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Bristol “should have free loop bus” in centre

June 29, 2009

The councillor in charge of Bristol’s transport system says we need to be “more ambitious” in improving the city’s transport system and should not rest on “old prejudices” about the way things work.

Jon Rogers is proposing to change the way buses run in the city, so that all routes go in to the centre, terminate there and turn back on themselves, returning via the same route.

He said: “We could have buses coming in to the centre and then going back out on the same route.

“You might have green buses coming down Whiteladies Rd, you might have red buses coming in and out on the Gloucester Rd and so on.

“Other cities do it and Bristol should be raising its sights and setting our ideas higher than we currently do.

“We tend to moan about our buses and moan about our buses. We should be looking for some solutions rather than focussing on the problems.”

This is different from the current system in which all buses go to the centre, but many routes then continue after a break and often a change of driver.

To make it work, he wants to see a free shuttle bus running in a loop between Cabot Circus and Queen Square to help people switch buses.

Jon Rogers proposes the free bus could be paid for by the council, or by local businesses who would benefit from shoppers being able to get around the centre more easily.

He also acknowleded the city’s bus system would remain poor while fares remained high. But he said the city faced difficulties reducing fares because of obscure government subsidy rules.

He said: “I’m looking for some innovative ideas in how we can reduce costs for the average passenger not just the concessionary passenger.

“My firm belief is that if off-peak fares were lower the buses would be fuller. If the buses were fuller there would be more profit for the bus companies but also a better service for the passengers.

Martin Jones interviews Jon Rogers

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