A new one mile bridleway has just opened from Fenstanton village to the Busway. It joins just east of the Ouse Viaduct. There has been a track there for years, which has now been upgraded to a standard similar to the busway maintenance track - very suitable for pedestrians, cyclists, and wheelchairs, as well as horses. Fenstanton Parish Council show a photo, and Cambridgeshire County Council, press release that the upgrade cost £200,000. It describes it as "a 3m wide smooth path for cyclists and pedestrians with mown strips of land on either side which provide additional space for horse riders."
Friday, 27 November 2020
Friday, 20 November 2020
The Combined Authority is reporting that police were able to make arrests following recent vandalism on the southern section of the Busway. Stagecoach volunteered to run what's being described as a "Trojan bus" - a vehicle whose only passengers were plainclothes police officers - and this was instrumental in leading to arrests of "people participating in anti-social behaviour and breaching nationally set Covid-19 restrictions".
More information can be found in the Combined Authority's news item.
Friday, 13 November 2020
One of the new Busway double deckers hit the Hills Road bridge earlier today. There were no injuries reported.
Here's an announcement from Stagecoach.
And Cambridgeshire Live has some photos with its report.
The vehicle was not operating a Busway service at the time - journeys on the C are routed via Hills Road, precisely because double deckers are used and are out of gauge for the southern Busway.
Wednesday, 28 October 2020
Stagecoach have reported two attacks in recent days on Busway vehicles in the Trumpington area.
The first incident took place at Foster Road in the late afternoon of 17 October. Stagecoach report that children smashed a window. And just yesterday, at around the same time, a vehicle suffered two broken windows when it was the subject of criminal damage by what Stagecoach describe as "youths".
Fortunately, there were no injuries on either occasion, although the vehicles concerned had to be removed from service.
Wednesday, 14 October 2020
Whippet, in conjunction with the University of Cambridge, have announced changes to the timetable for the U (Universal) service, which uses the southern section of Busway as part of its route between Eddington and the Biomedical Campus. The changes take effect on Monday 19 October.
Peak-hour services will operate Monday-Friday every 12 minutes. The frequency of services at other times of day and at the weekend are unchanged. Journey times are being extended to reduce late running. Weekend operation to/from the Biomedical Campus, introduced in late March, is retained.
The new timetable can be downloaded from the Whippet website.
Services have already returned to operating via Addenbrookes Outpatients, although this may not be stable, depending on future infection rates and Hospital needs.
According to the University's Travel Newsletter:
The University will be increasing funding for the Universal Bus service over the next four months which, combined with funding from the Government COVID-19 Bus Service Support Grant (CBSSG) Restart package will enable the route to run every 12 minutes throughout the morning and evening peak periods, while maintaining the weekend services to CBC that we began running during the national lockdown in March. The additional funding will allow the level of service provided by the Universal to be maintained as the roads get busier again and the number of passengers carried on each service is reduced due to social distancing requirements on board.
Stagecoach have announced a revised timetable to commence from 1st November.
Core busway routes A, B and C will connect. with feeder services to/from various smaller towns and villages near St Ives and Huntingdon.
Changes include - increase frequency between St Ives and Cambridge, and later journeys on Sunday evenings. On the other hand, it seems that Huntingdon Rail Station is no longer served directly —passengers wishing to transfer to rail services there would have to use a Hinchingbrooke bus and alight at the nearest stop in George Street, Huntingdon.
Tuesday, 22 September 2020
A stretch of the Busway, between Trumpington Park & Ride and the Foster Road stop, will be closed completely from 19.00 on Friday 25 September until Monday 28 September. This is a "complete" closure, so impacts not just on buses and their passengers, but also on pedestrians and cyclists.
There's nothing at present about this closure on the County Council's Busway website (why not???), so this information comes courtesy of a Cambridgeshire Live report - which doesn't specify exactly when the reopening is due to take place.
The closure is to allow upgrade work on the traffic lights controlling the single-track section to be carried out.
