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Journey by Journey => Bristol (WECA) Commuters => Topic started by: TonyK on February 19, 2021, 12:12:55 pm



Title: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: TonyK on February 19, 2021, 12:12:55 pm
There has been many a false dawn in the saga of public transport in the West of England, so one could be forgiven for receiving this latest episode with a rolling of the eyes. But who knows? Something has to happen one day. Bristol 24/7 (https://www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/news/could-a-tram-network-be-on-the-cards-for-bristol/) carries the story:

Quote
COULD A TRAM NETWORK BE ON THE CARDS FOR BRISTOL?
By ELLIE PIPE, Thursday Feb 18, 2021

The network of trams that once linked neighbourhoods across Bristol has long been consigned to the history books.

But it is a system that could be re-introduced as part of a new future vision for transport in the city currently being considered by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).

Bath and Bristol Area Trams Association (BBATA) has spearheaded a campaign to introduce a tram or light rail system in the two cities and says its calls are now being “taken seriously” by the regional authority.

WECA has invested £1.5m to identify options for a mass transit system, which could be made up of several different types of transport.

One possible proposal on the table is to build a regional system (that could be tram, light rail or underground) with four main lines:

Line one: Along the route of the A4 from Temple Meads to Bath.
Line two: To North Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
Line three: Between Bristol Airport and Temple Meads.
Line four: Into east Bristol.
WECA’s Joint Local Transport Plan states: “Transformational infrastructure in the form of mass transit (e.g. light rail, tram, tram-train or underground) is identified for these corridors.

“This is necessary to provide a step change in the capacity and quality of public transport on the busiest corridors, that can respond to the significant forecast increase in trips across the region. It will also provide a more attractive alternative to trips by car. “

Feasibility work is underway to investigate how potential “mass transit corridors” could work, with the document acknowledging it will be “very challenging” to implement an ‘on-street’ system through certain areas.

The estimated cost of delivering WECA’s “transformational major schemes package” is £3bn-£5bn.

Welcoming the latest work, BBATA chair David Andrews said: “We have conclusively demonstrated that only a tram or light-rail system can deliver a low carbon, low pollution economic regeneration of our towns and cities.

“This has already been found to be the case in eight other UK cities, with trams or light-rail at the heart of the systems integrated with feeder buses for rural areas and lightly trafficked routes.”

Bristol’s transport woes and congestion levels have long been a source of frustration in the city, compounded by decades of inaction and underinvestment.

In 2017, mayor Marvin Rees first unveiled plans for an underground or mass transport system, saying such a network could be the answer to the city’s problems.

Four years on and plans for a mass transit system are now being firmed up by WECA as part of the regional transport plan.

It comes as pressure builds to provide a sustainable, cost-effective and reliable alternative to driving, with the clean air zone set to come into play at the end of October, from which time non-compliant private vehicles will be charged £9 a day to enter the city centre.

David and his fellow campaigners argue that while trams have a higher initial cost than buses, this is “more than repaid over their lifespan through much lower running costs, less pollution and “generally higher standards of service”.

BBATA representatives say they fully support the new vision from WECA and Bristol’s mayor and look forward to working with them to achieve the “long overdue initiative, at speed”.

WECA has said a variety of transport options are currently being assessed to understand which technologies might work best for the region.

Over the next few months, route options will be developed across Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire that have the potential to connect the highest volumes of people, city and town centres and employment hubs.

Following this early work, a public consultation will be held later in 2021.

Regional mayor Tim Bowles said: “I’m putting an end to decades of under-investment in our transport network to get our region moving. From our regional mass transit system, to our transformational MetroWest rail network and continued support for metrobus, we are providing the sort of sustainable transport network that a region like ours needs.

“All of this work, especially the mass transit system, is being based on the evidence of what is the most appropriate technologies for the West of England and my officers and I have been researching a variety of potential options for a number of years.”

No decisions on possible modes of transport have been made yet and WECA warns it is still too early to understand what a mass transit system might like.



The article goes over the usual pros and cons, and says that WECA is at last taking the idea seriously. My own inner septic thinks "Heard it all before", and the last grandiose plans ended up as a couple of new roads, a segregated expressway for the airport, and some bus lanes, so my expectations are low. The usual time for tram stories is August, though, and this is February. There are mayoral elections in the offing, of course, but this is at too early a stage to be of much use at the hustings. It is hot on the heels of Mayor Marvin's announcement of price suggestions for Bristol's clean air zone, and could be seen as a sugaring of that bitter pill, but the organisation promoting trams outside of WECA seems to be autonomous.

Bristol and Bath Area Tram Association (https://bathtrams.uk/press-release-weca-bristol-bbata-bath-and-bristol-area-trams-association-working-together-to-deliver-trams-for-residents/) has a website that looks a bit more professional than others I have seen over the years, although it is rather focussed on Bath.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Robin Summerhill on February 19, 2021, 12:38:47 pm
Air Traffic Control is going to get concerned about all these pigs flying around over Bristol

They'll have to start shooting them down to make room for the flying taxis...

 ;)


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: TonyK on February 19, 2021, 05:01:27 pm
Air Traffic Control is going to get concerned about all these pigs flying around over Bristol

They'll have to start shooting them down to make room for the flying taxis...

 ;)

You are so cynical! So negative! And so right... :)


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Red Squirrel on February 19, 2021, 05:49:12 pm
Out of interest, why does Bristol get an '(again)' whilst Bath doesn't? Bath had a tram system which it disbanded in 1939, beating Bristol by two years. For a brief period both systems were run by the Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company, and there was even talk of connecting them... which is, one might say, a thought!


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: grahame on February 19, 2021, 05:55:41 pm
Out of interest, why does Bristol get an '(again)' whilst Bath doesn't?

Perhaps because they were under consideration for Bristol on a previous occasion within living memory - from Wikipedai[/quote]

 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Supertram)
Quote
Bristol Supertram was a proposed light rail system for the Bristol and South Gloucestershire regions of England. In 2001, the project was given backing from the government to build a line that would link the city centre with the North Bristol region, but the project was cancelled in 2004.

but there was no consideration that I'm aware of for a Bath system at that time.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Red Squirrel on February 19, 2021, 06:09:34 pm
Out of interest, why does Bristol get an '(again)' whilst Bath doesn't?

Perhaps because they were under consideration for Bristol on a previous occasion within living memory - from Wikipedai (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Supertram)

Quote
Bristol Supertram was a proposed light rail system for the Bristol and South Gloucestershire regions of England. In 2001, the project was given backing from the government to build a line that would link the city centre with the North Bristol region, but the project was cancelled in 2004.

but there was no consideration that I'm aware of for a Bath system at that time.

Hmm, well, in the discussion of the Avon Light Rail Transit Bill (https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1989/jan/24/avon-light-rail-transit-bill-lords) of 1989 Jerry Wiggin stated:

Quote
Further routes will aim to serve south Bristol and the area which have recently been incorporated, with parliamentary approval, in the new urban development corporation for Bristol. Advanced Transport for Avon, promoter of this and subsequent Bills, has also expressed its desire to serve the Avonmouth area and the city of Bath, whose particular traffic problems have now exceeded manageable levels.

So it has been considered before.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: TonyK on February 19, 2021, 08:20:12 pm
Out of interest, why does Bristol get an '(again)' whilst Bath doesn't? Bath had a tram system which it disbanded in 1939, beating Bristol by two years. For a brief period both systems were run by the Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company, and there was even talk of connecting them... which is, one might say, a thought!

Good question. The main reason is that I have never lived in Bath, but in my 41 years in Bristol, I saw three "serious" attempts to reintroduce trams. All of them would have hit the buffers had there been any, hence my "again". I wasn't there in 1941 when Bristol's last tram made its final half journey. Stick with me though - the two other places where I have spent five or more years of my life both have trams, so you never know.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: froome on February 19, 2021, 08:30:12 pm

Bristol and Bath Area Tram Association (https://bathtrams.uk/press-release-weca-bristol-bbata-bath-and-bristol-area-trams-association-working-together-to-deliver-trams-for-residents/) has a website that looks a bit more professional than others I have seen over the years, although it is rather focussed on Bath.

It is the Bath & Bristol Area Trams Association, not Bristol & Bath, because it was set up and is run by one activist in Bath, hence being Bath-focused, and until recently was just the Bath Area Trams Group. There has been a lively, public debate about their proposals for Bath over the last couple of years, and they seem to have recently expanded their territory to cover Bristol, no doubt because WECA hold the purse strings.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: johnneyw on February 19, 2021, 09:07:39 pm
Bristol to Bath trams?  Now there were two Bristol to Bath train lines, now just one.  The days of Railway mania saw route duplication with inevitability no more than one of them surviving.  Now with an already frequent and likely increasing Bristol- Bath railway service being due with Metrowest, should this be a priority? Especially if Temple Meads and Bath Spa get served eventually by each city's tram service?


