Return to TfB Homepage
The greatest single advantage of Guided buses is the ability of the vehicles to run at high speed along dedicated tracks into and out of a city centre, then to 'fan'out' into the suburban roads without the need for extra trackwork.
In Bath, this is no advantage because:
When closely examined, the other claimed advantages of Guided Buses turn out to be almost entirely spurious:
The guided busway installed to serve the Milennium Dome at Greenwich was not allowed to operate because of safety concerns - it reverted to an ordinary bus service. The guided trolleybus in Nancy (France) was closed a few weeks after opening because of two serious crashes.
A further consideration is the commitment to a single manufacturer's system. Once the particular type of guided bus track is in place, the operator is restricted to purchasing vehicles from one manufacturer. In contrast, tram tracks are generally standardised, allowing the operator to take advantage of competition, economies of scale and secondhand bargains when purchasing vehicles
There is currently only one successful guided busway operating in the world - in the north of Adelaide - and this works because of a particular combination of favourable circumstances in those particular suburbs. The proposal to extend this single corridor to the south of the city has now been abandoned.
Pictures of Guided Busway
Other consideration on the Newbridge - Western Riverside route
Return to questions