Friday, 4 October 2013

Neglected Busway - Stud Lights

When the studlights were installed along the cycle track, the Cambridge News reported "Solar studs to light the busway bridleway"

Part way down it says:

Cllr Ian Bates, the cabinet member for growth and planning, said:  ........
“Solar studs will provide a trail route for users to follow while having no ongoing cost for the council.

Maybe they thought no maintenance would be required?

Tonight I took a photo at low point between St Ives Park & Ride and the Ouse viaduct, about 20 minutes after sunset. (Hence grainy - I have lightened it so it can be seen)

Approach to Ouse Viaduct   04/10/2013 18:53
The reason:  None of the 5-10 pairs of studlights - which were all on - were visible due to the overgrown vegetation.

With no spend on maintenance, the studlights are useless here.

Last week I reported to Cambridgeshire County Council several maintenance issues on the cycle track - including hidden stud lights, and a point just west of Covells drain where the 3.1m wide path is reduced to 1.4m because of overhanging vegetation. 
Track reduced to 1.4m wide

Track progress here. Currently says Cambridgeshire County Council not responsible - it has been referred on to ..."the appropriate party"...

Separately, I have reported to Cambridgeshire County Council the overgrown approach to the A1096 crossing between the Park & Ride site and St Ives town centre. Getting very difficult for 2 cyclists to pass. Track progress here. Currently says : We recognise that your reported fault needs addressing, and the work has been scheduled to be undertaken at the earliest opportunity.

Approach to A1096 Crossing - 20 Sep 2013


  1. Well, technically the studs are no more expensive than painting a white line - since both would be obscured by spreading vegetation...but that doesn't mask the need for maintenance!!! I think what the County needs is a decent machine to clear that vegetation (and potentially cut the roots of adjacent vegetation). Of course, where the cycleway butts up against the busway, the cost is halved.

  2. They cut it all back last year when they did the bus part, this year they only bothered cutting back for the buses, why couldn't they have done it all as was previous!

  3. Please note that the Council has made people in charge of maintenance redundant. They have now passed this responsibility onto the Term Maintenance Contractor. I understand that the Tories/Ukip, call this 'value for money'. Although I doubt your council tax will decrease or indeed the work get done in a timely manner. Same as the roads in fact.

  4. I notice that the brambles near Histon stop, which I reported in August have been cleared. Anybody know when this was done, and if this was done by the Council contractors - or someone else?

  5. One result.

    The approach to the A1096 crossing has been cut back this week so the entire width of the path can be used. Marked as completed on 24th October on the Council website.

  6. pity they cant get that hog thing out and hoover up all the twigs and leaves, maybe then I wont get a puncture every time I use the cyclepath, oh and of course see where I'm going. At Least when you have the stud lights visible, you can see the path through the glare of the bus high beams. I came within inches of flattening a jogger who was running with the cycle traffic (not into the traffic) with no vis on, as a bus came towards me with high beams! Only missed him because I virtually stopped because I couldn't see anything.

  7. Thanks, James. I've cycled to Cambridge and back this morning and the twig situation is dire. But at least it was broad daylight. I think the best thing to do is to email our county councillors about it.

  8. I've just emailed Cllr. Ian Bates, quoted in my article,
    and my local councillor - Cllr. Mandy Smith whose constituency includes Fen Drayton and Swavesey.

  9. Email received from Jon today says: I thought I would let you know that the busway verges have been cut at the St Ives end of the busway. I nearly came off my bike as they have left a lot of debris on the cycle track and it is hard to make out the width of the track because the solar lights are covered in debris as well!

  10. I have emailed both the county councillors for St Ives, Cllr Paul Bullen and Cllr Kevin Reynolds.

  11. Yes noticed that when I was coming home last night and the pavement vanished, that with buses on high beams brought me to a virtual stop. Woke up this morning and found my tyre flat, then had another flat as I got to the drainage bridge after the main Ouse bridge. where is this Bates email, think the more we flood them the more they take notice? Hope they are going to do the full length of the busway not just the reserve.

  12. No more cutting done today. Another issue tonight, cyclists with lights brighter than full beam bus lights is a joke, especially the ones helmet mounted!

  13. I've had this email back from the County Council in response to my email to one of my county councillors:

    "The maintenance contractor have been out on the northern section of the Busway during today and have been paying particular attention to the encroaching verge and collecting debris and removing the leaves.
    This is part of the planned maintenance regime for the Busway. Campbell will be able to provide further details on the planned maintenance regime.
    From time to time, and depending on weather conditions, additional maintenance is carried out to remove debris, e.g. after strong winds/heavy rain. The additional maintenance is subject to available budget."

    Not sure which day its referring to. Yesterday maybe?

  14. They cut it on the 5th from the just before the Ouse crossing to just after the Crossing. They have done nothing since and they certainly did not remove leaves and debris after they did it, that's complete bull! Maybe you should write back and inform him that the contractor didn't do what they were paid to do!

  15. Thanks for the update, James. I'll cycle along there later today and take some photos before contacting the Council again.

  16. Back from my research trip. The state of the track is much worse in the wake of the maintenance team. I've contacted my County Councillors again.

    I've posted some before and after photos on a new blog post at


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