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Red Squirrel on February 19, 2021, 11:44:56 pm
A heavy rail service would at best serve four intermediate stations between Bristol and Bath, and even that would be challenging to timetable. A tram service broadly following the A4 could serve maybe 15 stops, and they'd be better located to serve local destinations.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: johnneyw on February 20, 2021, 12:11:21 am
A heavy rail service would at best serve four intermediate stations between Bristol and Bath, and even that would be challenging to timetable. A tram service broadly following the A4 could serve maybe 15 stops, and they'd be better located to serve local destinations.

Fair point that and I suppose it eases the dwell time at the already very busy Bath Spa if some of the Bristol-Bath rail passenger traffic moved to trams.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: grahame on February 20, 2021, 07:40:41 am
A heavy rail service would at best serve four intermediate stations between Bristol and Bath, and even that would be challenging to timetable. A tram service broadly following the A4 could serve maybe 15 stops, and they'd be better located to serve local destinations.

Indeed.  There are other heavy rail corridors duplicated by trams so there is a precedent.
- Birmingham to Wolverhampton
- Nottingham to Hucknall
- Manchester to Rochdale
Each a different case, of course ...


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Robin Summerhill on February 20, 2021, 11:27:57 am
Air Traffic Control is going to get concerned about all these pigs flying around over Bristol

They'll have to start shooting them down to make room for the flying taxis...

 ;)

You are so cynical! So negative! And so right... :)


Yes well...

The first time I heard about a proposed tram system for Bristol (or was it an underground metro system – can’t remember for certain now) in 1968 or 1969. Since then we have had umpteen schemes, some more hare-brained than others, for metro systems, tram systems, express bus systems (and look what happened to that), on a regular basis.

They often come along just before the City Council elections are due...

Now, leaving all this hyperbole to one side, what have we actually seen come to fruition since 1969?

Bristol Parkway station
Filton Junction closed and replaced with Abbey Wood
Reopening of Yate
Opening a new station at Cam and Dursley which almost, but not quite, is in place of Coaley Junction.

And also a lot of talk...

I’m sorry – I’ve heard it all before. I shall believe it when Marvin or one of his distant successors gets out there with his silver spade and cuts the first sod. Until then I will remain a cynic and poke fun from time to time.

And I do honestly hope that that statement comes back to bit me on the bum in years to come. The trouble is, it will probably be down to my great great great grandchildren to employ a medium to tell me  ;)




Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Lee on February 20, 2021, 12:04:58 pm
Air Traffic Control is going to get concerned about all these pigs flying around over Bristol

They'll have to start shooting them down to make room for the flying taxis...

 ;)

You are so cynical! So negative! And so right... :)


Yes well...

The first time I heard about a proposed tram system for Bristol (or was it an underground metro system – can’t remember for certain now) in 1968 or 1969. Since then we have had umpteen schemes, some more hare-brained than others, for metro systems, tram systems, express bus systems (and look what happened to that), on a regular basis.

They often come along just before the City Council elections are due...

Now, leaving all this hyperbole to one side, what have we actually seen come to fruition since 1969?

Bristol Parkway station
Filton Junction closed and replaced with Abbey Wood
Reopening of Yate
Opening a new station at Cam and Dursley which almost, but not quite, is in place of Coaley Junction.

And also a lot of talk...

I’m sorry – I’ve heard it all before. I shall believe it when Marvin or one of his distant successors gets out there with his silver spade and cuts the first sod. Until then I will remain a cynic and poke fun from time to time.

And I do honestly hope that that statement comes back to bit me on the bum in years to come. The trouble is, it will probably be down to my great great great grandchildren to employ a medium to tell me  ;)

Wot no Worle?... (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worle_railway_station)


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: TonyK on February 20, 2021, 12:07:05 pm

It is the Bath & Bristol Area Trams Association, not Bristol & Bath, because it was set up and is run by one activist in Bath, hence being Bath-focused, and until recently was just the Bath Area Trams Group. There has been a lively, public debate about their proposals for Bath over the last couple of years, and they seem to have recently expanded their territory to cover Bristol, no doubt because WECA hold the purse strings.

My bad. My apologies to all concerned, and thank you, froome, for pointing out my error. Bath does indeed have an excellent case in its own right, and has been a lot more vocal than any Bristol groups - if there still are any. Campaigning for better transport in Bristol has always been pushing the rock uphill, as indeed it has been in Uphill.

A heavy rail service would at best serve four intermediate stations between Bristol and Bath, and even that would be challenging to timetable. A tram service broadly following the A4 could serve maybe 15 stops, and they'd be better located to serve local destinations.

Indeed.  There are other heavy rail corridors duplicated by trams so there is a precedent.
- Birmingham to Wolverhampton
- Nottingham to Hucknall
- Manchester to Rochdale
Each a different case, of course ...

I am familiar with two of those, both of which use a former heavy rail alignment. I don't know Nottingham. Manchester to Rochdale via Oldham Mumps wasn't really a line from Manchester to Rochdale, more a line from Oldham to Manchester and Rochdale. The direct route from Manchester to Rochdale was much faster, but it did cater for a few intermediate stops. Same with Manchester Piccadilly to the airport - the heavy train is much faster, but the tram serves many residential areas. That point would certainly apply to Bristol - Bath by tram. If you were starting at Bath Spa and going to Temple Meads or vv, then the train is the obvious choice, and probably still so if you were heading for Brislington. Keynsham would depend on where you were in relation to the two modes. I used to work occasionally in Bath when I lived in Brislington. It was quicker (and less unpleasant) to catch the X39 to Temple Meads then jump on a train that it was to take the bus all the way.

Yes well...

The first time I heard about a proposed tram system for Bristol (or was it an underground metro system – can’t remember for certain now) in 1968 or 1969. Since then we have had umpteen schemes, some more hare-brained than others, for metro systems, tram systems, express bus systems (and look what happened to that), on a regular basis.

They often come along just before the City Council elections are due...

For me, the first iteration was ATA with Richard Cotterill at the helm, about 1980. The idea was good, but even then, I didn't think the finance model would work. The idea was to pay for it from the increased value of property along the route, and I couldn't see how you could do that without owning said property. The plan that bit the dust in 2005, with everyone blaming everyone else, came closest to happening. My own theory is that South Glos lost their nerve when it came to putting down the pen and picking up a shovel. Trams, and any other fanciful schemes, have long since ceased to be a vote-winner, although anyone who came along with a properly worked out and costed plan would have a huge advantage.

Quote
And I do honestly hope that that statement comes back to bit me on the bum in years to come. The trouble is, it will probably be down to my great great great grandchildren to employ a medium to tell me  ;)

Crazy, isn't it.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: johnneyw on February 20, 2021, 12:20:35 pm
A heavy rail service would at best serve four intermediate stations between Bristol and Bath, and even that would be challenging to timetable. A tram service broadly following the A4 could serve maybe 15 stops, and they'd be better located to serve local destinations.

Indeed.  There are other heavy rail corridors duplicated by trams so there is a precedent.
- Birmingham to Wolverhampton
- Nottingham to Hucknall
- Manchester to Rochdale
Each a different case, of course ...

That could possibly decide the issue of whether to reopen a station at Saltford or not, especially if the majority of potential passenger journeys are identified as being to and from Bristol and Bath.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Red Squirrel on February 20, 2021, 06:06:52 pm
...Trams, and any other fanciful schemes, have long since ceased to be a vote-winner...

Is that true?

It's all a bit complicated because different levels of government have their irons in the fire for different reasons. As we've seen recently with pop-up bike lanes, Central Government can be seen to be doing the right thing by telling local authorities to implement schemes for which, if they work out well, they can take the credit. Obviously if they turn out badly then that's the fault of the local authorities...

Here in Bristol the local and regional authorities all seem to agree that there's political capital to be made from talk of rapid transit. So presumably they still think these schemes are vote-winners, as does Central Government who have generously agreed to give them back some of their tax revenue to pay for it.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Lee on February 20, 2021, 07:24:09 pm
...Trams, and any other fanciful schemes, have long since ceased to be a vote-winner...

Is that true?

It's all a bit complicated because different levels of government have their irons in the fire for different reasons. As we've seen recently with pop-up bike lanes, Central Government can be seen to be doing the right thing by telling local authorities to implement schemes for which, if they work out well, they can take the credit. Obviously if they turn out badly then that's the fault of the local authorities...

Here in Bristol the local and regional authorities all seem to agree that there's political capital to be made from talk of rapid transit. So presumably they still think these schemes are vote-winners, as does Central Government who have generously agreed to give them back some of their tax revenue to pay for it.

Another way of looking at it would be to ask the following question - "Name the last Bristol Mayor or Council Leader whose reign was remembered for the positive public transport legacy they left."


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: DaveHarries on February 20, 2021, 10:28:09 pm
All these flying pigs about the idea of trams in Bristol. So many flying pigs, in fact, that you could provide 3 bacon sarnies (for those of us who eat them) for each member of this forum.

There are, on the other hand, rather less flying pigs in the West Midlands where they are simply getting on with it. Trams in Bristol? Yeah right: I will believe it if (rather than when) it happens. I reckon the M2 metrobus should have been trams not buses for starters.

