Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - volvoman
Just heard a London news item stating that a bus lane controlled by Red Ken's mob and apparently causing chaos on Kew Bridge is to be removed and that another controlled by the London Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (I think) is also for the chop.

The same news item also mentioned that Tory run Barnet is to remove ALL its roads humps because it says they don't work.

I'm not sure I agree with all of the above but it'll be very interesting to see what happens and whether this is going to become a trend.

Just for the record I believe that humps and bus lanes are valuable in certain locations but not in others.
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - Miat
take them all away

widen the road

teach proper road safety, such as "dont talk to brats on the back seat", keep a sensible distance from the car in front

remove all bus stops that block roads when there is a bus stopped at them

hey we could end up being a sensible nation instead of a laughing stock?
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - SteveH42
Bus lanes are only valuable if they are used. In Stockport, a lot of the A6 has had one lane converted in to a bus lane over the last few years. Trouble is, the service that runs down the A6 hasn't had the frequency improved or the journey times reduced to take advantage of this, so what's the point? (Apart from creating more traffic chaos, which is all that Stockport MBC's road schemes seem intended to do)

I'd say there are always better alternatives than humps. Smaller cars are disadvantaged by them as they ride them worse, and they are often designed in such a way that you can't take them at even half the 30 limit without it being very uncomfortable. I've moaned before about the stupidly steep ones on the steep hill up to Mottram church which are simply dangerous as well as damaging to the car as you have to drop down to about 5 mph to take them - hardly good for a car having to perform 4 hill starts (almost) on a steep bank.

Why can't they use a series of minor undulations set close enough together than you need to keep a steady, slow speed to ride them comfortably? The 'cheese graters' they do before 30 limits on some major roads are very good, but they are noisy so not well suited to an urban environment. The other option of course is to provide more and better play areas with safe walking routes to them for kids so they don't have to use the roads, and to try and spread traffic out on suitable roads and keep it away from unsuitable ones. Stockport is very good at putting humps on *all* roads between one place and another, or blocking off all but one road and forcing all traffic to use that.
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - Miat
i particularly like the red lights set to let buses through faster, when actually normally they just let phantom buses through, and operate on sundays when the buses are not even running - holding everyone else up - how much pollution does that cause?

madness!
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - sean
Of course I'll still love you in the morning.

The cheque's in the post.

I'm from the Inland Revenue and I'm here to help you.

Bus lanes speed traffic

(Written in crayon from Ward 57)
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - bartycrouch
My local council is introducing a new bus lane on the bus route I used for nine years, however as this journey took on average an extra hour a day over commuting by car I can't see it making enough of a difference. Bus lanes cannot speed up buses that never ran in the first place, which seemed to be the main problem from my perspective.

I'm afraid the only way the local councillors are going to get me on the bus again is by coming around my house and letting down my tires
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - James_Jameson
An outbreak of common sense! I find it hard to believe - what do they have up their sleeve I wonder...?
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - teabelly
Here in Stoke the bus lanes are used sensibly. They are given priority routes and advantages at traffic lights so they can go the short way round one way systems and such like. I think that works a lot better than having dedicated lanes as they just infuriate people when they notice that they are empty.

