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Eclipse

Eclipse Bus Rapid Transit - Your Questions Answered

Here you will find frequently asked questions about the Eclipse Busway. The questions are grouped into four sections:

Section 1:  Eclipse Phase 1 Bus Rapid Transit Network

Section 2:  Other Phase 1 Infrastructure

Section 3:  Buses and Facilities for Passengers

Section 4:  Facilities for Cyclists and Pedestrians

Answers for Section 1:  Eclipse Bus Rapid Transit Network

Q What is the Eclipse Phase 1 Bus Rapid Transit Network?

From Sunday 22 April 2012, three existing bus routes will benefit from the new Eclipse Bus Rapid Transit network.  Buses on routes 86 and 82 are being replaced with new high specification Eclipse buses and will become Eclipse routes E1 and E2.

Eclipse routes E1 and E2 both start at Fareham Bus Station and will now travel via the A27 serving the rail station and then via Redlands Lane before joining the Eclipse busway and continuing as far as Tichborne Way.  

At Tichborne Way E1 will travel south along Tichborne Way until Rowner Road where it will pick up the existing route 86.  At Tichborne Way E2 will rejoin the A32 and pick up the existing route 82.

Bus route 88 will be one of the first additional routes to benefit from the Eclipse Bus Rapid Transit network.

At peak times (Monday to Friday), Route 88 (as the X88 service) will use part of the Eclipse busway between Wych Lane and Redlands Lane and will then travel via Redlands Lane and the A27 into Fareham, to enable more people to take advantage of the benefits of the busway.

The map is in the process of being revised.

The busway provides 14 new bus stops, many with secure cycle parking, all covered by 24/7 CCTV.

Bus passenger infrastructure improvements are also being implemented across the Eclipse Bus Rapid Transit network:

Q Where is the nearest Eclipse bus stop to my location?

Updates will be added to the eclipse website, www.eclipsebus.co.uk, which will include an interactive map where you will be able to search by postcode for your nearest E1, E2 and 10 bus stop.

Q When will the next bus arrive?

The eclipse website, www.eclipsebus.co.uk, provides real-time information on the arrival of the next four buses. Bus stops on the Eclipse Phase 1 busway have real-time arrivals display screens; this information will also be provided at Fareham and Gosport bus stations, near Fareham rail station and at Creek Road in Gosport.

Q The busway scheme only goes a short distance; how is this going to help?

It is a misconception that the BRT network is limited to the section of busway between Redlands Lane in Fareham and Tichborne Way in Gosport. In reality buses will use the Phase 1 busway for only part of their journey, with routes extending beyond into the surrounding residential areas, linking to key destinations and transport interchanges at the Gosport Ferry terminal, Fareham rail station and Fareham bus station.

Q. How will you prevent unauthorised access to the busway?

Preventing unauthorised access to the busway during the hours when the busway is not operational (11.15pm to 5:45am) is a requirement of the Planning Permission for the scheme which was granted in July 2009. A number of solutions were considered by the County Council working with the Police, resulting in a package of measures which were submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority. The package includes the provision of rising barriers, anti-ram bollards, Traffic Regulation Orders, appropriate signing and an enhanced system of monitoring compliance with these measures.

Variable Message Signs are being installed at the vehicle access points to show that when the busway is open "No Motor Vehicles except buses 5:45am – 11:15pm" will be permitted to use the busway. When the route is closed (11:15pm to 5:45am) the sign will change to "No Entry", and will also display "pedestrians prohibited".

Raise arm barriers are in place at all vehicular entry and exit points and will be lowered during non-operational hours (11.15pm to 5:45am) seven days a week to prevent unauthorised vehicles accessing the route. These are similar to those used at level crossings.

Anti-ram bollards are in place in all locations where cars could gain access to the busway via the pedestrian and cycle points.

Vehicles parked illegally on the busway will be removed.

CCTV in the form of eight high level masts is being used to operate the raise arm barriers remotely.  Each camera is recording data 24/7 and CCTV will be used to monitor all access points.

Q. What are the passenger security arrangements on the Eclipse busway?

Lighting is required during the operational hours at all of the junctions of the busway with the highway, for safety, visibility and personal security reasons. For these reasons it is also required at bus stops, next to cycle parking and at pedestrian/cycle access points. During non-operational hours, lighting is necessary for security reasons. Street lighting on the busway will be in accordance with current lighting standards and will be switched on throughout the hours of darkness so that the CCTV cameras can operate effectively.

CCTV is provided, in the form of eight high level masts and mini-CCTV in each of the 14 bus shelters and two cycle shelters, for 24/7 monitoring of all access points, raise arm barriers, bus stop platforms and cycle parking.  Data is recorded for security and crime prevention.

