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Author Topic: Trams for Bath  (Read 3809 times)
Reading General
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« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2019, 06:16:31 pm »



But to get back on topic, we should perhaps remember why trams fell from favour in the UK in the first place, which was mainly due to their inflexibility. They cannot go around obstacles like a bus, and they are slow to react to new traffic flows. Imagine Bristol had a tram network, for example, before the virtual new town of Bradley Stoke was built; would the lines have been extended out there even by now?

Trams work best when they have their own dedicated thoroughfares or are only sharing them with pedestrians and other forms of public transport. Where there is an interface with "ordinary" road traffic there can easily be problems - one I witnessed about 20 years ago was in Fleetwood, where an idiot who had parked a delivery truck without sufficient thought managed to bring the Blackpool tram service to a standstill until someone went to find the driver and got him to shift it! Smiley Such things would be one of the problems in Bath because, without a bypass and few alternative through routes, so much road traffic has to run so close to the city centre.

Any thoughts of reintroducing trams to Bath would involve a lot more than digging the odd road up and laying rails; it would mean a complete transformation of the city centre's road network, including that bypass that was rejected in the 60s on grounds of cost (as much of it would have to be in tunnel).
This is exactly where and why we miss out in the U.K because we still regard trams as inflexible. Railways are just as inflexible they just don't have to share a path. We continue to rule out trams sharing road space simply because we cannot police the road space and don't think we should be policing it. The inflexibility is exactly what the user of trams like, something that isn't going to change route, something that is going to take priority and not be held to ransom by individuals. Almost every tram and trolleybus system I've travelled on in Germany has running with ordinary traffic, as well as short and long segregated sections, and it will queue occasionally when things go wrong, but generally it works well. They don't get caught in traffic because an attention to detail on the path they take, the traffic is arranged around the tram rather than the other way around. Much like they would have to here many run down the traditional main roads into town through the centre of areas where people live and where the established corridor for passengers is. In the U.K the thinking is that trams seem only to be acceptable if an urban area has a selection of old rail lines to use and they avoid general roads altogether, but unfortunately not every place has this option so any ideas of public transport other than buses is considered crazy.
The idea of a tram is to get rid of the very traffic we see clogging roads around our urban areas, we are under the impression that it will remain the same once the infrastructure is in place. Considering the access for the majority rather than the individual is what needs to change.

Cheers
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2019, 06:23:48 pm »

...about 50% of the particulates from cars come from the tyres and brakes.

I have searched for the facts behind this claim and struggled rather because it's not just particulates, but their sizes that matter. We can dismiss the argument about brakes, because although EV's are heavier than their ICE equivalents, extensive use of regenerative braking means they produce fewer brake dust particulates. It must be the case that EVs produce more tyre particulates though - but are these the ones we worry about? Isn't it the smaller soot particles that we're concerned about?


The 50% is for vehicles currently on the road and obviously it's an average. I can't remember the detail but yes, tyres do produce the very fine particulates that penetrate our lungs.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #32 on: March 30, 2019, 07:22:20 pm »

I do understand that a lot of people still feel they're somehow "lowering themselves" if they use a bus rather than a private car - that's the "prestige" argument ...

I once heard someone who felt the need to explain to a bus driver that he wouldn't normally catch a bus, and that was only using one today because his car was being serviced. I don't know what he expected the driver to do; maybe he hoped he'd doff his cap and say what a pleasure it was to have someone with 'class' on board for a change, or perhaps he hoped he might offer to let him drive...


My first thought when I read this story is that the guy was probably letting the driver know about his inexperience of bus travel, so that he wouldn't have been thought "a bit dim." For example, people who use buses regularly would know how the system works eg:

How to buy a ticket
Know what the fare is
Knowing where the stop is to get off
How you stop the bus (eg ring a bell, ask the driver, the bus will stop anyway)
How you stop the bus to get on on the way back

A non-bus user might not have a clue about these matters

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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2019, 07:28:30 pm »

Perhaps some valuable local insight into the viability of P & R serving an urban rail based system will be obtained from the results of the Bristol Portway P&R station when it is finally up and running (and when the service becomes half hourly).

I wouldn't hold your breath about that... Line capacity is not there; the signalling installation couldn't cope; the train with its circuitous route actually tales longer than the bus currently does to get to BTM; and even the provision of a simple single platform might run into difficulties over having to purchase land and/or lose parking spaces (which itself is the opposite intention of a P&R scheme Wink ) Whilst doing some research about this on another forum I happened to notice that a) the only people proposing this are some Bristol City Councillors and b) the P&R bus service receives a council subsidy. It might not be too much of a leap to conclude that the only reason some are in favour of it is to save the council money and put the financial burden on DfT and GWR...


I sure won't hold my breath until it opens but the completion date is by the end of the year, all funded, land aquired and ground surveys complete. The minor signalling changes are, I am informed, included in the budget and half hourly services will be part of the Metrowest project.

I notice that Graham is involved with the Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways. Perhaps he can give us an update
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johnneyw
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« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2019, 07:33:38 pm »

I do understand that a lot of people still feel they're somehow "lowering themselves" if they use a bus rather than a private car - that's the "prestige" argument ...

I once heard someone who felt the need to explain to a bus driver that he wouldn't normally catch a bus, and that was only using one today because his car was being serviced. I don't know what he expected the driver to do; maybe he hoped he'd doff his cap and say what a pleasure it was to have someone with 'class' on board for a change, or perhaps he hoped he might offer to let him drive...


