Pedestrianization and Bath’s commercial potential decline?

Extract from a discussion on 

Dear Joanna,

Absolutely agree in the need to re-regulate the buses, so that each city has control of its buses, AND has the necessary funding to subsidize the less used services as part of an overall package.
However the historical fact remains, that whenever profitable trams systems were closed and replaced with buses, in the belief that this would reduce congestion, immediately about 1/3 of the previous users found the replacement bus service unacceptable and abandoned it, making the bus service uneconomic, forcing it to reduce services frequency, spiraling its unacceptability.
Note particularly the quote there from the London County Councillor, who specifically, and wrongly claimed that this would reduce congestion. It made it worse, because all the previous users then switched to cars over time.  They did not like the trolley buses offered either.
And the other annoying fact is that car drivers simply will not switch to buses, so it is futile to get together in concerned citizen groups and exhort everyone else to not use cars, as unfortunately most people are not interested – they will simply do what suits them best, and it isn’t buses. But they will switch to trams.
Bogota is not really the success claimed by the industry.  There are reported literally brawls and punch ups because the number of people who want to use them, cannot be serviced by the lines – a tramway running on the road would have several times the capacity. Many other busways have been abandoned.
Note there is sophisticated PR campaign by the automotive / oil industry to exaggerate and lobby behind the scenes for buses.
Trams have a much higher channel capacity than buses and can magically use the same roads space as traffic whereas the Bogota buses use dedicated bus ways which cars cannot use.
There have been numerous failed bus attempts in British cities – from Runcorn in the 60s to Swansea more recently:
And many British Busways are regarded as expensive white elephants.
Note that Utrecht, which is entirely car free in the middle and uses hideous bendy buses and bendy-bendy buses, has recently given up and is re-installing trams becuase the bendy buses do not make a pleasant environment, and simply do not have the capacity of a tram system. ( I know i have been there)
I wouldn’t worry about spending vast sums of money on trams.  We will raise it privately if we can show, using a proper analysis that it will earn its keep, or it will not be built. The treasury by the way reckons the long term interest rate to use on infrastructure projects is 2.5% and there is plenty of money around for a project which will return this level of interest.
Lets hope we can persuade the authorities not to spend £billions on more roads which will only create more congestion.
Best Wishes
Dave Andrews