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Author Topic: MetroBus  (Read 83719 times)
Oberon
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« on: May 16, 2016, 05:58:46 pm »

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

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

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

I doubt if he will ever do Bristol a favour and release it, but just imagine the transformation if  he did...
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trainer
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2016, 10:34:25 pm »

Well done for asking, Oberon.  A pro-tram mayor is a plus.
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simonw
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2016, 11:16:43 pm »

I don't think GF was anti tram, but desperate for anything that would improve transport.

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

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

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

To improve the current situation we need a 'funded' Transport Authority with full control over local rail and buses and the the authority and money to take the system(s) forward.
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ellendune
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2016, 07:39:54 am »

If Avon Metro had gone ahead, wasn't it going to use part of the alignment of the route from Barton Hill to Filton.  That would mean that we could not do the 4 tracking as now.
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Noggin
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2016, 10:15:29 am »

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

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

Technocratic stuff is great, but sometimes you need the gutsy grand vision to excite people
 
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2016, 11:24:56 am »

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

* Situation Normal - Avon Filibusters and Undermines

 
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2016, 11:33:34 am »

I think Ferguson had far more of a grand vision than Rees or any other of the candidates. Rees does seem to be a very nice guy indeed and is probably the most compassionate mayor we could have had, but he does not seem to be full of exciting ideas. He's pretty much a party man, albeit a likeable one.

But whoever we ended up with as mayor from, ooh, Paul Saville to, say, Michael Bloomberg, they're only Mayor of Bristol. And not even of the whole of the city, only the City, if you see what I mean. So something like MetroBus is not the Mayor's to introduce or cancel. It's a camel.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2016, 05:15:49 pm »

Rees has announced his first cabinet position: Paul Smith is to be Cabinet Minister for Homes and Communities.

It may or may not be relevant, but Smith recently posted a piece to The Bristol Wire in which he states:

Quote

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

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

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


...and then:

Quote

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


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

This from the bloke in charge of delivering Rees' biggest promise: 2000 new homes per year by 2020.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2016, 05:58:22 pm »

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

The major driver for commuting must be house price differentials and those if anything would be increased by a successful house-building programme. I don't see that as a good reason to abandon the plan though. (Hmm, beginning to go way off topic there.)
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2016, 06:29:43 pm »

...beginning to go way off topic there.

As was I, of course.

Or were we? Although the thread title is 'MetroBust' (which has its own thread elsewhere on this forum), the content of the OP was about Bristol's new mayor, and his attitude to public transport. Since we don't have much evidence for this, I thought it useful to see if we can deduce anything from the published opinions of his new right-hand man. I'm not sure we have strayed very far off topic!
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2016, 10:06:20 am »

Since that other thread includes "local councils" in its title, arguably discussion of Marvin and His Marvellous Ministers belongs there not here! But in practice this is the Marvin thread and so, I expect, is that one.  Grin Huh
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2016, 12:14:13 pm »

I think 'Marvin and His Marvellous Ministers' makes a very apposite title.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2016, 12:28:33 pm »

Bearing in mind the only thing we know yet is that he is Marvin and they are Ministers.  Smiley

But, to neatly tie up transport and housing, here's a tale from last night, when I was in a pub in Shirehampton with a friend who lives right next door to the pub and very near to the station. He (+ partner) moved there about a year ago ^ he'd previously lived by the docks (also right next door to a pub... ) ^ and they key attraction of this house for them (apart from the pub... ) was the station and decent rail service. And to get bike carriage in there as well, he's a cyclist and was remarking on the huge number of bikes on that line (which of course is not subject to compulsory, or any, reservations) particularly on a Saturday morning. Staff are very accommodating over this, he says. But he never puts his bike on that train because it's actually quicker to ride into town.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2016, 02:46:01 pm »

Your 'friend' sounds like he's made some pretty good life choices in his time. Are you sure it's not really you you're describing?
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2016, 03:55:49 pm »

Considering he also spent some years working on a North Sea oil rig, I hope not!
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