Comments for article

Mr Bee

Very nice new buses, but far to big for Guernsey roads.

Toby

So they're allocated to the main roads on the 90's routes for engine efficiency.

Nothing to do with the steering and axle placement making it nearly impossible to negotiate bends and tight corners on the minor roads, and the lean caused by the soft suspension making them more difficult to manoeuvre on any road with a significant camber ....

And I'm sure theres no truth to the rumour that a land purchase is being negotiated to widen the corner at the Barbarie so the new buses can actually get around it .....

Donkey Boiler

Toby

Also the longer wheelbase than the old buses means that the rear wheels describe an arc well inside the track that the front wheels have taken. This means having to encroach onto the wrong side of the road on right hand bends, and either having to swing out to the right on left hand bends, or else allowing the rear wheels to mount the pavement. These buses may be an improvement in passenger comfort, and have some onboard wizardry, but they are not an improvement in road safety.

Toby

I have noticed that to get into their yard they are swinging onto the other side of the road.....

Anecdotaly from talking to drivers it takes 1 1/2 turns of the steering wheel to get to full lock each way, which makes s-bends tricky. As well as the Barbarie, turning from the Vrangue into Mont Arrive is near to impossible , and turning at the end of Jerbourg is a nightmare.

Given that these buses were test driven on the island you have to wonder who did the test drive and exactly where they drove on it. Any rumours that this was the same senior member of staff who damaged one of the buses before it was even in service are I'm certain as unfounded as those concerning the land grab at the Barbarie .....

guern abroad

Shoddy reporting by the GP again, they rarely dig into issues but are happy to stir the public up.

Devil's Advocate

Standard procedure from them I'm afraid. All they want is click revenue.

Paul

You just need to follow one of these " smaller" buses to see they struggle even more than the old buses when negotiating any kind of bend in the road. Worse than that they are actually dangerous as they are forced to come on to the other side of the road to negotiate blind bends giving little chance for oncoming traffic to brake in time.

guern abroad

The new buses appear not fit for purpose. Can they be sent back?

donkey doos

Reading about buses made me think about parking and I am at a loss to work out something, Port parking , I am staggered to see the amount of spaces allocated for this use. Surely there are not all those staff working at the harbour and a lot of space could be used for say day trippers to Herm / Sark etc. If these spaces are all for workers then surely this is a benefit in kind and should be taxed accordingly with their salaries, if I park in town to work I have to pay for my private parking not have it supplied at tax payers expense. Can the traffic department clarify why so much space is required and will the harbours be transparent and tell us how many staff get free parking and how much is rented and is it taxable to its staff ! .

Donkey Boiler

Also the free staff parking at custard castle, the Guernsey Electricity's exclusive free parking for staff next to the derelict houses on Vale Avenue and other sites owned by states departments. What about the free use of Guernsey Water land for storage of boats, cars and general junk, e.g. at Grandes Marais. Surely this land should be rented out, if not required for operational purposes, and a return made to the taxpayers. There is lots of land owned by states departments that could, and should, be a money making asset, not left derelict or allowed to be used for free.

Alvin

Until paid parking is enforced all over Town, I doubt if you have a case. If you personally have a paid parking space then that is your choice - if you do not like that, then just get up earlier, like most others do, and go and hunt for a free parking space.

On the other hand, whether the Harbour has allocated too many parking spaces for its own use is another matter that could be investigated - I wonder if so much space has to be used for container lorries.

Devil's Advocate

Port permit parking is not just for harbour staff, anyone can apply for a permit but it costs you. A friend of mine (not wealthy) had one so he could park to use his boat which was kept in a marina. The amount of port permit spaces has been reduced when North beach parking was 'stolen' to provide marshalling space for cars going on Condor.

I'm sure if you wrote to the Harbour office and asked them your questions you'd get an answer.

Island Wide Voting

Is it true that another space on North Beach has been commandeered to store the whitewash in readiness for the bathing pools wavegate report ?

Alvin

I have not been on the island since the new buses entered into service....

Please, please do not tell me that some-one in the States has gone and made yet another boo-boo and bought the wrong blinking buses !! Again !!

Many of us were asking for smaller buses.... and smaller being Mercedes Sprinter size not something a few inches shorter or a couple of inches narrower... but if they are even more problematic to drive than the existing jolly green giants then I shall be dumbfounded !

markB

Looks like they have again!! so you are right to be dumbfounded

Toby

The trouble is Alvin the Sprinters are too small. I know of lots of people struggling to get a place on the smaller new buses at busy times, and when the Sprinters were used on normal routes the problem was even worse.

davegorvel

Toby

I am at the Airport on most occasions, the buses come in and out with only a few passengers.

Beanjar

Well the airport buses certainly arrive without me on board - four times I have tried to save a £12 taxi fare by using the bus and four times it never turned up! Never again.

The simple truth is that most buses on most routes only ever have between 0 and 2 passengers aboard. They are a massive waste of time, money and cause disproportionately high pollution. Commuter routes at commuter times are a different story so perhaps we should just have a service that fits that demand? Is it beyond belief that those buses might even become self supporting by charging proper fares closer to the £5 they cost instead of the 55p they charge?

Toby

Living in Town I often see buses go past with standing room only. I also see buses with nobody on. It varies.

You don't look at empty carparks overnight and at weekends and conclude that nobody parks their cars and we don't need car parks.

You don't look at the four lanes empty of traffic along the sea front at 4a.m. and conclude that we don't need any roads in and around Town.

So you shouldn't see a nearly empty bus and conclude that nobody takes the bus and we don't need large buses offering a comprehensive service.