Dave


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Robin Summerhill on February 21, 2021, 12:32:49 pm
All these flying pigs about the idea of trams in Bristol. So many flying pigs, in fact, that you could provide 3 bacon sarnies (for those of us who eat them) for each member of this forum.

There are, on the other hand, rather less flying pigs in the West Midlands where they are simply getting on with it. Trams in Bristol? Yeah right: I will believe it if (rather than when) it happens. I reckon the M2 metrobus should have been trams not buses for starters.

Dave

You are quite correct in that there are less flying pigs in the West Midlands (and Manchester and Nottingham and Sheffield and Croydon to name but a few than there are in the West Country.

So why have we got so many? After all it was only 3 or 4 years ago that plans were hatching to build an undeground metro system for Bristol. Are we going to get that as well as the trams and the flying taxis, or has that idea been quietly swept iunder the carpet?

I think I mght have the answer to this conumdrum. The West Midlands and all the others wanted an improved public transport system, so their politicians got on with it and did it.

Down here the view appears to be that it is a bloody sight cheaper to simply talk about these things than actually get off collective backsides and do anythig about it.

By the way, what do you think my chances are of getting a train to Portishead on the day that lockdoen ends? After all, a thread was started on this forum about that reopening on 10th April 2007 - it must have been open for years now, surely...


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: IndustryInsider on February 21, 2021, 12:55:26 pm
The West Midlands and all the others wanted an improved public transport system, so their politicians got on with it and did it.

Down here the view appears to be that it is a bloody sight cheaper to simply talk about these things than actually get off collective backsides and do anythig about it.

Though in the case of the West Midlands Metro, after it first opened in 1999 it was allowed to stagnate at well below the expected passenger numbers for over fifteen years.  No increase in ridership over that time at all.  No improvements.  There was plenty of talk, and plenty of sitting on collective backsides until, credit where it's due, things started to change quite dramatically when the New Street extension opened in 2016, with plenty to come over the next few years - provided Covid doesn't apply any brakes.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Lee on February 21, 2021, 08:28:04 pm
All these flying pigs about the idea of trams in Bristol. So many flying pigs, in fact, that you could provide 3 bacon sarnies (for those of us who eat them) for each member of this forum.

There are, on the other hand, rather less flying pigs in the West Midlands where they are simply getting on with it. Trams in Bristol? Yeah right: I will believe it if (rather than when) it happens. I reckon the M2 metrobus should have been trams not buses for starters.

Dave

You are quite correct in that there are less flying pigs in the West Midlands (and Manchester and Nottingham and Sheffield and Croydon to name but a few than there are in the West Country.

So why have we got so many? After all it was only 3 or 4 years ago that plans were hatching to build an undeground metro system for Bristol. Are we going to get that as well as the trams and the flying taxis, or has that idea been quietly swept iunder the carpet?

I think I mght have the answer to this conumdrum. The West Midlands and all the others wanted an improved public transport system, so their politicians got on with it and did it.

Down here the view appears to be that it is a bloody sight cheaper to simply talk about these things than actually get off collective backsides and do anythig about it.

By the way, what do you think my chances are of getting a train to Portishead on the day that lockdoen ends? After all, a thread was started on this forum about that reopening on 10th April 2007 - it must have been open for years now, surely...

Although we are often on opposite sides of the optimist/pessimist coin, I am definitely with Robin on this one.

I would like to think that what people like grahame, Phil, Reginald25, myself and many others - with it has to be said the genuine help and hard work of several politicians - did with securing an appropriate TransWilts rail service was the exception that proves the rule. However, it took 8 long years between 2005-2013 to get there, although I appreciate that those still waiting in the Greater Bristol area for much needed rail service improvements and line/station openings will see that as a mere blink of an eye.

Also, as grahame's post today (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=24691.msg302257#msg302257) once again illustrated, it could be argued that because it took so long to get what was in 2005 an appropriate level of service put in place, it was already inappropriate by the time it was introduced! This was borne out in no uncertain terms by the immediate and rapid growth seen in the early years of the service - described by Mark Hopwood himself as "The TransWilts Success Story".

Ive always believed that you could manage 2 passenger paths and 1 freight path on the existing Melksham line infrastructure per hour, but I also accept that providing a dynamic loop or similar would make it that much more robust. However, the cynic in me also worries that framing the debate in that direction hands the perfect excuse for inaction to those who have an agenda to keep the Melksham line as the "lightly-used passenger backwater" they always believed it should have remained - "Sorry folks, it will be a long time before funding is available  for that kind of enhancement, so you will have to make do with what you've got".

Then you have the Option 24/7 - Comité De Lignes  example:

Our 2016 Option 24/7 (http://option247.uk/O247proposal.pdf) proposals for bus franchising in Wiltshire included a proposal that bus services would be specified by a committee that brought together passengers, local authorities and bus companies. Unfortunately, Wiltshire Council were not ready at the time to accept what they considered to be a radical plan, and the proposal did not go ahead.

One of the reasons I moved to France in September 2017 was the opportunity to help shape the future of public transport in Brittany, as the specification of the local bus network transferred to the regional level and was placed under a unified structure with the local rail network which had been already specified by the region for several years. This unified structure came into being in September 2018 under the Breizhgo (https://www.breizhgo.bzh/) brand.

I am pleased to say that since then, bus and rail services in Brittany have been specified in a very similar way to that envisaged by us in Option 24/7. There are 7 Comités De Lignes each corresponding to a particular area of Brittany, bringing together passengers, regional and local authorities, SNCF and bus companies to specify their local bus and rail services.

My local Comité De Lignes covers the Saint Brieuc-Lannion, Saint Brieuc-Morlaix, Guingamp-Carhaix and Guingamp-Paimpol local rail services, and all the local bus services in the area shown in the map below:

(https://images.typeform.com/images/zAxiUnM4Rv99/image/default)

Each Comité De Lignes has an annual "listening exercise", where the views and ideas of the public on a wide range of issues are sought, and we are currently in the middle of ours, which runs from 1 February-14 February 2021. Normally we would accompany this with public meetings in various towns and villages, but this year due to coronavirus it is being conducted online and by post.

This doesnt mean though that the public only have a 14-day window each year to send in their ideas and suggestions. Far from it - These are welcomed by the committee all year round, and all are considered for the next upcoming timetable change. These happen 3 times a year in July, September and December, with bus and rail services changing together on those same dates. This aims to balance both the flexibility and the stability of the timetables, whilst allowing for their integration. However, just as we envisaged with Option 24/7, there is a mechanism that allows urgent or particularly no-brainer changes to be made at short notice if required.

Finally, in normal times, several public meetings all year round in towns and villages are organised, along with sessions in rail and bus stations that are very similar to the way "Meet the Manager" works in the UK. There is also a regular newsletter published by each Comité De Lignes, detailing the latest news, project updates, and including passenger numbers and performance figures for each rail and bus route in the area.

So why can you make this work in Brittany but not Wiltshire, when the legislative hurdles that used to preclude it have now largely been removed? I'm afraid the answer lies in a culture that is still firmly wedded to "the way things have always been done", and an instinctive opposition to the perceived hassle and upheaval that change might bring, no matter how hard you try to allay such fears, and as you can see from this link (http://option247.uk/faq.html), we tried exceedingly hard.

Finally, I noted this quote from the recent Travelwatch Southwest online event:

My input (slides) at http://www.passenger.chat/24686 ... other inputs to be written up here in the morning!
Paul Johnson. (1) Integrating rail and bus information on CIS screens is important where rail replacement buses are running.  This has always been put in "too difficult" box by the rail industry when requested, but it's not/no longer just a local issue we have raised here and should be addressed.

I do feel for Paul on this point, as we could already have had a solution in place for this issue. What many of you wont know is that in 2018, I was asked by an organisation - I wont name them here - to try and come up with a solution to a very similar problem. They wanted their passengers to be able to track where rail replacement buses/coaches were, but the vehicles provided were often whatever the operators had available at the time, were never always the same, and there tended to be an element of pot luck as to their age and quality. Therefore they were looking for a GPS Tracker that wasnt vehicle-specific and that they could quickly and easily attach to the rail replacement buses/coaches when they turned up. Finally, they would need the GPS Tracker to be compatible with their app, as the point was to allow their passengers to track where their rail replacement bus/coach was through that.

I managed to come up with 3 viable and competitive quotes, including one company who was willing to offer a free trial. I recommended that this offer be taken up, as in my opinion, the best case scenario would see the trial work so well that it unlocked the funding needed to provide the trackers on a full-time basis, and the worst that could happen is that everybody involved got a boost from the publicity.

It was at that point everything went rather quiet, with the conclusion being drawn very similar to Robin's overall point, that some organisations prefer the kudos of talking a good game, rather than the risky business of having to actually implement the solution.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: grahame on February 22, 2021, 11:49:09 am
There is an awful lot of meat in that post, Robin and Lee - so many good points / items to answer in general that I have selectively quoted.

