The Perth Transport Plan has its roots in problems identified by Tayside Regional council and is based on a strategy developed by Perth & Kinross Council, following publication of a consultation document on ways to solve the various problems that had been identified.
Adam Olejnik & Neil Gellatly
© John G. Fender 2011
The main issues identified were congestion, insufficient short term parking provision and excessive car commuting. The council was faced with tackling these issues, but at the same time maintaining the attractiveness of the City Centre as a shopping and business area.
At the same time the Government was undertaking consultation on transport policy, particularly with sustainability in mind and councils were required to set targets for traffic reduction as well as producing a local transport strategy.
Government guidance was that public transport and cycling should be promoted, but the bus was often caught up in traffic. Bus priority measures were required, along with the development of cycleways and a successful bid was made for funding from the Public Transport Fund.
This enabled the introduction of bus lanes and other bus priority measures. The next phase saw the introduction of cycle commuter routes and the Broxden Park and Ride scheme, again with funding from the Public Transport Fund. The Park and Ride scheme has shown a continuous growth in patronage. The Car park has 250 spaces and is linked to the City by a high frequency dedicated bus service. Despite is success, the scheme has not yet met commercial sustainability and a number of proposals are being considered to improve the financial position.
In 2001, further funding was secured allowing the extension of the Glasgow Road bus lane and more bus priority measures to be implemented in the town centre. This phase also included improvements to bus facilities and additional cycle routes. Cycle lockers were also provided throughout out Perth City centre along with improvements at rail stations.
The overall aim was to get people back onto public transport and the Hillend - City Centre - scone route was selected for a Public Transport Fund - Kick Start initiative. This route linked two affluent areas through the city centre and had two major high schools on the route, along with considerable housing development and population growth. The service, number 7, operated by Stagecoach Perth had a poor image, poor vehicle allocation and operated on a 20-minute frequency.
The initiative resulted in new low floor buses being provided by Stagecoach Perth, an increased frequency of 10 minutes being operated, bus lanes and bus priority measures provided allied with improved bus stops and information. Stagecoach Perth undertook innovative marketing of the route and these measures resulted in passenger growth in the region of 60%.
Report by John Fender.
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