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Are trams bussed flush?


Thank goodness someone has the wit to see that the term 'bus rapid transit' as used in the UK is a complete con trick (Comment last week). It displays a woeful misunderstanding of the term 'rapid transit' which denotes a segregated, frequent, relatively fast and reliable transit system.

British 'bus rapid transit' is no more rapid transit than a mainly street running tramway is 'light rail transit'. A bit of guided busway here or a few bits of bus lane there do not by any measure constitute rapid transit.

There is no doubt that buses can offer a lot more than they do if they are given better priority but they cannot be described as rapid transit unless they operate on mainly segregated routes as in a few cities in North or South America.

Even oft quoted Adelaide is a doubtful candidate because while it has a good length of segregation in the suburbs, in the city centre it joins the traffic queues with no priority like any other bus.

The only possible example in Britain is the Runcorn Busway.

Those who pretend that Leeds, Bradford, Edinburgh, Crawley or even Ipswich have bus rapid transit are simply deluding themselves.

But not, I fear, the more discerning passengers. They know it is only another bus!

Tony Young (F), 10 Little Flatt, Spotland, Rochdale OL12 7AU

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