Down here the view appears to be that it is a bloody sight cheaper to simply talk about these things than actually get off collective backsides and do anything about it.

Although we are often on opposite sides of the optimist/pessimist coin, I am definitely with Robin on this one.

I would like to think that what people like grahame, Phil, Reginald25, myself and many others - with it has to be said the genuine help and hard work of several politicians - did with securing an appropriate TransWilts rail service was the exception that proves the rule. However, it took 8 long years ...

Also, as grahame's post today (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=24691.msg302257#msg302257) once again illustrated, it could be argued that because it took so long to get what was in 2005 an appropriate level of service put in place, it was already inappropriate by the time it was introduced! ...

The cynic in me also worries that framing the debate in that direction hands the perfect excuse for inaction to those who have an agenda to keep the Melksham line as the "lightly-used passenger backwater" they always believed it should have remained - "Sorry folks, it will be a long time before funding is available  for that kind of enhancement, so you will have to make do with what you've got".

[Brittany example and contrast]

So why can you make this work in Brittany but not Wiltshire, when the legislative hurdles that used to preclude it have now largely been removed? I'm afraid the answer lies in a culture that is still firmly wedded to "the way things have always been done", and an instinctive opposition to the perceived hassle and upheaval that change might bring, no matter how hard you try to allay such fears, and as you can see from this link (http://option247.uk/faq.html), we tried exceedingly hard.

Finally, I noted this quote from the recent Travelwatch Southwest online event:

[snip - trackers on rail replacement buses]

It was at that point everything went rather quiet, with the conclusion being drawn very similar to Robin's overall point, that some organisations prefer the kudos of talking a good game, rather than the risky business of having to actually implement the solution.

Indeed it is cheaper and less risky to talk, engage consultants and report. It's also a way to get some quick positive outcomes - at least in the ether - in the current election cycle, while passing the bigger spend on implementation on to the next generation.   There is a wonderful upcoming opportunity to take another cycle of talking and reporting on so many projects now, as source assumptions are incorrect due to coronavirus ... at the same time and with the looming climate friendly / zero carbon agenda, there should be an opportunity to rebuild different and there should be incredible community help into that - win the hearts of the community, please - they are you future customers and they now have a choice as to what to do for their new normal. 

Not sure I'm 100% optimistic on that one, but that does not preclude making every effort.  Can't be worse than not trying, can it?

Coming back from macro to micro, looking at Melksham's town bus (services 14 and 15). Log jam has been "but the people who use them at the moment don't want to go to the station, and a bird in hand is worth ten in the bush". Well - hardly anyone is using them at the moment, so what better time than to changes the routes to be fit for the 20s?   

I note Lee's comment about our train service being inappropriate before it was introduced (witness the train manager  walking up and down the side of the train, banging on the windows and asking people to move up so more could get on) and really don't want to wait for bus service changes for the 20s to only be implemented just before the 30s. For sure, it's likely that a service in the 30s that was designed for the 20s would be better than a service designed for the 10s still running at that time - but how about (a novel idea?) an appropriate service for the current time??



Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: TonyK on February 22, 2021, 05:24:46 pm
...Trams, and any other fanciful schemes, have long since ceased to be a vote-winner...

Is that true?

It's all a bit complicated because different levels of government have their irons in the fire for different reasons. As we've seen recently with pop-up bike lanes, Central Government can be seen to be doing the right thing by telling local authorities to implement schemes for which, if they work out well, they can take the credit. Obviously if they turn out badly then that's the fault of the local authorities...

Here in Bristol the local and regional authorities all seem to agree that there's political capital to be made from talk of rapid transit. So presumably they still think these schemes are vote-winners, as does Central Government who have generously agreed to give them back some of their tax revenue to pay for it.

Good points, but I think a cynical Bristol public would believe it only once they saw rails being laid. ATA's plan rumbled on for a few years then collapsed. Avon County Council started planning the Westway scheme in the early 1990's, but that died with Avon County Council in 1996. Then the reasonably serious plan for Bristol Supertram was put forward in 2001, but 3 years later, South Glos got cold feet and that folded in 2004. The councils, LEP, and later WRECA spent the next 14 years (yes, 14 years!) planning and building a bridge, two new roads and a few extra bus lanes. We now have the cutting edge system that gives us three carbon dioxide emitting buses per hour to the far reaches of Bristol, 5 bph on the two other routes, all the way through to as late as 7pm. It is faster than what preceded, but strip away the spin and you end up with something costing a quarter of a billion quid with a USP of being not quite as bad as what we had before.

No one political party can be blamed for this state of affairs, as all had a hand in it. The overall picture does rather show that there was no proper framework for planning such an extraordinary thing as transport for the masses. Avon County Council and the LEP were supposed to be in charge, but didn't achieve much. WECA has done even less. I recall reading of Mayor Bowles greeting members of the Commons Transport Select Committee, and promptly being verbally wire-brushed by them for not knowing what he was supposed to be doing or the powers he had. Politics and infrastructure do not mix easily. Anyone standing for election on a promise of trams or improved rail will have to show how he or she intends to deliver, and that isn't going to be at all easy to do in a mere four-year stretch.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: DaveHarries on February 23, 2021, 12:05:37 am
I think I mght have the answer to this conumdrum. The West Midlands and all the others wanted an improved public transport system, so their politicians got on with it and did it.

Down here the view appears to be that it is a bloody sight cheaper to simply talk about these things than actually get off collective backsides and do anythig about it.

By the way, what do you think my chances are of getting a train to Portishead on the day that lockdoen ends? After all, a thread was started on this forum about that reopening on 10th April 2007 - it must have been open for years now, surely...
I think, and hope, that trains to Portishead will happen before we see so much as a single rail of a tram scheme in Bristol. This CAZ in Bristol which will see a ban on diesel cars in the city centre is all very well but BCC are failing to provide any serious alternative to cars and that is why people (myself included) continue to use them. I currently have a diesel so will change but not sure whether to get a hybrid or petrol: I have my eyes on a hybrid which you can also change to drive purely in electric.

Anyway back to trams. Talk is always cheap but the West Midlands continue to make progress. I recently read that the new Wednesbury to Brierley Hill, via. Dudley, route on the Midland Metro is costing £450m but I am not sure if that cost includes the brand-new transport interchange in Dudley (which will include a metro stop) which has just been given the green light and will cost £24m. If BCC and / or WECA are serious about trams then they should look to the WMCA / Midland Metro for an example of how to go about it.

Dave


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Red Squirrel on February 23, 2021, 10:12:55 am
I think I mght have the answer to this conumdrum. The West Midlands and all the others wanted an improved public transport system, so their politicians got on with it and did it.

Down here the view appears to be that it is a bloody sight cheaper to simply talk about these things than actually get off collective backsides and do anythig about it.

By the way, what do you think my chances are of getting a train to Portishead on the day that lockdoen ends? After all, a thread was started on this forum about that reopening on 10th April 2007 - it must have been open for years now, surely...
I think, and hope, that trains to Portishead will happen before we see so much as a single rail of a tram scheme in Bristol. This CAZ in Bristol which will see a ban on diesel cars in the city centre is all very well but BCC are failing to provide any serious alternative to cars and that is why people (myself included) continue to use them. I currently have a diesel so will change but not sure whether to get a hybrid or petrol: I have my eyes on a hybrid which you can also change to drive purely in electric.

Anyway back to trams. Talk is always cheap but the West Midlands continue to make progress. I recently read that the new Wednesbury to Brierley Hill, via. Dudley, route on the Midland Metro is costing £450m but I am not sure if that cost includes the brand-new transport interchange in Dudley (which will include a metro stop) which has just been given the green light and will cost £24m. If BCC and / or WECA are serious about trams then they should look to the WMCA / Midland Metro for an example of how to go about it.

Dave

Bristol's preferred option is a Small CAZ D (https://www.cleanairforbristol.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Small-CAZ-D.pdf), which is not a 'diesel ban' as previously discussed. The current CAZ proposals cover 'older, more polluting commercial vehicles, such as taxis and heavy good vehicles, and private cars' - which includes older petrol cars.

Portishead, like Filton Bank before it and Bristol East Jct now, will happen very quickly once the planning stops and the doing starts. Given that no decisions have even been made about the mode of any future rapid transit system, it is fair to assume that Portishead will be up and running long before it.

It's easy to be cynical about Greater Bristol's historic inability to get its act together and build a tram system, but it's also unhelpful. The fact that we've thrown 'tails' several times in a row has no bearing on which way the coin will land next time - unless we just give up, in which case it definitely won't happen!


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Lee on February 23, 2021, 10:27:32 am
It is also unhelpful to ignore, marginalise and patronise those who have a long track record of trying to help get such schemes across the line, but have understandably grown disillusioned over the long years they have had to wait, and the many false starts they have had to endure. Unfortunately, whilst several politicians and campaigners such as RS do genuinely try and unite and be inclusive, the "get off my land and fixed ideas" attitude of others has regrettably had the opposite effect.