Beanjar

Toby, you are being very selective! It is a fact that most buses on most routes have VERY few passengers. There may well be a case for having buses, maybe even bigger buses, on routes and at times which justify it. And I think you will find that means commuter routes at commuter times, as I said in my post. And I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be self supporting. Obviously, since you live in town, you would like us to provide you with a free service 24/7 but surely you can see that is rather a selfish viewpoint?

Toby

Please don't injure yourself leaping to so many conclusions.

In my opinion we shouldn't give free bus rides to school kids other than to get to and from school. We shouldn't give round the island trips to anybody and everybody for £1.

We should be charging everybody a commercial fare for the journey they are taking. If a journey is too expensive for those in society who need to take it then we should subsidise those passengers, not the service as an whole.

As to passenger loads and vehicle types - from a decade of experience and in depth study of bus routes and passenger numbers most routes are busy early morning and late afternoon. And any route will experience wildly varying peaks and troughs in demand throughout the day. The service has to cater to peak demand. Small buses can't do that. The running costs of large and small buses are roughly the same so it makes more sense financially and logistically to have the largest vehicles in the fleet that you can to meet demand.

Having a mixture of sizes of vehicles to cope with varying loads massively increases your costs ( in purchasing and storing the fleet ) with no financial gain.

Beanjar

Then, Toby, it appears our main point of difference is how many buses to run and on which routes. I would be happy to have them running everywhere all day long BUT only when and where they are self supporting. Use big enough buses when they are needed, don't run buses of any size when there is insufficient passenger demand for them to break even. Suits me, and saves about £4 Million a year.

Alvin

But Toby, whilst the Sprinters may be too small for some routes... I know from personal experience that the 41/42 route has pretty heavy demand and the Sprinter would probably not suffice, there are other routes, say the 71 and 81, where demand does not justify a bus larger than a Sprinter and where the route is actually inconvenient for a larger bus.

So what I am saying, as I said at the time, but Environment simply did not want to listen, is, instead of replacing like for like, the first batch of 12 buses should have been Sprinters which would have gone out on to the routes that do not justify a large bus, freeing up larger buses to be used on the trunk routes as the other older large buses get retired.

Yes, eventually new large buses would be needed but the first step should have been a fleet of Sprinters or other similar sized vehicle.

Toby

Introducing a mixed fleet of markedly different sized vehicles reduces capacity and operational efficiency ( for reasons I can go into in depth if you wish ).

I am struggling to think of many ( if any ) minor roads on the bus network that a Sprinter doesn't effectively block that a Mylennium or Nimbus or StreetVibe does.

A smaller bus would cost more or less the same to operate as a larger one - driver cost is the greatest expense ( which is the same ), maintainance is similar and fuel costs wouldn't be that much different.

So I really don't see any advantages to a large number of smaller vehicles on the fleet, other than the public perception that they are smaller - and is that worth paying the price for ?

guern abroad

The new buses are actually longer!!

Beanjar

'in service' ... and possibly out of service, I passed one which appeared to be broken down yesterday at King's Mills.

wallygator

I have not really taken a lot of interest in the new buses but have seen them along the coast.

My concern is the new drivers.

No doubt most of you have seen the bus driving down the small road at the top of St Clair hill (6ft wide) on the Guernsey shameful driving. He must have missed the turning at the lights for Baubigny and had the school children on board.

However a few days before the bus missed the halfway turning so did a left turn back on himself around the plantation and back up the Vale road.

RobB

Don't take the bus much, only to go into Town for the evening.

Back when the road by Saumarez Manor was closed the route (from Forest Road into Town via Colborne Road) was diverted back around the Mill and he should have continued into Town via Ruette Braye. Instead he turned left past the St Martins Community Centre heading back to the Airport.

Realising he wasn't turning right at the Cache traffic lights I mentioned we should be heading into Town and then he woke up and realised what he had done.

We ended up doing a three+ point turn past the Villette Hotel to come back onto the Forest Road!

He wasn't local and looked as if was just plain tired!

Elizabeth9

I agree about the drivers - had a near miss a week or so ago with a driver that had indicated to pull out from a bus stop just past the co op at L'Aumone did not switch the indicator off, so appeared to be turning right up Rectory Hill at the traffic lights. Kept on going straight through the traffic lights towards town. As I was turning right into Le Fricquet it was interesting ! The next day on same road but other direction a driver with head back drinking from a can.

Curly

Perhaps it was the same Bus I saw pavement surfing, from the corner of Le Villocq passed le Courtil Simon lane, all the way to the Doctor's Surgery, There was no other traffic on the road for most of this incident.

The point is, what can be done about it? No-one in authority seems to care.

Beanjar

Of course they don't care, CT+ are a major plank in the lefty/greenies social engineering project. And they never see the buses anyway as they drive to work and use their free parking spaces.

Prospero

BJ

I thought all the lefty/greenies cycled or yomped to work - or is that just a righty piece of fake news.

Last time I looked all the lefty/ greenies needed to get righty/capitalists on side to get a vote in the House.

Unless there is a lefty/greenie majority in the States ?

If so we can relax - can't see the greenies buying a runway extension - not with all those huggable trees in the way.

Beanjar

I think there is a lefty/greeny majority in the house, and has been for several years, albeit a narrow one. Look how they have ended up voting on major issues such as the crazy £30 million bus contract, 'free' nursery care, 'cash cow' anti motorist taxes and scrapping the 11+. Which is the sly way to destroy grammar education, at least for the plebs. To me they seem more like the policies of some deluded, paternalistic, Labour borough than a prudent conservative one where they want small government.