Bristol bendy buses binned

Common sense seems to be breaking out in Bristol City Council’s (BCC) transport department. No sooner have they seen the wisdom of cancelling their Workplace Parking Levy, then they have now binned their plans to run so-called bendy buses on their rapid transit routes though Bristol. Instead, they are looking at cheaper, more efficient vehicles.

‘These buses will cost less and allow us to put more of them on and increase frequencies on our routes,’ says the deputy leader of the council, and, because they will be shorter, they will be able to drive directly into Bristol Temple Meads train station rather than having to stop on the nearby roundabout. Hooray for BCC and the victory of common sense and cost saving!

Certainly, it follows in the wake of London Mayor Boris Johnson bringing an end to bendy buses in the capital last year. Not only did the enormously long buses cause congestion on the streets of London, they became notorious for making the roads more dangerous for cyclists and encouraging fare-dodgers. Transport for London predicts it will increase its income by £7.4 million thanks to fare-evasion becoming harder on shorter buses.

In the meantime, BCC’s plans to spend £4.5 million on two rapid transit bus routes in Bristol have been called-in for further discussions later this month. Let’s hope more common sense rules. The only problem is that all these transport u-turns have been made in the run up to Bristol’s Mayoral election on November 15th—not that I am suggesting there is any link between the two—but once a new Mayor is installed will BCC go back to its old high spending, high-handed ways? We’ll see…

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