Tuesday, 2 January 2007

New buses for Park and Ride

When I went into Tavistock today I noticed that First Western National had one of their new all singing all dancing buses on display in Bedford Square. The firm have bought, I think, 9 of these double deckers for use on the Plymouth Park & Ride scheme. As there is now a large car park near "The George" and close to the airport it is evident that this bit of PR is to encourage people from Tavistock to switch to a bus at that point.

I duly got on the bus for a look around and was immediately surprised by the massive amount of legroom when I thought that might be sacrificed for additional seats to make it more cost efficient. But then I started some lateral thinking and saw the logic - imagine that you have spent half an hour on the rural part of your cummute in your car then you will be wanting the public transport to have a comparable degree of comfort or you will be tempted not to make the switch. There are also computer screens on the two decks so that the driver can input such infomation as the estimated time to the next stop. There is a ramp for disabled access which the driver can (manually) put down; is that a mandatory requirement now on public service vehicles I wonder? I suspect it is.

These buses on this particular park and ride go at 10 minute intervals so that should satisfy most I would think. They are very swish and not surprisingly cost close to £200,000!

What a contrast: Plymouth has a Park and Ride scheme, including some dedicated bus lanes, perhaps as good as anywhere. On the other hand they have an absolute hell-hole in the main bus station. When will something be done about Bretonside?

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