Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Passenger numbers, year 3

The Cambridge News has obtained Busway passenger numbers for the year to 6 August 2014. They show usage at 3,457,354 - slightly below the County Council's target for Year 3.

There's no background, beyond what's in the Cambridge News piece, as these figures don't yet appear in any report to a County Council committee. And it's hard to know exactly what they cover. One of the opponents of the Busway is quoted as saying that they include all journeys made by "guided" vehicles (so including off-Busway routes), but no evidence is offered to support that view. (The same person seems to imply that there's something wrong in including "concessionary pass" travellers in the figures, simply because they don't pay directly for their journeys.)


  1. I am the person mentioned in the Cambridge News article. Re: evidence that busway-branded bus journeys entirely on the roads are included in the 3.5m figure. According to Campbell Ross-Bain, Bus Operations & Facilities Manager at Cambs County Council, in an e-mail on 27 Feb 2013, at 12:14 "[the published figure] is for passenger journeys undertaken on the Busway buses. This obviously includes every passenger journey undertaken on the busway buses whether they are on a guided part of the route or not."

    At no time during the public inquiry (I was present on more than 20 days) were we told that the 10,000 a day figures (the 3.6 million year 3 figure) would include entirely off-busway journeys. We all assumed that, in order to be comparable with the railway/tram alternatives they would only include on-busway journeys. We thought the council would play fair. How wrong we were!

    The passenger forecasts given to the public inquiry in 2004 are out of date as the busway has benefited from two things.

    They ought to have been uplifted to reflect national roll-out of free bus passes and two years of extra population growth in the busway corridor to reflect the delayed opening date. If these are deducted from the passenger figures it has failed to meet the target by quite a margin.

  2. don't really care, as long I don't have to go down the A14 on a bus anymore. Catch bus near my house and get off in town centre, so simple and no fear of being smashed to pieces by a lorry driver!

  3. Over a two-year period, bus passengers have risen by c. 35%. From Aug 2011-Aug2013, use of cycleway has risen by 50% (Northern section) and, on southern section, by 80% (cyclists) and 15% pedestrians (source 'Lighting busway' blog entry). So, the next two years will really show how the project will pan out.


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