Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Omnibusshambles

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

As goes the Wichelstowe quality bus corridor plan.

The aims of the project already seem to largely exist. The buses in use by Thamesdown are the newer vehicles, fitted with Wi-Fi and information displays, with a highly-recognisable brand (despite the soft market research currently being undertaken by the new owners), with a high frequency of service.

The only aims not already in existence seem to be a quicker journey time, limited stops and traffic priority.

Over £3 million is allocated to speed up the number 11 from 22 minutes journey time to 10 minutes, as the original plan for Wichelstowe foresaw a rapid transit (posh name for fast bus) route.

Swindon Borough Council propose to achieve this by getting rid of pedestrian crossings in Old Town and diverting buses along Wood Street and diverting general traffic in other ways.

Firstly, the 22 minute journey time is from Waitrose and as anyone knows, no-one commutes from Waitrose into town. Secondly, the pedestrian crossings in Old Town are necessary. The footpaths on Devizes Road at the northern end are narrow enough currently that two people have trouble squeezing past each other, let alone if the crossing is removed. The shared space at Regent Circus does work well, but pedestrians only have to look one way on each crossing. Try removing the northern Devizes Road crossing and then attempt to cross over, looking both ways, with no traffic lights and a roadway surface that matches the footpath with a lorry pinning you to the wall of the buildings.  Thirdly, Swindon Centric can't imagine the Wood Street glitterati wanting such common things as omnibuses zooming along ferrying working class people to work.

Trust SBC to want to spend wonga without realising what they've already bought, already had installed, and already don't use. The bus gate, lights and junction on Wootton Bassett Road are currently only used for westbound buses, despite being built for townbound buses from Wichelstowe and has never been used.

Why to goodness does SBC not investigate running a bus from Wichelstowe via Redposts Drive and into town either via the unused bus infrastructure via Penzance Drive and the Outlet or east along Wootton Bassett Road and the former bus route of William Street? The journey time would be nearer the 10 minute mark via William Street than the expensive, strange and dangerous proposals through Old Town.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Buses down William St would mean losing a chunk of resident parking there, which is already overstuffed, alo corners seem a bit narrow to me..

Not that I live near William Street or anything.. :P