Monday, 21 September 2020
Readers with long memories - and a wider interest in public transport developments, perhaps - may recall the plan for a trial of autonomous vehicles to utilise the southern section of the Busway. According to our last blog post on the subject, the first paying passengers were expected this year.
Things have changed! In a brief report to the September meeting of the Greater Cambridge Partnership Joint Assembly it was announced that the trial will no longer take place on the Busway, but will instead utilise the University's West Cambridge site. Other aspects of the trial have also changed - not just the timeframe (only to be expected in the current circumstances) but the number of vehicles being produced (halved from 6 to 3).
The Busway had been selected because it offered the prospect of filling the early morning/late evening/weekend voids in the timetables for scheduled bus services. Although there has been some filling of these voids in the past 6 months, there is no suggestion in the Joint Assembly report that the switch away from the Busway was due to lack of potential benefit.
Tuesday, 25 August 2020
Stagecoach will be running a Sunday service on the forthcoming August Bank Holiday Monday. Nothing unusual in that, of course. But do remember that new timetables will be in operation. For the most part the changes to the Sunday timetable are only minor. But that's not the case if you use Cambridge North, live in Orchard Park, or are accustomed to using the Godmanchester services (you'd be better to consider the Whippet X3 in future for this last if you want to travel into Cambridge).
Whippet will also be running a Sunday service, with the U continuing to extend to/from the Biomedical Campus (but note that the Outpatients stop remains suspended).
Saturday, 22 August 2020
Stagecoach have announced some major changes to Busway services from 30 August. Full details, all new/revised timetables, and a route map, are on the Stagecoach website. What follows is a summary.
There are two main changes:
Busway-fitted vehicles will, in future, operate only on the Busway, also between St Ives Park & Ride and either Marley Road or Hinchingbrooke Hospital, and - within Cambridge - between the two sections of the Busway. This means that Busway vehicles will no longer provide feeder services to the rural areas beyond St Ives or to Peterborough and Royston. Rural connections will be provided by new services V1-V4 (serving, respectively, Ramsey, Chatteris, Somersham and Boxworth), operating a similar service to the existing "through" workings, but requiring passengers to change at St Ives. Would-be passengers should note that Stagecoach do NOT guarantee these connections, which could be an issue for commuters heading home in the afternoon, as these are the last services of the day to these destinations. There's also a new service V5 providing a an early-morning service from Godmanchester and late-evening return journeys - but these will operate through from Cambridge (as a "B" as far as Hinchingbrooke Hospital), so no change of vehicle will be required. Peterborough will be served by service 904 from St Ives - this will operate via Houghton village, but otherwise follow the main road between St Ives and Huntingdon and not divert via the estates (which will continue to be served by route B). In a reversion to earlier practice, Royston will be served by a separate Royston/Cambridge service, the newly-established 915.
The A and B routes are being switched. In line with the revision originally planned for March (but not implemented at the time), the A will in future operate via Shire Hall (although, because of the Histon Road closure, Cambridge-bound journeys will travel via the Science Park for the next year or so). The B will serve Cambridge North station. The A (single-decker buses) will continue to serve the main Railway Station and the Biomedical Campus, whilst the B (double-deckers) terminates in Cambridge City Centre.
And, just to note, services D and R will cease completely from 30 August (the R has been suspended since the early days of the pandemic).
Finally, a reminder that maps and timetables, and more detailed explanations of the changes, are on the Stagecoach website
Monday, 6 July 2020
The petition reads:
- Every year the guided busway cycle path is closed due to flooding
Saturday, 27 June 2020
Then in December 2016, New Civil Engineer reported that the County Council was suing BAM Nuttall for a £31 million for repair of defects - see the 15 December post. I haven't been able to trace what happened to that claim.
Fast forward to 2020... and the Cambridge Independent reports that the County Council is again pursuing a case against BAM Nuttall. And again over the cost of repairing what the Council alleges are defects. The Cambridge Independent report can be found here.
