On 4th November, the NTA published further plans for core bus corridors. . The plans for corridors 10,11 and 12 remain similar to version 2 with some refining of design in places. e.g public realm at Sundrive Cross. However we still have more questions than answers. We still want to know will Bus Gates operate 24/7? Will NO RIGHT TURNS operate 24/7? What will happen to the rerouted traffic? Will there be enforcement of bus lanes? Will the NTA provide alternative car parking for villages in lieu of removal of onstreet parking? How will the historic streetscapes of our urban villages be conserved? What is the provision for business acitivity – loading bays and timeplating, access? Will it be feasible to plant all the new trees in the maps on the limited pavements proposed? An NTA engineer said that ‘Bus Connects won’t solve congestion, rather, it will cut the bus through the congestion. Why then are so many places being sacrifced for a solution that won’t solve the problem? If cars are being discouraged from travelling to the city centre, why then are multiple arteries being widened to maintain access for cars?
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and Level 5 Restrictions has make it virtually impossible for communities to gather and discuss the impact of Bus Connects. Many impacted residents and communities are not internet or computer savvy and are unable to access informtion, maps and brochures. \similarily, many cannot engage with virtual consultation rooms. This means that many affected citizens are effecively excluded from the process. Community fora are also taking place virtually with all the same limitations and exclusions. All in all, the current public consultation is not a satisfactory one. .
We encourage all communities to remain questioning, to write, telephone or email their concerns and questions to the NTA, to their public representatives and to their local business and residents’ associations.