Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Road Transport Questions

A couple of questions on Mike Jackson's proposals regarding the increased use of public transport. I don't know the answers to these, but they would all seem quite pertinent to any sensible decisions being made on cutting commuter traffic. None of them seem to have been mentioned in the statements made by the Constable in the JEP.

1) If people are to be persuaded to take cars, we need more bus shelters to keep them out of the rain. I know that back in the 1980s, Simon Crowcroft was looking at sponsorship deals (advertising as a trade off for various UK style overhang shelters). What plans are there for more bus shelters? There are plenty in the UK, and plenty of people catch buses as a result. Are we still in the dark (and wet winter morning) ages on this one?

Obviously not everywhere is wide enough for a shelter, but I know of at least 8 places in St Brelade where there would certainly be a place for one - the "hub" at Red Houses by the Co-Op being one of them.

2) What spare capacity is there on rush hour bus services in/out of town on the various routes? The bus drivers must know when they pass stops and cannot pick up passengers. Are these statistics recorded in any scientific way?

3) Has any mapping been done to check population density against bus routes? People who live in houses in remote areas, far from a bus lane, are not likely to catch buses. Are there any housing estates / large clusters of houses which are remote from bus routes (or may be - are considerations of changing routes being incorporated into the Island plan regarding new proposed housing estates - joined up government anyone?)?

4) What is the policy on standing for school buses? At least one of the school buses from St Lawrence, for example, regularly has standing room only for quite a number of students. Is this acceptable on safety grounds, and how much spare capacity is there on school bus routes (evidently none on some buses!)? How is this monitored?

5) If people are to use the bus more often, they need a better way of paying. How early is the 21st century technology of smart cards, used widely in England and Guernsey, to be brought in? Shouldn't it be brought in as a sweetener (with commuter discounts) at the same time as the stick of rising parking charges?

6) Are there any ways of assessing capacity in short stay car parks to tell if rises in parking are having an effect on the people who come to town not as commuters but as short stay shoppers?


Mike has said: "Thanks for your observations and I shall give a considered response as soon as I can."

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