Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Tonight's council meeting

Buses being debated at Bristol City Council tonight. If I'm not in the Chamber I'll watch it on the webcast. Before anyone starts griping about why Labour wasn't saying these things when they were running the Council, the answer is, they were - but they were also trying to work with First Bus and the other local authorities and this obliged us to pursue a rather more conciliatory strategy, building consensus, don't rock the pram or the Tories/ Lib Dems will throw their toys out...

Mark has also put down some questions about the waste strategy (i.e. where is it, what is it and how the hell are you going to make the sums add up with the PFI element?) but I understand there's a good chance they won't get to it.


Pete Goodwin said...

"they were also trying to work with First Bus and the other local authorities and this obliged us to pursue a rather more conciliatory strategy, building consensus, don't rock the pram or the Tories/ Lib Dems will throw their toys out..."So what are they trying to do now, Kerry. Either they'll alienate everyone else, or they could prompt a more co-operative reaction from the other parties (and you'll have seen the BBC story Bristol could get Oyster Cards tonight.) Hopefully the latter. As I said in the previous thread, can we hope that Labour will co-operate, without trying to turn it into a party issue?

Clearly First Bus (in both its incarnations) has been a barrier to progress on this. Their claim that it would cost too much is barely credible. Does anyone (especially from First) know the real reason?

Kerry said...

Of course Labour will co-operate with other parties, if there's a common agenda. I'm not saying that the transport agenda for Bristol should now be based on party political dividing lines, I'm just saying that Labour councillors can now campaign on what Labour wants for the City, rather than always having to speak 'with one voice' as part of the West of England partnership.

There would be costs associated with getting Oyster cards (and I don't actually think we can call them Oyster cards unless the same company comes in to operate the scheme), because the buses would have to be fitted with the technology and also the charging points and the technology for registering/ charging up cards online. But do I think this investment would pay off in the not too distant future? Yes. (I also think the very simple improvement of having more information at bus stops of where the buses actually go would help - i.e. not just a list of road names, but a map of the route - it would encourage people to get on the bus when they've not used it before).

excession said...

I still don't think a prepayment card will work when Worst Group have a near monopoly on the services in Bristol and consistently provide a substandard, over-priced and unreliable service.

Just checking out the Transport Direct website to see what public transport options exist for me to get to work in the morning. I start work at 07:30.

The website offers this information:

1 Bus, Walk 2 07:10 08:12 1hour, 02 mins
2 Bus, Train, Walk 2 07:11 08:15 1hour, 04 mins
3 Bus, Train, Walk 2 07:30 08:27 57 mins
4 Bus, Train, Walk 2 07:47 08:45 58 mins
5 Car 0 07:00 07:31 31 mins / 8.5miles


So best public transport option makes me about 45 minutes late. And this assumes the bus(ses) will actually turn up and be on time.

I'm not even going to waste the time working out the cost as I know Worst Group charge extortionate rates during rush hour so private transport is about 1/2 the price.

excession said...

Ok, couldn't resist; here are the numbers:

Bus Month ticket zone 2 only: £52.80
Rail Card (BTM to Filton Abbey Wood): £61.00

Total public transport/month: £113.80Private Transport (Motorbike):
Tax (£50/year): £4.16
Insurance(£120/year*): £10.00
Tyres** : £17.00
Servicing: £5.00
Fuel***: £26.50

Total private transport: £62.66So:

Public - 1 hour each way @ £113.80/month

Private: 25 mins each way @ £62.66/month

Can anyone give me any reason why an Oyster card would make me want to use public transport?

*2008 £84.00
** say I ride like a nut and wear them out in half the normal time; £200 a set
*** £4.40/Gallon, 60mpg, 357 miles/month

Steven_L said...

What's the obsession with buses in Bristol? Whenever I've used them they've been spot on.

Bristol Dave said...

How nice for you Steven.

However, every time I've been forced to use the buses in Bristol they've been attrocious.

Many a time have I waited for a bus to go into town on a Friday evening at about 7 or 8pm and given up waiting after an hour or so and walked in.

As excession has demonstrated, it is far cheaper to use private transport than public - and he hasn't listed all the other advantages such as being able to go anywhere any time you want, not having to share your journey with noisy chavs or old ladies who smell of wee, etc etc etc

Christ, catch a bus in most other countries in Europe, including poorer recent addtions to the EU, and then tell me ours are up to scratch.

markzoom said...

Bristol Dave: I was just about to mention that "BUS" is being done far more effectively in most other countries (just like "education").
What is it with Englaenders that they think they must bodge together their own wheel when it's already been invented? There are plenty of foreign models to follow.