Friday, April 27, 2007

Unfares please

While browsing, I found out that the appropriately named Tom Brake is slightly lacking in imagination. Here's his comment on the decline in bus use outside London (Feb 2006)

The Government’s policy of subsiding bus services, has actually led to fewer passengers getting on board.

However, the results are not uniformly bad. Bus use in many Liberal Democrat controlled areas, such as York and Cambridge are experiencing growth through effective partnerships with bus operators. If Alistair Darling genuinely wishes to see more people getting out of their cars and on to buses, he must give local areas much greater flexibility and freedom over bus services.

And then we roll time even further back to December 2005 and a National Audit Office report:

Labour's [sic] have comprehensively failed to meet their targets for increased bus use outside London.

The picture however is not uniformly bad, with bus use in Liberal Democrat controlled councils like York and Cambridge experiencing growth through effective partnerships with bus operators. If Alistair Darling genuinely wishes to see people out of cars and provide a safe, reliable and affordable public transport system, then he has to provide local areas with greater flexibility and freedom over bus services.

Mad, unoriginal or back in time?

Meanwhile, here's a thing about buses. Birmingham Friends of the Earth have been running a survey of the council candidates asking five questions to test their green credentials.

First up is
Q1 : Bus lanes: Do you agree that there should be more bus prioritisation lanes, including on the Tyburn Road?

Unsurprisingly, Paul Tilsley, the man with the personalised number plate (I kid you not), comes out against bus lanes and is backed by his colleague David Osborne. Curiously, though, Tory Cllr Timothy Huxtable is in favour of restoring the bus lanes on the Tyburn Road. Cllr Huxtable is, of course vice-chair of the Transportation and Street Services Scrutiny Committee. Perhaps he should have a quiet word with his colleague Len Gregory, the man who scrapped those very same bus lanes. He actually suspended them pending consultation, but that has been running for three years and a decision was due in January this year.

I'm not holding my breath.


snowflake5 said...

It's still cheaper to travel by car than by bus (I'm always shocked at bus fares!).

The only time it's cheaper to travel by bus, is when you have to factor in paying for parking at your destination. Therefore it seems to me that the only way to encourage bus use is to put up parking charges (but no doubt people would characterise that as a stealth tax - you can't win really).

Radders said...

Surely you should also point out that Sir Albert is one of only two candidates who have disagreed with FOEs question 4, the introduction of planning guidance around introducing renewables into new developments.
And that his deputy leader, Ian Ward, disagrees with his leader on whether to have a permanent cross party sustainability and climate change committee.

Praguetory said...

Nothing wrong with personalised number plates. Mine is 111 DBF.

JRD168 said...

Stanhding for anything in particalar PT?

JRD168 said...

Erm spellings. Standing and particular: fairly obviously I think!

Praguetory said...

DBF are my initials. Obviously I bought it as an investment.