Wednesday 31 July 2013

Changes to route B timetable from 4 August 2013

Stagecoach has announced slight amendments to the route B timetable on Sundays starting from 4 August. The 1700 and 1740 journeys from Cambridge Drummer Street will run to Ramsey Road and Hill Rise instead of terminating at St Ives Bus Station.

The new timetable is available here.

Sunday 28 July 2013

Delays due to traffic congestion in Cambridge

Today (Sunday 28 July) the buses from Cambridge to St Ives and Huntingdon were running very late and out of sequence. This appeared to be due to tail-backs of cars in Jesus Lane queuing to get into the Park Street car park.

I caught what I think was the late running 12.40 from Cambridge, which picked us up at Jesus Lane about 13.20. Running only a few minutes behind us was another St Ives-bound bus (probably the 13.00 from Cambridge running late), which overtook us at Longstanton. A Huntingdon-bound bus was running only 7 minutes behind us (and only 3 or 4 minutes behind its schedule).

Ever since the busway opened, the buses have been subject to delays by traffic conditions on the ordinary roads. The conflict of interest between the busway route in Jesus Lane and cars heading for Park Street car park is a recurring problem which needs to be addressed by the Council.

One solution would be to divert the route B away from Jesus Lane - via Victoria Avenue and Chesterton Lane - which was worked well while Bridge Street was closed due to road works.

Guided bus approaching Jesus Lane bus stop behind traffic turning right into Park Street

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Dispute between Cambridgeshire County Council and BAM Nuttall

Dr Ian Jackson has attempted to discover more details about the dispute between Cambridgeshire County Council and BAM Nuttall, the contractors who built the guided busway, and with whom the Council is in dispute. Dr Jackson invoked his rights under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain this information, but the Council has refused on the grounds of confidentiality and that releasing the information would interfere with the court case. The Council's decision has been upheld by the Information Tribunal.
Full story at Cambridge News.

Thursday 18 July 2013

Cycle track and busway closure near Histon and bus diversions

Thanks to David Parish for emailing about the closure of the cycle track between Histon and Orchard Park over the weekend of 20-22 July 2013. I'm assuming this is due to repair works to the uneven section of track east of Histon. The buses will be disrupted also.

Photo by David Parish

Official notices of the bus diversions

Stagecoach have posted a bulletin on their website here . The busway will be closed completely between Histon and Orchard Park East.
This is copied from the Stagecoach website:

Due to maintenance works on the Guided Busway, buses for Cambridge City Centre located atOrchard Park will board on the St. Ives-bound side of the track.

Buses towards St. Ives will board on the Cambridge-bound side of the track within Orchard Park.

On 20th July 2013, all buses towards Cambridge will be Service A buses only.

On 21st July 2013, all buses towards Cambridge will be Service B buses.

In conjunction with this, we will be unable to serve stops located on Castle StreetJesus Lane orRound Church Street on Sunday 21st July 2013.

Passengers are advised to use stops at Drummer Street as an alternative.

In fact, the unavailablity of the Jesus Lane and Round Church Street bus stops is due to road closures in connection with Race for Life. A list of road closures on Sunday 21 July  from 7am to 1pm can be found on this page . It looks as if the New Square bus stop will be in use as normal on 21 July.

Whippet buses on route C will also be diverted via Orchard Park on 20 and 21 July, according to the Twitter feed on their website. Whippet buses are affected by diversions on 
Sunday morning due to road closures in Central Cambridge because of 'Race for Life'
Thanks to David and Hugh for alerting me to the changes. [Updated 19 July].

Busway closed at Histon. 20 July 2013

View of work site from Impington overbridge. 20 July 2013.
The busway was extremely busy with people travelling to Race for Life crowds travelling in to Cambridge today ( Sunday 21 July). Here is a photo of the crowd waiting to join the bus at St Ives Park & Ride.This particular trip was so full it did not pick up passengers at Swavesey,and Longstanton.
St Ives Park & Ride. 09.23 service B to Cambridge. 21 July.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Guided bus damaged by rising bollard

A guided bus belonging to Stagecoach was damaged on Saturday afternoon by a rising bollard close to the bus stop at New Square, Cambridge. The authorities are trying to establish whether the accident was caused by a fault with the bollard itself, or because the driver did not correctly follow the procedures.

There is a report in the Cambridge News here.

Thursday 11 July 2013

Extension of busway to new railway station at Chesterton

The planning application for the new railway station at Chesterton was published a few days ago by Cambridgeshire County Council. You can view it here.

It includes erection of a station building, platforms, footbridge, lifts, car and cycle parking, and new vehicle access from Cowley Road.

An extension of the guided busway  will be built from Milton Road to the new station.

Read Cambridge News article about the new railway station here.

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Luton Dunstable Guided Busway

Although this blog is mainly devoted to the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway, I have in the past commented on the Adelaide Busway on Australia. With the Luton-Dunstable Busway close to being opened in the next couple of months, it seemed a good time to report on progress and point out some sources of information about the project.

The guided section of the busway is 7.5km long. It is now running late and over budget. A recent report in the  called on Luton Borough council to reveal how much the extra costs had come to. Back in February, the budgeted cost of £51.6million had shifted upwards to £55.7m according to the Luton & Dunstable Express website. However, according to this BBC report, Luton Council and Central Bedford Council's joint' share had increased from 4.7% of £51 million to 4.7% of £62 million.

The route links central Luton with Dunstable and Houghton Regis in one direction on a former railway track, and with London Luton Airport via Luton Airport Parkway rail station in the other. However, the link to the airport involves running along normal roads. The railway track from Luton to Dunstable was actually lifted in order to build the busway, when perhaps it could have been re-built and electrified as a branch off the Thameslink line. The busway is designed to allow buses to bypass the severe congestion on the roads between Luton and Dunstable.

A speed test took place on 16 May as reported on the Luton Today website, with buses reaching 50mph (which is less that the Cambridgeshire busway's top speed of 56mph).

BAM Nuttall, who built the Cambridgeshire busway, is the contractor for the Luton busway.

Here is the website of Luton Borough Council, whose project this is.

There is a  discussion group for the Luton busway on Facebook.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Busway botany

Yesterday I cycled from St Ives to Cambridge and on the return trip, I took my time stopping to photograph some of the wildflowers that fill the verges.  I've tried to identify their names but would welcome any comments or corrections and help with identifying the ones I'm not sure about.

Hedge Bindweed

Probably Wild Carrot 

Wild Parsnip

Opium Poppy

Great Mullein

Evening Primrose

Spear Thistle

Purple Loosestrife


 Hedge Mustard

Field Scabious


Tuesday 2 July 2013

Graffiti on busway

'Undercover' police have been patrolling the guided busway in the hope of catching the graffiti artist(s) who have been at work in the Histon/Orchard Park area. One person has been arrested and admitted to three counts of criminal damage.

Full report at Cambridge News.

Repairs to track near Histon

Regular travellers on the busway will be aware that, a short distance east of Histon busway stop, there have been some irregularities or 'dips' on the track. Buses give a lurch as they go over these dips. This problem has existed since the busway opened, if my memory serves me correctly.

Some repair work has been carried out, and currently there is a 5mph speed restriction for east-bound buses.

When I travelled back from Cambridge on Sunday, my west-bound bus was still faced with poor track at this location.

These two photos show the  the point near Histon where one of the westbound dips is. It's difficult to capture in a photo but the slight change of alignment can be detected on the right hand edge of the track.

Link to Cambridge News Article here includes a slideshow with close-ups of the faulty track.