Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Amanda P, 15 Feb 2008.
I like them, you don't have to pay to use them. The 73 is know known as the seventy-free
Offence under the Trade Descriptions Act. They are hingey buses
To be fair they have improved a little, the first of the Mercedes bendy fleet delivered had a flammable section in the fuel line causing 3 to busrt into flames while in service!!
They are clearly not a good solution for London with its congested and narrow streets full of cyclists and pedestrians. I have never come across anyone in favour of these things, they are just totally unmanageable for the environment they are in.
Will they be scrapped? Not on your nelly, KL has clearly done a back room deal with the company and is not in the slightest bit interested in what is best for the people.
Spot on. If he actually cycled himself he'd realise what a potential danger they are for cyclists (and pedestrians and cars for that matter).
They work very well in Stockholm: but admittedly there is less traffic and far more quality and safe cycling lanes to be found there!
Rather typically no-one actually suggests what the viable alternative is for shifting such a massive number of passengers around.
Routemasters inevitably had to go for a number of reasons - not accessible, worn out, and two-man operation is expensive. At the same time a massive growth in bus usage in London has occurred mainly following the introduction of the congestion charge. No extra capacity on the tube, so basically most additional public transport users have to be carried by bus. Articulated buses - extensively used elsewhere in Europe for some time - are very effective at moving large numbers of people. The only alternative is to use deckers which have lower capacity, and require much greater dwell time at stops to load/un-load.
Unless anyone can come up with a realistic and workable alternative to artics (and I suspect the answer is they can't) then they're here to stay.
Are the safety concerns not more an issue for driver training rather than about the vehicle itself? An articulated bus is an inanimate object and doesn't inflict injury on others by itself.
Double Deckers were never a problem in the first place. They could be replaced with small electrically powered buses with adequate numbers in the fleet. More frequent service etc.
Are the safety concerns about driver training? Eh? Is that what we should say about urban 4x4s too then? The problem is that the driver has no idea what is happening sixty feet behind him as was witnessed when the young lad in Ilford was dragged around under one for over an hour before anyone noticed.
I must be honest I rarely use buses, but the last figures I saw was that for 75% of bus journeys in London the bus is below 10% capacity.
I'd like to see how much time their at 100% capacity, if we knew that then we'd know if we need bigger buses.
Another way could be more smaller buses but then I suppose this would be more expensive for the bus companies and we can't effect their profits.
I don't like the thought of bendy buses, just too much length and increases the probability of an accident to any road user.
Since we're talking about passenger carrying volume, it seems to make complete sense to me that if you don't go with a long object, go with a more compact squat object..... a.k.a. the double decker bus? I know it means that it may take longer to enter/exit the bus (I'd accept that over safety though), and that you should reserve the lower deck for passengers with disabilities and attempt to enforce able bodied passengers to climb a flight of steps. Surely climbing some steps is not that bad?
On second thoughts, maybe double decker buses aren't the answer..... Too many people use lifts to go up one flight of stairs or wait 10 minutes to get parking place closer so perhaps that wouldn't work.
Network of ski-lifts across London. Low emissions, and hop on and hop off!
Continued use of double decks would probably have been fine, but for growing passenger numbers.
Smaller buses more frequently - where are you getting all the drivers from? More expensive, and an operational nightmare since you'll likely as not get even more bunching, resulting in poorer reliability.
Like I said, no-one has come up with a realistic workable alternative.
I personally can't claim to have had a problem with bendy buses but I do treat them with a great deal of respect. Some of the problems I have seen occur when cyclists do their riding up the inside trick which is dangerous with any vehicle and certainly one this length.
I agree with domd1979 - what are the alternatives? And I am afraid I am not convinced that a lot of smaller but more frequent buses would be the solution at the moment. Although they could work when (if?) congestion levels fall.
Zimzum - you might jest about ski lifts but I was once told of a scheme to put a cable car in between Wood Green tube station and Alexandra Palace in North London. Nothing ever came of it, mind, more's the pity.
I must say, I deeply distrust them. Maybe the bland statements we have read, that they appear to pose no additional danger to cyclists and pedestrians, are skewed by the fact that a lot of cyclists do take extra care when near one of these vehicles, so the accident rate is reduced for that reason. Certainly I would never filter past a bendy bus, whatever the circumstances. I do sometimes filter past a rigid bus, if I feel it is safe (i.e. the bus is well back in the queue of stationary traffic, and I can see the lights). Maybe other cyclists are also scared to get near them, with good reason!
Several cities in the UK now have articulated trams, but these pose a different sort of threat. A tram cannot 'left hook' a cyclist in the same way that a tyred vehicle can. But then of course there are the rails... A cyclist really has no business riding along a tramway anyway, I deplore urban signage encouraging cyclists to do just that (if there still is any - I have seen it in the past).
Luckily for me, in our area we have none of these monsters. The only bus services locally (which are infrequent) are rigid single-deckers with a capacity of around fifty. And these are often half empty. I don't use them. And they don't trouble me much.
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