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Author Topic: MetroBus  (Read 123656 times)
martyjon
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« Reply #600 on: August 30, 2018, 07:06:07 pm »

For this part 2 following my coffee with my metrobus insider earlier this week I'll concentrate on the M3. A new timetable to operate from mid September is available and whilst this shows later services from the Centre and a Sunday service, the later services Monday to Saturday only operate to UWE, the spread of services to Lyde Green and Emersons Green remain as at present, the later services only serve the UWE until the last service from the city centre at 04:12, so much for the hard done by students having ludicrous tuition fees but can manage to stop out at the city's nightclubs until the early hours, crawl back to their student accommodation, crash out till midday then turn out for tutorials and lectures before returning to the city's nightclubs for another session.

There are concerns over the passenger numbers using the service outside of the peak hours as other posters and myself have addressed on previous posts to this thread. Would this explain the lack of additional services to EG evenings, the current service means the last bus back to EG is too early for patrons of the Colston Hall, Hippodrome, Bristol Old Vic and the Cabot Circus Cinema complex. Yes, there is a claim that 120,000 passengers have used the service since its inception bit how many of that number were between UWE and the City Centre only.

The new South Gloucestershire LYNX Network Route Y1 from Chipping Sodbury and Yate may well entice some passengers away from the M3 as this replacement for the 47/X47 will commence on 02/09/2018 and although only serving one common stop inbound with the M3, Hambrook, passengers waiting there may well prefer to use the Y1 as that service will run direct to the City Centre via the M32. Outbound this service will also serve the Willy Wicket Metrobus stop and thus entice more customers for a quicker homeward commute than the M3 will provide.

Elected SG Council members had requested that the Y1 be allowed to use the bus only exit/entry roads to the M32 to enable the service to provide a link between UWE and Yate/Chipping Sodbury, even the new service, U3, which is down to operate every 20 minutes in conjunction with the M3 and provide a 10 minute interval departure service from and to UWE from the City Centre (6/7 minute headway in peak hours) will not be allowed to use the infrastructure, infrastructure which residents of South Gloucestershire helped to pay for through their council and general taxes.

I questioned my insider about the inability or unwillingness or whatever why the dickheads running the Metrobus outfit rule out a Metrobus service serving Parkway station when during the few full closures of Parkway station lately the RR buses quite happily negotiate the 'not suitable for buses' route through the grounds of Parkway station to gain access through the new Stoke Gifford Link Road and thence the M32 to Temple Meads, to Gloucester/Cheltenham (fast) and to Yate and Cam and Dursley or just Yate when services from/to Gloucester turn back at Yate. His response was, “You already said it, the dickheads don't know what their doing”. There is nobody in overall control of the project, nobody who had drawn up an Activity Chart detailing every high level activity and the periods over which those activities would take place.

I did point out that in a meeting that I was present at, a councillor, who claimed to be well versed with the rail network asked when Yate was going to get the promised turn back facility to enable the 30 minute interval service to be provided. The councillor was surprised when I told them that a turnback facility already existed for both directions of travel and has been used during the recent prolonged full closures of the South Wales Main Line between Westerleigh Junction and Parkway Station. This turn back has also been used when the Severn Tunnel was closed for the installation of the OHL of the electrification project and the empty Cardiff – Portsmouth units were run to Yate and stabled on the Tytherington branch as insufficient siding space was available to accommodate the stock at Parkway itself.

Roll on till the whole thing collapses.   
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martyjon
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« Reply #601 on: August 31, 2018, 11:13:21 am »

1......... but the employees of Hargreaves Lansdown who are by far the majority employer on Harbourside during the week !.
2....Furthermore the section of route most likely to be used by employees of HL is the Long Ashton P&R to Bristol City centre.
1....But surely these staff are all coming from different points of a compass so how would a designated pick up be of any use?
2... Why would the staff be using the P&R
I'm confused.com

Yes, you are confused

1. HL are not the major employer on the harbourside, have you forgotten Lloyds Bank, I would suggest has a larger square footage of office space in their 3 buildings than HL, this includes the LB gym. Then there is the Handelsbankenn and City Hall workers who disgorge and alight the 903 on Anchor Road

2. The P&R is a large free car park owned by BCC but in the confines of North Somerset (Parish) Council and to which many commuters from North Somerset converge and pay a fare to travel into the heart of the city where I've known parking charges to be £25 a day in a private car park and £3 per hour in an NCP Car Park attached to a Holiday Inn Express establishment. So to use the P&R makes economical sense.

