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Comments on

"Umbrella Quality Partnership Agreement between

Bath & North East Somerset and First"


Trams for Bath

Trams for Bath welcomes any moves which will lead to improvements in the quality of public transport in and around this city. We appreciate the difficulties of delivering a quality service in the traffic conditions prevailing in Bath and look forward to improvements in the delivery and uptake of bus services which result from this partnership.

We feel that in the short term, B&NES is right to be looking at improvements in bus quality as a way of encouraging small but significant amounts of modal shift. We hope this will pave the way for the much greater improvements which can be had in the longer term by the provision of a light electric tram network.

Partnership Principles
Extra publicity would be excellent in the form of leaflets
maps and timetables, but if it is in the form of the current roof cove panels it can become confusing and counter-productive if the vehicle has to be switched to another route.

Partnership Targets 5
Are these not the normal statutory requirements?

Partnership Targets
Where is Appendix 1?

Partnership Targets 1
We note that an increase of 2% per annum in bus ridership is anticipted, this approximately equates to a 0.2% decrease in car use or a saving of 300 car journeys per day over the entire bus network area. It is interesting to compare this with the 25% of Croydon tram passengers who switched from car last year, giving a figure of about 10,000 car journeys saved per day by a 25 km tram system.

Early Projects & Commitments / Partnership Targets 3
We note that First is spending about 1.3m pa on new vehicles with a 10 year life. Will this level of expenditure continue? Are thse vehicles to remain in Bath throughout their lifetime or is there some agreement that any which migrate to other fleets will be replaced by vehicles of equivalent or better quality?
A fleet of tramcars sufficient to serve the Bath area and capable of carrying at least twice the workload would cost cosiderably less than buses when the costs were spread over their 50 year lifetime.

B&NES 6 / B&NES 7 / First 6 / First 9 / Partnership Targets 7
The provision of passenger information systems, security devices and communication points at bus stops, tram stops and on the vehicles is made considerably easier where communication and power supply ductwork already exists as part of the tramway infrastructre.

First 4
This is often difficult to justify in the case of a public transport mode where fuel and mileage-related maintenence make up a significant proportion of the operating costs. In the case of a tram, a major part of the cost is in the infrastructure and the costs of extra journeys are much lower.

First 1 / Partnership Targets 2
For true accessibility, vehicles should have stepless and gapless boarding. This can only be reliably achieved if the vehicle is under the control of a guidance system as it approaches the stopping place.

Trams for Bath July 2002


The original "Umbrella Quality Partnership" paper

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