Park and Ride changes

Given the work Walk Ride Bath did with the council, First Group, and our MP at the time Ben Howlett, even having a meeting in parliament with the under secretary for transport to get bus racks on the front of buses (https://walkridebath.org.uk/2015/06/04/front-of-bus-cycle-racks-the-dvsa-says-no/).

After we did not succeed in getting a trial I was informed, at the time, that bikes in P&R buses was not possible as the contract did not include them. It could only be fixed at contract renegotiation time! So here we are, and no, the council does not appear to have included a bikes on buses clause or they have not even mentioned it.

Engineering wise it’s a simple swapping out of a fold down seat (https://www.gonortheast.co.uk/bike-buses)

Sarah Warren mentioned the Trondheim Bike Lift as an example of a system to look into for Bath at the last Climate Emergency Scrutiny Panel. This system cost £1m and only carries a physically able person on a bicycle 150m. Adding a clause to a contract and retrofitting a 15 P&R buses at a cost of around £1000 per bus to enable them to carry bikes would create a bike lift system that is carries residents miles. It’s cheap as chips BUT the contracts need to enable it.

Many people argue that people cannot cycle around Bath due to the hills. This is the solution that Bath needs. Looking at the bigger picture, this is something EVERY bus across the West of England should have fitted. Trialing this in Bath is that first step to a much better integrated multi-modal public transport service.

This contract I suspect is for 10 years. It really is a once in a generation(ish) opportunity. I really hope the council gets this right.

BATH NEWSEUM

With the Pandemic having a significant impact on the national bus market, B&NES has found that operators are less willing to accept the levels of risk on contracts tendered across the country.

At a cabinet meeting on May 5th they’ll consider a report which sets out options for their own Park and Ride services as the current contract, set up ten years ago, is due to expire in August – and may well decide to take on the risk of possible losses themselves.

Over the past ten years demand for the park and ride service has been strong carrying millions of passengers into the city and helping avoid additional traffic and congestion in the city centre and residential streets. However, the impact of Covid and changes to working and leisure patterns has recently seen passenger numbers at 78 per cent of 2019-20 levels.

The report notes that the pandemic has…

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2 comments

  1. What did you make of the routes specified for the RUH? The one from Newbridge to RUH looked particularly unattractive and time consuming. Maybe I have misunderstood the idea. It is very frustrating that vehicles break the width and weight restrictions every day on Lansdown Lane and Old Newbridge Hill, yet when it comes to running a bus service the letter of the law is stuck to!

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