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Bikes faster than public transport in Edinburgh?

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  1. Roibeard
    Member

    Never knowingly missing the opportunity, I'd already submitted both a comment to their customer services and an FoI, but Kappers beat me to the timetable analysis.

    I don't think 20mph should be impeded by operators of heavy vehicles, no matter how good their drivers, as that sets the standard for the greater number of operators of light vehicles with minimal training...

    Robert

    Posted 4 years ago #
  2. kaputnik
    Moderator

    What doesn't rub for me is how 20mph will "destroy the service.".

    It's a universal limit, so it will not reduce the competitiveness of the bus compared to a car in terms of time or cost. In fact, by reducing the overall speed of cars through town it should actually make the (already slow) bus service more attractive as car speeds are reduced to something similar.

    I can't see swathes of bus passengers suddenly abandoning Lothian Buses and getting back into cars because of this. I don't think they're getting the bus because it's fast, I'd wager they do it because it's much cheaper than owning/running a car into town every day, or they can't get parked. And within town there's not really much competition from the commuter rail service as that's geared to moving people from Glasgow, Fife, East and West Lothian into/out of town at peak hours.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  3. Nelly
    Member

    @K

    I have been driving this week due to a virus flooring me - I left at 5.15 this evening and it took me 40 minutes for my 6 mile commute - whats that, 9 mph?

    OK, thats busy period and includes lots of sitting around etc - but I have been experimenting with 20mph - and unless you are on West Approach or somesuch, it doesnt feel inordinately slow.

    Even early morning commute takes circa 20 mins - again, not exactly startling.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  4. Uberuce
    Member

    I suggest we broaden the GPS research to include a car or two, unless Dave has already done so.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  5. Dave
    Member

    I don't think they're getting the bus because it's fast

    +1000000

    Posted 4 years ago #
  6. PS
    Member

    @k The EEN opinion piece today was arguing that buses would stuck to 20mph limit because their drivers would live in fear of being reported for speeding (thereby losing their jobs) whilst private cars would just ignore the 20mph limit. With the result that cars become quicker than buses and everyone debuses and gets in their cars.

    That seemed to me to be an argument for speed cameras everywhere, which would no doubt have the EEN up in arms. #paradox

    Posted 4 years ago #
  7. kaputnik
    Moderator

    @Nelly our commutes pretty much approximate each other in terms of start and end point and when I left work. My route is 5.9 miles. I took exactly 25 minutes this morning and 25:38 on the way home (from cameratime).

    I make that 15.6 mph average out and 15.2 mph average home. I don't think I got much over 20mph at any point today bar perhaps a few seconds.

    On the way out I spent 4 minutes 46 seconds waiting at traffic lights (including 1:40 to cross South Gyle Access, and that wasn't even the full cycle). On the way home it was 59 seconds.

    So actually the rolling average speeds were a wind-propelled 17.4mph out and a mere 14.4mph headwind home.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  8. Tulyar
    Member

    Buses doing 20mph would keep car speeds down - especially if the service remained as intensive as it is at present.

    Bus company who regulated max speed of their buses to 29.7 mph because the buses never operated outside 30 mph zone reported reduced fuel bill reduced driver stress reduced minor crashes & damage. Expect similar result for 20mph.

    Maybe Lothian should do a trial (in therory this regime applies to Princes Street, but it needs to extend from a longer route corridor to get real test)

    Posted 4 years ago #
  9. fimm
    Member

    @Baldcyclist thank you.

    I have a friend who lives in Ratho, and it so happens that she commented on Facebook yesterday that she thinks she's going to have to start driving to work rather than take the bus, although she'd rather take the bus, because now she has to go to Leith the bus takes twice as long as the car does.

    (I think she said it is 20 miles each way, so cycling isn't an option.)

