Thursday, 21 June 2012

Busway feeder routes

A Bluntisham resident complain that changes to the service 21 will result in her husband being unable to catch his bus connection to Huntingdon Station for his commute to work ( Hunts Post, 20 June, page 15). Stagecoach says this service is run 'on the back of the St Ivo School transport contract' which contract their manager, Andy Campbell, is confident of retaining. If he does retain the contract, reinstatement of the current level of service would be one of the likely options, but there are clearly no guarantees. Although no information about changes to Stagecoach's service 21 are yet to be found on the County Council's bus service web pages, the route A services that leave Somersham and service Bluntisham at 06.10, 06.30 and 06.50 are shown as ending on 20 July.  The 06.45 route A connection from Chatteris and Pidley is being withdrawn. Click here to see timetable.

Serving the villages north of St Ives with viable buses linking to busway services going in both directions is fraught with problems, and judging by the success of St Ives Park & Ride, many people from these places are simply driving to the busway. The poor frequency of the village buses, and the often roundabout routes they take in order to serve a loop of villages, is not working for them.

2 comments:

  1. I am a Somersham resident who currently chooses not to have a car but am now taking refresher driving lessons due to the cuts in the rural bus services (and hopes to get a car, if I can get a bus to get me to somewhere why I can buy one). The 91 service which was a term time only direct service weekdays to/from Cambridge was axed in early June and has resulted in my commuting time to work increasing by an hour (I work for the County Council by the way). Saturday mornings I usually work as a volunteer librarian in my village library and I note that shortly I will be stuck at home all weekend due to the 21 being axed therefore there will be no Saturday afternoon service to/from St Ives (there has never been anything on a Sunday). Whilst just an inconvience for myself, what about the elderly and disabled who may not be able to drive or indeed want to. The buses that remain have very large gaps between them and will mean alot of time hanging around.
    The busway has destroyed rural bus services and has not made the journey into Cambridge any quicker most of the time.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for adding a comment to the blog. I think you have a valid point about the busway effectively destroying rural bus services. Surely it is not beyond the wit of Stagecoach to develop a series of shuttle buses to St Ives from the outlying villages. It seems that Ramsey and Warboys will be connected to the busway route A at Wyton Camp when the new timetable starts - but the service is far from frequent, and I wonder whether connections will be held should buses be running late. I think a direct Somersham-St Ives shuttle every hour from early morning to late evening would be a good idea, and there needs to be similar route serving Needingworth, Bluntisham, Earith and Colne. I think hourly would be the minimum required - bus users need a regular service operating all through the day, not the sporadic, irregular service Stagecoach and Whippet currently provide. It is a pity that you are being forced into getting a car. Will you drive to the Park & Ride and take the bus from there?

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