13 October 2006

a future for ftr in Plymouth?

© Happybuses (Flickr blog)

This is Plymouth reports tonight:

Plymouth City Council has revealed the full scale of £80 million plans to beat traffic congestion and pollution on key main routes in and around the city.The authority wants £58million from the Government and £22million from private sources to finance a number of initiatives, including building a Deep Lane park-and-ride and widening the road at Laira Bridge.It needs the cash because proposed housing developments at Sherford and Plymstock Quarry, and the Langage power station, are likely to increase dramatically the city's already heavy traffic flow.

Its 'do-maximum' wish list also includes spending £10million on improvements to Laira Bridge and £25million sorting out the Deep Land junction.It is also planning to spend £16million on a High-Quality Public Transport (HQPT) system, dubbed the 'superbus' scheme, taking commuters into the city centre and on to Millbay and linking Sherford to Colesdown Hill, near the Plympton by-pass.As part of that scheme the authority wants to splash out £4million on 11 futuristic 'bendy' buses.The articulated single-decker concept came to Britain with a scheme in York this year where 'Streetcars' with a streamlined snub nose, a low floor and concealed wheels were brought in.

Well it seems that Plymouth City Council were impressed when the ftr was demonstrated last year. Of course there is a long way to go before anything like this happens in Plymouth:

It must show the Department for Transport by next summer that the scheme will offer value for money if it is to get conditional approval to proceed with its plans.

With this citys poor record in getting things done and the current governments even worse record in allowing schemes to run across the country I dont hold out much hope.


  1. 11 FTR style buses for £3M whereby the same money would purchase 33 low floor easy access double deck buses which could be used all over the city.

    Surely in this part of the country the money would be better spent imporving transport in more than one area of the city.

    Plymouth has to get the road infrastructure right first or all that will happen is that more and more traffic will flow onto roads unable to cope. Just look at Exeter.

    It is good to see that there is a plan for transport in Plymouth, shame that parts of it are unrealistic.

    Improve the roads, yes, ban parking in the city centre, (will be a brave Council who has the guts to do that), invest in a large number of suitable vehicles rather than just a few futuristic high spec high maintenance vehicles.

    Don't forget with the FTR comes massive infrastructure costs. Major changes to road layouts and junctions. Bus priorities, (not a bad thing), and off bus ticketing. It isn't just the cost of the buses themselves.

  2. I've travelled in these in York and have to say I'm not impressed. They are just standard bendy-buses with wheel covers and a driver isolated in a separate cab but needless to say without a conductor. Most amusing when the driver left his cab on the last bus to check if I had a ticket or not (i was on a day rider ticket and therefore did not use the card scanning machine). Prevuious comment was spot on re expense, infrastructure etc. These are a cheap attempt to make a artic look like a tram and will only clog up the raods still further. If you want a tram get a tram!!


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