Wednesday, 4 January 2012

One million passengers

According to today's Hunts Post ( 4 January, page 2) the busway will soon have carried its millionth passenger. Andy Campbell of Stagecoach expects they'll reach 2.5 million passengers in the first year, and so they have ordered some new buses. However, they haven't yet decide on the shape of future bus services.

The article also refers to a survey conduced by Pure Resourcing Solutions suggesting that the busway has opened up new job opportunities. Two thirds of those questioned would now consider travelling further to work. Only a quarter used the busway instead of their existing travel method, though 42% said they would in future.

On page 6 of the same issue is a letter from Tim Phillips, chairman of CAST.IRON, the organisation that campaigned for the St Ives railway to be reinstated as a railway, not a busway. He writes in response to a letter (Hunts Post, 21 December) complaining that the Huntingdon to Addenbrooke's bus journey is now slower than before the busway opened. Factors contributing to this sad state of affairs are
  • two thirds of the bus journey is on ordinary roads and therefore subject to normal traffic delays
  • there is no through service from Huntingdon to Addenbrooke's and 10 minutes has to be allowed fro changing buses
  • the busway route out of Cambridge heads north east towards Milton and the science park, so after a few miles and several minutes of travel is actually no nearer Huntingdon than it was at the start, whereas Whippet services via the A14, Bar Hill and Fenstanton  get a head start on their way out of town
To those delay factors, I'd also add that the Cambridge-Huntingdon buses now make a lot of extra stops at intermediate villages, which slows them down compared with the old non-stop route along the A14.

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