Temple Meads Troubles Metrobus

The decision to turn the perfectly workable Lon Ashton Park and Ride (Bristol) into Metrobus M2 involved huge expense, almost no reduction in journey time and an increase in fares. Needless to say, the decision was not at all popular. Some critics said that The City Council was so desperate for s guided busway that their corporate sanity evaporated.
Its odd bits of guided road …

… only on straight sections, were seen as ludicrous. Indeed some “men from the ministry” paying a visit to see how well their investment was going were overheard expressing wonder at their foolhardy investment in such poor value infrastructure. But it was there and folk have been using it …

… but probably not as many as the planners and the operator (First Bus) had hoped!

Having spent much money on the “track” some asked why it (and the other Metrobus routes) couldn’t be a tram.
Could M2 have been (could it yet be) Bristol Tram T2?
The answer is, yes, of course it could … BUT … it would be easy using the new infrastructure from the park and ride site and over the River Avon “New Cut”.

The bridge over the cut is shared with cycles and pedestrians …

… a one way lane ontrolled by lights. The exclusive track curvers round to join Cumberland Road.
This is a relatively quiet road (by Bristol standards!). It is paralleled by an old and disused bit of railway track which has been turned into a waterside pathway.

Suirely tram tracks could be made to fit, perhaps with a slightly narrower walk and cycleway.

Do we really need a footpath on one side of the fence and the new walkway on the other?

The M2 then turns left into Redcliffe Hill where there would be plenty of room for tram tracks combined with the existing bus lanes.

At the foot of Redcliffe Hill the M2 behind its anti-clockwise loop round the city centre. (see map below, A38 and A4044)

Its first stop on the loop is Temple Meads station – actually a significant walk from Temple Meads station. But if you are joining the M2 from your train you have the delight of  full circular tour of the centre before you make any progress back to your car. It is very tedious and very few use the M2 as a railway Park and Ride.

Would it be possible to route the M2 (and the M1 which joins it on Redcliffe Hill) via the approach road to the station.

That would be the A370 and the A4 on the above map.

Bath Road past the station is very busy and often clogged but, without a shadow of doubt, if this were Angers in France a sensible pro-public-transport way would be found. 
If there were the political will to make this drastic change it would take M2 and M1 past Temple Meads in both directions – and it would do the same for our tentative tram.
The comes the rest of the M2 loop; and that involves tickling the whole problem of the so-called city centre ring road; otherwise known as the city centre traffic jam!
More tomorrow.
The Surprising Shelter Saga
Remember this picture from the Isle of Wight?

Four mysterious bus shelters were lined up at Fishbourne ferry terminal as photographed by Isle of Wight Alan. Nobody seemed to know where they were to be installed.

Well, they have turned up!
Here they are on the new walkway on Ryde Pier.

They are not quite the same as thr overall roof we were promised, but better than nothing.

The original pier shelters are on the opposite side of the roadway and those that remain fitted with barriers to prevent access to the sea side of the shelter. They no.longer have seats!

Nobody ever uses them.

Back in the day when very few vehicles were given access to the “wet end”, the old shelters were  a popular place for a rest on the lengthy perambulation up and down the mainly pedestrian pier.

Oh Yes They Do!
No soon had fbb prodded the keys on his laptop into reporting that new new traffic light controlled exit from Ryde bus station to George Street was still closed off …

… than the very next day it opened.

Red lights hold up he traffic …

… to allow the buses to nip straight across.

It is a really helpful bit of bus priority.
How Much? (Part 2)
fbb could have bought a brand new non-Nissen hit for about £18 including postage. Direct fom Hornby it would have been nearly £23. But, as we are oft told, everything is so much cheaper on EBay. Just for fun, fbb collected all the prices available for an EBay purchase plus a few other private on-line sales.
The vast majority were significantly more expensive than buying new! Here is just a selection, note that some are “post free”, some add extra.

But the real cracker was this:-

Why would anyone even consider such a price? The model is widely available – not at all rare.

fbb’s (also from Ebay) was £11 plus £2.99 postage.
And much of the painting has been done.
Terraforming the extra bit of tunnel is due this week which will add fir trees, fences and assorted clumps of undergrowth. No doubt the tenants will also require a footpath to get to their holiday let?
And maybe somewhere to park their car. There is a lot to think about when you are busy with this modelling lark!
People do rebuild them for real!

Although, in the above, they don’t have the undercroft!

Puzzle Picture

The vehicle is unique and shown here running on a heritage railway. What vehicle and where? It’s raining so it must be Scotland!

Guess The Operator

Obvious clues have been removed! It was not on home turf when photographed but may have a link with turf accountancy.

 Next Traffic, Towns & Trams blog : Tuesday 18th July  

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