Thursday, 3 November 2011

Local newspaper reports

The busway continues to  feature in the local newspapers.

Yesterday's Hunts Post ( 2 November) has a letter ( page 7) from a St Ives resident about the County Council's apparent U-turn on the busway - he reckons the Council is getting 'jittery' about its chances of winning the court case against the contractors BAM Nuttall.

On page 8 of the same issue is a piece about the new express buses between Huntingdon and Cambridge - which started running on 24 October. Hunts Post has been a bit slow in acknowledging this timetable improvement! This refers to two services in each direction (07.10 and 07.40 from Huntingdon) that skip both the Oxmoor and the Hill Rise/Ramsay Road loop. Judging by the published timetable these 'express' buses save 13 minutes eastbound but only 6 minutes westbound compared with the regular buses. Hunts Post doesn't mention the departure times in the other direction. In fact, they leave Drummer Street at 17.25 and 17.45.

While on the subject of 'express' buses, it is worth noting that the average speed, including stops and slowings for road crossings, between St Ives Bus Station and the Science Park is  only 32mph. The quickest journey time from Cambridge to St Ives via the busway (28 minutes is the fastest I've noted) can never match the quickest times via the A14 (22 minutes was common off peak in the old days).

Stagecoach have indicated  they will consider offering more express journeys if passenger demand builds.

But, let's face it, Huntingdon needs a better, faster bus link to Cambridge than even the busway can offer - 16 miles in over an hour is ridiculously slow.  Godmanchester  (population around 8000) simply needs a direct bus to Cambridge. That can only be achieved by missing out St Ives completely. An Oxmoor- Huntingdon - Godmanchester - Cambridge route via the A428 might just work.

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