Transport Minister Paul Clark joined me and local councillors Terry Cook, Mark Bradshaw, Brenda Hugill, and the ubiquitous Paul Smith in Lawrence Hill today for the launch of Labour's 'Brunelcard' campaign. We think an Oyster card type system for local bus and rail services would cut delays (no endless waits while the person in front fiddles around for change), be more convenient (no last-minute rush into the newsagents by the bus stop to buy a pack of chewing gum just so you don't have to try to persuade the driver to give you change from a tenner), cut the cost of journeys and encourage more people to use the buses and trains.
But it seems we've missed the bus. Big time. While we've been banging on about fare rises, unreliable or cancelled services, dirty buses, rude drivers and First's failure to bring fares down in lines with the drop in fuel prices, not to mention the need for a quality bus contract and an Integrated Transport Authority, the real scandal about First Bus in Bristol has passed us by.
We've been left standing at the bus stop while Cllr Woodman sails past on his way to Original FM to reveal the dreadful truth about First Bus. They don't know how to spell Colston! They spelt it with an 'e'! As Cllr Woodman says, 'it shows just how awful First Bus is'. And it takes a Liberal Democrat to tell us. We hang our Labour heads in shame.