Those derided as "cynics" should be listened to and their views learned from, not criticised and sidelined.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Robin Summerhill on February 23, 2021, 03:24:22 pm

It's easy to be cynical about Greater Bristol's historic inability to get its act together and build a tram system, but it's also unhelpful. The fact that we've thrown 'tails' several times in a row has no bearing on which way the coin will land next time - unless we just give up, in which case it definitely won't happen!

And

However, the cynic in me also worries that framing the debate in that direction hands the perfect excuse for inaction to those who have an agenda to keep the Melksham line as the "lightly-used passenger backwater" they always believed it should have remained - "Sorry folks, it will be a long time before funding is available  for that kind of enhancement, so you will have to make do with what you've got".


I’ve been wondering for a couple of days how to respond to Lee’s post on Sunday, and further posts on the topic have helped clarify my thoughts.

“Those who have an agenda” works both ways. Some might say that those who push for these schemes themselves have an agenda to push through anything that runs on rails to the exclusion of all other options.

Politicians in general are not railway enthusiasts, and neither is the majority of the rest of the population. Furthermore, there are many people in Bath and Bristol who would not use a tram or an underground system even if it was provided, and many of these people would resent public money, their taxes because it won’t come from anywhere else, spent on a system they won’t use. Their priorities for spending their public money might be more Dog Wardens, or more rubbish collections, or all manner of other things.

Politicians of whatever persuasion will need to recognise this, and make sure that when public money is spent it is spent in the optimum way for the benefit of the largest number of people. And that, of course will always be a moving target.

There may be a case for a tram system in Bath and Bristol, there may not.  I have not seen the figures and nor, I believe, has anybody else. But linking the two? Just think about the practicalities involved.

There is no redundant rail route that can be used except via Mangotsfield, and a nanosecond after the plan was publicised then Sustrans, local walkers and dog walkers would be forming pressure groups to stop it. Running trams along a road route, either via Keynsham or Hanham/ Bitton, would either reduce road capacity or require more land to be purchased, and in many cases that would mean buying individual parcels of front gardens and probably a few demolitions. Can you envisage that being welcomed wholeheartedly by the affected parties or their elected representatives? I can’t.

In either case there would be consultations, public enquiries, appeals, and judicial reviews going on for years, not only long after the politicians proposing it had left office, but after some of them had had their half day out with the Undertaker.

Even if such a scheme did manage to be pushed through, there would be years of disruption as the lines were built and the infrastructure installed, with yet more arguments about that (the good residents of Bath, for example, already have form in objecting to OHLE in their neck of the woods). And all the while, those who don’t like it and won’t use it and don’t want all that money spent on it will continue to lobby against it and attempt to dismiss it as a vanity project, and the small matter of not being able to find the donkey on which to pin that tail won’t deter them.

When looked at in this perspective it is easy to see why politicians would attempt to humour pressure groups by talking about it rather than actually doing anything about it


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Lee on February 23, 2021, 04:54:36 pm

It's easy to be cynical about Greater Bristol's historic inability to get its act together and build a tram system, but it's also unhelpful. The fact that we've thrown 'tails' several times in a row has no bearing on which way the coin will land next time - unless we just give up, in which case it definitely won't happen!

And

However, the cynic in me also worries that framing the debate in that direction hands the perfect excuse for inaction to those who have an agenda to keep the Melksham line as the "lightly-used passenger backwater" they always believed it should have remained - "Sorry folks, it will be a long time before funding is available  for that kind of enhancement, so you will have to make do with what you've got".


I’ve been wondering for a couple of days how to respond to Lee’s post on Sunday, and further posts on the topic have helped clarify my thoughts.

“Those who have an agenda” works both ways. Some might say that those who push for these schemes themselves have an agenda to push through anything that runs on rails to the exclusion of all other options.

And my response to that would be that whoever the "Some might say" are that Robin is referring to, they really dont know campaigners like grahame and myself at all, and certainly havent studied our ethos or how weve conducted ourselves over the past couple of decades.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Red Squirrel on February 23, 2021, 05:09:20 pm
Would a WECA tram system work? The simple, truthful answer is no-one knows for sure; it would depend on how it was implemented. But many other European cities of similar size (and smaller) have decided that it makes sense to use light rail, and have found ways of funding it. I agree that we shouldn't make assumptions that one mode (be it tram, light rail, bus or some other solution) is the right way forward, though there is a lot to be said for specifying tried and tested off-the-shelf technology. Trams work.

I am not aware of anyone advocating running trams along a current or former heavy rail route between Bristol and Bath - as discussed upthread, there might not be much point in that. JLTP4 talks of four mass transit routes, one of which is Bristol to Bath along the A4 corridor.

Once again I see the claim that 'the good residents of Bath, for example, already have form in objecting to OHLE in their neck of the woods'. Do they? They will quite rightly insist that any wires are put up in a way that doesn't spoil a Unesco World Heritage city. The only person I can find on record objecting to wiring in Bath in principle was...Chris Grayling (who, as I understand it, lives in Surrey).


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Red Squirrel on February 23, 2021, 06:51:07 pm
There is a Webinar on this subject on Thurs 25th Feb, by the way; it's open to all:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/west-of-england-mass-transit-transport-webinar-tickets-140056999255

Worth noting the distinction WECA make between rapid transit - which we can take to mean MetroBus - and mass transit, which (according to JLTP4) usually runs on rails... we'll see what they have to say!


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: TonyK on February 23, 2021, 07:49:41 pm
Would a WECA tram system work? The simple, truthful answer is no-one knows for sure; it would depend on how it was implemented. But many other European cities of similar size (and smaller) have decided that it makes sense to use light rail, and have found ways of funding it. I agree that we shouldn't make assumptions that one mode (be it tram, light rail, bus or some other solution) is the right way forward, though there is a lot to be said for specifying tried and tested off-the-shelf technology. Trams work.

I am not aware of anyone advocating running trams along a current or former heavy rail route between Bristol and Bath - as discussed upthread, there might not be much point in that. JLTP4 talks of four mass transit routes, one of which is Bristol to Bath along the A4 corridor.

Once again I see the claim that 'the good residents of Bath, for example, already have form in objecting to OHLE in their neck of the woods'. Do they? They will quite rightly insist that any wires are put up in a way that doesn't spoil a Unesco World Heritage city. The only person I can find on record objecting to wiring in Bath in principle was...Chris Grayling (who, as I understand it, lives in Surrey).

I don't know Bath particularly well from a transport point of view, but I have long experience of getting around Bristol, using public transport or otherwise. I can say that Bristol has tried all manner of ideas to improve bus services, but it still isn't easy to cross the city at peak times. MetroBust has speeded up some journeys, but in normal times leaves people waiting at intermediate stops on the routes, gets stuck in Bedminster or on the M32, and joined a bus network that saw a decline in passenger numbers overall before the pandemic. The changes in fare payments, from "Have you change of a twenty, Drive?" paper tickets through mobile apps to contactless has probably had as much of a positive impact on services as the quarter-billion quid attempt at overkill.

Bus services are run by private operators. If there was a real demand for more buses, and if they can be run without losing lots of money, there would be fierce competition in Bristol and cities like it, but there isn't. MetroBust is officially open access, but has attracted only one operator, and that at the cost of the access charges that were supposed to be paid by buses using the infrastructure to repay the capital cost. The answer surely isn't more buses.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Robin Summerhill on February 23, 2021, 09:31:00 pm

And my response to that would be that whoever the "Some might say" are that Robin is referring to, they really dont know campaigners like grahame and myself at all, and certainly havent studied our ethos or how weve conducted ourselves over the past couple of decades.

I see that further clarification is needed yet again! I must try to get the hang of making all my points properly the first time and nor have to come back with explanations and clarifications!

I meant no disrespect or insult to anyone on this forum in my paragraph dealing with “agendas.” Most people have them, especially politicians, and having agendas that they would like to progress is no bad thing in itself. However, how those agendas may be seen by others in the opposing camp may be very different.

 I had in mind a sentence in Lee’s post that I quoted that ran: “those who have an agenda to keep the Melksham line as the "lightly-used passenger backwater" and that is why I quoted it. This seems to be one person’s interpretation on the matter and it might not be the intention that the holder of these views actually had in mind (or it could be of course – I wasn’t at the meetings so all I have is this statement to go on).

Who, I wondered, would have the desire or more importantly the motivation to keep a low-frequency service if a more frequent service would not only be beneficial to the local residents but could also turn a profit for the TOC concerned? It is not as though any expensive infrastructure work was needed; only some extra trains and the crews to man them and provided they were available there seems to be no reason why the idea could not be tried. If it didn’t work the trains could have been taken off again

Those criteria would not apply to trams for Bristol and Bath. If multiple billions are spent on a service that doesn’t attract sufficient business, then those who authorised it would be stuck up a proverbial creek without a paddle...








Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Lee on February 24, 2021, 01:31:46 am
I had in mind a sentence in Lee’s post that I quoted that ran: “those who have an agenda to keep the Melksham line as the "lightly-used passenger backwater" and that is why I quoted it. This seems to be one person’s interpretation on the matter and it might not be the intention that the holder of these views actually had in mind (or it could be of course – I wasn’t at the meetings so all I have is this statement to go on).

