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Author Topic: MetroBus  (Read 19300 times)
Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #105 on: July 07, 2017, 03:32:31 PM »

The Metrobus overspend is almost totally within SGC, due in part to the two years of chaos in Bradley Stoke due to Gas and Water mains being at the wrong depth.

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

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

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

I wonder if Mr Sane has gone whilst his CV is still worth something. If it continues to get worse, and if passenger numbers are low if and when it opens, MetroBust might be the last thing any professional wants to be associated with.
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« Reply #106 on: July 13, 2017, 04:27:24 PM »


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


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

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

Bristol City Council's response was:

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

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

Oh, and I like the bit about the new bus stop being 'in direct line of sight of the proposed new entrance to Temple Meads'. Presumably it will also be in direct line of sight of the Moon, on a clear night, which is just as useful if you have heavy bags to carry.
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« Reply #107 on: July 16, 2017, 10:14:51 AM »


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


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

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

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

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

Bristol City Council's response was:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*(Only until 11 August)
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 10:47:58 AM by Four Track, Now! » Logged

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« Reply #108 on: July 16, 2017, 10:52:59 PM »

There is little point in getting to Temple Way from Ashton Vale in 17 minutes if it takes a further 17 minutes to get to the station.

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

No-one with luggage or with restricted walking ability will find such a distance to the railway station encouraging the use of the new bus.  I hope they're not going to stop the other buses going up the ramp.
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« Reply #109 on: July 17, 2017, 10:55:14 AM »

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

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

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

Quote
...the schedule’s ability to make time savings for passengers
Huh Shades of Jim Hacker in "Yes Minister", and the saga of the hospital that was Britain's most efficient until it started admitting patients.
I think it's all three of arrogance, incompetence and mission creep, along with another factor you've hinted at in the rest of what I've quoted: thinking of "journey times" in terms of "vehicle times", regardless of whether the vehicle is a bus, tram, train, car or anything else, totally ignoring the fact that it's people making the journey, not a vehicle for its own vehicular sake.
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« Reply #110 on: July 17, 2017, 11:36:19 AM »

The pachyderm in the piano nobile here is that buses and trains have not had the highest priority in the redesign of the woeful Temple Circus Gyratory. The stated aims of the project are:

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

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

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« Reply #111 on: July 17, 2017, 06:52:40 PM »

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


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

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

You can see, by reference to history, what may happen in years to come. A future government realises that trams aren't such a bad idea after all, and encourages their use to link major railway stations to areas of employment and housing. Cities and major towns across the land rejoice and start building. Bristol says "If only we hadn't built New Broadmead on Plot 6, there would have been room for trams, and we wouldn't have all these dingy charity shops and nail salons to keep clear of tumbleweeds. It's a shame MetroBust didn't work out, but the executions were fun."
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 07:00:44 PM by Four Track, Now! » Logged

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« Reply #112 on: August 01, 2017, 10:45:44 PM »

Not sure what to conclude about this.

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/metrobus-platforms-dangerous-says-cyclist-262655
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« Reply #113 on: August 01, 2017, 11:42:34 PM »

Not sure what to conclude about this.

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

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

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

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

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

As an aside, now I have recalled the situation, that driver and his brother were probably the most highly qualified tram driver and tram conductor in Blackpool, if not the world. They were two of about 11 children born to a family of Irish descent of modest means living in a village "over Wyre" as they say, meaning on the opposite side of the Wyre estuary from Fleetwood. Neither looked like an assiduous scholar at my Catholic grammar school, probably because they wore the uniform of the brother above, but boy, did they learn! We'll call them John and Jim. John started as a holiday job conductor on the trams, then learned to drive them. Jim followed in his footsteps. John eventually obtained a MSc from a Cambridge university, whereas Jim went down the arts route, obtaining a first class degree in French, Italian, and at least one other European language. Both decided to hang on for the right job and working the trams in the meantime. Jim vanished first, taking a position with the EU in Brussels, John followed soon after with a transition to a leading multi-national civil engineering company, and I have heard from neither since. Third parties tell me that both, and most of their siblings, have done far better than I have.
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« Reply #114 on: August 09, 2017, 08:28:56 PM »

Not sure whether this is old news?
From the BBC
Quote
Bristol MetroBus costs rise £10m to hit £230m

The Ashton Avenue swing bridge makes up part of the MetroBus route through south Bristol

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

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

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

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


Costs for the 'rapid transit' bus scheme are shared by councils in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

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

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

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

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

Extra costs including the removal of protesters from trees in Stapleton Road allotments and additional security measures were blamed for the overall bill rising to £216m last year.
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« Reply #115 on: August 09, 2017, 09:09:31 PM »

Not sure whether this is old news?
From the BBC
Quote
Bristol MetroBus costs rise £10m to hit £230m

The Ashton Avenue swing bridge makes up part of the MetroBus route through south Bristol

Is this still there?

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« Reply #116 on: August 09, 2017, 09:45:15 PM »

Not sure whether this is old news?
From the BBC
Quote
Bristol MetroBus costs rise £10m to hit £230m

The Ashton Avenue swing bridge makes up part of the MetroBus route through south Bristol

Is this still there?



Nope. Looked like this a few months ago:

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« Reply #117 on: August 09, 2017, 10:06:11 PM »

Is this still there?
Nope. Looked like this a few months ago:

That looks like rails are being replaced by a road.  Couldn't happen anywhere that's been a European Green Capital, surely?
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« Reply #118 on: August 09, 2017, 11:22:01 PM »

Is this still there?
Nope. Looked like this a few months ago:

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

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

They've built a nice new cycle track under the bridge, leading towards Underfall Yard. Should be handy. Not all bad, see.
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« Reply #119 on: August 10, 2017, 01:19:15 PM »

The nice new cycle track that's in the same place as the nice old cycle track, the one that used to connect with the Pill Path along the river and the path out towards Long Ashton but now doesn't. At least, not directly. However, there is an amusing road sign at the start of the guided section the other end of the bridge, saying "Car trap".
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