Wednesday 26 February 2014

Solving the flood problem

Cambridge News has picked up the story of the flooded busway bridleway/cycle track. Read article here.

Questions are being asked about the design of the route and whether putting it up on stilts might be a solution. Cambridgeshire County Council previously said the route might expect to be closed for 29 days a year. The article reports that a Council spokesman says it could expect to be closed for up to 56 days a year. The cycle track has been under water continuously since Christmas Day - I make that 60 days i.e. more than 8 weeks.

Cambridge Cycling Campaign says the existing design devalues the benefits of the bridleway.

Traffic congestion in St Ives

Letter in this week's Hunts Post (26 February, pages 6-7) about congestion in St Ives, specifically in North Road, which is the main guided bus route through town.

Anyone who uses North Road will be aware that in several places the roadway is too narrow for guided buses to pass, and elsewhere they can only pass at low speed and with utmost caution. There is a suggestion that the Council missed the opportunity to widen North Road at the time when Woodlands Court was being built.

The writer of the letter, who lives in North Road, suggests a one way system, with buses routed via Broadway (presumably westbound), Ramsey Road and St Audrey's Lane (eastbound). This scenario seems to imply that no buses would use North Road at all.

If the Broadway route cannot be used (and there have been issues regarding the town centre bus gate and markets), then perhaps St Audrey's Lane/ Pig Lane might suffice for eastbound buses with westbound continuing to use North Road.

Hunts Post can be accessed here.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Bus diversion 28 February

Busway service B will be diverted after 20.30 on the evening of 28 February 2014. This is due to  temporary closure of Bridge Street, Cambridge. Buses will be diverted via Victoria Avenue.

Details here.

Results of transport survey consultation

The results of a consultation on the Cambridgeshire County Council's transport strategy are revealed in a Cambridge News article.

Ideas opposed by the consultation include a busway across Stourbridge Common.

It is not clear from the article whether building new busways along the A10 and A1307 met with approval.

View article here.

Parking charges at Busway Park and Ride sites

Cambridgeshire County Council has approved a list of measures designed to save £37 million. This includes introduction of parking charges at Busway Park & Ride sites in 2015/16 aimed at raising £120,000.

From 2015/16 the Council will also stop concessionary fare use on park and ride buses to save £300,000.

Link to Cambridge News here.

Thursday 13 February 2014

Busway delays due to flooding at Earith

Guided buses are being delayed again as a result of the A1123 road being flooded at Earith where it crosses the Hundred Foot Washes. Traffic that would normally travel via Earith is having to divert via St Ives. This in turn is causing gridlock in St Ives town centre, which is delaying buses, especially those heading towards Cambridge in the morning peak.

The problem has been discussed at length this morning on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on Andie Harper's Midmorning programme. In Andie's absence, the programme today was hosted by Sue Dougan.

One of those interviewed was Ed Goodman, a businessman who lives in St Ives and works in Cambridge at Cambridge Business Lounge. His main complaint is about the lack of information from the bus companies when buses are delayed. The real time display screens at bus stops can't  cope when buses get stuck in a traffic tailback, and waiting passengers are left guessing, and wondering whether to make alternative arrangements or to keep waiting.

Andy Campbell, of Stagecoach, was also on the programme, explaining the problems from his bus company's perspective. I think what he was saying is that the electronic displays know where a bus is in real time, but make a prediction of its arrival time based on the journey time of the previous 3 buses. When questioned about lack of direct updates from Stagecoach to passengers, he revealed that Stagecoach is trialling the use of social media for keeping passengers informed about delays, but this is not yet available in Cambridgeshire. Mr Campbell was asked about the closure of the toilets and waiting room at Longstanton Park & Ride and said he will be contacting the County Council about this matter. The access charges which Stagecoach pays to the County Council for access to the busway are supposed to cover the Longstanton waiting room and toilet facility.

Link to Andie Harper's programme here. The busway discussion starts approx 20 minutes into the programme.

The recurring Earith flooding problem seems to me solvable if the County Council find the money to raise the level of the road for that quarter mile stretch between the two rivers. It would need to be on stilts rather than an embankment to ensure that flood water could pass through freely. A simple sounding solution, but is there the political will?

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Stagecoach's new busway timetable

This week's Hunts Post has picked up the story about the extra buses Stagecoach will be running as from 23 February. Hunts Post ( 5 February, page 10). As well as the benefits of having a bus every 5 minutes during the peak, the article notes concerns about traffic congestion in St Ives and on the Harrison Way/busway crossing.

There's also a short piece  on the same page about Andy Campbell, the Managing Director of Stagecoach East, who has had his head shaved for charity, the East Anglia's Children's Hospices.

Monday 3 February 2014

Accident on Busway

The Cambridge News website has news (and two photos, contributed by a passenger on the bus involved) of an incident between Histon and Impington earlier today.