On the buses: Westside’s visitors will soon be enjoying modern and dependable omnibus

While everyone loves talking about the progress offered by the Metro tram extension along Broad Street, Westside business leader MIKE OLLEY gets ready to welcome back the city’s wonderful buses.

All hail the omnibus! The good, solid old bus is often overlooked by those with their hands on the reins of power and influence. 

Of course, they will argue their worth, but they don’t generally use them, not really! Bus use is very much the preserve of those with limited disposable income. Public transport for the more fortunate is centred on HS2, the train and, of course, the tram. 

Watch and listen to this vlog here: https://youtu.be/2xFt5XaRrm4

Yet the modern bus of course is a technical marvel: internet connection, padded seats, internal CCTV and the next generation are part of saving the planet. Even for myself at a little over six foot two and sixteen stones, I can find some comfort in a seat.

Broad Street has for as many years as I can recall been a thriving throughfare for the bus. Yet with the much-heralded tram extension this has had to halt. Buses along Broad Street are now rare.

I think it was Plato who said things of “excellence are rare”. Before the tram extension began we gave low critical importance to the bus, well certainly I’m guilty of that. But now it has been taken away from us, oh how we miss them. How excellent is the dear old bus.

The bus, of course, is vital to our economy. With 20,000-plus people working in Westside the bus is vital to most of them getting to work. Our night and early evening economies are largely dependent upon the bus.

Yes, many in the early hours have to use private hire and black cabs to get home. The bus is nevertheless the most used means of getting to a great night out.

So at the moment, the mighty omnibus only trundles along a very small section of Broad Street. Yet once the tram extension is completed, they will be back. As much as we celebrate and welcome the new tram, let’s not forget the dear old bus.


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