- Simon Munk about 21 hours ago\
The London Assembly’s Transport Committee are holding another investigation, following their recently concluded one into congestion (that the London Cycling Campaign contributed to). This time it’s on buses – their safety and network/routing design.
You can contribute your views here. But please note this is a “call for evidence” so try and avoid just providing anecdotes.
We are working up our likely response via Cyclescape as we do for most consultations now. You can contribute to the issue thread here.
Likely elements we will include:
- Buses should be held to the same safety standards as HGVs increasingly are and will be – in terms of driver training, collision reporting and investigation and extra sensors etc.
- The bus network should be designed in concert with the walking, cycling, motor vehicle and tube/rail networks. That means working out how and when to separate high flows of cycling from high flows of buses; where and when motor traffic should be allowed to drive through areas; where and when cycles and buses can mix and not; and how journeys can be constructed using multiple modes – so that people are enabled to cycle to bus interchanges and from bus stops, for instance (and possibly even carry their cycles on bus front/backs).
- Most importantly, the bus network and cycling and walking networks should be planned using journey and potential to cycle data that identifies common private car journeys etc. where people could switch to bus, cycling or walking. As part of this, bus priority should not be an article of faith for TfL, but a priority to be considered alongside cycling and walking priorities.
- It also means reconsidering the bus network strategically to get rid of empty buses that cause congestion in central London, to shift buses off key cycling routes perhaps, to enable onward journeys by Santander Hire Cycles (potentially even including them in a Hopper ticket style approach).
- It could also mean smaller buses accessing low-traffic residential areas via “bus gates” (as seen in Waltham Forest’s mini-Holland). And then transferring to larger buses or other modes at transport interchanges.
- Bus stop bypasses, bus stop boarders and other cycling infrastructure designed to work around bus stops urgently needs to be evaluated and approved.
- The rise of autonomous vehicles should also be considered in any future strategic planning for buses – how likely is it that the app equivalent of “dial-a-ride” will take over from traditional fixed routes? And what implications does that have for current routes and cycling?
- Strategic decisions on the bus network and safety should also be separate from TfL concerns about bus passenger numbers from the point of view of operating profit. In other words – we should get a bus network that works as part of the whole of the transport needs of London, not solely designed to maintain or increase bus passenger numbers.