Monday 30 July 2012

Busway extension to Peterborough 'an experiment'

According to the Cambridge News, the extension of Stagecoach's busway service B to Peterborough is an experiment. The article also covers the worrying fact that some of the advertised services to Peterborough  terminated at Huntingdon last week. This is being blamed on driver confusion or coming to the end of his/her shift. It would be charitable to think these problems are just teething troubles, but  poor organisation and inadequate driver training seem more likely culprits. Stagecoach really have no excuse - after all they have been in the business of providing bus services for years.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Improvements to Station Road bus stop in St Ives

The new bus stop in Station Road, St Ives, which was built to allow guided buses heading to Cambridge to skip the loop through St Ives bus station, opened on Sunday even though it was incomplete. In the past 48 hours a proper bus stop sign has appeared, and below it a small version of the timetable.

However, the sign says that the buses from this stop go to St Ives and Central Cambridge, which is bizarre since most of St Ives is in the opposite direction. I guess
by 'St Ives' they mean 'St ives Park & Ride'. 


Wednesday 25 July 2012

Busway in this week's Hunts Post

Nothing as far as I can see about the new bus timetable and the extensions of services to Peterborough, Hinchingbrooke, Wyton Camp and Burley Road. But there is a letter from  Needingworth resident about the chaos at St Ives Bus station on Monday morning. The writer comments that there were no new timetables on dispaly, and only one Stagecoach employee on hand to redirect passengers to the new stop in Station road. In Station Road, traffic congestion built up on two occasions due to a lorry unloading at Petzone and  an ambulance parked opposite the bus stop. Also noted is that lack of a waiting shelter, and a concern that large numbers of waiting passengers could block the pavement . Hunts Post (25 July, page 6)

Tuesday 24 July 2012

New timetable - Tuesday

Sometime yesterday (Monday) a poster was put up in St Ives Bus station advising passengers to go to the new bus stop in Station Road if they wanted to travel towards Cambridge. This should have been in place before start of service on Sunday, and it would have been even more helpful if advance notice had been given.

My bus home last night (the Trumpington to Chatteris service) appeared on time at Parkside showing the destination 'St Ives'. The driver seemed unaware that the bus was going beyond St Ives, which did not give passengers any confidence that they'd get home. A change of drivers  happened at St Ives Park & Ride, and the new driver was able to confirm that passengers for Ramsey Road and Fenton Road, Warboys, would get to their destinations.  Another passenger mentined to me that about 11am a whole string of buses turned up at Station Road, indicating that the new timetable had got very out of sync.

This morning I caught the 07.22 A which arrived in New Square about a minute late.  A close look at the new timetable shows that the A now takes 2 minutes less than the B between Central Cambridge and Histon. In the old timetable, the A was regularly early getting into Cambridge, and could often catch up a few minutes on the way out of Cambridge.

Please keep writing comments on the blog about the teething troubles of the new timetable.

Monday 23 July 2012

New timetable - Monday

My intention was to catch the 0737 service A from St Ives to Cambridge this morning. The 0730 B left the new Station Road bus stop on time, but the 0737 did not show. I boarded the 0745 B, which left more or less on time and reached Cambridge 7 minutes late. Live bus times were not showing for the A at the intermediate stops, so I have no idea whether the bus was cancelled or just running late.  Under the previous timetable, the service A towards Cambridge could usually be relied on for keeping good time. It remains to be seen whether the new timetable will offer this level of reliability. Still no sign of new timetable information at St Ives bus station.

New timetable, new bus stop

The new bus timetable  for Stagecoach service B began officially yesterday monring (Sunday 22nd), although the only change was that Cambridge-bound services were departing from the new stop  in Station Road rather than St Ives Bus Station. Well, that was the theory. In practice,  no new timetable information had been posted in the bus station, and there was nothing to direct passengers to the new stop. the 0840 bus called at Station Road, then looped round the bus station to pick up passengers there. I travelled to Cambridge on the 09.40, which also picked up atStation Road and the Bus Station.
Passengers boarding the first bus from the new, unfinished, Station Road bus stop (0840 Sunday 22 July).

