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?


  1. That road was already raised 2 inches last spring, they also dredged. Locals said it had helped until now.

  2. Yes, I remember that being in the news. It sounded to me that they's just added an extra layer of tar to the existing surface, and I'm pleased it has helped. 2 inches isn't enough to ensure that the Earith road remains dry at all times, which is why I think the ultimate solution has to be a new roadway on stilts.

  3. Why is stagecoach trialing the use of social media to inform customers of service updates? The use of social media for this purpose has been used for years with other companies and it works, just get on and implement it!!

  4. That's what Andy Campbell said on the radio programme. I agree with you - they should just get on and do it.

  5. a new busway on stilts ould be good as well (viaduct)

  6. I do not understand how motorists put up with it, I have seen the traffic mess getting in and out of st Ives but they just put up with it, crazy.


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