Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Boris lambasted by transport consultants

This from TransportXtra:

In an unusual step for a transport consultant, Colin Buchanan has spelt out its transport vision for the capital in response to the Mayor's draft transport strategy.

The consultant is critical of some of the mayor's priorities, such as the plan to scrap the western extension of the central London congestion charge, replace bendy buses and commission a new bus design for the capital. “In the present financial circumstances the mayor needs all the sources of revenue possible and not to incur expenditure which provides no improvement in transport services, for example the replacement Routemaster,” said Colin Buchanan chairman Andreas Markides.
I agree with both those points, as I have written before. The abolition of the western extension to the charging zone is merely pandering to the selfishness of Kensington petrolheads who no doubt vote Tory, and runs altogether counter to any conception of a sensible transport policy. The replacement of bendy buses is just an absurd hobby-horse of Boris Johnson's, on which I have written several times, most recently last February. Dave Cole also devoted a good deal of attention to this issue, notably here.

The TransportXtra article continues:
The consultant suggests that bus travel could be made more attractive by allowing Oystercard holders to make unlimited boardings of buses within 90 minutes of the first boarding without an additional charge.
Something of the kind was one of the relatively few interesting ideas put forward by Brian Paddick as LibDem candidate for Mayor. I was always impressed with the system in Brussels when we lived there: you pay a flat rate ticket for one hour's use of the whole city transport network, however many times you change buses or trams or metros in that period. It does seem arbitrary and inequitable that people whose journey happens to necessitate a change of bus should pay twice as much as those whose journey happens to be all on one route.


UPDATE: This from Boris Watch: New Bus For London – Costs Shoot Up, from which it appears that this wholly unnecessary project is going to cost us Council Tax payers over £11 million, and that only includes the first five vehicles.

1 comment:

RJGraham said...

The greatest surprise on enjoying STIB/MIVB was the first time we switched from the touristy but brilliant Jump Dagenpas all-you-can-travel-in-a-day to the cheaper but seemingly-less-valuable Jump !0 Journey and switched from Metro (clip on entry to station) to tram (clip in tram) and had the clip machine announce "pass" and return the ticket. In fact, the software was so good that we managed beyond an hour on the system, but because the route evidently made sense, the clip machines "pass"ed us on Metro, tram, pre-Metro, bus and train. They'd probably not be so forgiving if we were clearly gaming the system, but getting to somewhere out of the way and back was allowed for quite happily.

If only the British railway ticket barriers could do this: they seem either set to accept-toffee-papers or refuse-anything-that's-not-A2B. Anything beyond that and you've got to queue to show a disinterested (but nevertheless perennially pissed off) station assistant your ticket: not good when you've got 8 minutes to get out of Leeds station, get beyond the threatening notices, spark up a ciggy, smoke it, get back onto the station and get your train.