Now, given the speed at which civil court cases proceed it's possible that this latest one is simply a development from the 2016 claim. Or it might be entirely different.
BAM Nuttall is defending the claim.
Friday, 19 June 2020
This one is in connection with Phases B & D of the Greater Cambridge Partnership's Histon Road project, which covers the whole road between Kings Hedges Road and Victoria Road.
So... from Monday 29 June, Histon Road will be completely closed inbound. The B service will effectively follow the A route between Histon and Cambridge New Square, omitting Orchard Park,Shire Hall and Round Church St (currently closed anyway, but due to reopen in early July). Passengers who would normally alight at Shire Hall will find themselves with a significant problem, as there's no diversionary route available - you simply have to carry on into the City Centre and then catch an outbound service.
How long will this diversion last? Well, the GCP's announcement was noticeably vague on this - saying nothing more specific than that the closure would last "for the duration of the construction". Stagecoach say it will be for "several months". The GCP's project page, though, is more helpful - Phase B will last until spring 2021, and Phase D until summer 2021.
For more information go to:
Saturday, 6 June 2020
1, Stagecoach timetable changes (from 14 June)
The R remains suspended. There are more frequent services on routes A, B & D. Click here for more information, and here for the new timetables.
2. Concessionary pass holders (from 15 June)
The County Council is removing the temporary exception that allowed concessionary pass holders to travel before 0930 Mon-Fri. If you need to use the bus to access one of the early morning supermarket slots reserved for the elderly you'll have to pay to use the bus to get there (and possibly back).
3. Face coverings (from 15 June)
Face coverings will be compulsory on all public transport from 15 June.
There is reduced capacity on buses as a result of physical distancing requirements.
Monday, 1 June 2020
Saturday, 23 May 2020
Saturday, 16 May 2020
Of particular interest to those who follow this blog will be options around frequency of service (including reducing the frequency, compared with the pre-pandemic timetable) as well as a suggestion that some of the journeys between the Railway Station and the Biomedical Campus might revert to using Hills Road rather than the Busway. Also the possibility of extending the service to Babraham Road and/or Trumpington Park & Ride sites.
Anyway, please have a look at the consultation documentation. And pay particular attention to the closing date for submissions - it's May 26th.
Saturday, 9 May 2020
Between 10 and 22 May, Histon Road will be completely closed - i.e. in both directions - close to the Domino's Pizza outlet, meaning that the city end of Histon Road is cut off from the remainder. Buses will divert via Gilbert Road, Mitchams Corner and Victoria Avenue (and the reverse for outbound services). The Shire Hall, Round Church St and Jesus Lane stops will be out of use for the duration of the diversion.
Buses will call additionally at any of the stops in Gilbert Road and by the Westbrook Centre, Milton Road. (They already serve any "regular" stops along Histon Road.)
Why? Anglian Water have to deal with a collapsed sewer. Fingers crossed that the work is completed on time...
So, from Sunday 10 May, buses will operate 5 minutes earlier from Cambridge rail station through to Trumpington Park&Ride and Royston. In the opposite direction, buses will start 7 minutes later and run 7 minutes later throughout between Royston/Trumpington Park&Ride and Parkside.
Wednesday, 6 May 2020
Sunday, 26 April 2020
It's hard to keep up!
The complete temporary Busway timetable can be found here.
Tuesday, 7 April 2020
Details at https://www.stagecoachbus.com/service-updates/serviceupdatesarticle?SituationId=ID-06/04/2020-08:33:37:041&utm_campaign=315197_EAST%20-%20S%20COVID%20Easter%20services%20April%202020&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Dotdigital&dm_i=50SA,6R7H,JT5UM,PO7E,1#&campaignkw=East%20Easter%20button
Thursday, 2 April 2020
In addition to timetable changes, there are route changes. And it's worth noting, in particular, that Pine Hills, Brampton and Buckden will no longer be served (although the 66 provides an alternative service for the last two of these).
