|Two-way traffic on Skerton Bridge|
Greyhound Bridge in Lancaster was closed to all traffic on 29th January when two-way working was introduced on Skerton Bridge for cross-river journeys.
The closure necessitated major changes to bus timetables, with extra time being allowed for the diversion and the expected traffic congestion that would occur. Some services were split into two halves, either side of the city, and extra buses and crews deployed to maintain frequencies. Stagecoach warned passengers to allow extra time for their journeys and everyone expected major delays throughout the six-month period of the works.
So, after the first fortnight how are things working?
It was to be said that most people have been surprised at how well the traffic is flowing. The fact that the Lancaster Guardian has not been able to come up with a "Traffic Chaos, Shock, Horror" story in the two editions that have appeared since the closure says a lot. There have been some delays to certain services at certain times but on the whole things are going a lot better than people expected.
It could be that some motorists have just discovered the existence of the Heysham Link Road, which acts as a diversionary route, or perhaps some people are avoiding the city altogether but the congestion and delays that were forecast don't seem to have happened - so far.
|Buses queueing to reach a stand.|
It's not unknown for buses to have to queue to get into the station and once inside it's common for drivers to have to leave their bus and go and look for the passengers who are waiting in the right place and shepherd them back to the bus. Needless to say, some are better at doing this than others.
|"17...18....19....20??, Where's my bus?|
|Everything "on time" if you know where to look|
The popular electronic departure screen can't be of any help to them as it can't be programmed to show any alterations to the departure stands and resolutely directs passengers to where the bus ought to be, rather than where it is. (The 100% "on time" record seems to confirm that the buses have more than adequate time added to their schedules).
|Help is at hand|
The company tells us they are aware of the problem and are looking for alternative places to park buses between trips - although these can't be too far away from the station itself.
But apart from this, there don't seem to be too many operational problems at the moment, although if you've had a different experience please leave a comment and let us know.
Unfortunately, Lancashire County Council is rather letting the side down when it comes to bus stop information and we'll have more on that tomorrow.