Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Wednesday 10th August 2011

This morning I walked to the Park & Ride to catch the route A bus leaving at 07.38. This got me in to New Square at 08.07, which is pretty good.

I was able to take a longer lunch break than usual and decide to go to Trumpington on the guided bus to see what the southern end of the route is like. There was a 13.11 departure from New Square, and it took 10 minutes to reach the Railway Station via the ordinary streets. the A calls at a bus stop about 150 metres from the station entrance. This stop is situated in the middle of a building site and it looks as if they are creating a series of bus stops near that location.  The busway dives under Hills Road Bridge, which has a 12ft 1in height limit, explaining why Route A only has single decker buses. Then followed a fast section more or less parallel to the railway line, built on the track of the former railway from Cambridge to Bedford and Oxford. Addenbrooke's is reached by a branch guideway rising steeply to cross the railway line. At the far side is a T junction, and the far side of the junction is built to allow an extra section of guideway to be built at a later stage, which will hopefully shorten the  Addenbrooke's loop. The bus follows a  slow and tortuous route anti-clockwise around the Addenbrooke's campus with 5 bus stops.  The whole loop took 14 minutes to complete, and returning to the main guideway, we turned right towards  a bus stop called "Trumpington". Immediately afterwards, the guideway becomes single track, with traffic lights controlling entry, and squeezed under Trumpington Road to emerge at the Park & Ride. Running time 31 minutes = 9 minutes longer than scheduled. The return journey retrace the same route taking 26 minutes - 4 over schedule.

It's as if they've tacked a Trumpington-Addenbrooke's shuttle service onto an Addenbrooke's- St Ives service.  The two seem scarcely compatible. And the slow plod round the hospital site might be contributing to late running further north. Maybe they are planning to run a fast direct service between Trumpington P&R  and the City Centre via the Rail Station. But for the meantime, passengers going from the P&R should us the old P&R bus service on the ordinary roads.

My journey home today was on the 17.01 from New Square which I picked up at Parkside. Having checked the live bus times online, I knew it was running a few minutes late, which meant I didn't have to rush. We left at 17.05 ( 6 minutes late) and  getting held up a bit by slow traffic on Victoria Avenue and  near the Arbury Road/Milton Road junction, I got to St Ives P&R at 17.45. 40 minutes running time.

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