Who, I wondered, would have the desire or more importantly the motivation to keep a low-frequency service if a more frequent service would not only be beneficial to the local residents but could also turn a profit for the TOC concerned? It is not as though any expensive infrastructure work was needed; only some extra trains and the crews to man them and provided they were available there seems to be no reason why the idea could not be tried. If it didn’t work the trains could have been taken off again

In order to answer that question, I first need to provide you with some background. The best way of doing that would be to ask you to read the quote below:

Part of the fight campaigners such as myself fought against the Closure Guidance changes of the mid-2000s was the associated neutering of the TUCC system. I wasn't hugely enamoured with TravelWatch SouthWest either during that period which also encompassed the battles against the December 2006 Draft FGW Timetable - They were pumping out some very heavily pro-FGW material, which was hardly surprising given the prominence of their bus and rail company sponsorship.

As those who know me will be aware, I do extensive research before I come to a definitive view on something, which means it generally takes an awful lot to convince me to change that view once I've formed it. However, I can honestly say that TravelWatch SouthWest is one of those rare examples of where my view has been changed.

When the TransWilts rail service was reduced to near-extinction in 2006, I uncovered significant evidence in Network Rail plans that part of the reason that TransWilts got nothing at all while others got at least some concessions was that the paths needed to be kept clear for a projected big increase in freight traffic. I detailed all this in my "The Freight Angle" series of articles at the time, but was generally dismissed as a conspiracy theorist by those higher up. However, at pretty much all of the public meetings I attended at the time, one such "higher-up" would always back me to the hilt when I raised the freight issue. His name was Chris Irwin, and he was the head of TravelWatch SouthWest during this period. He had taken the time to read all my articles, assessed them in depth, and was convinced that I was right.

His backing made a big difference to the credibility of how my case was viewed officially, and I'm sure helped to lead to Network Rail admitting their intentions in 2008. (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=2356.0) Since then there has been a far better level of open engagement between all the relevant parties, and policy to accommodate projected future passenger and freight growth is now increasingly focussed on the kind of necessary infrastructure enhancements that grahame and others have always advocated.

TravelWatch SouthWest as an organisation, and in terms of its output has definitely become more balanced over the years since as well, and that I'm sure is partly due to the inclusion of people like grahame on the board who you certainly cant consider to be bus/rail company yes-people.

I can also confirm that, whether as an individual or as a representative of an organisation such as TransWilts, CoffeeShop etc, I have always been granted an invitation to TravelWatch SouthWest events when I've requested one, and always been made to feel welcome at such events.

We all wish that there had been a more diplomatic way of achieving this, but I am afraid there simply wasnt. NR were determined to reserve the Melksham line for freight, and if we hadnt have exposed their intentions in the way we did, then we wouldnt have been able to unlock the paths required for an appropriate TransWilts passenger service, and the route would most likely still have a couple of pseudo-parliamentary trains each way per day that were of little use to anyone.

The current Melksham line capacity situation is best summed up by recapping the excellent recent post by grahame below:

So ... how did they do?  "Pretty Well".

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mkm_rtt_20210220_1.jpg)
(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mkm_rtt_20210220_2.jpg)

How it was run

Hourly train from Westbury at about xx:12 into Swindon at xx:54, and from Swindon at xx:24 arriving at Westbury at xx+1:02. Times varied by a few minutes (but only a few minutes) in any hour; 38 minute running time achieved in the example quoted includes stops at Chippenham, Melksham and Trowbridge. Without other trains getting in the way (key comment!) the service daily could be run clockface, hourly, using 2 x 90 m.p.h. Turbos, hourly, to these timings, on current infrastructure.

Time for passengers, Freight Paths, etc

4 minutes slower in my example Westbury to Swindon; 1 minute perhaps accounted for needed by slow approach to Platform 2 at Swindon. The two trains pass each other at or very close to Chippenham station, and an extra 5 minutes in the "cycle" from there to Swindon and back, and from there to Westbury and back (leaving turn arounds of 21 minutes and 5 minutes) would work. That five minutes allows for pathing, and for extended passenger operations at stations that will happen from time to time. The closeness of the two trains at Thingley - short gap as the up train comes off the single line before the down train takes it - leaves a path open for a freight or other working each hour. You can see this used at Melksham with none-passenger services passing at 12:08, 13:14, 16:00 and 16:14 (managed to get 2 in that hour!!)

Robustness

Service robustness of passenger trains generally good yesterday. The 17:28 call (at Melksham, northbound) was 13 minutes late, due to a delay (don't know why) to the train south of Salisbury, and that meant that the pass at 17:47 of the southbound train was 8 minutes late as it had to wait at Thingley. At first glance, it looked like an early running freight got in the way of the 17:28 as it swept through Melksham at that time, but in practise good signalling control took advantage of the gap and sent it through ahead of time.

Infrastucture improvement

We talk / look / see the need for the ability for trains to pass each other between Melksham and Thingley Junction and indeed for robustness in a fully running timetable this makes huge sense; for passengers trains, redistributing the short turn around at Westbury and the longer turn around at Swindon to be more even, and allowing a pair of freight services to similarly pass in the hour with a degree of robustness in there too.  In my view, the loop would need to be fast running and long ("dynamic") to avoid slowing / stopping trains in one or both directions to the substantial loss of positive effect from the loop by prolonging journey times.I also note the run (round trip time) of several minutes from Thigley Junction to Thingley East junction, where the single line traffic on "the Melksham Line" is sharing the main down London to Bristol via Bath line.  Prior to the singling of the Melksham line, a double junction at Thingley meant this pinch point did not exist; I understand that restoration of that, or a crossover at the junction, is complex/impractical/impossible due to the cant on the main line tracks to allow fast running.

Calling additional (new) stations?

Timings seen yesterday would appear to allow passenger calls in both directions at Royal Wootton Bassett. More difficult (and it's where the dynamic loop becomes needed) to call at Staverton and/or Ashton Park as in the Systra / SWLEP report of 2019 (mirror ((here)) (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/mirror/swlep-rail-strategy-final-09-05-2019.pdf)).

P.S.  and bit off the immediate topic. Passengers for South Wales yesterday from Trowbridge and south thereof were encouraged to change at Swindon.  Must have been frustrating (though not many long distance passengers in lockdown) with a 40 minute wait at Swindon towards Wales, and the trains at almost exactly the same time in the other direction - so a 0 or 60 minute wait.  I noted one or two where people probably made it, one or two where the train from Swansea was a few minutes late and the Portsmouth train left before it arrived, and one or two which might have repeated my memory of a couple of years ago of doors on the IET only opening after doors on the Westbury train had been closed!

However, NR have only ever grudgingly accepted that they will always need to provide 8-ish passenger paths each way per day on the Melksham line, and they still wish to reserve as much of the rest of the capacity on the Melksham line for freight as possible.

So that's the background - On to my answer:

You have actually essentially read my answer already, as including the bit of my quote that you chopped off would help make clear. I have reinstated and highlighted the relevant section in bold below:

Ive always believed that you could manage 2 passenger paths and 1 freight path on the existing Melksham line infrastructure per hour, but I also accept that providing a dynamic loop or similar would make it that much more robust. However, the cynic in me also worries that framing the debate in that direction hands the perfect excuse for inaction to those who have an agenda to keep the Melksham line as the "lightly-used passenger backwater" they always believed it should have remained - "Sorry folks, it will be a long time before funding is available  for that kind of enhancement, so you will have to make do with what you've got".

So to summarise, Ive always believed that you could manage 2 passenger paths and 1 freight path on the existing Melksham line infrastructure per hour, but I also accept that providing a dynamic loop or similar would make it that much more robust. However, I believe that focusing on additional infrastructure as providing the solution to provide additional passenger services would risk giving NR an excuse to kick the whole thing into the long grass due to what I am sure would be a genuine lack of funding for such schemes, thereby allowing them to reserve the lions share of Melksham line capacity for freight for the foreseeable future.

It would be far better, in my opinion - respectfully and in the spirit of open engagement that now exists - to secure the extra paths required for additional TransWilts passenger services by challenging NR's view of how paths should be distributed between passenger and freight services on the existing infrastructure, as this would be far more likely to succeed in a way that allowed such additional passenger services to be provided within a reasonable timeframe.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Robin Summerhill on February 26, 2021, 05:48:01 pm
Thanks for the detailed explanation and apologies for the delay in replying - I have been looking into genealogy for my more distant relations! If I'd have started doing this 10 or 15 years ago I could have made a business out of it!

I can empathise with your position;nI am sure it is not just me that has been sitting in a meeting happily demolishing somebody else's argument but the blighters still wouldnt budge  ;D


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Noggin on March 04, 2021, 04:03:47 pm
Going back to the original post, the optimist in me wonders if the grown-ups have re-entered the room now that Marvin and his delusional crayonings of metro lines will shortly be consigned to history.

