Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Bus Lane Proposed for Greyhound Bridge

The Lancaster Guardian website is reporting that Lancashire County Council is proposing to boost bus journeys through Lancaster by introducing a bus-only lane over Greyhound Bridge when it reopens.

The re-configured bridge would have one of its three traffic lanes reserved for buses heading towards Morecambe. The other two would cater for general traffic towards Morecambe and Skerton respectively.  The new priority lane would begin on Cable Street and would give Morecambe-bound buses a clear run from the bus stop at Sainsbury's over the river via Greyhound Bridge as far as Carlisle Bridge, where there is space only for one traffic lane under the railway. Here the buses would merge with the general traffic but would have priority in doing so. The current bus lane on Parliament Street with access for taxis between 10pm and 6am is proposed to be changed to allow 24-hour access for buses, cycles and taxis only.
Lancashire County Council says that establishing a bus lane over  Greyhound Bridge has been identified as a measure which could be put in place quickly and at minimal cost to immediately reduce journey times and improve reliability for the more than 20 buses an hour which would use the lane.  It also says that traffic modelling has identified that only minimal delays would be caused to other road users. The bus lane would operate 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
Whilst any improvement in facilities for buses and bus passengers is obviously welcome, the Bus Users' Group can't help but wonder whether this is a case of the county council providing bus priority where it is easy to do so and where it won't upset car drivers. The opening of the Bay Gateway has significantly reduced traffic on Morecambe Road anyway, and this  has reduced the delays to westbound buses.  Nor will the county council have to close the road to create the bus lane as it will be done as part of the bridge repair scheme.
A council spokesman said that  "Improving public transport in Lancaster is a key component of long-term plans to transform how traffic is managed in the city centre and ensure that people and goods can continue to travel efficiently as the area grows in future."  The Bus Users' Group is looking forward to seeing how those "long-term plans" develop and would like to see further priority measures for buses - even if these would unavoidably impact on journey times for other road users.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Malham Tarn Shuttle on Video

The Malham Tarn Shuttle climbing out of Langcliffe
One of three Dales Bus services to operate from Lancaster, service 881 "The Malham Tarn Shuttle" actually starts in Morecambe then from Lancaster makes its way up the Lune Valley to Kirkby Lonsdale before turning eastwards to Ingleton, Clapham, Austwick and Settle.  From Settle it takes to the hills  via Langcliffe to Malham Tarn before dropping down to terminate in Malham village.

The bus runs every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday between 1st April and 21st October so there is still plenty of time to enjoy a ride.  But if you can't make it - or if you can't wait for your next free Sunday, you can get a taster of what's in store via one of two videos produced by Bus Users' Group member Colin Kennington and made available on the Dales Bus Website.

The nine minute preview is, as the name suggests, a brief introduction whilst the Extended Version (38 minutes) includes a driver's eye view of the full route between Settle and Malham.

The Malham Tarn Shuttle Bus runs every Sunday and Bank Holiday until 21st October 2018 with financial support from Northern, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and the Friends of the Dales, as part of the DalesBus network.  Details of bus and train services into and around the Yorkshire Dales are available at www.dalesbus.org

Monday, 16 July 2018

Bare Lane: A clarification

It's been pointed out to us, and rightly so, that we may have misled readers when we said that Bare Lane was to have "no bus service at all" under Stagecoach's network review.

Whilst that does apply to the section of Bare Lane between Torrisholme and Fairhope Avenue that is served only by service 4, we are happy to point out that the remainder of Bare Lane, through to the Promenade, will continue to have four buses an hour to both Lancaster and Morecambe, two of which continue to Heysham, and that these will be better spaced at an even 15 minute headway than now.

The original post below has now been corrected.