Conurbation will ‘grind to a halt’ warns Yellow Buses

ROADS: Andrew Smith, Managing Director, Bournemouth Transport Limited.

Roads across the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch conurbation will grind to a complete standstill unless urgent action is taken to tackle congestion. Andrew Smith, Managing Director of Yellow Buses, said traffic levels had increased significantly over the last decade and particularly in the last few years. He added: “We have got a really serious and growing problem which is having a huge effect on everyone living and working in the area. “It is no exaggeration to say that unless we start taking some urgent decisive and sustainable action soon, then the whole conurbation will quite literally grind to a halt. “We all need to work together to address an increasing obstruction to improving our quality of life. There is no magic bullet but other towns and cities are addressing the problem urgently and we need to do the same.” Figures issued by Yellow Buses, and based on average speed data produced by the Department for Transport, reveal that car users on a return journey between Bournemouth and Poole spend nearly ten extra minutes every day stuck in traffic. That’s a 25 per cent increase in journey time in the last decade, equivalent  to an extra working week a year sitting in traffic purely as the result of congestion. Andrew said: “The congestion can be down to a number of factors, from the increased use of cars to the growing number of roadworks. “We fully support the Echo’s campaign to raise the profile of the growing traffic problem and to challenge the local community to come up with sustainable solutions that are inclusive and practical.” Andrew conceded that the number of buses operating between Poole and Bournemouth by Yellow Buses and Go South Coast – up to 24 per hour – contributed to road congestion. “However, one full bus is equivalent to 20 cars off the road so, with better coordination in the longer term, we are definitely part of the solution,” he said. Yellow Buses is supporting an initiative by Bournemouth Borough Council and the Borough of Poole to establish a Voluntary Qualifying Agreement (VQA) with the bus companies. This would coordinate services, implement realistic joint ticketing and reduce bus numbers where the two operators both run services. It is thought a VQA could, for example, reduce the overall number of buses travelling between Poole and Bournemouth by approximately eight per hour while still providing a regular, coordinated high-frequency service. Andrew said: “A VQA would make a contribution to reducing congestion between Bournemouth and Poole. It is a grown-up, 21st century contribution to solving a problem which must be tackled. We look forward to working with all parties to do everything possible to make this happen.” Note to journalists: For more information, please contact: Andrew Diprose, Director, Deep South Media Ltd, PR consultants to Yellow Buses, on 01202 534487, or Ed Baker on 01202 534487 or 07788 392965. About Yellow Buses: Yellow Buses operates a fleet of 140 buses and 18 coaches with a staff of over 410. The company carries just under 15m passengers a year with its vehicles operating nearly five million miles across the Bournemouth, Poole, Christchu rch and East Dorset area. Yellow Buses is part of RATP Group, the world’s fifth largest public transport provider. RATP Dev RATP Dev is a RATP group subsidiary set up in 2002 to export the Group’s operation and maintenance knowhow outside the historic network operated by RATP in the Paris region. RATP Dev now operates in 14 countries on four continents (United Kingdom, France, Italy, Switzerland, Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, India, China, South Korea, the Philippines and the USA). In 2015 RATP Dev generated revenue of more than 1.1 billion euros. RATP group With 14 million passengers every day worldwide, RATP group is the fifth largest urban transport operator in the world. The multimodal network operated by RATP in the Paris region, with its 14 metro lines (including two driverless lines), two regional express network (RER) lines, seven tramway lines, 350 bus lines and shuttle services catering to the region’s two international airports, is the largest of its kind in the world to be managed by a single company. RATP group can devise, design and implement infrastructure development projects, operate and maintain networks irrespective of the transport mode (metro, regional train, tramway and bus) and develop innovative services to promote mobility such as passenger information, electronic ticketing, pricing and customer marketing. The automation of Paris metro’s Line 1, which was completed at the end of 2012, is a world first and once again has demonstrated the ability of RATP group to complete particularly complex projects. RATP group has a workforce of nearly 60,000 worldwide and in 2015 generated revenue of 5,556 million euros.