Author Topic: Luton & Dunstable Guided Busway: Passenger figures not good  (Read 4213 times)

Offline barryb

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Luton & Dunstable Guided Busway: Passenger figures not good
« on: April 19, 2014, 02:57:32 AM »
Usage only 41% of forecast: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-27060792

A very marked contrast with what happened in Cambridgeshire, where even if in no other respect it has at least been a success in terms of usage!

I wonder what the difference is. 

Offline AndrewHA

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Re: Luton & Dunstable Guided Busway: Passenger figures not good
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2014, 08:48:25 AM »
May be in Cambridge , they wanted one !
Andrew HA.

Offline busman

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Re: Luton & Dunstable Guided Busway: Passenger figures not good
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2014, 09:05:59 AM »
May be in Cambridge , they wanted one !
Whoever told you that Andrew!
Never ask a dustman to talk shop.
He will only talk a load of rubbish!

Offline barryb

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Re: Luton & Dunstable Guided Busway: Passenger figures not good
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2014, 01:30:29 PM »
I could be wrong, but I don't think it's that  ;)

I'd say there was a lot more resistance and opposition to it here than in Luton + Dunstable.

One of the really confusing things is that where the CGB misses out what we all thought was the important bit (the congested roads within Cambridge), the LDB doesn't; it has off road routes right up to the important bits in the town centres.  Perhaps in L+D everyone that was going to take the bus already was?

The increase in service levels here suggests St Ives is where the CGB worked its magic most, so it would appear that the magic formula for busway success might be a medium distance journey from a non-rail connected settlement with current poor service level, in a large rural catchment that could be served by a new park and ride facility, and alongside the second most horrendous road in the world (I don't actually know which is worse, I'm just assuming there is one) that could also be served by a new park and ride facility.

If I'm right then the next busway target should be Cambourne > St Neots (not rail connected in terms of Cambridge)?  I suspect Haverhill would also work, but of course I would rather see the railway...
« Last Edit: April 19, 2014, 01:32:31 PM by barryb »

Offline Suzy Scott

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Re: Luton & Dunstable Guided Busway: Passenger figures not good
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2014, 08:28:51 PM »
With the exception of Toddington, all the Busway services are additions, not replacements, for "main road" services.
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stagecoach106

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Re: Luton & Dunstable Guided Busway: Passenger figures not good
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2014, 10:48:03 PM »
With the exception of Toddington, all the Busway services are additions, not replacements, for "main road" services.

same as are one was too

Offline barryb

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Re: Luton & Dunstable Guided Busway: Passenger figures not good
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2014, 12:36:39 AM »
With the exception of Toddington, all the Busway services are additions, not replacements, for "main road" services.

Ah... that makes it very difficult to work out anything at all :-(

Offline dwarfer1979

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Re: Luton & Dunstable Guided Busway: Passenger figures not good
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2014, 08:31:46 AM »
I think part of the problem is it is unclear what timescale the prediction they are referring to relates to or which iteration of the proposed network it encompasses.  A 9000 passenger a day prediction would seem high for the first 3 months of service (based on current service levels it looks like something like an average of over 50% vehicle occupancy across most of the day, very high & an unlikely prediction for the early loadings), it is more likely to be something intended for further down the line once everything has bedded in.  The operators have in fact been very pleased and to some extent surprised by the growth in usage caused by the Busway in Luton and it is certainly doing better than they expected this early in its history.  The councillors response seems more of a knee-jerk, back-covering response rather than someone who bothered to actually check what the question was referring to before responding and in so doing giving an answer that looks somewhat silly and as if he is trying to hide something when he probably isn't.  There has been a reduction in the frequency between Luton & Dunstable (though not by as much as the Busway has added) & the B, C & E all effectively have replaced & improved upon existing services - the B & C have replaced town services in Dunstable whilst extending them to Luton Station which wouldn't have been cost effective without the Busway whilst the E has enabled a doubling of the frequency to Toddington with no extra resource, all of these helping to produce extra growth that would not have been possible without the Busway (the Arriva A is more of an additional service and offers a different sort of extra offering to the other services on the Busway)

That said it also depends on what service plan the predictions refer to as earlier service plans had a much wider network of services extending beyond Dunstable than is currently provided and the fact that they haven't materialised is, to some extent, due to the recession as the costs (& risks) of introducing the much wider network was too much for the operators to do in one big bang in uncertain times (particularly given the nature of the vehicle requirements to run on a Busway, ignoring relative ages it is size & ability to take guidewheels which are the limiting factor & as a consequence produce higher operating costs than would otherwise exist - the B & C have effectively gone from minibuses to heavyweight Scanias & the E from assorted Darts to the same).  Whether the 9000 per day can be achieved in the future, whether it needs these extra services to do it & whether the operators feel comfortable in the future in introducing them remains to be seen and could affect whether it is seen as a success which will be unfair to the success it has achieved on the corridors it is covering.  It is probable that the council did overegg the pudding in trying to build a business case, not in the growth that could be achieved to each route but in the number & range of services they could attract to the Busway from the off.

Offline Stamford

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Re: Luton & Dunstable Guided Busway: Passenger figures not good
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2014, 10:44:13 PM »

If I'm right then the next busway target should be Cambourne > St Neots (not rail connected in terms of Cambridge)? 

Cambourne is under consideration for the proposed route for the resurrection of a Cambridge to Bedford railway line, but not via St. Neots.

Offline woody38

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Re: Luton & Dunstable Guided Busway: Passenger figures not good
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2015, 10:27:57 PM »
No park & Ride that's the problem, Cambridge has loads, new from the start without Park & Ride it would not work.