Why you get bus jam if you try to run a large city solely on buses and without trams

Above: A previous Lothian Buses director, Neil Renilson decided that ALL bus
routes should run through the centre of Edinburgh. His wisdom has been
questioned, and the picture provided by George Murray shows why.



The problem of bus queues in Princes Street Edinburgh, Cambridge, Oxford or anywhere that has reasonable demand for public transport arises from the outdated (since the 1930s) British approach of planning a network that goes from everywhere to everywhere to avoid the need to change.  This also relates to our staged fares approach of charging by distance rather than time with no transfer facility.  In mainland Europe ticketing is zonal and even in the biggest cities an extensive travel area is covered by one modestly-priced ticket for all modes with as many changes as required within an hour or 90 minutes.  In most cases return journeys are permitted and day tickets (in fact, usually 24-hour) are valid for up to five travelling together (which explains high use of PT by families where over here we’d get the car out because it really is cheaper.  Public transport has to be simple and no-one can understand complex bus networks in UK urban areas because there are so many overlapping routes.  The classic example of bus jams used to be Oxford Street in London (eased somewhat in recent years) where it was quicker to walk than take a bus and it was virtually impossible to cross the road through a red metal wall, all pouring out PM2.5s by the way).  At its worst, LT recorded 239 buses an hour with an average occupancy of 13 pax per bus!