Thursday, May 11, 2006

Transport Secretary in York

Scottish MP Douglas Alexander (our foreign-based transport secretary) visited York yesterday to see the brave new world of public transport in action. Coming soon to a town near you - the ftr bus.

As the First bus company website explains:
‘f t r’ is all about the partners getting together to deliver excellence in public travel through an integrated approach to vehicle design, engineering, technological support, infrastructure and route management. This will include better traffic management measures, increased car restraint, better infrastructure, better timetable information, and a significant step forward in vehicle design.

‘f t r’ is a new way of delivering public travel that will encourage more people to consider leaving their cars at home and use ‘f t r’ services for some journeys.

The letters ‘ftr’ are texting shorthand for ‘Future’. The terminology has been specifically chosen to help challenge existing thinking on public travel, and to demonstrate that the initiative is both unique and very different from what has gone before. Introducing the name ‘f t r’ will help to break away from the traditional categories of public travel – the tram, the train, the bus, the car.
What a load of bllx. Experience tells me that a lower-case logo usually indicates that too much time has been spent listening to consultants instead of concentrating on nuts and bolts. Sure enough, the local press reports (link may change):
THE newly-appointed Transport Secretary faced a baptism of fire as he visited York today, amid uproar over the city's controversial new superbus…

Steve Knight, 30, of Acomb, was cycling to the University Of York, where he works as an IT manager, when he was nearly floored by an ftr.
He said: "It seems that despite the `specially designed bus' the driver may not be able to properly see the traffic around them."…

THE Press has been inundated with letters from readers
complaining about the new ftr service.
Their concerns have included:
Buses causing gridlocks in Heslington Road because of their size
Problems getting round chicanes
Ticket machines taking too long for people to use
Not enough people using them
Cost of tickets
A series of technical problems
Delays to timetable
And on top of that, residents are no longer allowed to park on bus routes because the superbuses, which cost the council £1.3million, are too big to get past. These buses have one more seat than those they replaced.

And Douglas Alexander’s verdict on the chaos?
"I have to say I was impressed"
Oh, to see the world through the eyes of a New Labour cabinet minister. Perhaps then the news wouldn't piss me off so much.

Anyway, I've got the afternoon off - I'm going to enjoy the glorious weather. At least the government hasn't figured out how to screw that up yet.


Blogger AntiCitizenOne said...

What a bunch of fkrs

11:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These buses are far too big for York.

It's not about efficiency, or sensible policies, but apparatchik oppression.

Some years ago a transport bod was appointed to the council who hated motorists and cars and we've had nothing but speed bumps, ridiculous parking charges, bus lanes, road closures, parking spaces removed, and now buses too big for the streets and too big to pass.

8:40 am  
Blogger DFH said...

"apparatchik oppression" Yes, they always know what's best for everybody else, don't they? I haven't been to York for a while - are the yellow-painted bus stops as hideous as reported in the local press?

5:48 pm  

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