The list of changes is too extensive to document here. Instead, if you need to travel, there is a full explanation on the Stagecoach website.
And you can download a copy of the temporary timetable here,
Monday, 30 March 2020
At weekends, the U will serve the Biomedical Campus on both Saturdays and Sundays - this will be the first time that any of the southern Busway has had regular Sunday services. In addition, weekend services will start earlier and end later.
Full information, including a link to the temporary timetable, is on the Whippet website.
Saturday, 21 March 2020
However, as previously mentioned, the introduction of Stagecoach's improved Busway timetables has been postponed for a second time. Instead - and for reasons that don't need spelling out here - a reduced service will be introduced on that date. What Stagecoach term an "enhanced Sunday service" will operate Monday-Saturday. It's not quite as bad as that makes it sound - there are certainly additional peak-hour services, and the evening journeys have been retained as well. Service R will be suspended. Sunday services continue unchanged.
Full details, including links to the temporary timetables, are available on the Stagecoach website.
Thursday, 5 March 2020
Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Tuesday, 18 February 2020
Now the Great Ouse has flooded again, and it’s not possible to cycle or walk from St Ives Park & Ride to Fen Drayton Lakes.
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
Monday, 10 February 2020
Well, guess what? The closure (and resulting diversion) is set to continue. According to Highways England: "The new anticipated re-opening date is early March." Keep that date in mind, and we can all return to it in, say, 3 weeks time.
Whilst it's Highways England that is responsible for the never-ending closure - and for preventing Stagecoach introducing new timetables (originally planned for 1 March, but presumably delayed until the diversion is removed) - the County Council hardly covers itself in glory either. At the time of writing, the Council's dedicated Busway website still maintains the fiction that the Busway will reopen in "mid-January". Don't passengers deserve better information than that (the relevant page doesn't seem to have been updated since late-October)? What's happening to money that large-scale developers (e.g. of the Eddington site) are required to pay the County Council for Busway operation/promotion/management?
Full details of the further delay, and Highways England's sort-of-apology ("high-level discussions are taking place on a daily basis"...), can be found in a Cambridge Independent news item.
Sunday, 2 February 2020
Monday, 27 January 2020
Between Fen Drayton Lakes and Swavesey, the cycle track is under water, so a detour off the busway is still necessary.
This map extract may help. Please note that the drove which runs past Swavesey Windmill is only designated as a footpath, not a bridleway.
Wednesday, 22 January 2020
|The flood gates are closed across the cycle track.|
|Cycle route between Fen Drayton and Swavesey.|
|Water still covering the track near St Ives.|
It looks as if it will soon be possible to cycle from St Ives to Fen Drayton Lakes, as the water level is rapidly dropping. You might be able to get through on foot if wearing wellies.
East of Fen Drayton Lakes, the flooding seems likely to persist for sone time (se David Parish’s posts). But it is possible to avoid this stretch by detouring via gravel tracks to Swavesey, and rejoin the busway there.
|Track past the Trout Pond 21st January 2020.|
The pipe draining into Covills drain is well under water, but obviously flowing because of the amount of turbulence on the the water above the outlet.
|Turbulence above the submerged pipe outlet into Colvills drain. 21st January 2020.|
|Water flowing back over the breach in Colvills drain bank. 21st January 2020.|
Saturday, 11 January 2020
Here are links to: (a) the announcement, and (b) the new timetable.
I was taken by surprise at St Ives Station Road stop this morning to see a new departure sheet posted. I've checked both the Stagecoach and County Council Busway websites and can find no details of changes to services (or even a simple announcement). But new timetables are available from Traveline, and I've attempted below to identify the changes involved.
Note, first, that there are no changes to Sunday services.
As for the rest of the week (including Saturdays)... The most significant changes are to routes A and D. There seems to be a significant increase in journey times on the stretch between Orchard Park and St Ives town centre. How is this reflected in the timetable?