Once the railway junction work in East Bristol is complete, there should be more capacity, particularly if the line is then electrified, but it will inevitably be hard to fit in many more trains and stops around what is normally a pretty intensive service. IIRC the MetroWest planners had to factor in Crossrail trains - that's how tight the pathing is on the GWML. 

Beyond Portishead, Henbury loop and redoubling the Severn-beach line, there are no 'easy' rail reopenings (and in any case, they are beyond the means of local Government), so it's either some kind of bus rapid transit or trams for the main transit corridors.

Steel wheel on steel rail trams generally make a lot of sense - they are energy efficient, accellerate and decellerate quickly, more accessible than buses, can carry more people etc. However, they are horribly expensive to build, particularly in dense urban areas and on-street running alongside other modes is a little wasteful of their potential. 

The routes seem sensible - experience suggests however that the first line is always horribly expensive as there's a steep learning curve for all concerned. I wonder if the first should actually be an airport line to Temple Meads via Bedminster route - generally fairly self-contained, the airport would likely chip into the capital cost and would probably be a fairly good earner.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Red Squirrel on March 05, 2021, 10:03:40 am
Going back to the original post, the optimist in me wonders if the grown-ups have re-entered the room now that Marvin and his delusional crayonings of metro lines will shortly be consigned to history.

[...]

The routes seem sensible - experience suggests however that the first line is always horribly expensive as there's a steep learning curve for all concerned. I wonder if the first should actually be an airport line to Temple Meads via Bedminster route - generally fairly self-contained, the airport would likely chip into the capital cost and would probably be a fairly good earner.

Aren't Marvin's 'delusional crayonings' the same routes you go on to describe as 'sensible'? The four mass transit corridors listed are the same ones that featured in JLTP4, and the Bristol Transport Strategy before it.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: TonyK on March 05, 2021, 09:26:27 pm
Going back to the original post, the optimist in me wonders if the grown-ups have re-entered the room now that Marvin and his delusional crayonings of metro lines will shortly be consigned to history.

[...]

The routes seem sensible - experience suggests however that the first line is always horribly expensive as there's a steep learning curve for all concerned. I wonder if the first should actually be an airport line to Temple Meads via Bedminster route - generally fairly self-contained, the airport would likely chip into the capital cost and would probably be a fairly good earner.

Aren't Marvin's 'delusional crayonings' the same routes you go on to describe as 'sensible'? The four mass transit corridors listed are the same ones that featured in JLTP4, and the Bristol Transport Strategy before it.

I have long thought that the airport could be the catalyst that sparks this particular revolution. Those Canadian teachers are clearly in it for the long haul, and have so far shown good strategic thinking. They got the councils to build an express busway from the centre for them at something of a bargain price, and I am sure they could demand an upgrade for a reasonable consideration.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: johnneyw on March 12, 2021, 01:16:44 am
Major Marv gave new details in a press announcement today according to the Bristol Live site and it seems the proposals for the underground still persist.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/plans-4bn-bristol-underground-system-5136801

Is it me or is today's announcement difficult to differentiate from previous ones?


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Red Squirrel on March 12, 2021, 09:27:16 am
Major Marv gave new details in a press announcement today according to the Bristol Live site and it seems the proposals for the underground still persist.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/plans-4bn-bristol-underground-system-5136801

Is it me or is today's announcement difficult to differentiate from previous ones?

In a way it is good to see that it hasn't been substantially diluted...

I very much like the fact that Montpelier is shown as a rail/mass transit interchange. Nice.

This is the map: https://twitter.com/BristolCouncil/status/1370072488986689536


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Lee on March 12, 2021, 01:40:06 pm

I very much like the fact that Montpelier is shown as a rail/mass transit interchange. Nice.

(https://i2-prod.dailyrecord.co.uk/incoming/article926331.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/john-thomson-fast-show-jazz-image-1-996834484.jpg)



Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: DaveHarries on March 13, 2021, 04:44:15 pm
I see that the Bristol Post quotes the cost of an overground and underground network as £4bn. I would be very sceptical of that figure: remember that the one of the West Midlands expansion schemes is costing £456m for only 11km (6.8 miles) but I will be surprised if even half this scheme comers to fruition tbh.

I also think that what is now the m2 bus route would have been better as a tram scheme which might have dispensed with the need for that ugly bridge at the Ashton Gate end of Winterstoke Road.

Dave


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Red Squirrel on March 13, 2021, 05:51:10 pm
Mayor Rees, in his press conference, made the point that there is nothing intrinsic in Bristol's DNA that prevents it from getting a decent mass transit system. As I write that, I wonder if he's right about that, if by 'DNA' he meant the gerrymandered local government structure that leaves around half of Bristol's population living outside Bristol...

Anyway, here's the map:

(https://www.bristol.gov.uk/documents/20182/5132074/Bristol+public+transport+vision+map.png/19f5a082-9a59-9338-88a8-1372f946f20b?t=1615476318431)


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: TonyK on March 16, 2021, 09:48:34 pm
Only two days later, and it's been value-engineered down to a few extra bus routes already. With bendy buses. Bristol 24/7 reports: (https://www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/news/details-revealed-for-rapid-bus-network-in-bristol/)

Quote
DETAILS REVEALED FOR RAPID BUS NETWORK IN BRISTOL
By ADAM POSTANS, Monday Mar 15, 2021

Transport chiefs have revealed how a rapid bus network would work in Bristol, complete with  bendy buses and high frequency services on a segregated city centre loop.

The system will be based on a central network of interchanges where passengers hop on and off, while mini-orbital buses serve outer suburbs taking people to mobility hubs for onward travel by various means.

It is the first phase of the city region’s multi-billion-pound mass transit system, which mayor Marvin Rees released more details about at a press conference last week.

After the briefing, Bristol City Council strategic city transport service manager Adam Crowther told a scrutiny committee that the bigger plans were ten to 15 years away but that they didn’t want to wait that long, so the rapid bus network would come first to underpin mass transit.

He said the medium-term vision was for passenger waits of less than five minutes on an anticlockwise circular stopping at Broadmead, city centre, Bristol Bridge, Redcliffe, Temple Meads, Old Market and Cabot Circus.

Crowther told the growth and regeneration scrutiny commission: “The idea of the scheme is that we will have high-quality, fast, reliable services that are almost fully segregated from general traffic, always in bus lanes apart from very small stretches where we wouldn’t expect any congestion.

“That is really critical to giving us that reliability and frequency, so this feels very much like a mass transit system – you go to the stop, there will be a bus within five minutes and it will be reliable.”

(https://www.bristol247.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Map-of-the-proposed-Bristol-rapid-bus-network-Image-Bristol-City-Council.jpg)
Map of the proposed Bristol rapid bus network. Image: Bristol City Council

Crowther showed members a map with proposed coloured routes, including red from Long Ashton park and ride through to the M32, blue from the Portway via Bristol Bridge down to Hicks Gate or even further to Keynsham and Bath, and the yellow central orbital.

“The idea being if you come in from the Portway and you want to get to Cabot Circus, you would be quite happy going to Bristol Bridge knowing that within a few minutes the red route is going to come along and take you to Cabot Circus,” Crowther said.

“If you were coming down the A38 on a bus, you might come along the outside of the loop and get off at the centre and take the blue loop to Temple Meads.

“It’s that reliability and frequency which is going to change the way people think about interchange in terms of the bus and public transport network. Interchange has historically not been very well supported in the area.

“If you don’t have a reliable network or one that doesn’t turn up very frequently, you’re not going to get good interchange, so it’s really important we have that level of segregation and frequency to make interchange an acceptable and desirable approach.

“There are a couple of gaps – one around the Bearpit and one around Redcliffe roundabout which we need to resolve over the next few years to tie together these hubs.”

(https://www.bristol247.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Map-of-the-proposed-Bristol-rapid-bus-network-in-the-city-centre-Image-Bristol-City-Council.jpg)
The proposed city centre network. Image: Bristol City Council

Crowther told the remote meeting on Thursday, March 11, that a rethink of the vehicle fleet was also needed.

“If we are going to convince people to make a wholesale change to mass transit, we need to make it more attractive,” he said.

“Double deckers are great but there are vehicles like the Belfast Glider (bendy bus) where you don’t have to go upstairs for seats. We need to build that high-quality vehicle into the scheme as early as possible.”

The article continues, unfortunately, at source.

Looking at the positives here, this is some of the best crayoning to come out of Bristol City Council in quite a few years. On the other side of the coin, we seem to back to spin and bluster, and dressing dead mutton as lamb, with the promise of something that "feels very much like a mass transit system" rather than a mass transit system. You may remember the "tram-like experience in a high quality vehicle on a segregated busway" that turned out to be a bus-like bus on a road-like road.





Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Red Squirrel on March 17, 2021, 11:15:09 am
Only two days later, and it's been value-engineered down to a few extra bus routes already. With bendy buses. Bristol 24/7 reports: (https://www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/news/details-revealed-for-rapid-bus-network-in-bristol/)

No, TonyK.

