Forums » Other projects

    • 20 posts
    February 23, 2016 6:23 PM GMT

    Buses - you know - those strange things that look rather like a 153 with a cab at just one end and have rubber wheels [[Smiley Face]]

    But in all seriouseness, here in Wiltshire more journeys are made by bus each year than by train - although bus journeys are shorter, so there's a greater milage travelled in the county by train.

    Why am I posting about buses on a community RAIL board? Because 80% of the passengers on our Community Rail train transfer to another wheeled vehicle at one end (at least) of their journey - and we've seen number of up to 15% of passenger traffic at a station coming off the bus. We've also helped engineer an arrangement for train tickets to be accepted on the late bus after the last train has left ... alas, just to see the late bus withdrawn a few months later, and speaking with former passengers some have been lost to both train and bus as a result.

    In many parts of England, buses are supported / subsidised by local councils, who are economising and removing subsidies with dire results on services and the people carried on the buses. The whole system at times makes railways look easy - and the parts of the system that are complex and public facing come across as disjointed and unwelcoming - perhaps there's a need for community bus partnerships??

    As for bus / rail linkage ... we could do so much better. I caught the bus from home into Bath this morning ... the bus went around the 'burbs of our town and then past Station Approach 5 minutes before the train was due ... didn't stop; there's no stop for about a quarter of a mile before that station and a few hundred yards beyond. I could see pedestrians walking down to the station and I'm thinking "if only ..."

    In Wiltshire, we've been fortunate in retaining many buses longer than most counties have - and that makes us doubly fortunate because it gives us an opportunity to look forward with experience, and with an eye to the new Bus Bill that's going before parlaiment, and asking "can we come up with a communitycentric / passengeraware integrated system"   Currently, a lot of funding flows - in effect - down the cravasse between commercial and supported services, and between bus and rail - when they should really be working so much better together.  That bu should run 5 minutes earlier (it's the first run of the day) and actually call at the station.  The evening bus should run 5 minutes later (at present, it goes past Station Approach as you walk up having got off the lsat train!).  And - well so much more I could go on and burst my post limit here!

    Do take a look at the community site we've put together on the buses - [here] - we've called in "option 247" because pubic transport should look at people's travel needs all day, every day (no, I do not advocate a 3 a.m. bus from Chitterne to Worton!) and listen to what bus users have to say [here]

    Thoughts / comments / experiences / encouragements welcome 

    This post was edited by Graham Ellis at February 23, 2016 6:24 PM GMT
    • 5 posts
    August 11, 2017 1:55 PM BST

    See also my post on 11 Aug 2017 about keeping bus info shown on your Onward Travel Poster up to date. If station adoptors dont report errors, who will?