News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Will Motorway Man Close the Bus Lane?

With missionary zeal, Westbury motorists are leafleting the suburbs this week in an attempt to get the Westbury bus lane closed all together.

As previously reported on Trym Tales, the City Council has agreed, under pressure from campaign group This Bus Lane is Madness to drastically reduce the length of the new bus lane, which currently runs from Henleaze Road to White Tree Roundabout on the inward bound stretch of the A4018 (Westbury Road).

Sensing a full victory for may be in their grasp, motorists from BS9 are urging their fellow commuters to sign an online petition in order to force the convening of a full council meeting to consider the issue. Under present council rules, an e-petition which attracts 3,000 signatures will automatically trigger such a gathering.

Describing the present proposal to reduce the lane to 120 metres as "useless" and "face-saving", campaigner and Westbury resident Simon Brookes is urging residents to spread the word about the petition.

With 2767 signatures at the time of writing, it seems likely that the 3,000 target will be achieved. In fact, a comparison with other petitions on the Council's site indicates that this one has more than double the amount of all other current e-petitions combined!

Trym Tales therefore has a series of questions to ask the petitioners:

  1. Are those who have signed serious about seeing a significant reduction in the number of cars making short journeys at peak times in and out of the city centre?
  2. If so, do they accept that such a reduction will require more people to cycle, walk and use public transport?
  3. Are they aware of studies showing that frequency of journeys, reliability of schedules and speed of journey time are the major factors in increasing passenger use of suburban buses? And that, within realistic variables, such increased use can be as high as 55%?
  4. If the current bus lane is removed, are signatories content with the fact that nothing will have changed as far as bus and cycle use between Westbury and the city centre?
  5. Do they have an alternative proposal for reducing the number of short journeys between BS9 and the centre at peak times?  

I read this somewhere once:

"The present system is ideally suited for delivering the results you are currently experiencing."

What is the new system that will deliver significantly different results? (Assuming we want them.)

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