Friday, 17 January 2014

Bus services serving the new Science Park rail station

Planning for the new Science Park rail station proceeds apace. And if recent developments at Cambridge and Peterborough are anything to go by, once construction has started it will be full steam ahead [sic].

The following train services are expected to serve the new station (with their daytime frequencies):
  • Kings Lynn-Kings Cross fast (hourly)
  • Science Park-Kings Cross semi-fast (hourly - currently terminates at Cambridge)
  • Cambridge-Norwich (hourly)

I've heard, via a reliable source, that Stagecoach's plans for its Busway services to serve the new station extend no further than "peak times". (In addition, they're planning to route the Citi 2 service via the station; and there will, at some point, be a service from the University's developments on the West and North West sides of the city, via the Darwin Green site.) So current thinking means Busway users outside peak times would have to walk from Milton Road to the new station.

To my mind that sounds excessively cautious, even before Northstowe comes on stream. Even though I live in the city, it's pretty clear to me that the Science Park station is likely to be attractive to communities served by the Busway between Histon and St Ives (although some St Ives' needs are perhaps served equally well by Huntingdon trains). It's not just for Chesterton residents and cyclists from the surrounding area!

Clearly there are costs involved in sending buses into the site and back out again, and if there are no passengers to pick up or set down that's a waste of money (and of other passengers' time, of course). So it's perhaps not as simple as saying that all of the "A" services should serve the new station. But "peak times" only? Surely not.

Views, anyone?

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