My first thought when I read this story is that the guy was probably letting the driver know about his inexperience of bus travel, so that he wouldn't have been thought "a bit dim." For example, people who use buses regularly would know how the system works eg:

How to buy a ticket
Know what the fare is
Knowing where the stop is to get off
How you stop the bus (eg ring a bell, ask the driver, the bus will stop anyway)
How you stop the bus to get on on the way back

A non-bus user might not have a clue about these matters



Fair point although on a very personal basis (and as a non car driver) I do feel more "upmarket" in a tram, rightly or wrongly.
Unquestionably though, I find rail based travel generally more comfortable as buses tend to bounce you more through all 3 dimensions rather than the more gradual sway of trains and trams. Trams and trains also tend to feel a lot less "stop/start than buses
which again adds to the feeling that you are on a better mode of transport.
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Lee
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« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2019, 07:44:42 pm »

Perhaps some valuable local insight into the viability of P & R serving an urban rail based system will be obtained from the results of the Bristol Portway P&R station when it is finally up and running (and when the service becomes half hourly).

I wouldn't hold your breath about that... Line capacity is not there; the signalling installation couldn't cope; the train with its circuitous route actually tales longer than the bus currently does to get to BTM; and even the provision of a simple single platform might run into difficulties over having to purchase land and/or lose parking spaces (which itself is the opposite intention of a P&R scheme Wink ) Whilst doing some research about this on another forum I happened to notice that a) the only people proposing this are some Bristol City Councillors and b) the P&R bus service receives a council subsidy. It might not be too much of a leap to conclude that the only reason some are in favour of it is to save the council money and put the financial burden on DfT and GWR...


I sure won't hold my breath until it opens but the completion date is by the end of the year, all funded, land aquired and ground surveys complete. The minor signalling changes are, I am informed, included in the budget and half hourly services will be part of the Metrowest project.

I notice that Graham is involved with the Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways. Perhaps he can give us an update

Latest update received:

Further update regarding Portway Parkway received from Bristol City Council for the benefit of forum members:

Quote from: Bristol City Council
There has been some delay in Bristol City Council determining the planning application whilst some follow up ecological issues were addressed. All outstanding issues have now been addressed and we are expecting to get an update on determination by the end of this week.

The current cost estimate for the scheme includes provision for some minor signalling works connected to the operation of the level crossing just north of the site on West Town Road. This is because the sighting of the current signal which operates the crossing for trains heading towards Avonmouth would mean that additional barrier downtime at the level crossing would be incurred whilst trains stopped at the new station. This signal mitigation will mean that the level crossing can be operated once the train is ready to leave the new station thereby removing any potential for additional delay.

EDIT: Also posted here due to ongoing relevant thread.

I will ask again early next week.
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grahame
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« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2019, 07:46:36 pm »

I notice that Graham is involved with the Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways. Perhaps he can give us an update

Hmmm ... I sorta learn a lot across the whole South West and I was guest speaker at the FoSBR ... I suppose that's sorta "involved" ... but I will leave others to speak for them.

My understanding is that the platform needs to go in pretty soon because the money that's there for it has to be spent by a certain time (end of this year??) or is lost.   However, you won't seen half hourly trains from December even if the platform's there and open for service.

Busy thread I note ... has anyone else answer while I've been time-sharing between typing and watching The Chase?
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johnneyw
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« Reply #37 on: March 30, 2019, 07:49:00 pm »

I do understand that a lot of people still feel they're somehow "lowering themselves" if they use a bus rather than a private car - that's the "prestige" argument ...

I once heard someone who felt the need to explain to a bus driver that he wouldn't normally catch a bus, and that was only using one today because his car was being serviced. I don't know what he expected the driver to do; maybe he hoped he'd doff his cap and say what a pleasure it was to have someone with 'class' on board for a change, or perhaps he hoped he might offer to let him drive...


My first thought when I read this story is that the guy was probably letting the driver know about his inexperience of bus travel, so that he wouldn't have been thought "a bit dim." For example, people who use buses regularly would know how the system works eg:

How to buy a ticket
Know what the fare is
Knowing where the stop is to get off
How you stop the bus (eg ring a bell, ask the driver, the bus will stop anyway)
How you stop the bus to get on on the way back

A non-bus user might not have a clue about these matters



Fair point although on a very personal basis (and as a non car driver) I do feel more "upmarket" in a tram, rightly or wrongly.
Unquestionably though, I find rail based travel generally more comfortable as buses tend to bounce you more through all 3 dimensions rather than the more gradual sway of trains and trams. Trams and trains also tend to feel a lot less "stop/start than buses
which again adds to the feeling that you are on a better mode of transport.

The "Bristol Commuters/Metrowest Status" thread has some relevant information on this. Our Global Moderator Lee has provided some very useful and recent "inside information" regarding this particular subject from his connections with Bristol City Council.
I'm a FOSBR member too but not in any way privy to any information other than from their website/Facebook pages/newsletters. Graham and Lee may indeed have their fingers more on the pulse regarding the latest news.


Edit: Oops, looks like I was rather beaten to the reply there by the very people I mentioned!😯
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Lee
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« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2019, 07:51:15 pm »

Busy thread I note ... has anyone else answer while I've been time-sharing between typing and watching The Chase?

Yep - And I'm watching it too  Grin
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #39 on: March 30, 2019, 08:27:02 pm »


Hmmm ... I sorta learn a lot across the whole South West and I was guest speaker at the FoSBR ... I suppose that's sorta "involved" ... but I will leave others to speak for them.

My understanding is that the platform needs to go in pretty soon because the money that's there for it has to be spent by a certain time (end of this year??) or is lost.   However, you won't seen half hourly trains from December even if the platform's there and open for service.

Busy thread I note ... has anyone else answer while I've been time-sharing between typing and watching The Chase?

I was trawling Google for information and found your name on the most recent FoSBR minutes. It appears I then added two and two and got six  Grin
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