26 January 2009

To Hub or not?

Tamar Science Park is making a good effort to encourage people who work there to use the local buses rather than use their cars. With the completion of the new blocks they have a new ‘Travel Hub’ in the complex and have a new bus only route through the park. The Northern Connect services now go through the park on a one way loop to serve the new hub. Target Travel also now send their 52A service through the loop which is a new development as they never served the site before.

Citybus have been running their 46/47 into Tamar Science Park for a while now but still seem to be using the old route into and out of Research Way turning at the roundabout, not serving the bus only section or the travel hub. Presumably this will change sometime soon.
All well and good but as a regular traveller along these routes I have only once ever seen anyone get on or off a bus from this site. (Apart from the Medical School contract which is very busy.) To most passengers this detour is nothing more than a nuisance and wastes precious time on their journey. This is of course the classic dilemma for any bus company. The most useful bus service to TSP is Citybus 50 which runs every 15 mins and provides a bus into the City Centre. At the moment it does not call into TSP so most workers from there have to wait on the main road to catch their bus anyway. It could be argued that if the 50 and all the other routes actually served the TSP Travel Hub then it might encourage workers on the site to use it and result in more passengers for the bus companies. On the other hand, the bus companies must look at their data and see how few passengers use the facility as it stands at the moment and must wonder if its worth upsetting their existing passengers for so few users. The Derriford Hospital site is already a massive traffic block in the evening peak causing delays to the many services which serve the area so an extra minute or two added onto the route for little or no return cannot seem like a good option. Catch 22?

1 comment:

  1. Both bus companies have tried diverting services through the international business park. Each time with no noticeable increase in patronage, only an increase in complaints from passengers who want a direct, fast and reliable service. Catch 22 is dead right.


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