Our old friends the West of England Partnership (Bristol City Council and the three other local councils in what used to be Avon) have launched their proposals for the first of a network of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes in Bristol, running from Ashton Vale to Emerson's Green, only they're leaving a veil over the Temple Meads to Emerson's Green section for the very good reason that they still want to use the route of the popular Bristol & Bath Railway Path, despite the public outcry when this emerged at the beginning of this year.
So the current consultation is for Ashton Vale to Temple Meads, although from Prince Street Bridge onwards to Temple Meads the BRT bendy-buses will run as normal buses already do, using bus lanes and ordinary roads, so it's really the Ashton Vale to Prince Street Bridge section that is new, although for the most part it follows disused or little used railway trackbed, with only the link from Winterstoke road to the Ashton P&R site being a new transport corridor.
To help us visualise how wonderful the brave new world of BRT is going to be the West of England Partnership have produced a computer simulation (below) to show sleek tram-like bendy-buses gliding along pristine tracks and improbably wide streets, all remarkably clear of any other traffic other than a generous sprinkling of cyclists. Of course we're all expected to be duly impressed, especially at how cyclists will benefit from the BRT scheme.
But some cyclists will insist on looking a gift horse in the mouth and one in particular is remarkably vigilant when it comes to the kind of obscure details that most of us scan over. Step forward Terry, who noticed some strange anomalies along the Cumberland Road. Not only do the BRT buses magically switch from the conventional driving on the left to continental style driving on the right (possibly for sound technical reasons), but so too does the adjacent road traffic!
It seems that no one at the West of England Partnership has the attention for detail of our Terry and they've gone and issued a simulation with cars driving on the right through Bristol. This actually sits well with other 'oversights' in the simulation, like the grossly exaggerated widths of cycle paths and roads running alongside the BRT route and the strange 'ghost' station on Winterstoke Road. Once again we have a public consultation being carried out on the basis of misleading and unreliable information.
Thanks to James Barlow for setting up the You-tube video.