Britpave: The British In-Situ Concrete Paving Association

Improving the reliability and speed of Welsh bus journeys

3rd August 2017
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Welsh Assembly members have called upon the devolved administration to develop a ‘bus action plan’ to address the impact of traffic congestion on the delivery of bus services. The installation of concrete guided busways that separate buses from traffic could do much to help believes Britpave, the transport infrastructure group.

The Assembly’s Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee have reported that traffic congestion is impacting bus timetables and making people less likely to use buses. Increased use of buses could ease congestion and reduce air pollution.

Britpave believe that efficient bus travel offers significant socio-economic benefits. Accounting for two out of three public transport journeys, the bus plays an important, and can play an even greater, role in improving local commuting, reducing congestion and carbon emissions and creating more liveable cities. However, its report ‘The Benefits of Concrete Guided Busways’, points out that the potential of bus travel is being stifled by increased traffic congestion.

The solution is the guided busway that segregate buses from other road traffic thereby removing the problems of traffic congestion, obstruction from parked vehicles and the use of bus lanes by unauthorised vehicles. This allows the operation of regular bus services that have more reliable and faster journey times which make taking the bus a more attractive travel option.

Concrete guided busways are relatively simple to construct and are cheap in comparison with light rail systems. They typically consist of two 180mm high concrete kerbs set 260mm apart on a concrete roadway. The kerbs act both the guide for the bus and a physical segregation from other traffic. Once in the guideway, the bus is guided by two lateral guide wheels connected to the bus steering mechanism. On leaving the busway the kerbs terminate and release the guided wheels allowing the driver to resume steering.

A recent guided busway project is the Leigh to Ellenbrook guided busway in Greater Manchester. Latest figures from First Manchester which runs the Vantage bus services on the busway, show that patronage of the busway has increased in 45,000 a week with a fifth of passengers having switched to the bus from their cars.

‘The Benefits of Concrete Guided Busways’ is available as a free download from www.britpave.org.uk

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