Speed humps carry risks for the elderly and also for patients in ambulances. How many people have died because the ambulance had to slow to a crawl every 20 yards on the way back to a hospital? I'd rip them all up and start to teach people to look before stepping into the road. It is a sad fact that most pedestrian deaths are the fault of the pedestrian themselves (80% + iirc). How to tackle urban speeders is another matter but having streets lined with parked cars so you have to thread your way through usually helps.
teabelly
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - volvoman
As I said, I think there is value in humps and bus lanes in certain locations. Speeding is a big problem and I know of no better way to prevent excessive speeding at sensitive locations than humps. This morning on my 5 minute walk to my son's primary school I would most drivers I saw were easily exceeding the 30 limit. More worryingly, about half a dozen and a motorbike must have been doing between 40-50 mph and totally ignoring the 20mph zone right outside the school. Believe me, I'd welcome a few humps outside the school to slow morons like that down. What can you do about people who are so addicted to speed they won't even slow down for 200-300m as they pass a school ?
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - volvoman
As regards buses, I fully take the point that in some places they're underused and counterproductive but most, if not all, of the lanes I see around here only operate a peak times and since we have very good bus services which are well used, they are very effective. Getting rid of all bus lanes will simply make using buses even less appealing and the newly reclaimed space on the roads will very soon become filled by other cars occupied by people who used to use the bus.
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - frostbite
I wonder if/when the currently fashionable 'walking buses' will want to start using them?
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - SteveH42
The trouble with humps outside schools is that they are a *permanent* 20 limit in effect, but schools only need cars slowing down for 2x30 minutes or so on weekdays during term-time. The humps on the road up to Mottram church were put in as part of Tameside's policy of implementing 20 limits near schools, as were the ones in Broadbottom on the road between Mottran and Charlesworth. They are all bad enough to force a 20 absolute maximum and about 5 - 10 if you value your car, but are completely pointless when the school isn't open. Trouble is, humps are a cheap solution that doesn't need any further input from those who decree where they go. A better solution would be things like permanent speed cameras outside schools with varying limits based on the time of day that were rigidly enforced when school is on or maybe a rolling-roadblock system to force drivers to slow down.

As for the bus lanes, you do, I trust, realise the irony of the fact they only operate at peak times? Certainly on the A6 the traffic could flow smoothly with one lane outside peak times anyway, it's *during* peak times you need to get the traffic going, and halving the capacity isn't the best way to do that. Your situation is probably different to here, but the best solution in Stockport and Manchester would be provision of park and ride facilities, cheaper rail and bus fares and generally effort putting in to finding out where people want to travel to, providing services to suit, and then encouraging them to use them.

How's this for an idea - road tax could have a 'public transport' surcharge on it of say £20 a year. It's not a massive amount per person, yet there are enough cars in the country to raise quite a lot of money which is them ploughed in to providing better bus and rail services, in rural areas as well as in towns.
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - Blue {P}
How's this for an idea - road tax could have a
'public transport' surcharge on it of say £20 a year. It's
not a massive amount per person, yet there are enough cars
in the country to raise quite a lot of money which
is them ploughed in to providing better bus and rail services,
in rural areas as well as in towns.


The only problem with that is that I spend literally thousands of pounds a year to avoid having to use buses and trains, why should I be forced to subsidise those who for whatever reason use public transport when I will not see a benefit?

I don't dare go into the reasons why I don't use public transport, I'd be here all day! But suffice to say that until the bus stops at my front door, exactly when I want it to, and takes me to the door of my intended destination arriving at the exact time I want it to, I won't be using it.
Blue
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - teabelly
But surely £20 a year is a small price to pay to keep all those people off the roads to allow unimpeded progress of your fiesta ;-).

A lot of people use public transport because they can't afford to run a car or have nowhere to put it. Most of the rest use public transport out of principle. Occasionally public transport is actually more convenient than a car because trains don't get stuck in traffic jams.

I would make public transport free at the point of use for a month and see what the demand was like. If it increased considerably then a tax such as this might actually be a good idea and benefit those who are forced to use buses and trains rather than the lucky ones who can choose. Using a bit of your money to make other people's lives a lot better is a benefit.


teabelly
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - SteveH42
A lot of people use public transport because they can't afford
to run a car or have nowhere to put it. Most
of the rest use public transport out of principle.


Running a car certainly puts a big dent in the budget. I wonder how many people currently running uninsured and unsafe bangers would stop using them if PT that served their needs was introduced for example?
Occasionally public transport is actually more convenient
than a car because trains don't get stuck in traffic jams.