What is the bugbear here is the NSPC who are the successor planning authority to the planning authority which approved planning permission for the P&R at the outset. As I understand it the car park officially only has planning permission for the parking of cars of commuters working in Central Bristol. I have, however, not heard of NSPC stationing "gestapo police" at the entrance to the P&R to ensure that only commuters and not shoppers enter the P&R. Saturday afternoons when there is a game at Ashton Gate Stadium many fans park at the P&R and walk the last mile or so to the stadium and have been publically requested NOT to use Metrobus because there is not enough vehicles to meet anticipated demand although there is a stop designated "Ashton Gate" on the Metrobus m2 route.

Bristol Sport are being pursued to provide extra parking for fans which was a condition of planning consent for the recent enlargement of the Stadium implementable when the average gate attendance at the stadium surpassed a certain figure. Bristol Sport would quite happily pay for the opening of the P&R on a Sunday when there will be NO metrobus service so the fans could walk the route so far and then cross the railway line at the now little used level crossing. NSPC stance is that the conditions attached to the Planning Permission 20 years plus ago still stand today. Really you couldn't make it up. NSPC well and truly earn their Parish middle name, that council voted as a council NOT to become part of WECA but now WECA exists are invited to their meetings, they even hold their hands out for contributions from the WECA Mayors £1 billion HMG gift. If I were the WECA Mayor I would tell the NSPC representative, your authority voted not to be part of WECA so, pointing to the door, There is the door, GET OUT.
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Pavement
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« Reply #602 on: September 01, 2018, 10:11:36 am »

Surely the simple solution would be to extend the route of the 71 from it's last stop at UWE to the P&R. It looks like that would only add 5 minutes tops to the journey time of those people going from the P&R to Anchor Road.
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martyjon
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« Reply #603 on: September 01, 2018, 10:59:09 am »

Surely the simple solution would be to extend the route of the 71 from it's last stop at UWE to the P&R. It looks like that would only add 5 minutes tops to the journey time of those people going from the P&R to Anchor Road.

Not allowed by BCC who own the P&R LA site, only solution BCC can't veto is the current P&R service from LA P&R to Clifton which goes up Jacobs Wells Road with pax alighting near Anchor Road/Hotwells Road/Jacobs Wells Road roundabout, even to re-route the Clifton P&R service to run along Anchor Road to turn right into the Harbourside area turning at the Lloyds building turning circle back to Jacobs Wells Road is opposed by BCC/Metrobus. 
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eightf48544
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« Reply #604 on: September 01, 2018, 04:18:12 pm »

Not being from Bristol the finer details elude me but my observation is you "Couldn't make it up"
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grahame
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« Reply #605 on: September 01, 2018, 06:05:05 pm »

For this part 2 following my coffee with my metrobus insider earlier this week ...

A very interesting view / set of thoughts.  I do have a question in my inbox asking me if there's some unparliamentary language in use here and I have to admit - yes - I think there is (or close to it).   I happen to know a Mr Richard Head, and he should not be compared with the people who run the Metrobus, though I have to admit he would probably not do too good a job of it. At least I think he would have the common sense not to try!
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TonyK
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« Reply #606 on: September 01, 2018, 06:17:20 pm »

Surely the simple solution would be to extend the route of the 71 from it's last stop at UWE to the P&R. It looks like that would only add 5 minutes tops to the journey time of those people going from the P&R to Anchor Road.

Not allowed by BCC who own the P&R LA site, only solution BCC can't veto is the current P&R service from LA P&R to Clifton which goes up Jacobs Wells Road with pax alighting near Anchor Road/Hotwells Road/Jacobs Wells Road roundabout, even to re-route the Clifton P&R service to run along Anchor Road to turn right into the Harbourside area turning at the Lloyds building turning circle back to Jacobs Wells Road is opposed by BCC/Metrobus. 

It does make it look as though BCC are going to extreme lengths to try to force commuters to use MetroBust! In other places, I have seen posts by many unhappy people who currently live in Portishead or Clevedon and work in central Bristol. One solution some are going to try is to switch to the Avonmouth P&R. For many, there will be something of an improvement, even over the 903. The drive from junction 19 of the M5 can be stop-start from as far away as Abbots Leigh. The quick nip over the bridge to J 18 might be a pain because of the convoluted nature of the slip roads, but the bus enjoys a bus lane from Sea Mills to the suspension bridge, after which traffic is never as bad as was made out at the MetroBust public inquiry.