    Posted 4 years ago #
  10. fimm
    Member

    I keep meaning to add my own experiences to this.
    Google maps suggests it would take about or just under 30 minutes to drive from my flat (in Gorgie) to my office (in Livingston).
    My usual commute is a bike-train-bike job which takes 45 minutes. In Edinburgh at 7:30am or 6pm the short trip along the road from Haymarket may or may not be quicker by bus depending how long you wait for one.
    My alterntive commute is to take the road bike and cycle all the way to Livingston, which takes me about 1h10 going in and about 1h coming back.

    One trip I do do where the bike wins hands down over the bus is to go to the Commonwealth Pool where the bus has to go along Princes Street while I cut through The Meadows.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  11. Dave
    Member

    I have a friend who lives in Ratho, and it so happens that she commented on Facebook yesterday that she thinks she's going to have to start driving to work rather than take the bus, although she'd rather take the bus, because now she has to go to Leith the bus takes twice as long as the car does.

    (I think she said it is 20 miles each way, so cycling isn't an option.)

    It's only a little over ten miles from Leith to Ratho by bike? (She might not live and work at the two points I clicked on though).

    You can ride along the canal to NEPN and thus to Leith. Less than a mile on road. With a folding bike it would be possible to short circuit whichever half is slower (i.e. bus from Ratho into town then ride down NEPN or vice-versa?)

    You could even just drive to the park and ride and take the canal from there, amongst other options...

    Posted 4 years ago #
  12. fimm
    Member

    Ah. Just google-mapped it (knowing more accurately where she lives & works) and I must have mis-remembered "20 mile round trip" as "20 miles each way". Oops.

    I think she'd think 10 miles each way every day was a long way to cycle. I might suggest it as an occassional thing - maybe if she did it a bit, then she'd get into it.

    (What she should really do is cycle to Edinburgh Park and get the tram to Leith... Oh, wait...)

    Posted 4 years ago #
  13. Arellcat
    Moderator

    You can ride along the canal to NEPN and thus to Leith. Less than a mile on road.

    10 miles wouldn't be too bad if the canal didn't feature pedestrians and dogs and a great big viaduct, all of which slow you down (more in the perceived sense than actual), and 10 miles mostly on the road would be fast but fraught with motor vehicles and roadworks.

    I think it would be quite hard to do the trip from Leith to Ratho in less than an hour on account of the on-road sections. Nothing hurts one's average speed and one's energy levels more than continually stopping and starting because of traffic lights and lines of cars less than a handlebar's width away from each other.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  14. AKen
    Member

    After Cultins Road, the canal is pretty quiet and you'd be lucky to see half-a-dozen pedestrians between there and Ratho.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  15. Radgeworks
    Member

    Hiya folks.
    I would like to suggest this route, which would be LEAST hassle,Ratho Canal Path - Cultins Road, Bankhead Drive - Broomhouse Drive - Stenhouse Drive - Stenhouse Ave West - Whitson Road - across Balgreen Road and through to WOL path past Murrayfield, exit along Roseburn Place, Russell Road - NEPN - Leith.

    the Cultins to Stenhouse bits are the busier roads with traffic lights but cycle paths adjacent usually. The stenhouse whitson section is traffic calmed and semi bollarded, the Roseburn - Russell road bit needs a bit of confidence and attention first few times. The rest is ok. IMHO... R :-)

    Posted 4 years ago #
  16. kaputnik
    Moderator

    For the record, the canal between Ratho and Cultins Road where the tarmac runs out is not fun to cycle out-of-season as the surface is pretty bad.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  17. Nelly
    Member

    kaputnik,

    This mornings car time test - left here at 7.12 arrived at office car park 7.34.

    Traffic was a breeze, so that is probably the optimum (non-law breaking speeds) travel time.

    I am usually doing longish hours, but for anyone commuting at rush hour - there is no doubt in my mind that bike is faster than anything.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  18. Greenroofer
    Member

    @Kaputnik - the tarmac on the towpath goes out beyond Cultins Road now. It certainly goes to Gogar Station Road and I think it goes all the way to Ratho now (you can tell where I turn off every day!).