See my example of getting in to Manchester from Stockport. Even without the jams you have the hassle of getting around the city centre to park near where you want to go and pay a packet to do so. The train takes 10 minutes and there are a lot of people within 15 minutes walk of Stockport station. No excuses in the evening as you can park free at Stockport and the fare is under a quid return after 6:30pm. You'd pay that much in petrol driving in, let alone parking.
I would make public transport free at the point of use
for a month and see what the demand was like.


I have heard a figure quoted of a 1p increase in income tax being enough to make all public transport *free* to everyone. How accurate I don't know, but it doesn't seem a lot when it will allow a lot of people to make significant savings in car costs.

The trouble is that I can see people using Blue's arguement on this as well - why should I pay for something I don't use.
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - SteveH42
By not using PT, we are all adding to congestion and pollution. With better funding, the PT network could provide an approach similar to that you are looking for - maybe not door to door, but certainly more convenient than at present, and if it's convenient enough for enough people then traffic levels will drop so you'll benefit anyway. Also, you may find that use of public transport may suit you in some circumstances. I don't know where in Sunderland you live, but when I'm at my parents, give then choice it would be preferable to be able to drive to somewhere like Grangetown (from Easington), park in a patrolled carpark either free or for a nominal sum and then get either a bus, train or metro in to the town centre, as opposed to driving around trying to find a space in carparks that aren't all that central and the cost of which is rapidly rising to stupid levels.

I very rarely drive in to Manchester as it is, simply because the convenience of having the car is less than the convenience of getting in to town in under 15 minutes and not having to drive around and around looking for a space that is going to cost me something like £5. However, the fact they can charge this much and the carparks are full is a sign that the public transport system isn't good enough, and the message isn't getting to those that need it. I can't see why people are happy to pay a fiver and sit 45 minutes in a crawl just to take the car in, but a better public transport system will speed their journey as well as that of others who do change mode.
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - pdc {P}
I am really impressed by the public transport in and around Manchester. Last year, when I was without my car due to breakdown, I had to use the bus/rail to get to work in Bolton. £7 for a week bus pass is fantastic value. There is a bus stop 20 metres from my house with a bus every 20 minutes which took me straight to Oxford Road station. It was then £5.15 return to Bolton. The walk from the station to the town hall was shorter than from the car park I use.

Cost wise using public transport was about the same as using the car (parking is £2.30 each day), and was slightly quicker. I found the time to read the paper on the train and found myself more relaxed through the day having not had to deal with the stresses of driving.

Given all of that you would think that I would use it every day. Sadly I don't. I think it is because of the flexibility the car gives. If a friend calls me during the day with an invite to pop over I can do that with the car. If I want to call in at the supermarket on the way home then I can. When I have my car I can leave work whenever, without having to consider timetables. Even a frequency of 20 minutes is not good enough for me.
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - volvoman
Agreed that humps would operate 24 hours per day but is that such a big inconvenience when they only cover a stretch of road 200-300m long ? The trouble with cameras is they only cover a relatively short distance and people tend to speed up to them then away from them as soon as they've passed the road markings.

As regards all those who won't use public transport on principle and want to drive 'door to door' your ability to make that choice is being eroded as more cars come onto the roads and more people reserve the same right to drive on them as you do. No matter what anyone says, road building, widening etc, is not going to keep pace with car ownership/usage so ultimately those who insist on driving everywhere will eventually destroy their own freedom to choose and force draconian legislation curtailing car use. I don't want that - I'd rather be responsible so we can all retain the ability to use our cars when it matters most and if making a percentage of my journeys on PT assists that goal I'm happy to do it.
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - Thommo
VM,

Public transport is only an option for the very few, and all of those live in cities. Anyone else has to take the car.

I live in a small village and there are NO buses. If I am taxed out of my car, which is possible, I will have to move to a town.

Is this what the enviromentalist want?
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - SteveH42
This is something I'm very conscious of, having grown up in a town in Co. Durham that was actually well served for the area but even then had poor bus links and who's station was closed before Beeching. That's why I commented that improvements would have to be made across the board - urban and rural. In an ideal world, very few urban car journeys would be made at all - it is madness when you think about it to let cars roam free in crowded towns and cities, but they are the most effective form of transport in rural areas. What we need is a good enough public transport system that people choose to use it rather than are forced to use it on cost grounds.

