Monday, 8 August 2011

Monday 8th August - travel to work

I decided to walk from the house to the Park & Ride ( about 4 minutes walk) because I wanted to experience the Route A which goes into Cambridge via Milton Road.

Free copies of the Cambridge News  were being given out at the P&R.

But there were only 6 passengers on board  when we left promptly at 07.38. I thought our speed was higher than yesterday, and we reached Milton Road at 08.00 pretty much on time. The bus called at Swavesey, Longstanton, Oakington and Histon only. No passengers for Fen Drayton Reserve or CRC.

The 0728 service, which has come in from Huntingdon, was running almost 10 minutes late, and we followed it in as far as Orchard Park where it diverged onto the Histon Road route.

I alighted at New Square at 08.09, 2 minutes early, and the bus set off immediately for Addenbrooke's not waiting for a passenger who was quite clearly running to catch it.

So, a punctual journey for me - but what if there had been heavy traffic on Milton Road?

Returning home in the late afternoon, I aimed for the 17.01 Service A which stops at  Parkside. This is very close to where I work. I saw the bus turn the corner as I crossed the end of East Road. But I was just too late. I walked briskly down to Emmanuel Road, and seeing the Service A still sitting at New Square sprinted along the road. It pulled out just as I got to the stop.

Next bus due was the 17.11 Service B. This consisted of 2 double deckers, both almost full to capacity. I boarded the second one which left at 17.15.  The Bridge Street bottleneck slowed us down, and Orchard Park wasn't reached until 17.33 by which time we had lost another 5 minutes. At Longstanton we overtook the other bus, then it caught up with us at St Ives Park & Ride - arrival time 17.51. There we sat for 4 minutes while passengers disembarked and bus officials chatted, I hope about official business. Arrival in St Ives Bus Station was at 17.57. Journey time 42 minutes, plus 4 minutes late start. Total 46 minutes. We had been due in at 17.43.

In the bus station I bumped into a friend waiting for the Needingworth bus. I asked him if the Whippet 1A had passed through. He said, yes, about 5 minutes before. It had passed the New Square stop as I waited.

So the Whippet - via Bar Hill, the A14 and Fenstanton  - took the same time as the new guided bus.

Not good.

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