Thursday, 22 December 2011

Not impressed?

In the Hunts Post this week (21 December, page 6) is a letter from a Huntingdon resident whose journey to Addenbrooke's is slower that it used to be before the busway started running. He also notes that the Whippet 1A often reaches Cambridge before the Busway service, and that the so-called 'fast' buses from Huntingdon, introduced in October do not live up to expectations.

Today I travelled from St Ives to Cambridge on the 0735 Service B. The 1A left simultaneously with the B, and arrived in Cambridge ahead of the B. OK, the traffic is unusually light in the run-up to Christmas.  In fact, the 1A often beats the Busway service, even on journeys at peak hours such as the 17.10 Whippet departure from Drummer Street.

The Huntingdon to Cambridge bus service is good on frequency, but poor on speed.

A problem the bus companies need to address is how to provide a fast service between Huntingdon and Cambridge that doesn't go all round St Ives. Would an Oxmoor-Huntingdon-Godmanchester-Cambridge route via the A428 be quicker thatn the busway?

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas Timetables

Christmas and New Year Bus Times on the busway are as follows:

Christmas Eve - normal Saturday service - last buses around 8pm
Christmas Day and Boxing day - no service
27 December - Routes A & B will operate a Saturday service
28-30 December - Saturday service
New Year's Eve - Normal Saturday service - last buses around 8pm
New Year's Day - no service
2 January Sunday service
3 January - normal service resumes

Thursday, 15 December 2011


In an earlier post I mentioned that the railings where the cycleway crosses a floodwater culvert were still not in place. I am happy to report that the railings have now been erected.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Car traps

On Saturday a motorist drove onto the busway near Cambridge rail station and got stuck  in the car trap. The driver was apparently blinded by low angle sunlight and failed to spot the road signs. Some passers-by helped the driver to manoeuvre the car out of the trap. The busway was blocked for about 15 minutes. This is the fourth such incident on the busway and is a prosecutable offence. (Cambridge News, 6 December 2011, pages 1 and 5)

Sunday, 4 December 2011

More about delays to motorists

Two letters this week in the Hunts Post ( 30 November, page 6) about delays to motorists caused by the Harrison Way traffic lights.

Suggestions by these correspondents for solving the problem:

  1. have the guided buses terminate at the park & ride and not come right into town
  2. build a pedestrian bridge over harrison way
  3. the Highways department should do a proper survey
  4. shorten the pedestrian phase on the lights to 5 or 6 seconds
  5. have a flashing amber phase
It seems that some motorists see it as their right to have priority use of the roads, and any road use that is more environmentally friendly ( e.g. buses, walking and cycling) must give way to their needs. Point 1 above illustrates a thorough lack of understanding of who uses the guided buses and where they start their journeys from. Point 4 is probably constrained by legal/ health & safety rules. The other suggestions  have some merit.

From my perspective, the busway has actually cut my average travel time to/from work.

The traffic delays do, however, indicate that St Ives has a very poor road infrastructure which can barely cope with the level of commuter traffic in and out of our town. I am well aware that for many people, there is no viable public transport alternative - St Ives has good bus services only in the Huntingdon and Cambridge directions, and minimal bus services to other places. Cycling is an option for commuting locally e.g. between St Ives and Hemingford - but that would require a shift in mindset. 

There are also a couple of positive letters about the busway, both from the local rep of the Cyclists Touring Club (Hunts Post, 30 November, page 6 and News & Crier, 1 december, page 7) commending the council