East Yorkshire boss hits back over Hull bus lanes
Managing Director of East Yorkshire, Ben Gilligan, has warned against plans to reverse an extension to Hull’s bus lane hours.
A Hull City Council survey has suggested most people are of the view that the city’s bus lanes operating hours should return to peak times in one direction, rather than remain all day in both directions. Nearly two thirds of respondents said they believed that the cycle lanes and the new bus lane operating times had contributed to increased congestion.
“The view among people who responded to the survey seems to be that bus lanes should return to peak times in one direction” – Cllr Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council
Cllr Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “The view among people who responded to the survey seems to be that bus lanes should return to peak times in one direction. As a result, I have already instructed officers to prepare a report detailing options and implications for consideration by Cabinet at the earliest opportunity.”
As part of the areas combined bus partnership, the Council also plans to work to improve reliability and frequency; improve communications and awareness of bus travel; and simplify bus route maps to assist all users with cross-city travel. It is to continue to lobby central government for Bus Rapid Transit funding.
“This will be a massive retrograde step if the extended hours of operation of the bus lanes are reversed” – Ben Gilligan
Ben Gilligan hit back against the Council’s plans, tweeting: “This will be a massive retrograde step if the extended hours of operation of the bus lanes are reversed. They have delivered significant improvements to the reliability of our services and the 30,000+ people who use them.
“Bus users contribute massively to the viability of the local economy and use the services for work, leisure and education amongst many other reasons.”
He argues that the number of anecdotes collected in the survey do no not make for data and stresses decisions like this should be based on empirical facts rather than opinions.
He continued: “10% of car mileage needs to transfer to public transport to meet 2035 climate change targets.
“As a public transport operation, we will continue to make the case for our colleagues and customers to maintain the improvements the bus lanes have delivered for us so we can play our part in offsetting the impact of climate change and congestion reduction.”
The survey ran throughout August and September and the response was one of the biggest the council has ever seen, with a total of 22,068 surveys were completed. As well as issues with the bus lanes, it also revealed that across all key transport groups, the significant majority said congestion and journey times had got worse over the past two years. More than 70% of residents said they felt consulted ‘poorly’ or ‘very poorly’ over recent changes to bus lanes and cycle lanes.