Friday 20 July 2012

Station Road bus stop not ready for new bus timetable

The new bus stop in Station Road, St Ives,  appears not to be ready for the start of the new bus timetable on Sunday. Although 'Bus Stop' has been painted on the roadway, the final tar surface of the bus stop has not been laid, there is no shelter for waiting passengers, and the 'bus stop' sign is a temporary one. The  new Stagecoach timetable is due to start on Sunday, with the 08.40 departure from St Ives to Cambridge as the first departure.

New timetables  for Cambridge - Peterborough can be viewed  here.
New timetables for Ramsey, Chatteris and Somersham to Cambridge can be viewed here.

Thursday 19 July 2012

Busway flooding - latest update

There is now only one very short section of the cycle track under water - close to the small concrete bridge a short distance east of the Ouse Viaduct. From the bus this morning I could not see how deep the water was, but the floodd was shorter, and therefore must be shallower than it had been on Sunday evening when I managed to cycle through this flooded section.

Friday 20th  - morning - cycle track looks passable though a small amount of water is still lying  near the small concrete bridge.

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Busway flooding - update

Flood water levels have gone down today. The dip west of the Ouse Viaduct is now dry.  However, east of the Ouse Viaduct there is still a section under water.

Bus services to villages between Huntingdon and Peterborough

As noted in earlier posts, extension of the busway service B to Peterborough means that Stagecoach is withdrawing its service 46 between Huntingdon and Stilton, and leaving several villages with no bus service. The Hunts Post ( 18 July, page 21) reports that Nene & Ouse Valley Community Transport will provide a bus service linking Huntingdon with Alconbury Weston, Sawtry, Glatton, Norman Cross and Stilton. There will be about 6 daily journeys.

Safety concerns about new bus stop in Station Road, St Ives

A bus driver has expressed his concerns about safety aspects of the new bus stop for Cambridge-bound busway buses, which is due to come into service on Sunday 22nd July. See Hunts Post (July 18, page 9). The new bus stop projects 6 feet into the road, and  when a bus is stopped there, three-quarters of he roadway will be occupied. THis has implications for other traffic trying to pass the buses, given that sight lines are poor.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Floods affecting busway cycle track

Today's Cambridge News (17 July, page 3) includes a photo of the flooded cycle track, and a comment from Cambridgeshire County Council.

Bicycle thefts on busway

Police are trying to crack down on bicycle thefts which have been happening at cycle parks on the guided busway. According to the Cambridge News , police officers will be visiting busway stations between 7.30am and 9am (Tuesday 17th July), between 7.30am and 9am and from 4pm to 6pm on Wednesday 18th July , between 4pm and 6pm on Thursday 19th July,  and on Friday  20th July between 7am and 8.30am and from 4pm to 6pm.

Sunday 15 July 2012

Cycle track flooded again

The busway cycle track is under water for about 400 metres just to the east of the Ouse Viaduct.  At about 6pm Sunday, the water was 25 cm deep and rising.

Wednesday 11 July 2012

New busway timetable published

Stagecoach has published its new timetable for routes A and B due to start from 23 July. Timetable posted here.

Early morning journey from Somersham and Chatteris continue to be available, and a couple of new early morning services run from Ramsey and Warboys to Cambridge. There are similar return journeys to these places in the evening.

There are two buses an hour to Hinchingbrooke Hospital and one an hour to Peterborough.

Huntingdon Railway Station is served by only one bus an hour, but, of course, the Hinchingbrooke services stop on Brampton Road just outside the Station.

Pedestrian shortcut from busway to Cambridge Station

The Cambridge News reports that a steps are to be built linking the Hills Road Bridge with the guided busway path below. This will provide a pedestrian shortcut to/from Cambridge Rail Station. Due to the constricted site, a cycle path cannot be provided, but there will be a channel beside the steps allowing cyclists to wheel their bikes. Cambridgeshire County Council has voted £500,000 for the project.

