Bus Stop Innovation: a Comparison of UK Trials
WOOD C, Centre for Independent Transport Research in London, UK
For a bus system to be truly accessible to elderly and disabled people, and to be attractive to car drivers, more is required than simply purchasing low-floor buses. The vehicle is only part of the system and the whole journey, from door to door, must be
For a bus system to be truly accessible to elderly and disabled people, and to be attractive to car drivers, more is required than simply purchasing low-floor buses. The vehicle is only part of the system and the whole journey, from door to door, must be accessible and attractive.
The principle elements of the bus journey are:
* home/away origin to the bus stop (& vice versa);
* bus stop onto bus (& vice versa);
* bus design and journey.
Bus design has received much attention (not before time). Access to bus stops has in practical terms seen little work. However, the bus stop and its interface with the bus are beginning to be tackled, and it is this aspect which is dealt with by the CILT survey on which this paper is based. A number of innovative schemes and trials are in progress around the U.K. which seek to improve the stop environment and ease boarding and alighting from low-floor buses, often as part of Quality Bus Partnerships between local authorities and bus operators. The aims of these schemes include:
* providing guaranteed step-fiee access to the bus by means of accurate docking at raised kerbs;
* ensuring the ability of the bus to pull in to and align itselfproperly with the stop; providing information in a user-friendly format;
* designing stops for comfort, security and access;
* enhancing entire routes to provide accessible, reliable, fast and attractive services.
This paper describes a number of the trial schemes and their performance, particularly from the perspective of user needs. The five examples considered are in Birmingham, Liverpool, London, Northampton and Norwich. A number of the trials are in their early stages and detailed analysis of their performance will form a later part of the study. All the route enhancement projects represent a relative step change for local public transport, but they vary in their absolute levels of access, convenience and attractiveness.
Association for European Transport