The Government has last week announced the launch of a trial of new bus routes in Gibraltar, which will commence on Monday 6th July and run through till mid-September.
The key features of this trial are as follows:
- All new trial services will be provided IN ADDITION to the full current schedule of services.
- The trial is running ahead of the intended purchase by HMGOG of six electric buses, with a view to operating on those routes deemed successful during the trial.
- New Route A will run from the Trafalgar Cemetery via Line Wall to the Sun Dial roundabout and return in a continuous loop. This service will see 2 buses running from 8am till 1.15pm Monday to Friday to provide further capacity for those seeking access to or wishing to cross the city centre via Line Wall Road. This service will not operate on weekends.
- New Route B (B for Beaches) will run from Trafalgar Cemetery via Queensway and the Europort area, on to the beaches and then return via the same route. This service will be operated by 4 buses running from 1pm to 7pm daily, with weekend services covered by 6 buses running from 11am to 8pm.
- New Route C (C for Circular) will be a circular route servicing town and the West side/Europort area on a loop from Trafalgar Cemetery via Line Wall Road, Corral Road, Waterport, returning via Bishop Caruana Road and Queensway back to the Trafalgar Cemetery. This route will operate on 2 buses from 8am till 1.15pm Monday to Friday, with services running from 8am till 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.
The buses being used for the trial are being rented by the Government from a number of the tour operating companies in Gibraltar, which in the context of the Covid pandemic, are experiencing the anticipated drop in demand owing to the lack of tourism to Gibraltar. The buses in question are 22-seater Coaster buses, meaning that those with mobility issues and travelling with prams may be more comfortable on the regular full bus service. This will in no way impact travelers with these needs, given that the trial services will be running IN ADDITION to the full timetable of services already offered by the Gibraltar Bus Company and will in fact free up capacity for these type of travelers within the existing service. Government further advises that only holders of Gibraltar ID cards will be able to access these trial services, as there will be no ticketing machines installed in these buses.
The email address [email protected] has been created for bus users to provide feedback on the trial and to suggest ways in which the Government can change and improve the service.
The Government is also announcing that it is providing additional motorcycle parking areas on the site of the Old Queen’s Cinema, on Reclamation Road by Midtown and more motorcycle parking in Landport Car Park. In order to provide these bays, where necessary the Government will be re-purposing several pay & display parking bays. These are in areas where in the current climate their use is also experiencing a decrease in use.
Comments by the Minister
The Minister for Transport, Vijay Daryanani MP explained the purpose of the trial: “I am delighted that we are able to announce this new trial for a long list of very positive reasons.”
“We will be trialing, very early on, the roll-out of new routes designed to provide unprecedented frequency in bus services in core areas in Gibraltar. The pilot restricted use of Line Wall Road, which is going very well indeed, is now to be accompanied by an expansion in the bus services in Town and the West Side. We are also, in the provision of a significant increase in services to and from our beaches, tackling seasonal demand and giving our citizens all the options for travel so that they can make the right choice.”
“With the removal of motorcycle parking in town and the further roll out of pay and display parkings, we are seeing a reduction in the use of cars for journeys which can be completed by other means. We are providing further motorcycle parking capacity at the site of the old Queen’s cinema as a ‘park and ride’ area for motorcycles. We are also providing further motorcycle parking in Landport Parking and re-instating a number of motorcycle parking bays in Reclamation Road in the Midtown area. The location of these additional parkings, near town, with the addition of these new services to an already comprehensive bus offering, is helping and will continue to help citizens make the right choice for transport in Gibraltar.”
“I am also happy that we can further our transport objectives while at the same time renting these buses from local providers experiencing a slump in business owing to the Covid pandemic. In doing so, we are testing routes that we intend our new electric buses to be deployed on when they arrive, to ensure they ‘hit the ground running’”
In concluding the Minister said: “In Gibraltar today, you can drive if you want to, but it has not been an easy option for some time now. What is also true is that if you MUST drive, you’re now able to find a parking spot when you need it most, something that wasn’t always the case before. I believe that things are changing, and for the better. I am confident that with a positive approach to tackling the perennial traffic issue in Gibraltar, we can succeed in making Gibraltar a better place to live. With the soon to be available park and ride service at Devil’s Tower Road, our decisions in relation to parking fees in Midtown, the restricted use of Line Wall Road along with the provision of relocated motorcycle parking, an unprecedented volume of bus services and new electric buses (the tender for which is shortly to be published) the Government is doing all it can to provide the people of Gibraltar with the transport options they need. We are providing the options – our people can now make their choice.”