However, just to play devil's advocate here, don't forget that living in the country costs more than living in town. It costs the power companies more to serve you, the water, gas, drainage etc costs more to provide, and the roads cost more per user. I'm not saying you shouldn't have the choice of where to live, but don't expect to be subsidised if you choose a more expensive option.
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - volvoman
Disagree Thommo - PT is essential for more than a small minority, the millions of commuters whole travel into/out of major cities rely on it and if it disappeared the roads would cease to function. I fully agree about rural areas and disabled people etc. for whom the car may well be the only viable alternative. I have no problem with that and if more of those who could use PT did so, the roads would be a lot clearer for everyone else, including those who can't use PT for their journeys.

Please don't anyone think I'm anti-car BTW - if you ever see me in my 940 estate fully laden with kids, shopping etc. etc. you'll know that I need my car and want to retain the ability to use it more or less when I want. My argument is that we'll all lose that right if we carry on driving everywhere all the time when reasonable alternatives do exist.
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - SteveH42
Agreed that humps would operate 24 hours per day but is
that such a big inconvenience when they only cover a stretch
of road 200-300m long ?


As I say, it depends on the area. The Mottram humps are on a steep hill and no arguement can convince me that it's safer overall to deny people the option of using common sense and driving at sensible speeds, over forcing them to hill start several times on the bank and get thumped badly even at low speed. The Broadbottom humps go on much further than 300 yards - they go right through the village, probably half a mile or more. Though, they are only partly for the school, and partly to try and stop this route being a rat-run for those who get stuck on the A57 in to Glossop that can't handle the volume of traffic it carries.
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - JohnnyBoy
Some new housing developments here in Northern Ireland have included little "chicanes" with kerbed islands in the centre of the road - means you do no damage to your car as long as you slow down enough to avoid hitting the kerb. Some humps catch the bottom of the car no matter how slow you go.
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - Oz
At great expense, Farnborough (Hants) just finished installing red-oxide coloured bus lanes, on which (as far as I know) there has never yet been a sighting of a bus.
Maybe this explains why (apparently) they appear now to be taking the bus lanes out again.
The whole exercise appears to have been financed by enforcing a zero-tolerance 30 mph limit on the adjacent remaining single traffic lane.
Oz (as was)
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - SteveH42
Chicanes don't seem to have a lot to recommend them. The NovaKids use them as some sort of assault course with the danger of losing it and taking some innocent bystander out, they make the road more expensive to build and repair, and most importantly in context of this discussion, they make like a living hell for bus drivers - don't forget that a car can drive around these much easier than a bus can.
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - Wales Forester
Bus stops these days are increasingly constructed to intentionally impede the flow of traffic.
The idea behind it is that the driver of the vehicle being held up will supposedly think about using the bus himself instead of being stuck behind it.

PP
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - peterb
I think humps are unsafe. I reckon that when I approch a hump then 50% of my concentration is focused on the hump thus reducing the chances of me spotting the kid that's about to run out into the road...
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - mark999
Spare a thought for those of us that have under-floor wheelchair ramps!
It can be virtually impossible to avoid damage even when crawling at a snails pace.

Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - SteveH42
Not meaning to sound cynical or discriminatory, but that\'s the best way to get rid of them - point out that they disadvantage the disabled and they\'ll get removed quick-smart as councils are very keen to appear as equal opportunities for all.
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - mark999
Excellent idea!Could I suggest we all start writing to our local
councils
Bus lanes & humps for the chop ! - NorthernKev {P}
Also it points to a Capitalist society, those least hearmed by speed humps are the richer who can afford off-roaders, the poor can only afford normal cars which have to slow down.
Spare a thought for a Reliant Robin, some nifty driving is required to straddle a speed bump...

Kev

 

Value my car