Access to the busway has been limited to junctions and specific access points.  Extensive fencing is provided elsewhere to deter access to the busway from other locations. There is no footway along the length of the busway.

Q. What lighting has been provided on the busway?

In order to limit light pollution, lighting has not been included along the busway. Lighting has been provided at junctions, bus stops and at the southern end where there is an adjoining cycle/footway. Lighting has also been provided for new and existing footway links and off-road cycleways. Where the route crosses an existing road and a new junction is formed, the lighting has been renewed to comply with the relevant British Standard category. Energy-efficient light sources have been used in the design, along with lanterns that carefully control the light distribution and restrict the emission at angles near the horizontal to reduce light pollution and sky glow.

To provide a safe environment for bus users, all bus stops are internally lit.

Q Will taxis and motorcycles or the emergency services be permitted to use the busway?

In order to maintain the high specification service that is required for a rapid bus scheme, reliable journey times are essential. The reliability and quality of service will be ensured by limiting the use of the corridor to buses only.   The level of service associated with a rapid bus scheme could not be guaranteed if other vehicles were allowed to use the corridor, so taxis will not be permitted to do so. Motorcycles would cause unnecessary noise and other nuisance to residents alongside the busway, so they will not be permitted to use the corridor.

Police and other emergency services and permitted vehicles, however, will be able to use the busway.

Q How can you restrict use of the busway to permitted vehicles?

A Quality Partnership has been put in place with bus operators to ensure that only buses which meet the required standard are allowed to use the dedicated corridor.

The use of the busway is controlled through Traffic Regulation Orders and enforced by the Police with assistance from the CCTV mast-mounted cameras located at all junctions along the busway.

Answers for Section 2:  Other Phase 1 Infrastructure

Q What other works are being done to enable the Eclipse Phase 1 busway to be effective?

From Sunday 22 April 2012, three existing bus routes will benefit from the new Eclipse Bus Rapid Transit network.  Buses on routes 86 and 82 are being replaced with new high quality Eclipse buses and will become routes Eclipse routes E1 and E2.

Eclipse routes E1 and E2 both start at Fareham Bus Station and will now travel via the A27 serving the rail station and then via Redlands Lane before joining the Eclipse busway and continuing as far as Tichborne Way.  

At Tichborne Way E1 will travel south along Tichborne Way until Rowner Road where it will pick up the existing route 86.  At Tichborne Way E2 will rejoin the A32 and pick up the existing route 82.

In addition bus route 88 will be one of the first routes to benefit from the Eclipse Bus Rapid Transit network.

At peak times Route 88 (as route X88) will use part of the Eclipse busway between Wych Lane and Redlands Lane and will then travel via Redlands Lane and the A27 into Fareham, to enable more people to take advantage of the benefits of the busway.

We are revising this map but the routes shown remain correct. BRT Route1 will become E1, BRT Route 2 E2, BRT 3 off-peak route 88 and BRT 3 peak X88

Bus passenger infrastructure improvements are also being implemented across the Eclipse Bus Rapid Transit network, all to be available for use on 22 April:

Q. What are the passenger security arrangements at the Fareham Station and Creek Road Eclipse bus stops?

Other than the relocation of some street lighting columns no overhaul of the highway lighting is proposed.  Lighting is required for safety, visibility and personal security reasons. Street lighting is in accordance with current lighting standards.

CCTV is provided in the form mini-CCTV cameras that will be integral to the new bus shelters for the Gosport bound bus stop near Fareham rail station and the Fareham bound Creek Road, Gosport.  CCTV is in operation 24/7 and data is recorded for security and crime prevention.

Answers for Section 3:  Buses and Facilities for Passengers

Q The buses look very smart. Please can you tell me which company built them?

Wrights of Ballymena, appointed by First, built a new fleet of 14 buses to operate on the two Eclipse BRT routes. The sleek new, low-emission buses have striking purple and gold Eclipse livery, individual leather seats, wood-effect floors and under-seat lighting, CCTV, infotainment screens displaying local news as well as real-time arrivals, and free Wi-Fi.

Q How large an area is available on the bus for use by passengers confined to a wheelchair?

The space available is to standard dimensions used on all low floor buses suitable for regular sized wheelchairs.

Q Can I still use my concessionary bus pass?

The BRT bus services are registered local bus services and, as such, concessionary travel passes can be used subject to the same time restrictions as at present.

Q Where can I find more information about bus tickets?

Visit the First website or telephone First on 0870 010 6022.

Q. Can I use a Plusbus ticket on the Eclipse buses?

Plusbus tickets are accepted by First who run the buses on the Gosport peninsula, including the Eclipse buses that run along the new busway. However, they are not sold by bus drivers so you need to purchase them either from the rail station or order in advance from the Plusbus website.

