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bus priorities

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  • Simon Norton
    In answer to Sean, changing the way motorists drive is a major undertaking, even when adequate enforcement tools are available. I m not sure they are here. In
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 14, 2007
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      In answer to Sean, changing the way motorists drive is a major undertaking, even
      when adequate enforcement tools are available. I'm not sure they are here.

      In fact I have an idea that in the UK other vehicles are in fact required, or at
      least recommended in the Highway Code, to let buses pull out, but this is one of
      the things that nobody does.

      About the possibility of introducing bus lanes, I have two points:

      1. One option might be to introduce a "no car" lane in which classes of vehicle
      other than buses would be allowed (e.g. goods vehicles, taxis...). This would
      ensure that the roadspace isn't seen as being wasted.

      2. But I would like to see the death of the concept of wasting roadspace. There
      is no virtue in channelling the maximum number of vehicles through our cities !
      It is far easier for people to cross the road if there are gaps in the traffic.

      Simon Norton
    • Kerry Wood
      The most efficient way to waste road space is to cover it with cars. A roundabout approach lane might carry 700 cars an hour, or say 800 persons an hour, The
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 14, 2007
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        The most efficient way to waste road space is to cover it with cars.

        A roundabout approach lane might carry 700 cars an hour, or say 800
        persons an hour,

        The same lane dedicated to buses might carry one every minute, carrying
        say 50 seated passengers, or say 3000 persons an hour.
        Nearly four times the capacity.

        If those buses are running at 40 km/h the space between them is over
        600 metres. If this 'wasted' space is filled with cars the buses run
        much more slowly and most of the capacity gain is lost. But if the
        'waste' is accepted the buses run fast and attract drivers out of their
        cars.
        And let Simon cross the road.

        Real traffic flows aren't just cars and buses and it might be a good
        idea to allow some other types to share the bus lane, but not enough of
        them to significantly slow the buses.

        k

        Kerry Wood


        On 2007 Feb, 15, at 12:22 PM, Simon Norton wrote:

        > In answer to Sean, changing the way motorists drive is a major
        > undertaking, even
        > when adequate enforcement tools are available. I'm not sure they are
        > here.
        >
        > In fact I have an idea that in the UK other vehicles are in fact
        > required, or at
        > least recommended in the Highway Code, to let buses pull out, but this
        > is one of
        > the things that nobody does.
        >
        > About the possibility of introducing bus lanes, I have two points:
        >
        > 1. One option might be to introduce a "no car" lane in which classes
        > of vehicle
        > other than buses would be allowed (e.g. goods vehicles, taxis...).
        > This would
        > ensure that the roadspace isn't seen as being wasted.
        >
        > 2. But I would like to see the death of the concept of wasting
        > roadspace. There
        > is no virtue in channelling the maximum number of vehicles through our
        > cities !
        > It is far easier for people to cross the road if there are gaps in the
        > traffic.
        >
        > Simon Norton
        >
        >
        >
        > Check in here via the homepage at http://www.newmobility.org
        > To post message to group: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
        > Please think twice before posting to the group as a whole
        > (It might be that your note is best sent to one person?)
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Ian Wingrove
        One of the things that impresses me in london, is that the way that motorists stay out of bus lanes, even out of bus lane hours. I ve cycled along many an
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 16, 2007
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          Message
          One of the things that impresses me in london, is that the way that motorists stay out of bus lanes, even out of bus lane hours. I've cycled along many an empty bus lane after 7pm, when it is clearly sign posted and cars are all queued up along side me.
           
          The benefits to cyclists of having bus lanes are also worth remembering. Not all cyclists like them and the behaviour of some bus drivers is not always great, but these lanes can act as a real haven for many of us. Also, all the bus drivers are being retrained in london in respecting cyclists rights.
           
          -----Original Message-----
          From: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Simon Norton
          Sent: 14 February 2007 23:23
          To: newmobilitycafe@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] bus priorities

          In answer to Sean, changing the way motorists drive is a major undertaking, even
          when adequate enforcement tools are available. I'm not sure they are here.

          In fact I have an idea that in the UK other vehicles are in fact required, or at
          least recommended in the Highway Code, to let buses pull out, but this is one of
          the things that nobody does.

          About the possibility of introducing bus lanes, I have two points:

          1. One option might be to introduce a "no car" lane in which classes of vehicle
          other than buses would be allowed (e.g. goods vehicles, taxis...). This would
          ensure that the roadspace isn't seen as being wasted.

          2. But I would like to see the death of the concept of wasting roadspace. There
          is no virtue in channelling the maximum number of vehicles through our cities !
          It is far easier for people to cross the road if there are gaps in the traffic.

          Simon Norton

          GLA approved disclaimer
           

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        • Simon Norton
          I don t know how well a bus priority strategy on public roads works in India, but it certainly doesn t work in London except in the very limited sense that
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 23, 2008
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            I don't know how well a bus priority strategy on public roads works in India,
            but it certainly doesn't work in London except in the very limited sense that
            journey times may be less than they would be if there were no bus priorities.

            Buses in London are painfully slow. Here are examples of 2 actual journeys I
            made last Sunday -- yes on a Sunday when one has a right to expect the roads to
            be quiet.

            Because of engineering work on the railway replacement buses ran between Queens
            Park and Willesden Junction. As the distance is only 3km I had good hopes of
            linking the scheduled half hourly trains at either end in the 18 minutes allowed
            by the timetable. Buses were running practically continuously with only one
            intermediate stop. But actual platform to platform time was 28 minutes, after
            which I had another 20 minutes to wait for the next train. I may add that
            several other passengers were making the same connection.

            This was in inner London, close to the outer boundary of the congestion charge
            western zone. Later that day in outer London I travelled from Heathrow Airport
            to Harrow, about 14.5km as the crow flies and presumably not much longer by bus
            (route 140) as the route is fairly straight. But it still took me just under an
            hour.

            Why is this ? Well here are some possible reasons, which also apply to other
            parts of the UK.

            1. Buses always seem to use the slowest routes. Several years ago a new fast
            road was built covering part of the 140 route, but carries no buses whatsoever.
            If the old route has seen a reduction in traffic as a result of diversion to the
            new route I haven't noticed it.

            2. The philosophy with respect to bus priorities is that they can only be
            provided if space can be spared from what is required by unrestrained car use.
            Which means that most of them are only part time and only cover short stretches
            of the route, and all too often most of the time gained by using them is lost
            giving way to a stream of cars when buses return to the unprioritised section.

            3. Despite Oystercards etc., boarding times at bus stops are sufficient so that
            buses often miss the green phase at the next traffic lights and have to wait for
            them to change back. (The situation is of course worse in other parts of the UK
            where passengers generally have to pay the driver.)

            I am also puzzled when Dr Joglekar is concerned about bus stops being close to
            intersections. Surely this is where they are most convenient for bus
            passengers ? In the UK, including London, bus stops are usually so far from key
            intersections that one can't even see which way to head for the nearest, and
            even if one chooses the right way one may have a 5 minute walk or even longer to
            link two bus routes.

            As for buses on local roads in London, these are often so crammed with parked
            cars that buses have to give way every time they meet another vehicle, which
            naturally doesn't do much for journey time.

            Simon Norton
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