Wither connections?

Politicians talk of the need for seamless transport where customers change from mode to mode without delay. Often they point to European models but is it really any better there? As I found out recently, the concept may be sound but at the end of the day, delivery is down to the man in the cab and the instructions he is given.

Essen was once connected to Oberhausen by tramway but Oberhausen abandoned their section many years ago and recently voted against a proposed reinstatement. Now the ten minute frequency tram terminates on the side of the road near the Essen boundary and a bus ‘connects’ to Oberhausen Neue Mitte (A modern shopping centre based on the plans for Meadowhall in the UK). Only when I was there, it didn’t! As the tram pulled up at the terminus and transferring passengers started walking towards the bus, the latter departed leaving them with a 20 minute wait for the next one!

I’ve heard this is not uncommon in other cities as well, keeping to the timetable appears to take priority over looking after customers!

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