EBUG’s deputation to CEC: 22 September 2022

Here’s the text of EBUG’s deputation to the City of Edinburgh Council on 22 September 2022, in response to a motion by Cllr Thornley on ‘Hopper fares’, which was passed. Item 8.2 here is https://democracy.edinburgh.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=150&MId=6468

A webcast of the meeting is available at https://edinburgh.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/701504

N.B. the text differs slightly from ‘as delivered’, especially paragraphs 10-11 which were reduced for brevity)

Continue reading “EBUG’s deputation to CEC: 22 September 2022”

Edinburgh and South East Scotland Bus Partnership fund bid

A presentation on September 4 on the Edinburgh and South East Scotland Bus Partnership fund bid:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdPF9D62kwA

The slides below, which featured in the presentation, show

  1. Potential bus priority corridors to be developed if the bid succeeds.
  2. Current ‘hotspots’ where buses are particularly delayed by traffic in the mornings.
  3. Current ‘hotspots’ where buses are particularly delayed in the afternoons.

Send us your comments!
Continue reading “Edinburgh and South East Scotland Bus Partnership fund bid”

No.8 – Members’ Bulletin May 2022

This bulletin was received by EBUG’s web-weaver in early September 2022, i.e. after the AGM it covers.

Dear EBUG member,

This is the eighth of our occasional updates for members.

Our AGM is on Thursday June 30, at 18:00 in the Friends Meeting House, Victoria Terrace. This Members’ Bulletin is the official notification to all members, as required by EBUG’s constitution. https://edinburghbususers.group/ebug-trial/constitution-and-agm-papers. Continue reading “No.8 – Members’ Bulletin May 2022”

The rise of the Autonomous Bus: what do they have to offer?

The media has been quite exercised lately by the planned trial of Autonomous Buses across the Forth between Ferrytoll and Edinburgh Park.

In early May, a member of EBUG’s Committee took part in a workshop run by Edinburgh Napier University as part of the ‘CAVForth’ trail.

The day’s agenda included: Introduction to the research, project overview, pre-trial surveys, benefits and how to realise them, risks and mitigation, drivers and barriers (to name a few)…

It did not include any trial runs of the buses. On-ground trials, with passengers, start later in 2022 (Monday – Sunday, up to every 20mins; probable route number AB1).

The introduction revealed the answer to ‘what are ABs for?’ (reframed as ‘what are their expected benefits?’) is:

  • Safety: elimination of human error
  • Reliability: ABs could
    1. potentially overcome unexpected staff unavailability
    2. continuously adjust optimal driving to meet local circumstances
  • Reduce fuel use

Continue reading “The rise of the Autonomous Bus: what do they have to offer?”

Bus Stop Audit Report: Dalry Road, from Haymarket to Ardmillan Terrace

  1. Introduction

In the context of ongoing concerns about the variable quality of design, location and/or maintenance of bus stops across Edinburgh, Edinburgh Bus Users Group (EBUG) undertook a pilot ‘audit’ of a busy city corridor.

The audit was undertaken by four EBUG Committee members on the morning of Friday 22 October, between Haymarket and Ardmillan Terrace, including also Henderson Terrace, comprising 11 stops (6 ‘outbound’ and 5 ‘city-bound’). 8 criteria were assessed for each stop, encompassing location, pavement widths (in relation to the Edinburgh Street Design Guidance, see Appendix 1), shelter condition, signage and line marking etc.

An additional aim of the exercise was to take the opportunity to re-evaluate EBUG’s audit template itself, and amend or add any further criteria that seemed relevant and that would be useful for future audits.

We have not incorporated within this report our generic findings on the design of the JC Decaux bus shelters, which we view as being driven by advertising and financial considerations rather than by bus user comfort and convenience. Continue reading “Bus Stop Audit Report: Dalry Road, from Haymarket to Ardmillan Terrace”

Council election manifestos 2022; what’s in them for buses?

Here’s our commentary on the local Party manifestos we’ve seen for the Council elections on May 5. It’s about the local Edinburgh Party manifestos, NOT any national documents which come down from Party HQs.

As well as reading the local Party manifestos, it’s useful to (re)read their answers to our ‘Election Event’ questionnaire (https://edinburghbususers.group/ebug-council-election-event). The SNP and Conservatives either

  1. didn’t get their act together or
  2. couldn’t be bothered answering the questionnaire

so that’s an immediate black mark. Or possibly they took one look at the questions and ran a mile. Anyway, this commentary focusses on the actual manifestos. We:

  1. read each manifesto as it stands
  2. compared them with each other
  3. considered whether they matched EBUG’s ‘manifesto’ https://edinburghbususers.group/council-elections-vote-for-good-quality-public-transport-for-everyone
  4. considered whether words matched deeds in the current Council 2017-2022

Continue reading “Council election manifestos 2022; what’s in them for buses?”

Missed opportunity to improve city buses

As we all know, money is tight among Councils. In Edinburgh and elsewhere, aspirations to improve bus services compete for funding with other worthwhile services. Bus routes, of course, operate on a commercial basis. But the infrastructure they use, the roads, the bus stops, almost everything that doesn’t move, is the Council’s responsibility; as is providing socially necessary services which can’t break even.

So how can the Council maximise funding for improvements?

One source is ‘Section 75’ funding. Section 75 payments are funds secured from developers to pay for facilities needed because of the development; such as improved transport, school buildings etc. So if a developer builds new houses, or offices, the Council can secure payments to cover the cost of public transport improvements needed to serve the development.

We wondered how the City of Edinburgh Council uses this mechanism. So we lodged a Freedom of Information request with the Council, asking how much Section 75 money it had secured to improve bus services.

The FOI request revealed that, between 2015 and 2022, CEC secured a total of £84,230,232 in Section 75 payments.

Continue reading “Missed opportunity to improve city buses”