Blog : Posts tagged with 'Leeds'

*

More on that guided busway

More on the guided busway, as it paves over the Bristol Harbour Railway and replaces most of Cumberland Road


As promised yesterday, I’ve been doing some closer looking at the West Of England Partnership’s guided busway – sorry, I mean “Bus Rapid Transit” plans, and some measuring up on aerial photos. It seems I made a couple of misconceptions, though. Firstly: some of the plans show the Harbour Railway converted into a sort of tramway running along the same road as the buses. Secondly, I was slightly wrong about the route in the Winterstoke Road area. My mistake was to assume that it might actually serve a residential area; I was wrong, it doesn’t, and its sole use is as a replacement for the current park-and-ride services. The council have also said it will serve the football ground; but that slightly contradicts other things they’ve said.

Anyway, here we go: what does a guided busway actually look like? Never mind the Partnership’s shiny traffic-free plan: here’s a real one. This is the A64 on the outskirts of Leeds, which has a single-carriageway busway down its central reservation.

Aerial shot of East Leeds guided busway (from Google)

Never mind the bus lanes at top and bottom; the busway is that lovely expanse of concrete in the middle. The width of the whole thing, by my calculations,* comes out at about 3.8m. So, for a two-way busway such as the council wants to build in Bristol, you’re looking at 8m width. That’s for plain road without stops. Here’s a picture of where the council wants to build it: Cumberland Road. To the same scale, as you can tell by the cars.

Cumberland Road, Bristol (from Google)

From the top: road, railway, cycle track, river.

The plans include building over the railway for one side of the bus route. Remember what Councillor Bradshaw told me: the plans “do not prevent” trains being run. Does that mean no bus services at weekends when the railway’s running? Or fewer trains? Who, at present, knows? Anyway, that means, for our FP Militant Invective Laboratories simulation (better value that the Partnership’s, I’m sure), we only need paint over part of the road:

Cumberland Road with proposed busway overlaid

There goes the railway and just under 4m of the road, painted over in wobbly freehand. That’s the amount of land the council’s planning to concrete over for its posh new buses (and all the older ones which will also be allowed to use the busway).

So, goodbye to half of Cumberland Road – even by narrowing the pavement on the north side, there wouldn’t be enough room to make the road full-width. The council’s simulation does seem to show there being a bus lane in the road at this point, rather than a proper busway. However, there’s a slight problem with that: the buses and the road traffic would be going in opposite directions, unless one were to drive on the right, so no space gets saved. The published proposals go on and muddy this point by showing both buses and normal traffic driving on the right at this point – which, of course, would be no help at all.

Still to come: the even more awkward pinch-point where the busway is due to run alongside the Portbury Dock railway line, at Winterstoke Road, with a stop which will take up even more space. They seem to be planning to run the busway over Network Rail land – I wondered if Network Rail knew about that, so I’ve asked them. For that matter, I wonder who owns the land the rest of the busway will run on – presumably either Network Rail or BRB Residuary, the organisation that is one of the last remaining stubs of British Rail. BRBR’s website is a bit broken at the moment, so I can’t search their property listings to see what they do or don’t own.

* including the small width of kerb separating bus and road on the buses’ left, which is presumably needed for safety reasons.

4 comments so far. »

Keyword noise: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

*

Aging on the balcony

In which we are the oldest people in the audience


Mike Troubled Diva recently wrote about how it feels to be middle-aged at gigs, and suchlike. I’m not middle-aged yet, but I know how he feels, because on Saturday night I went to my first gig in ages, at Leeds Met SU. It felt like: I was the only one there over 25.

We hid up on the balcony, with a small crowd of other late-20s people, and watched. Sometimes I wasn’t watching the band as much as I was watching the frenetic crowd, moshing away. They were here to see a local band, Hadouken!,* who (if you believe the NME) are part of the New Rave scene. Personally, I think the NME is only ever interested in puns on “New Wave”, but there you go.** I might not believe in the existence of New Rave as a genre myself, but the crowd definitely seemed to. The crowd of 17 year olds were wearing outfits last seen in 1989, and covered themselves in heavy trees of glowsticks. After a few minutes they started to get bored,*** and threw them all at the stage; or broke them open to drip and spray each other with luminous toxic goop.

The band themselves: well, they were energetic. Rapping with guitars, and very very loud. It definitely got me bouncing; but when my own attention span occasionally started to fade, I began to wonder: does “rapping with guitars” really deserve its own genre name? And whatever did happen to Baxendale, anyway? But then, I started bouncing again.

* the exclamation mark is part of the name, I think.

** Hands up who remembers the NWONW scene!

*** “I don’t know, kids today, no attention span at all…”

No comments yet. »

Keyword noise: , , , , , , , , ,

*

Search this site

*

Contact

E: feedback [at] symbolicforest [dot] com

IM: Ask me if you'd like to know

*

Post Categories

Artistic (118)
Dear Diary (349)
Feeling Meh (48)
Geekery (109)
In With The Old (34)
Linkery (37)
Media Addict (164)
Meta (79)
Photobloggery (94)
Political (113)
Polling (7)
Sub category (19)
The Family (31)
The Office (70)
Unbelievable (53)