Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Busting the Nottingham tram myth — bus and tram journey times in and around Nottingham

As I have admitted in my last two postings, I have a bee in my bonnet about the Nottingham tram and all the claims which are made on its behalf. Today, the Nottingham Post is at it again. This time it is actually pointing out that the Nottingham tram is down on its performance targets. Given that the network has doubled in size, it seems logical to expect more problems — simply because there are now more opportunities for delays, accidents etc.

I keep tweaking my map showing bus and tram journey times in and around Nottingham and surprise myself. A few who have seen the map have questioned its accuracy, because they find it hard to believe that the bus still has a quicker running time than the tram to Beeston, the QMC and Hucknall for example, and that the City Hospital is just a 11 minute bus ride from the city centre (Milton Street).

I have amended my Ruddington times from the city centre. Instead of the Victoria Centre, I have used the Angel Row timing point instead. This reduces the journey times. I have also changed the Ruddington Business/Country Park time to the hourly Kinchbus route 9.

I have printed off copies of all the timetables I have used and added a list detailing the routes etc. in the sidebar on their own page in the next few days.

The point is that all my journey times start in the city centre and the tram only shows the Old Market Square on its timetable downloadable as a pdf file.

Whatever way you look at it, the tram does not out-perform the bus in a number of ways: the bus is actually quicker (and you get a seat) going to Beeston, Hucknall and the QMC Derby Road entrance (the tram takes you direct to the QMC Treatment Centre on the south side of the QMC).

City Transport routes 68/69 from Bulwell may take 3 minutes longer to reach the city centre, but like the 36 and Y36 from Beeston, it stops right outside the Victoria Centre. Add on tram walking time (and factor in bad weather conditions on some days), the bus is simply a better option.

My page in the Post on Saturday explains why buses still have many advantages over the tram in Nottingham.

I could go on, but the aim of my unique map is to get you considering the facts for yourself, to check your own journey times and to look beyond the hype which surrounds the tram.

I believe there will be no more tram lines running along Nottingham streets. The long-term disruption in Beeston and Chilwell caused by tram construction work have soured attitudes towards new street tram lines. The future has to be with converting some existing railway lines to light-rail 'tram-trains' and there are plenty of opportunities for this (something I wrote about in the Nottingham Post in July 2013*). Here is the map I produced at the time:

As I always say, simply click on the map to enlarge and I do have pdf versions at 300dpi.

I could go on, but I think my maps speak for me and I have yet to see any comparable Nottingham public transport related maps.

The Robin Hood travelcard and Kangaroo ticket should cover the whole of the Nottingham travel to work area and this includes parts of Derbyshire and the City Council's efforts in this direction should be supported by Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire county councils. If or when we get a 'combined authority' including the Derby–Nottingham conurbation, the first task of the elected mayor should be the creation of a 'twin-city' public transport authority (PTA) to ensure we have just one universal travelcard like in London. It's quite simple if you have the will and commitment.

We shall see

NOTE: * Couldn't get link to story on Post website to work - sorry.

No comments:

Post a Comment