Nature and the busway

As a regular traveller between St Ives and Cambridge, I have been amazed and inspired by the magnificent display of wild flowers on the busway verges - ox eye daisies, poppies, mullein, mallow, Queen Anne's Lace to name a few of the more prominent species. Now many of the flowers have reached the seeding stage, and in the last few days the verges adjacent to the tracks have been trimmed. But the untrimmed areas further from the bus tracks are still looking glorious.

Evidently some residents of Orchard Park feel that these colourful verges are simply 'weeds'. See report  by Chris Havergal in the Cambridge News. The comments posted on the newspaper's website about this are interesting. There seems to be a split between those who think the 'weeds' are a blot on the landscape, and those who welcome these lush verges as a haven for wildlife.

Sunday 8 July 2012

New bus stop in Station Road, St Ives

Work has begun on creating  a new bus stop in Station Road, St Ives. This is intended to ease congestion in St Ives Bus Station and means that Cambridge-bound buses on Routes A and B won't have to loop around the bus station. The stop will project out into Station Road at the front of Coral betting shop and the Hyperion auction house. The site of the bus stop has now been marked on the roadway.

Progress at end of Day 1 of works (9 July) - a conduit has been installed across the road, possibly for electric supply to the new bus stop.

End of Day 2 (10 July) - bus stop kerb has been partly built -  temporary traffic lights were in operation, causing traffic congestion and delays to buses to and from the Bus Station.

Day 3 (11 July) - congestion during construction work

End of Day 3 (11 July) - kerb round new bus stop is almost complete.

End of Day 4 (12 July) - no visible progress today, as far as I can see.

End of Day 5 (13 July) - nothing seems to have happened today either, which is worrying as the new bus service is due to start in just over a week.

End of Day 6 (16 July) - the new bus stop now has its base layer of tar. A sign saying 'Temporary Bus Stop' has appeared, which perhaps suggest that the buses will start calling there before work has been completed.

End of Day 7 (17 July) - two bollards and a post which will perhaps carry the bus stop sign have been erected.

End of Day 8 (18 July) - no visible progress on the bus stop today.

End of Day 9 (19 July) - no further work

End of Day 10 (20 July) - the bus stop has now been marked out on the road in yellow, but the final tar surface of the bus stop has not been laid, and there is still a temporary sign in place. There is no shelter for waiting passengers.

For more information about the bus stop, see blog post dated 20th July. Click here.

Saturday 7 July 2012

Busway shortlisted for award

The busway has been shortlisted for the most innovative transport project in this year's National Transport Awards. See item in Cambridge News.

Thursday 5 July 2012

Busway services to Peterborough

The timetable for the busway service B extension from Huntingdon to Peterborough is now available on the Cambridgeshire County Council website here. Or here.

Departures from Huntingdon are at 05.50 then hourly until 16.50 then 17.20, 18.20, 19.20. From Peterborough they are at 06.45, 07.45, 09.15 then hourly until 20.15. The service operates Monday to Saturday. Journey time is 44 or 45 minutes.

Intermediate calling points are described as follows: Little Stukeley opposite RAF Alconbury Main Gate (northbound), Alconbury near RAF Main Gate (southbound), Sawtry opposite Tinkers Lane, Hampton Serpentine Green.

Bizarrely, the Huntingdon to Peterborough journeys are shown in the same table as Huntingdon to Cambridge journeys, and vice versa - so  there is no indication of whether they are through journeys between Peterborough and Cambridge.

Link to Studley's tidied up version of the Peterborough-Cambridge timetable here.

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Roadworks affecting route A at Addenbrooke's

Stagecoach East have issued a bulletin about roadworks taking place at Addenbrooke's:

Buses on route A will be unable to serve Robinson Way Cambridge (Addenbrooke's Hospital) from 1900 on 5th July 2012 until 0700 on 11th July 2012 due to roadworks.

In addition to this buses will be unable to serve the bus stop at the out-patients centre between 0700 and 1400 on Saturday 7th July 2012.

Customers are advised to use the stops in Keith Day Road as an alternative for both closures.