Thursday 22 March 2012

Easter bus services

Stagecoach will be running a Sunday bus service on Friday 6 and Monday 9 April 2012. See Stagecoach Service Updates. Whippet will also be running a Sunday service on those two days. See Whippet website.

Bus fare increases

My bus home this evening has a new poster on display advising that bus fares wil rise as from Sunday 1 April. Cambridgeshire Dayrider Plus goes up to £5.70, and the weekly Megarider Plus to £22.50. Full details can be found on the Services Updates page of the Stagecoach website.

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Traffic jams at St Ives

Cambridgeshire County Council has now agreed that traffic congestion in Harrison Road, St Ives, at rush hour is a problem, and that guided buses crossing Harrison Way have contributed to that congestion. ( Hunts Post, 21 March, page 4) The Meadow Lane roundabout is mentioned, but the newspaper does not mention the possibility that extra car traffic to/from the Park & Ride may be contributing to the problem. The article refers to tailback up Needingworth Road, rat-running through villages, traffic going through the town centre to get priority at the roundabout. Cllr Criswell said the Council is looking to adjust timings of the pedestrian aspect of the Harrison road lights to synchronise with the buses. Anyone who has ideas for solving the problem is invited to email On page 5 are several letters commenting on the proposal to route buses through the market square.

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Cycling improvements

The cycle track which follows the guided busway has been so successful that The Department for Transport has agreed to fund improvements to the Thicket path east of St Ives. This path links St Ives and Huntingdon, and is effectively a continuation of the busway track. The £30 million comes from the DfT's 'Linking Places Fund'. Although 43% of British people own bicycles, only 2% of journeys are made by bike. Improvements to the Thicket path have potential to attract cyclists from Huntingdon who want to continue their journeys from St Ives towards Cambridge by bus or cycle . Hunts Post, 14 March, page 4

More about cross town bus services

The debate about whether guided buses should run through the main market square in St Ives continues in today's (Hunts Post, 14 March, page 6) with four letters from newspaper readers. Arguments for the proposal include an appeal to history (buses used to come over the old bridge and through the town so why can't they do so again?) and boosting trade in the Broadway (buses would bring more people to that end of town). Against the proposal as fears that shops will lose custom as the town centre becomes less attractive to shoppers due to bus traffic, and that the town centre will lose jobs. There is also a letter about the proposal to relocate the service B bus stop to Station Road. Where in Station Road will the bus stop be located, and will more trees have to be felled? Will Station Road be blocked while buses call there? And what about the danger to pedestrians of combining the markets with the buses?

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Cross-town buses

More this week in the Hunts Post (7 March, page 7) about the proposal to run guided buses right through the main market square in St Ives. This plan would displace a number of stalls at the town's Monday market and buses would have to run through the very narrow, and virtually pedestrian-only Crown Street. Of three letters on this page, the first is from Peter Lee, director of Whippet Coaches recalls a bygone era when his company's buses used to use that route, even on market days and when the huge Michaelmas fair was on. He believes that running buses through town would boost the shops in Bridge Street and the Broadway. A second letter, from a St Ives resident, suggest that the statement that running buses through town would lead to loss of a third of the market stalls is unfounded. Bring buses back might encourage retail back into the Broadway area of town. The last letter thinks that having large vehicles trundling through town would adversely affect pedestrians and businesses alike. he believes that the advantage of have the service A buses starting from the Park & Ride is that they don't get caught up in the 'horrendous traffic stream' which often affects central St Ives.

Poor customer care

The Cambridge News reports that a bus driver refused to allow a passenger to board a guided bus at St Ives Park & Ride. Apparently the bus "had technically left" the Park & Ride, and stopped again so that the driver could speak to another driver. Stagecoach says that the driver should have explained "the situation" to the would-be passenger. Cambridge News, 5 March 2012