Saturday, 13 August 2011

Friday 12 August and review of the first week

I travelled on Service B in both directions today.

The morning trip took 37 minutes, and the afternoon trip took 45 minutes.

Verdict at the end of Week 1 - the quality of the journey actually on the guideway is excellent and fast, and the timings achieved between St Ives and Milton Road or Orchard Park are consistently in the 18-23 minute range.

My quickest journey took 28 minutes (Wednesday). The slowest was on Sunday - 46 minutes running time plus 11 minutes for late start. There was a bad trip on Thursday - 15 minutes late leaving Parkside, and 22 minutes late reaching St Ives.

However, the guided buses are being delayed by traffic conditions off the busway. Buses arriving in St Ives from the Huntingdon direction are often late, as they were before 7 August - and this suggests that their schedule is too tight.

Traffic conditions in Bridge Street and Magdalene Street are difficult - mainly as a result of the single track section from Magdalen Bridge towards Huntingdon Road.

Histon Road and Milton Road have several sets of traffic lights which have caused delays, and frankly the 13 minutes allowed in the timetable isn't enough, except when traffic is very light (e.g. early morning).

The Addenbrooke's loop is another source of delay, as it is unbelievably slow, narrow and twisty.

The fact that there are no ticket machines at certain busy bus stops e.g. Drummer Street, New Square, and St Ives Bus Station, is slowing loading times and therefore contributing to delays.

Traffic levels - an exceptionally busy Sunday when many people turned out for their first trip on this new form of transport. I'd say the number of passengers has increased steadily as the week progressed. A fair number of people are commuting to/from the Science Park, from St Ives and the intermediate villages, journeys which could not readily be done by public transport before.

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