It reinforces the point that we should have had improvements to public transport rather than MetroBust.
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« Reply #607 on: September 02, 2018, 10:56:19 am »

...£1 billion HMG gift...

This, for those who are new to this topic, is one of these new definitions:

Gift (n): A sum of money belonging to a person or organisation which you allow them to keep as long as they spend it on things which you agree, on a timescale you determine, subject to your whims and last-minute sixpenny turns.
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Oxonhutch
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« Reply #608 on: September 02, 2018, 03:09:13 pm »

For this part 2 following my coffee with my metrobus insider earlier this week ...
A very interesting view / set of thoughts.  I do have a question in my inbox asking me if there's some unparliamentary language in use here and I have to admit - yes - I think there is (or close to it).

I distinctly remember the Vicar of Dibley - when composing a letter to the Water Company - asking her Parish Councillors if the word was hyphenated or not  Smiley
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martyjon
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« Reply #609 on: September 02, 2018, 04:59:31 pm »

Another 3 howlers unearthed today.

Timetable for tomorrows start of m2 has a square photo with rounded corners of sports fans extolling the virtues of Ashton Gate Stadium as being stadium, conference & events revealing nearest metrobus stop: Ashton Gate yet two weeks ago the local Bristol rag had a message for sports fan NOT to use metrobus for travel to the stadium by metrobus as they haven't enough vehicles to cope with the hordes of fans expected at fixtures.

On service 903 which m2 is replacing you could buy a 10 or 20 ticket package, if any passenger has any journeys left on these packages they will not be accepted on m2 even though it could mean travel between exactly the same points on m2 as the holder travelled on the 903. You can get a refund so it seems some organisation has to set up a section to deal with these refunds which probably will not be a at minimal cost, crazy.

Controversy has raged over the mysterious disappearance of the South Bristol Link route from the LA P&R to Hengrove as detailed in the original spec for the project. Guess what. The self same route has now mysteriously re-appeared on the Metrobus map posted at Metrobus stops as a dotted line together with the m1 route as a solid line with more dotted line in the North Bristol area on said maps.  Huh Huh Huh

Will be out tomorrow for my first ride on a guided (justa)bus. 
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« Reply #610 on: September 02, 2018, 07:03:39 pm »

...£1 billion HMG gift...

This, for those who are new to this topic, is one of these new definitions:

Gift (n): A sum of money belonging to a person or organisation which you allow them to keep as long as they spend it on things which you agree, on a timescale you determine, subject to your whims and last-minute sixpenny turns.

..............which explains why "gift" means "poison" in German !
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« Reply #611 on: September 03, 2018, 06:34:37 pm »

Well now...I caught the m2 just after 11am from the euphemistically named Ashton Gate stop heading into Bristol. I had my concessionary card ready, but couldn't see any times on the ticket machine and when I scrolled the map with my finger it took me to East London!.

As the bus pulled in, I noticed the flywheel that keeps it within the guided kerbs, immediately noticed how fast it was turning, and thought that will probably need replacing at frequent intervals.Got on board,about 15 passengers and sat upstairs front right hand side where the air con was delivering a cool hurricane.

As we went over Ashton Avenue swing bridge, (which hasn't swung since 1951), I was struck by the interplay of light and shadow between the girders. Once we pulled up at the traffic lights to join Cumberland Road, the guided bus became justabus. The road was virtually empty, we picked up no-one and it stayed like that until the euphemistically named Temple Meads stop. The stop names all sound very attractive until you realise that all these attractions are some walk away, but in the same breath, I would add that the walking times given, are a bit unrealistic. A young art student bowed down with folders of coursework might find Bower Ashton does take 20 minutes to walk from Ashton Gate, but this reasonably fit pensioner was able to do it in 7 minutes. Perhaps there is a bit of reverse psychology going on here ? .The rest of the journey around Bond Street, Broadmead, the Centre, and Queen square was quiet both traffic and passenger wise.

I was somewhat surprised that the driver continued straight on through Prince Street and back around the Redcliffe roundabout, all the way back to the Long Ashton P&R as the diagrams on the buses seem to indicate that Queen Square is the final stop. Overall, it was a calm, unhurried journey,with no fuss, but by contrast, hardly worth all the time effort and money that has gone into getting it up and running.

