Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


VIVALDI Report Summary

Project ID: 11958
Funded under: FP5-GROWTH
Country: United Kingdom

The city centre clear zone in Bristol (UK)

Result description:
84 new clean vehicles in the Council and Dial-a-Ride fleets, and the retrofitting of exhaust treatment equipment to 63 diesel buses. Access control and management systems included 3 new bus priority measures, a bus lane enforcement trial and the investigation of new access management measures. New orbital bus service provides an improved frequency, accessible, high quality service linking key city centre sites. Cycle Resource Centre (CRC) providing secure parking, showers, lockers, cycle repair/maintenance and information.

Freight Consolidation Scheme (FCS) commenced operation in May 2004 and has progressively grown in scale to include over 50 retailers with an encouraging reduction in the number of delivery trips. Travel Plans (TP) for city centre leisure sites including new cycle parking and lockers for staff, a cross-harbour ferry service and improved pedestrian signing and route finding. New TravelBristol Info Centre provides information and ticketing for commercial bus services, and the Council providing a range of other travel and transport information. Travel Information provided by the Info Bus (mobile information vehicle), I+ information kiosks (on-trip information) and real time bus information displays.

Main innovative features/benefits:
The FCS is the first of its type in the UK serving an urban centre. Access Management Systems: Introduction of technology-based bus priority measures to improve the journey times and reliability of public transport. Three city centre bus pre-signals were introduced to prioritise public transport over other vehicles. This is one of a package of measures to support the city centre Clear Zone and Air Quality Management Area. Clear Zone Orbital Bus:The hybrid vehicle is one of two vehicles in the UK, providing the first wave of practical application of hybrid technology to inner city shuttle buses.

Market or application sectors & possible applications FCS: Key aspects of a successful implementation: - Engagement of stakeholders at an early stage, and their continual inclusion in development and operation; - ensure that the scheme supports the requirements of retailers, unless this reduces consolidation benefits, and provides a reliable and if possible improved level of service; - develop support tools to the FCS such as preferential access or loading arrangements. Freight Loading / Signing Strategies: Explore existing infrastructure and equipment before purchasing new. The project has also shown a positive effect of providing the public with information: the Council’s traffic control centre has received fewer complaints as a result of the signs being introduced. Info Centre: A high profile location, service offered by a member of staff, and a reason for visitors to enter the premise, is essential to attract customers. Clear Zone Orbital: The adoption of the Clear Zones Strategy assisted the implementation of the measures by providing the policy framework.

The designation of the Air Quality Management Area also highlighted the need to take action to reduce traffic related air pollution in the city centre and endorsed the approach of integrated packages of measures as subsequently adopted in the Air Quality Action Plan. Potential barriers The key barrier to the development of the FCS was the absence of a UK model to apply which resulted in a lack of understanding/scepticism amongst stakeholders and retailers. The lack of availability of clean fuel vehicles has prevented their use on the consolidation scheme to date. TP A major barrier to the progression of the project was the varying level of commitment to the regular meeting process and it was often difficult to ensure that the communication flow was kept going.

Additionally, some of the sites felt that the quality of the free Travel Plan work secured through the UK Government’s Transport Energy Best Practice Programme was mediocre. Coming at an early stage in the process, this may have had a demotivating effect and contributed in part to lower levels of participation than were originally hoped for. Info Centre: This scheme required the creation of a multi-disciplinary team. Differing priorities of these Groups, and varying work practices, caused some time delays and confusion in securing agreement for different aspects of the project.

Some aspects of the project did not conform to standard corporate approaches, and thus incurred delay. Access Management Systems: Locating cameras was problematic due to the size of the poles needed and due to the lack of space available in the pavement owing to services. Data collection is carried out 24 hours a day. Bath Road is only a peak period bus lane and therefore created large amounts of erroneous data which was time consuming to manually remove. Transfer of data on site is time consuming and could be resolved if files were transported automatically using ISDN lines.

Reported by

Bristol City Council, Planning, Transport and Sustainable Development
Transport Initiatives Group, Floor 1, Wilder House, Wilder Street
BS2 8PH Bristol
United Kingdom
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