Thursday 29 May 2014

Busway extension to Science Park Rail Station

The busway extension which will link Milton Road with the new Science Park rail station is to be an ordinary road, but there will be a short section of guided track at each end. This means that ordinary buses won't be able to us the route which will be suitable only for guided buses.

Read full article at
Cambridge News

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Charity walk along busway

30 May is the deadline if you want to register for a midnight charity walk along the busway from St Ives. Entry costs £15 and proceeds go to Walking with the Wounded, an armed forces  charity supporting troops who have injured back into civilian life.

Details here.

Friday 23 May 2014

Collision between bus and cyclist

The Cambridge News reports a collision this morning between a bus and a cyclist, at the point close to the Addenbrooke's site where the Busway crosses Francis Crick Avenue (or, if you like, where Francis Crick Avenue crosses the Busway - I'm unfamiliar with the road layout at that point). Apparently, it was "an accident waiting to happen", according so someone who works at the MRC close by.

Thursday 22 May 2014

Broken ticket machines

Not sure how long this machine has been out of action, but I first noticed it a few days ago. I'm referring to the ticket machine at the Science Park stop on the busway. It's now boxed up like its mates at Histon and Swavesey. Those two have been out of action for the best part of a year. Isn't the Council going to fix them?

Reminder about event on busway cycle track

The Flaming June Half Marathon will be running alongside the busway on 1st June. Closing date for participants is this coming Sunday 25th May.
Details here.

Busway damage - even more pictures

Here are some I took today in the Histon area.

This one looks as if it has already been patched:

Here is an example of what you get in the middle of every long concrete beam. There is a stress crack, which suggests that the beams are flexing every time a bus goes over them. If water gets into these cracks, and we have hard frosts in the winter, I can see the concrete disintegrating even more:

More patching:

Typical example of flaking of the concrete at  a beam end. Presumably this is caused by friction of the guided wheels:

An example disintegration of the vertical surface of the  guide 'rail'. Maybe it's cosmetic. Maybe it's more serious:

Flaking of the guide rail:

Shows the disparity in gap widths between the two running tracks:

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Busway damage - pictures

I've been out a couple of times in the past few weeks, and here are some of the shots I took (all taken from the bridleway).

Damage falls into various categories:

a) kerb damage

b) beam-end damage

c) step-damage (rubber pad fall-out)

I've also included some examples of pock-marking and surface stones, which might in the long-term cause issues of unevenness.

Kerb Damage:

i) to kerb-top

 ii) to side-wall (location west of Histon)
These are more extreme examples, but in general I wonder how long it will be before the kerb-wall starts to become as rough as the main running-way. The kerbs are smooth at the moment, but will the guide-wheels start to wear out much faster once the surface they run on becomes rough?

Beam-end damage - caused by expansion in hot weather

i) just east of Histon Stop - this one had only just occurred when I saw it
 ii) this type of damage possibly caused by small stones falling off and getting jammed between the beam ends, then causing further damage as and when the beam expands with heat.

Step-damage (rubber pad fall-out)

location: Trumpington


 Now some areas where the top surface has worn away, exposing more aggregate. How long will it be before these stones start popping out, and if so, will it produce an uneven surface over time?

 ...or, like this bit (with different concrete construction), will none of them pop out?

Comments appreciated!

Busway lighting improvements - for cyclists?

There are a number of items in the County Council's recently-published Transport Delivery Plan 2014/15-2015/16 that relate to the Guided Busway. One that caught my attention is on page 15 and the works involved concern "Provision of lighting". But this is in a section headed "Funding from developer contributions to deliver cycling infrastructure". So, putting two and two together, one might conclude that the County Council is planning to spend around £190,000 over the next two years to provide (or improve?) lighting for cyclists using the bridleway alongside the bus track. But this could be a completely mistaken interpretation of the evidence.

Following the trail a little further, I ended up at the page on the County Council website providing the Forward plan of key decisions and service committee agenda plans (which we might summarise as "Looking ahead", perhaps). The plan for the Economy and Environment Committee, which can be found linked from that page, tells us that its 8 July meeting is scheduled to cover "Guided Busway lighting", which I'm guessing is the same as the item in the Transport Delivery Plan. We should know more when the agenda for that meeting is published a fortnight or so in advance.

Another item pencilled in for the 8 July meeting is "Busway to City Centre Cycle Route". Anyone care to suggest what this might be about (I feel I've done enough guesswork for one day!)?

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Track faults

I was sent a couple of photos of faults on the busway track which are reproduced here.

This one shows an irregular crack developing in the concrete near the corner with the cross beam:
Photo by Stephen Lawrence

And this is a 'step fault' where the track panel on the right has settled by perhaps 0.5cm compared with its neighbour:
Photo by Stephen Lawrence

I'll be happy to post more photos of damage to the busway track, so please send them in.

However the blog can only include photos that are taken from the public footpath/cycle track or bus stop platforms i.e. do not trespass on the track itself

Friday 16 May 2014

Science Park station - Busway lighting

The County Council has given details of the street lighting it's proposing for the Busway extension into the forthcoming Science Park railway station. Follow this link for more information.

Saturday 10 May 2014

Counting Cycles?

Just at the west end of the Ouse Viaduct, what looks like a new electrical control cabinet has appeared this week - with a solar panel on top of it.

Control box
Today I noticed that in the cycle track beside it are some new lines, filled with tar, just like the traffic sensors you see on the approach to traffic lights.

Sensor in cycle track
What is it?  I think it is most likely to count the cycles passing that point. 

Are there any more anywhere else along the busway?

Anybody know any more?

Friday 2 May 2014

Bank Holiday bus services on the busway

Whippet are running a Sunday service on Mondays 5th and 16th May. Details here.

Stagecoach will run a Sunday service on Monday 5th May. Details here.

St Ives Bank Holiday Market will be occupying parts of the town centre on 5th May. There is a sign up in The Quadrant advising motorists not to park there on the Bank Holiday Monday as the space will be needed for buses. This implies that once again, the bus station will be taken over by market stalls, and the needs of public transport are sidelined.

Busway services towards Cambridge will probably be departing from Station Road, as they did on Easter Monday. But, as yet, there is no information about where bus from Cambridge will stop.

Thursday 1 May 2014

Busway to the Science Park

As if to emphasise the rather vague definition of "busway", it seems that the extension to the Science Park may not be "guided", but simply a "bus only" road. A council spokesman is reported in the Cambridge News as saying "“No decision has been made on whether this section of the busway link will be guided or not." Meanwhile, some locals would clearly prefer that it weren't. The full Cambridge News story is to be found here.