Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Brizzle Metro Bloomin' Maddening (1)

Don't Get Confused ...
There is a grand plan to develop rail services based on Temple Meads Station; that is called MetroWest ...
... but used to be known as Greater Bristol Metro. Phase 1 (opening the line to Portishead) is still grinding its weary snail-like way through the slough of despond; and seems no nearer that it was when it was first mooted.

Then there is Metrobus, a GoAhead company operating in West Sussex amongst other places.
There are other Metrobus companies world wide. This one is in Islamabad and is reputed to be something of a basket case.
Do they supply step ladders?
Panic not, they run from high level platfoms, like trains in the UK.

No this is MetroBus (spot the subtle name difference!) in Bristol.

Wikipedia explains all (?):-

MetroBus is part of a package of transport infrastructure improvements in the West of England which have been designed to help unlock economic growth, tackle poor public transport links in South Bristol, long bus journey times and high car use in the North Fringe of the city and M32 motorway corridor.

MetroBus vehicles will have priority over other traffic at junctions and use a combination of segregated busways and bus lanes. They will be hybrid buses with two doors, one for boarding and one for exiting, to shorten stop times.

Five routes will be offered by MetroBus:-
Click on the map above for an enlargement.

Cribbs Causeway to Hengrove Park
Emersons Green to Bristol city centre
Emersons Green to Bristol Parkway railway station
Hengrove Park to the city centre
Long Ashton park & ride to the city centre

The project started in 2006 and is, erm, running a little late.

Early publicity showed super continental-style articulated buses.
The Bristol MetroBus service is likely to use single-decker hybrid vehicles, with two sets of doors in an effort to minimise stop dwell time, The Bristol Post reported.

After research from transport experts, single-decker vehicles emerged as the favourable choice, providing the quickest and bestquality service for passengers, although it is up to the contract winning operator to decide which twin door hybrid vehicles to use.

Bendy buses are unlikely because of their reliance on standing room at peak times, while ‘more modern’ StreetCars ...
... are unlikely because they cost about £320,000 each.

Well, we know what has happened to that idea!

Cllr Brian Allinson, Chairman of the West of England Partnership’s Joint Transport Committee, said: “We are determined that the MetroBus vehicle delivers a visibly high level of passenger quality and comfort, but we have to be realistic and balance our wishes with practicality.

Some of he buses have been delivered. They are being used on "normal" Bristol routes, so local folk can enjoys the radically different MetroBus experience before it happens.
One dramatic novelty is they they have two sets of doors to speed up boarding and alighting.

And the grey livery is so attractive - who would not be rushing to travel?

But progress has not been without a few snags. The first Bristol Mayor, George Ferguson (complete with red trousers), ...
... changed one of the routes, thus making all the original projections for usage invalid. Doom mongers reckon less people will use George's route!

But, at last, it was announced that the first MetroBus service would start in 2017.

It didn't and hasn't.

But when pressed on whether the route – which is delayed because of problems with the ‘guided busway’ element of the route – would be ready in time for the start of the next football season in August, or even be ready by the end of 2018, Metrobus said they could not guarantee either, although they ‘expect’ buses to start running on the route at some point in 2018.


The latest map shows just THREE routes.
Missing from the map are routes from Emersons Green to Cribbs Causeway and from Long Ashton to Hengrove. The latter omission has upset the MP.
It's the missing route wot riled him.
The MetroBus "authorities" claim that the "South Bristol Link" was always "aspirational".

Sounds like a euphemism for a right mess!

But there's more ...

 Next Bristol blog : Thursday 19th April 

1 comment:

  1. MetroBus is West Yorkshire PTE, surely? ;-)