 I think that there will be a stop outside St Mary Redcliffe inbound eventually, for all those wanting the Harbourside offices.
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TonyK
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« Reply #612 on: September 04, 2018, 12:37:50 am »

I think that there will be a stop outside St Mary Redcliffe inbound eventually, for all those wanting the Harbourside offices.

If we are talking about the same harbourside, most dismounted at Wapping Wharf for the 10-minute schlep up Prince Street. Fairly pleasant in fine weather, less so in winter or carrying baggage, and much less convenient than being dropped outside the office in 8 minutes, especially with a 33% hike in cost.
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martyjon
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« Reply #613 on: September 05, 2018, 10:14:02 am »

Well Monday was opening day for Metrobus m2 route, DISASTER day from what I saw and heard.

Departed Lyde Green P&R on the m3 09:00 service from Emersons Green to the Centre which had to wait time at UWE and surprisingly only picked up 1 passenger there to add to the 6 already on the bus. Pulled up behind one of the new m2 route vehicles at Cabot Circus and had to wait, and wait, and wait before the driver of my bus threw the gear selector into reverse. Backed a bit and then pulled out into the Bond Street traffic to travel onto the City Centre.

Once on the Centre I looked around for wheelchair user DR who I said I'd meet there but there was no sign of him. Went to the Colston Hall for a comfort break and returned to obtain a tea from the trailer tea/coffee vendor opposite the forces recruitment office, saw DR there and called out to him and before I had crossed the road DR advised me that there was chaos at Temple Meads. No signs pointing to where to get the m2, passengers exiting the station looking around on the incline for this new super dooper bus service to the city centre were being advised to get the 8/9 to the city centre or the X39 from the bottom of the incline outside the Holiday Inn Express. Other passengers were being advised to return to the station entrance and use the side entrance, walk down to the Temple Mead gyratory roundabout under construction and then along Temple Way to the stop at the back of the hotel there, I knew it as the Crowne Plaza but I think its different now. A walk of about ¾ of a mile from the booking hall at the station and with luggage, well, I'll not comment further.

Well DR and myself decided that we take the approaching m2 out to Long Ashton. Bus pulled up and DR requested the bus body be lowered so he could board, no way, lowering the body would damage the bodywork of the bus so at many stops the driver has to leave the driving cab and manually operate the ramp which is what happened when we arrived at the LA P&R site. Didn't establish whether the body lowering function on the vehicles had been isolated for this service. On the ride out to the P&R DR filled me in with the comments made on Radio Bristol earlier in the morning which was nothing but criticism and derision.

At the P&R site there were 3 First personnel, 5 persons wearing the red Metrobus polo shirts which may or may not have been First employees too but in the 2 hours we were there at times all 8 of these persons were fending off criticism of this shambles leaving drivers having to leave their buses and doing their best they could to talk the passengers through how to buy their tickets, I saw passengers walking up to the ticket machine (I-Point in Metrobus language) with notes in hand so the “no cash” message hadn't reached the ears of some.

When one of the First persons was free I remarked to him how I would have thought the outfit running this Metrobus project would have produced a video on how to obtain their tickets before travel and show it on a screen in the LA waiting room as a repeating video loop and should have been loaded onto the onboard computers on the m3 when that service started up and was free for the first two weeks of operation, instead all that was displayed was an alternating “flying” f  / First, the operator and HANNOVER, the manufacturer of the flat screens. That individual agreed with me on that. I also mentioned the problem of the bus body not being lowered for DR to aboard, and the individual looked puzzled, shouldn't be a problem. He went to the driver of a bus which was waiting and asked the driver to lower the bodywork while he observed, an inch at a time then stop. He came back to me and confirmed that whilst the body could be lowered, at a low kerb the “jockey wheel”, as he called it, might damage the bodywork due to the way its attached to the vehicle so the driver was right and played safe.
 