On city-bound trips, most services will depart St Ives 7 minutes (or thereabouts) earlier than at present, and operate 7 (or so) minutes earlier to Orchard Park. Thereafter timings seem unchanged.
On St Ives-bound trips, most services will depart from the city stops as at present, but after Orchard Park will run 7 (or so) minutes later than at present.
There seem to be changes to how the services are being organised in St Ives beyond the town centre. In addition to changes to the times of buses, there may be some switching of routes between the A and the D (and possibly changes to the routes themselves). Check the new timetable carefully!
The first Mon-Fri departure from Ramsey will be at 0605 (i.e. 15 minutes earlier than at present). Morning departures from other villages and towns into St Ives and Cambridge are 5-10 minutes earlier than previously.
There are changes to the routes taken by both services inside the Biomedical Campus. Southbound services will call at the Royal Papworth only as they leave the campus. Northbound services will call at the Royal Papworth only as they first enter the campus.
There are minor changes on route B, affecting - so far as I can see - only the indicative times at intermediate stops. So, for example, outbound services will notionally call at Shire Hall 3 minutes after leaving Drummer St, 2 minutes earlier than at present. (But this seems a pointless change, since it's rare for buses to arrive by the indicative time even on the 5-minute schedule, so why they're any more likely to reach the Shire Hall a full 2 minutes sooner defies logic!)
There seem to be no changes to services south of Trumpington, nor to route B services north of St Ives.
I apologise if I've missed something that's key to an individual reader's particular journey, but there was a lot of data to wade through. And I was aware that those of you heading off for your Monday commute might appreciate some advance warning.
(When I checked at 2300 on Jan 11 the new timetables were not available on the Stagecoach website, only from Traveline.)
Wednesday, 8 January 2020
I observe as follows:
With reference to this RSPB leaflet with map:
The stretch that takes ages to drain is where the busway passes between the Trout Pond and Ferry Lagoon.
Typically this section is not the first to flood. Rather the river has to very high before it does flood. But when it floods the water gets trapped.
Covills drain is not marked on the map - it lies just east of the Trout Pond, and runs south to north and drains into the Great Ouse through a flood control gate. Cyclists can identify it by the wedge shaped chunk of concrete across the path where it crosses the east bank of the drain.
When the water gets very high, Covills drain overflows its west bank, pouring water into the Ferry Lagoon. This happened 2 weeks ago.
The observant will note that the west bank of Covills drain is deliberately lower than the east bank (there is only one concrete wedge, not two). This is so the lakes flood in preference to Swavesey.
There is a culvert under the busway just west of the west bank of Colvills drain, balancing the Ferry Lagoon and the Trout Pond. So when water flows into the Ferry Lagoon, it passes through this culvert, and raises the Trout Pond which overflows and floods this stretch of the path.
But how does it drain? Once the level has got back down to the top of the Colvills drain bank - very slowly.
If you walk along the east bank of Colvills drain about 50-100m north of the busway, you will see across the drain the end of a pipe, which drains the surplus water from Ferry Lagoon through the west bank back into Colvills Drain.
As far as I know (but I am happy to be corrected if anyone knows better) this is the total drainage from the Ferry Lagoon + Trout Pond back towards the river.
This is not very big to drain all that trapped water down by about 1m. And as the draining continues, the difference in height falls, so the flow through the pipe drops too.
The above photo, taken 31 December, shows water coming out of the pipe - which is completely submersed under water.
This photo, I took a few years ago, looking down on the outlet, with the water lower, shows the flap over the end of the pipe, to prevent water flowing back into the Ferry Lagoon from Covills drain. The flap is pushed open when the water flows in the intended direction, as it is here.
But why is this flow so restricted?
Saturday 11th January - still flooded.
Thirsday 16th January - now flooded between St Ives Park & Ride and Fen Drayton Lakes, as well as from Fen Drayton to Swavesey.
Monday, 6 January 2020