Q Are the Eclipse buses diesel-electric hybrids?

The buses are standard diesel buses built to the latest European emissions standards, Euro 5 and using ‘DriveGreen’ technology, with driver training to encourage environmentally sensitive driving and reduce emissions.

Q Do the Eclipse buses have space for pushchairs and shopping trolleys?

Yes there is additional space on board for pushchairs and shopping trolleys.

Q Do the Eclipse buses have on-board announcements to advise passengers of the next stop?

Yes the new buses have both a visible display and an audible announcement of the next stop on the Eclipse routes.

Q What improvements have been made to facilities for bus passengers at bus stops?

All 14 bus stops on the busway, the Fareham rail tation A27 southbound bus stop and the Creek Road northbound bus stop have new bus shelters, designed with accessibility and passenger security in mind. Each bus stop is covered by its own 24/7 real-time CCTV network.Data is recorded for security and crime prevention.

For accessibility, shelters include:

Real-time travel information screens are provided at all bus stops, as well as at the bus station terminus points in Fareham and Gosport.  All have an aural mode function where a special RNIB React fob, currently being developed by the RNIB, will be issued to blind and partially sighted passengers.  On activation the real-time travel information screens will verbally confirm the next four buses to arrive.

Special information pillars are provided at all busway stops providing local walking and cycle maps for passengers leaving the busway.  In addition, at the busier bus stops at Wych Lane, Cameron Close and Hutfield Link (near Tichborne Way) the pillars have screens which display local news and connecting train and ferry times.  

Information pillars are also to be provided at Fareham and Gosport bus stations, near Fareham rail station and at Creek Road in Gosport.  These too have train and ferry times and will also display real-time bus information for E1, E2 and service 10.   The screens will display the next four buses to depart from the bus stations and the arrival times for the bus stops near Fareham rail station and at Creek Road in Gosport.  Hampshire County Council and the RNIB are working together to develop a system to enable blind and partially sighted passengers to obtain verbal confirmation, via the information pillars, of the real-time bus information to be displayed on these screens.

Q.Real time information not working?

Contact Hampshire County Council on 0845 6035638 or alternatively email info@hants.gov.uk

Q.How do I report vandalism and grafitti on the busway?

Contact Hampshire County Council on 0845 6035638 or alternatively email info@hants.gov.uk

Answers for Section 4:  Facilities for Cyclists and Pedestrians

Q Can cyclists ride their bikes on the route and what are the provisions for cyclists?

Cyclists are permitted to use the busway. In order to maintain the high specification service that is required for a rapid bus scheme, reliable journey times are essential. The reliability and quality of service will be ensured by limiting the use of the Eclipse Busway corridor during the hours of operation to authorised buses, cyclists, pedestrians accessing the bus stops and crossing the busway, the Police, other emergency services and permitted vehicles.

Shared-use pedestrian and cycle routes are provided between the busway and the surrounding areas at many bus stops.  Secure 24/7 real-time CCTV monitored cycle parking is provided near the junctions of Redlands Lane, Palmerston Drive, Wych Lane and Tichborne Way.  Wych Lane and Hutfield Link (near Tichborne Way) are expected to be the busiest stops, and these have covered cycle parking shelters, with lighting and their own mini-CCTV networks. CCTV data is recorded for security and crime prevention.

Although the busway ends at Tichborne Way, cyclists wanting to continue on to Gosport via the existing cycle route will initially travel on road along Forest Way. The Forest Way temporary on-road route will be replaced later this year by an off-road shared-use pedestrian and cycle route in accordance with the planning permission.  This will complete the missing link.

Q What provision has been made for cyclists at the bus priority junctions to activate the traffic lights?

Traffic signal loops have been provided in the carriageway to detect cyclists on the approach to traffic lights. Unlike buses using the busway, cyclists will not receive an immediate green signal. Instead they will need to wait for up to a preset maximum duration to allow side road traffic to move through the junction. The signals may change to allow the cyclists through more quickly if a sufficiently large gap occurs in the side road traffic flow.   

Q Are pedestrians allowed on the busway?

Pedestrians are not permitted on the busway, There is no pavement or pedestrian route along the busway, only to the bus stops from the surrounding area. Pedestrian links to bus stops on the busway are direct and accessible to all. In addition, we have provided crossing points at places along the route where pedestrians previously crossed, thereby helping to link the communities on either side of the corridor.

Q.Can I rollerskate/skateboard/scooter on the busway?

No, pedestrian activities such as rollerskating, rollerblading, skateboarding and scootering are not permitted on the busway.

 

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