminded the Western Super Mayor (© Bignosemac), he has the power to do like London for buses. Not, it would seem, the enthusiasm.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 20, 2019, 10:21:36 am
Quote
£56.9m funding boost for metrobus
More than £56m investment has been approved by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and the West of England Joint Committee to extend the metrobus network to help more people get on board with bus travel.

The Cribbs Patchway metrobus extension will link the Bristol Parkway railway station and The Mall bus via the Cribbs Patchway New Neighbourhood re-development site at the former Filton Airfield, the Horizon 38 development site, Gipsy Patch Lane and Hatchet Road.

The scheme includes the replacement of the existing railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane with a new wider bridge to relieve the current pinch point, the extension and signalisation of the San Andreas roundabout to allow a new bus only arm to link to the Cribbs Patchway New Neighbourhood, and bus lanes on Gipsy Patch Lane. New metrobus stops and walking & cycling infrastructure are also included.

[...]

At the meeting, the WECA Committee also agreed to allocate £300,000 to South Gloucestershire Council to co-fund the £670,000 package of works led by Great Western Railway to improve the bus/rail interchange at Bristol Parkway Station. The improvements will include new bus shelters for local bus services and new branded metrobus stops, including real time information, an electronic information point and off-bus ticket dispenser, changes to taxi and drop-off points and the remodelling of the station forecourt.

[...full press release here (https://www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/56-9m-funding-boost-metrobus/)]
Source: WECA


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: TonyK on June 21, 2019, 09:09:18 pm
Quote
£56.9m funding boost for metrobus
More than £56m investment has been approved by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and the West of England Joint Committee to extend the metrobus network to help more people get on board with bus travel.

The Cribbs Patchway metrobus extension will link the Bristol Parkway railway station and The Mall bus via the Cribbs Patchway New Neighbourhood re-development site at the former Filton Airfield, the Horizon 38 development site, Gipsy Patch Lane and Hatchet Road.

The scheme includes the replacement of the existing railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane with a new wider bridge to relieve the current pinch point, the extension and signalisation of the San Andreas roundabout to allow a new bus only arm to link to the Cribbs Patchway New Neighbourhood, and bus lanes on Gipsy Patch Lane. New metrobus stops and walking & cycling infrastructure are also included.


Oh good, another new road widening scheme.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: Celestial on June 23, 2019, 04:07:16 pm

, the extension and signalisation of the San Andreas roundabout
I hope the new lights won't be faulty.


Title: Re: MetroBus
Post by: rogerw on June 23, 2019, 08:34:57 pm
Could a local explain where the San Andreas roundabout is. I assume we are not talking about California



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