The plans as outlined in recent meetings make it clear that a mass transit system, which may be rail-based and may be underground, will take 10 to 15 years to deliver. The rapid transit system (essentially more MetroBus) can be rolled out more quickly. The article you've quoted is talking about the latter, which you will note it refers to as the first phase.

Adam Crowther doesn't help when he refers to this phase as 'mass transit', though; but everyone else finds WECA's terminology confusing so why shouldn't he?

Note Crowther's parting shot:

Quote
He said the eventual mass transit system would be overlaid on the rapid bus network.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: TonyK on March 17, 2021, 06:27:53 pm
Only two days later, and it's been value-engineered down to a few extra bus routes already. With bendy buses. Bristol 24/7 reports: (https://www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/news/details-revealed-for-rapid-bus-network-in-bristol/)

No, TonyK.

The plans as outlined in recent meetings make it clear that a mass transit system, which may be rail-based and may be underground, will take 10 to 15 years to deliver. The rapid transit system (essentially more MetroBus) can be rolled out more quickly. The article you've quoted is talking about the latter, which you will note it refers to as the first phase.

Adam Crowther doesn't help when he refers to this phase as 'mass transit', though; but everyone else finds WECA's terminology confusing so why shouldn't he?

Note Crowther's parting shot:

Quote
He said the eventual mass transit system would be overlaid on the rapid bus network.

Ah, sorry, I jumped the gun. Maybe next year, then.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: TonyK on December 06, 2021, 12:10:29 pm
More news on the form the mythical Mass Transit Network will take has slipped out in a survey for the redevelopment of Mead Street. (https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/MeadStreetRegeneration/) Page 2 of the survey shows:

Quote
Guiding principle 2 - Providing better routes for sustainable travel

Prioritising sustainable modes of transport is a key principle.

One option is to create an active travel route via Mead Street, providing a segregated pedestrian and cycle way along its length. This would provide links from Mead Street to Bath Road to enable a convenient link to the proposed new southern access to Temple Meads Station (Southern Gateway) and connect through to an active travel route being considered at Whitehouse Street.

A Mass Transit Network is being considered for Bristol which would provide regular electric, or hydrogen powered bus services via dedicated routes, offering a convenient and sustainable mode of transport across the city.  The network of mass transit routes is not yet determined, but there is a desire that the network serves the proposed Southern Gateway to Temple Meads Station. Given Mead Street’s proximity to the proposed Southern Gateway, this could be a possible route. Before any decisions are made in relation to the Mass Transit proposals community engagement will take place.[/b]


My emphasis. We are getting Son of MetroBust, folks, to build on the massive success of the first tranche. Pre-pandemic and before the guided bit had to be closed, MetroBust was hailed as a big success as passenger numbers had exceeded expectations. Total bus travel was, however, down on the previous year, reversing a steady upward trend. My own pet theory, based on anecdotal evidence, is that MetroBust proved great for the people at the ends, but not along the route. A case in point was in Stapleton, where some local services were withdrawn when the M3 to Keith Emersons Green was introduced. Friends of mine reported walking to the stop in the middle of nowhere, only for buses full of happy escapees from Lyde Green sail gracefully by without stopping. With little alternative, and none at all from the MetroBust stop, some who had commuted by bus for years started going to work by car again.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Lee on December 06, 2021, 12:34:34 pm
A case in point was in Stapleton, where some local services were withdrawn when the M3 to Keith Emersons Green was introduced.

Does it have a bus fare for the common man?


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Red Squirrel on December 06, 2021, 01:27:30 pm

We are getting Son of MetroBust, folks...


'The beginning of wisdom,' according to Confucious, 'is to call things by their proper name'. Bristol City Council defined MetroBus-style buses as 'rapid transit', and the thing that sits between these and trains as 'mass transit'. Subsequently they have used the terms interchangeably, which is reasonable in that everyone else already did but confusing for anyone who assumed they were adhering to their own definitions.

So who knows what they mean?


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: TonyK on December 06, 2021, 03:40:59 pm
I don't recall that we did Confucianism at school, although I didn't think we did history, and apparently we did. That explains some of the bruises. I do recall though that Humpty Dumpty said "Words mean what I want them to mean", so I assume that's the way it is done at City Hall.

Bus Rapid Transit started as a solution to the problem of unreliable long bus routes passing through the Centre, and a way to cut emissions. It consisted of a long bus route passing through the centre, two shorter routes starting in the Centre, a couple of new car roads with bus lanes painted on them, and an express route to the airport along a crumbling riverside. For some reason, it didn't entirely captivate the public imagination. BRT became a byword for a lack of imagination, flawed thinking and massive overspending. This needed firm and resolute action, so the name was changed to Metrobust. This radical leap forward didn't cause so much as the slightest ripple of interest amongst bus operators. The original plan envisaged vicious competition between rival operators, with fist-fights breaking out between managers keen to secure the right to pay access charges to run services over the infrastructure, charging a premium fare to pay for it. The reality turned out to be exactly what the rest of us predicted, with First the only operator, no access fees, and day fares slightly cheaper than "normal" buses (ie, the ones without a "M" before the number).

The motive power doesn't really change whether it is mass transit or not. From the time the trams ended until the 1980s, Bristol enjoyed what it didn't realise was a golden age of buses. There were more then than there are now, they just realise it was mass transit. It doesn't much matter what the name is - if it has wheels and looks like a bus, it's a bus.


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Noggin on December 06, 2021, 04:19:30 pm
Drifting off-topic, but looking at the consultation on Bristol's no 2. bus, it seems (as with MetroBus) largely an excuse to use public transport money for pet highway projects and making car use as difficult as possible. the irony is of course that when people do use cars, they will have to travel three times as far because of all the one-way systems. Hey ho!     


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Red Squirrel on December 06, 2021, 04:45:00 pm
Drifting off-topic, but looking at the consultation on Bristol's no 2. bus, it seems (as with MetroBus) largely an excuse to use public transport money for pet highway projects and making car use as difficult as possible. the irony is of course that when people do use cars, they will have to travel three times as far because of all the one-way systems. Hey ho!     

The original MetroBus was at least in part a road-building scheme paid for with public transport money. Rather than making car user 'as difficult as possible', it actually made it rather easier. Kudos to the clever blighter who thought up removing the word 'Road' from the South Bristol Link though!



Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Lee on December 06, 2021, 05:17:11 pm
Drifting off-topic, but looking at the consultation on Bristol's no 2. bus, it seems (as with MetroBus) largely an excuse to use public transport money for pet highway projects and making car use as difficult as possible. the irony is of course that when people do use cars, they will have to travel three times as far because of all the one-way systems. Hey ho!     

The original MetroBus was at least in part a road-building scheme paid for with public transport money. Rather than making car user 'as difficult as possible', it actually made it rather easier. Kudos to the clever blighter who thought up removing the word 'Road' from the South Bristol Link though!



I have had a look into this, and as a result, I am naming the "clever blighter" in question as Alistair Rice of the North Somerset Council Directorate: Development and Environment Policy Team. It was his January 2010 report here (https://web.archive.org/web/20120310204450/http://www.travelplus.org.uk/media/174199/sbl%20a370%20junctionreportv4final.pdf) that made the decision to choose the "Red Route" described in the report as "South Bristol Link", over the "Blue Route" described in the report as "A38/A370 Link Road".

I therefore judge that it was at this point that the terminology definitively changed to "South Bristol Link".


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: DaveHarries on December 16, 2021, 11:46:01 pm
Quote
Before any decisions are made in relation to the Mass Transit proposals community engagement will take place.
Yeah sure. ::) Hope they include those such as I who work in the Temple Meads area: it might be a good idea.

As for the consultation on the no.2 bus route I have taken part in this and said, among other things, that:

- the 24hr bus lanes are a daft idea because not only does the no.2 route not operate 24/7 (although I am aware that the 76 is a 24/7 serve through Brentry and Southmead) but you also don't get huge tailbacks on the route after about 7:00/7:30pm. There are enough empty business units on Whiteladies Road already and I think that businesses along there will find it a case of survival of the fittest if these 24hr bus lanes get put in. IMO bus lanes running at peak times only (say Monday to Friday, 6:30 to 9am inbound and 4pm - 6:30pm outbound) on Whiteladies Road would be better and would not adversely affect trade for the small businesses, especially given the times we are in during which the businesses on Whiteladies Road and elsewhere need all the customers they can get.

- the Roman Road closure on the Downs is a dumb idea because the buses on the number 4 (the 2/2A do not serve that road) will get caught in the congestion on Stoke Road at peak hours with no way out of it.

The 4 is my local route but it does not operate frequently enough to make me use it. And as far as the continuous cycleway idea is concerned my only reply to that is an age-old saying: "you can lead horses to water but you can't make 'em drink it."

Dave


Title: Re: Trams for Bristol (again) and Bath?
Post by: Western Pathfinder on December 17, 2021, 07:42:31 am
Well said Dave wholeheartedly agree with you on this.



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