Mass Transit

While I’m no hater of public transport in general (with the exception of Virgin Trains, but that’s a different matter) I find that at the moment I’m a bit bemused by the apparent craze in cities for “Guided Busways” at the moment.

When I was in Norfolk/Suffolk and working around Cambridge, they had the Cambridge Guided Busway (also known as “The Busway) being constructed, and now I’m working near Luton, I see the same construction going on for the Luton-Dunstable Busway.

I do understand the thoughts of getting buses out of the main roadways, freeing them up to run punctually and not affect (or be affected by) other traffic. That makes sense. But as far as I understand it, the perceived negatives far outweigh those positives.

As I see it currently…

  • Guided busways reduce the number of available stops, and easy-on/easy-off of ‘normal’ bus routes
  • The investment required is massive
  • The construction takes a long time, and so
  • The disruption involved is equally massive
  • In short, it appears to be a total pain in the arse.

I wonder what the real motivations for these things are – I assume there are a whole load of incentives, grants and funding whatevers for this kind of boondoggle.

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