The waiting room at the LA P&R has been tarted up to give it a refreshed look and make it into an 'm2 waiting lounge', two very nice toilets which I used both, The first by ignorance. You see one toilet door has roundel pictograms of both a lady and a wheelchair user and the other has a pictogram on it of, err, a lady, I plumped to use the one with the two pictograms on it and use the disabled facility, that WAS the ladies too, the other was the gents, the one with the single pictogram of a lady on the entrance door. It was funny watching the female sex pushing that door and suddenly retracting themselves when faced with the sight of two urinals and having a retake on the entrance door, yes it does portray a lady there. One young girl went in and didn't retract herself immediately but came out laughing her head off telling her friends she went in there and after as she emerged from the cubicle there was an old geezer having a pee in front of her. All she wanted to do was wash her hands and was directed to the genuine ladies room, meanwhile her friends took it in turns to push the outer and inner dors to the gents fotting the door with the ladies pictogram on it showing the urinals behind the two doors.

DR was very concerned that although the 505, the BCT contracted service operating a ½ hourly service to Southmead Hospital from the P&R is still in being despite the media being informed it had been withdrawn, there were no timetable leaflets for this service to be found. DR is concerned that this service could face the axe as a connection from m2 to the 24 can be made at Redcliffe Hill which would then take punters on a mystery tour of Bristol via The Centre, Nelson Street, Broadmead, Old Market, Stapleton Road, Fishponds Road, Muller Road, Lockleaze, Horfield finally depositing them at Southmead Hospital an hour later having missed their appointments.

I really looked forward to my first ride on a guided busway, I was, more than mildly disappointed, I was mortified actually. Apart from one small, say 20 degree curve to the left outbound, right inbound, all the guided bits are, umm, dead straight and with a bit of common sense the whole project could have been constructed without the need for any guided bits at all. Even the Village Idiot Construction Company could have done better.

On the outward journey, on Cumberland Road, there were long term roadworks taking place just past the junction with Prince Street and adjacent to the Wapping Wharf construction site. A tipper truck was being loaded with spoil from these roadworks. The bus had to wait for a gap in the oncoming traffic but there was insufficient room for the bus to pass and so the driver had to mount the offside pavement to pass the obstructing tipper. That would not have been possible had the Metrobus shelter and seating been installed there and it probably will be 12 months before the Wapping Wharf development is complete. There was of course the Metrobus I-point there standing in the middle of what was left of the sidewalk with barely enough room for a wheelchair or wide childrens buggy to pass due to the encroachment of the construction sites hoardings into the said sidewalk. Further along Cumberland Road nearly all of the area for coach and car parking near the Harbour Masters offices was occupied by contractors vehicles working on the project to stabilise the bank of The Cut which has slipped and caused the railway line which the harbour chuffer used to be closed and could lead to Cumberland Road itself subsiding into The Cut. What would happen to Metrobus then ?

Arriving back at the Centre DR and myself retired to SUBWAY for nourishment and it so happened the lunchtime Points West news bulletin was on the tv screen which we watched. The MD of FWOE was interviewed. I have met JF on a number of occasions and he, as Grahame will confirm, is a very approachable person and I have great respect for him and in the PW interview I thought he looked a very angry man, angry because he and his staff and the few others were having to fend off the unhappy punters criticisms and insults and NO ONE from the Metrobus organization or the council were anywhere to be seen, what a cowardly way to foist a high profile project onto the public, a project the people of Bristol didn't want.

Although some of you reading this may disagree, I said to DR the best bit of that was viewing the graffiti that has appeared on the pristine concrete sculptures that masquerade as road infrastructure, when is the Bristol School of Graffiti Artists going to finish their project and colour in the rest of this pristine concrete sculpture. 

Any forum members reading this just put a date in your diary, Saturdays 22nd and 29th September on which days travel on m2 will be free and under the slogan “m2 try it for free” and enjoy a few hours in Bristols Central area, Harbourside or maybe visit the Great Britain or go on that shopping spree that you have been promising yourself for yonks.



 
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #614 on: September 05, 2018, 10:50:31 am »

Thanks for that, martyjon - entertaining and informative as ever!

I too experienced the very long wait at Bond Street - no idea what he hold up was, except that a bloke who appeared to be acting in some sort of official capacity had told our driver to pull up very close behind a long-distance bus which didn't appear to be going anywhere in a hurry.

Just as an aside, the Temple Circus Gyratory isn't under construction; it's under destruction. The old roundabout was a bit like MetroBus - it was expensive, no-one wanted it, and it didn't work very well. It is now being replaced by a simple crossroads, which will make journeys quicker and free off land for better uses. Now then: how hard would it be to lay rails along the guided busway?
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