    I was at the EICA a couple of weeks ago and peered over the bridge at the canal there and thought that even there it was maybe tarmac. That was optimism on my part: I was considering whether Little Miss Greenroofer (aged 8) would be up to cycling 8 miles to go climbing then cycling 8 miles home.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  19. gembo
    Member

    @ Greenroofer, think it might still stop at Heriot watt and then recommence from ratho to the climbing centre, Tarmac I mean

    Posted 4 years ago #
  20. Uberuce
    Member

    A conservative option might be to borrow a tandem and see if and when turning the pedals gets too much.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  21. Greenroofer
    Member

    @gembo - that's entirely possible. I've only ridden out to Ratho once, and that was a couple of years ago when the tarmac just stopped in the middle of nowhere shortly after the Heriot Watt exit. I thought I read on here at some point that it had been extended to Ratho.

    Could someone who's actually ridden it recently and knows the true state of the tarmac put us out of our misery!

    @Uberuce. Already have a trailer bike which we've used previously to head out that way. Trouble is it's a lot of work if she's exhausted by the time she gets there and doesn't enjoy climbing because of it.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  22. rosscbrown
    Member

    Didn't have as much time as I had hoped today, but here goes:

    Full route:
    Leith to the Gyle on the 22 (link)
    Airport to Prince St on the 100 (link)

    Part-route:
    Gyle to Airport via RBS on the 35 (link)
    London Rd to Princes St on the 26 (link)

    In general I'm surprised by how slow the bus in. 6-10mph average end to end including time stationary. I hope to get out and do some more routes, any special requests? I was going to try and cover routes coming into the city from the park and ride points.

    Sadly I didn't get started until 4pm today so a lot of the traces were at rush hour. I'll try some off-peak times too.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  23. Focus
    Member

    @ rosscbrown

    A good long route (if you have the time), mixing "fast" and city centre roads would be the 41. That gives you most of Queensferry Road, "Tramworks Central" and so on.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  24. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Good effort, Ross.

    I've been playing around with the fabulous http://www.gpsvisualizer.com site to make sense of your data. A few minutes of selecting parameters and it does all the hard work.


    Time : Speed profile


    Position : Speed profile. Harder to read, but where it's grey it's travelling under 20mph.

    You can see main fast stretches are the West Approach Road (not surprising) and then Broomhouse Road (would be quiet westbound at that time) and through the Gyle on the 40mph roads, again fairly quiet before 430PM at the Gyle. Between Leith and Lothian Road it's almost never over 20mph for seconds at a time, and same again going through the back of Gorgie / Roseburn / Stenhouse.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  25. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Much more revealing, here's exactly how long that No. 22 spent above 20mph between Ocean Terminal and Lothian Road.


    No. 22 Over 20mph by the Magnificent Octopus, on Flickr

    20mph limit ruinous to the service apparently. Let me be not the first to say "cobblers".

    Posted 4 years ago #
  26. fimm
    Member

    Given that Leith Walk is the road that is of particular interest right now, I guess more data from there would be useful?

    Interesting pictures, kaputnik.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  27. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Yep would be great to build up 5 or 10 journey s of Leith Walk data on different services. I'm pretty sure they will follow the patters of the above 22 service.

    I actually need to look back at the data, I think I've overshot Lothian Road, and that the spike after 2 minutes of 20mph+ running is actually the start of the West Approach Road.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  28. steveo
    Member

    I got a lift in this morning so I'll run my GPX track of that through the visualiser. No quicker than my normal ride in though.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  29. cb
    Member

    Interesting 22 data gathering and analysis.

    I suspect that, even if a 20pmh zones were greatly increased, the 'fast' bits of the 22 route would largely remain at 30 or 40mph limits so the overall effect on the bus times would be next to nothing.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  30. AKen
    Member

    Could someone who's actually ridden it recently and knows the true state of the tarmac put us out of our misery!

    Tarmac runs out not long after Hermiston but the surface is not too bad and is surfaced again at Ratho. Some patches will be muddy after wet weather but overall it's perfectly cyclable.

    Posted 4 years ago #

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