Thursday, 6 November 2003

Keep those buses rolling!

Edinburgh's latest transport row is about a proposal to reduce the number of buses in Princes Street:
Senior councillors believe "far too many" buses use Princes Street as a through route, and want to see many of them forced to turn back at either end of the road. It is felt the changes would make the area a much more pleasant shopping environment once trams start running in the capital.
This does seem to be a rather silly idea. Shoppers need the buses! I accept that it would only occur once the planned tram service gets going but Line 1 and Line 2 will serve very limited areas of the city compared with the bus network. We can see from the map that Princes Street is the key to the bus system in the city centre. These Lothian Bus routes pass through the street:
1 3 3A 4 8 10 11 12 15 15A 16 17 19 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 33 34 37 37A 41 42 44 44A 45 64 X26 X31 X37 X47 and all Night Buses
(More routes are operated by First Bus.)

People need to be able to travel easily to and through the city centre. Instead of restricting the number of buses on Princes Street why not get rid of the single-deckers? Perhaps we need to ban tourist buses in the rush hour. Turning buses around at the beginning of Princes Street is a nonsensical idea. Sometimes I think that politicians say things simply to justify their existence.