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Bristol Mayor vs Bendy-Bus BRT vs Proper Tramway

April 16, 2012

Two of the most important issues to affect Bristol come to a head on collision over the next month- the public enquiry on BRT2 and a Bristol Mayor vote.
Right I’m going to nail my colours to the bumper. If a candidate for Mayor will come forward now and say:

“vote for me and I’ll deliver a proper modern integrated tram system for the city, and I’ll bin the nasty Bendy-Bus BRT…”

then I’m going to vote yes yes yes for this Bristol Mayor on the 3rd May.

Lets face it this is the most important issue for the city. Public Transport. And probably the only reason a mayor can be justified.

The crap BRT which the current leadership is hell-bent on is going to be a massive mistake, a pit of money loss and a sad failure of obselete technology in a city bulging with engineering heritage.

If the French can do trams and the Germans and the Dutch and the Czechs…etc etc. then why the hell can’t we?

Take a look at this document from a South Yorkshire tram consultation looking at the European models for implemetation.
It identifies a political drive in the form of a mayor, funding stream from local business taxes and integrated policies as being key elements of their success.

Tramway Planning – The French Approach
Tramway schemes in France strive to present the tramway as a high-level transport service that is attractive to transit riders. The tramway is not hidden in off-street segregated alignment; it is brought into the street where the roadspace can be reshaped to promote public transport and pedestrians over cars.
The French approach tramway planning from the perspective of offering a service that passengers will enjoy. A tramway is seen as the next natural step of transit service in a city, constructed in corridors with high existing public transport demand. In order to continue to
serve this demand, a tramway offers a more comfortable, high capacity alternative to bus services, which is more cost-effective to operate.
To further advance the public transport network, bus services are reorganised to support the tramway line by providing feeder service between the tramway stops…neighbourhoods. In this sense, the tramway is set up to form the backbone of the city’s transit network – a backbone from which the entire public transport network can be restructured.
Integration of the tramway into the existing streetscape – as opposed to off-street segregated running – means that the tramway not only receives a high profile within the city, but the reassignment of the roadspace necessary to accommodate the tramway resets the traffic
hierarchy. Public transport and pedestrians displace automobile traffic from the city centres to the ring roads.

…To construct a tramway, the local authority needs political support to carry through the project.

In France, that political leader is the mayor, and it’s the mayor who often champions a project on the back of an election campaign. ‘If you vote for me, I’ll build you a tramway!…/LRTfrenchcomparisonsreport.pdf

  1. April 16, 2012 11:48 am

    Hang on, I’ve just realised in the real mayors election in August if it happens, the Tram Czar Mayor may not get in, then we’ll be stuck with pro Bent-Bust BRT Mayor.
    Or the elected Mayor may then change his tune like a local politician who runs a rival blog.
    Jeezus, I don’t know which way to vote…!

  2. Paul Bemmy Down permalink
    April 16, 2012 12:16 pm

    Vote NO. You may it makes sense.

  3. April 16, 2012 10:05 pm

    Don’t worry as soon as Hellseltine stuck his snout in for the yes camp my mind was made up.
    The rich Tories were conspiring to stitch up the mayors debate in order to shoehorn in a wealthy chum who could then go on a building and profit orgy.
    The West country pitchfork rebellion and turnpike wars folk should tell him where to poke his Mayor. Where the sun don’t shine.
    B nice to have some kind of a shout over which numbskull runs the city.

  4. thebristolblogger permalink
    April 16, 2012 10:18 pm

    As things stand, the Tory – likely to be Peter Abraham – is the worst candidate behind Ferguson and Labour’s Marvin Rees – possibly the one to watch.

    I’d be surprised if any of them offer you a tram although Ferguson might have the balls to cancel BRT2 on the basis it’s shite.

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