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Image conscious


Your Comment (NCE 30 March) on bus rapid transit and the letters from Tony Young and Lewis Lesley (NCE last week) make many valid points. A mainly segregated tram system has a better image than most deregulated bus services, even if the bus has a few segregated sections and is backed by a variety of quality contracts.

However, the physical complexity, planning constraints and huge cost of providing segregated tram systems throughout the UK, severely restricts the number that can be provided. We simply cannot put back the clock - in the middle of the 20th century, the UK abandoned its tram systems, many with segregation and priority, in favour of the bus.

Furthermore, bus services can attract passengers if they are frequent, reliable and easy to use, with competitive pricing and good information. This can be seen in London and in a few other cities, such as Brighton, Oxford and York, where bus use is rising. The bus may be difficult to see as a thoroughbred, but it can be a very useful workhorse.

Nigel King (M), High Hedges, Cadmore End, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP14 3PL

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