Thursday 22 December 2016

Timetable changes to busway services from 1st January 2017

Stagecoach will be making some changes to the Busway A and B routes from 1st January 2017.
From that date, the 0720 service A from Ramsey to St Ives will depart Ramsey at 0710. This will operate 10 minutes earlier throughout. This journey will now also operate on Saturdays.
Monday to Friday, service B  which departs Central Cambridge at 1752 will be extended to serve Hinchingbrooke Hospital. 
Service A which currently departs Huntingdon at 1814 for Brampton will be re-timed to depart at 1820 and will be extended from Brampton to Buckden. 
A new duplicate journey will operate  between St Ives and Long Road College on college days departing St Ives Station Rd at 0722. 
Please click HERE to preview the new timetable

Also a reminder of Christmas and New Year timetable alterations can be viewed here .

Friday 16 December 2016

Busway closed for a while - now reopened

Earlier this morning, Stagecoach tweeted that the Busway was closed between St Ives Park & Ride and Swavesey, "due to an over turned car". They've since reported that the track is now fully reopened. If anyone has further information (like, most obviously, why there was an overturned car on the busway...) please feel free to add a comment to this post.

[This post has been edited by the later addition of the following]

The Cambridge News has provided more information, mostly based on a police report. The incident took place just after 6 a.m., at Meadow Lane in St Ives. No explanation yet provided as to how it happened.

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Transport hubs propsed for Swavesey and Oakington

Six new 'transport hubs' have been proposed in an attempt to persuade car users to switch to buses for travel into Cambridge city centre. This includes hubs ( i.e. car parks)  at Swavesey and Oakington linking to the guided busway. The scheme is part of the greater Cambridge City Deal.

Monday 12 December 2016

Christmas and New Year bus timetables - Stagecoach

Details of bus timetable alterations during the Christmas and New Year holiday period can be found here.

There will be no Stagecoach buses in and around Cambridge, including the busway, on 25 and 26 December, and 1 January.

Buses finish early on 24 December and 31 December (for times of last buses see link above).
Sunday service runs on 27 December and 2 January.
Saturday service runs on 28, 29 and 30 December.

Monday 5 December 2016

Additional journeys, Railway Station to/from Addenbrooke's

With effect from today, Monday 5 December, the Whippet-operated service U has been rerouted to use the Busway between the Railway Station and Addenbrooke's Hospital (instead of operating via Hills Road). This greatly increases the number of journeys between these two points, although it's worth noting that it only operates Monday-Friday on this section of the route. The service operates roughly every 15 minutes from early morning to early/mid-evening (depending on your definitions!).

The U (officially called the "Universal") is sponsored by the University of Cambridge.

To download a timetable, follow this link.

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Busway defects report - BAM Nuttall responds

I only have the Cambridge News report to go on, so I'm treading carefully (it would be nice if the BBC were to pick up this report and run a story on it, but I've been unable to find anything yet). The CN is currently running this story - it suggests (a) that BAM Nuttall's relations with the County Council haven't improved any, and (b) that they are quite prepared to put right any Busway faults for which they are responsible. Note this last phrase, because the current version of the CN headling on its website ("If there is anything wrong we will put it right") is definitely not supported by the company's statement further on in the story! It's only defects for which BAM Nuttall is responsible they are promising to correct. And there's no indication in the company's statement that they accept all (or, indeed, any) of Capita's findings. If there's one thing we can be sure of it's that this is likely to run for a little while yet! First of all we need to see what the County Council's General Purposes Committee makes of the report. That meeting takes place next Tuesday, 29 Nov.

Monday 21 November 2016

Busway defects - report published

Just over a year ago, the County Council and BAM Nuttall agreed a temporary suspension in what had become an increasingly bitter "blame game" on the defects that had become all too apparent in the Busway's track and foundations (ok, you're right - that's my personal gloss, not the official line!). Indeed, they agreed to an independent survey and investigation, as reported in a blog posting from September 2015.

Well, the waiting is over. The issue is due to be discussed at the 29 November meeting of the County Council's General Purposes Committee, and in anticipation of that meeting the report of that investigation (mostly carried out by Capita) has just been posted on the County Council website. (except for one of the appendices, which has been withheld on grounds of confidentiality).

Documentation for this meeting can be found here.

The Cambridge News has already read the report and come to its own conclusion - the headline on its news story (i.e. the one that was there when I wrote this post) reads:

"Independent experts agree with Cambridgeshire County Council that Guided Busway contractors must pay for repairs"

If you want to read the CN's full story - and why wouldn't you, given that it might save you reading all 170-odd pages of documentation - here's the link.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Temporary diversion of bus route A

Due to roadworks causing traffic tailbacks, Stagecoach is diverting bus route A until 28th November.

Service A buses will not call at Parkside. Passengers should use the New Square stop instead.

Full details here.

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Change to Stagecoach service A

Stagecoach are making a change to one of their early morning journeys as from Monday 14th November. This follows the withdrawal of Go-Whippet's bus route 1A west of St Ives, and will plug a gap by providing an early morning journey between Huntingdon and RAF Wyton.
This is a quotation from Stagecoach's announcement about the change:

From Monday 14th November what is currently the 0722 Busway A from Godmanchester (0732 Huntingdon Bus Station, 0737 Hartford Main Street) will depart Godmanchester 7 minutes earlier at 0715 and will operate earlier on the section of route between Godmanchester and Hartford Main Street. This bus will also be diverted to serve RAF Wyton. This will mean it won't serve Hartford Marina.

Full details here.

The revised timetable for route A showing this journey (0715 from Godmanchester) can be viewed here.

Thursday 6 October 2016

Timetable changes from 17 October

As reported last month, a temporary timetable (and altered route) is due to be implemented on Route R on17 October. The revised timetable is available here. This change is expected to last for around 3 months.

There's also one change on Route A from the same date. The 0815 journey from Longstanton P&R will now depart at 0825, and operate 10 minutes later throughout. For the updated A/B timetable, follow this link.

I notice that Whippet has also posted a new timetable for Route C, valid from 26 September, although I haven't been able to find any information about what's changed. Here's a link to the new Route C timetable.

So that's a clean sweep of new timetables then!

Friday 30 September 2016

More Closures 1/2 October

The busway and maintenance track is due to be closed this weekend between Histon and Orchard Park/CRC Junction.

Sign at Histon

Stagecoach report:



The section of track between Histon and Impington & Orchard Park/CRC Junction will be shut Saturday 1st October 2016 and Sunday 2nd October 2016

The following alterations will apply:-

Histon and Impington stop (Towards Cambridge) - Both Days

TOWARDS Cambridge services A and B will serve the Citi 8 stop at the shops on Cambridge Road.

Customers travelling FROM Histon and Impington to Orchard Park ONLY can use the Busway A on the Saturday. At times when the Busway A does not operate the Busway B can be used and will drop off at Histon Road, just after the junction of King's Hedges Road.

Thursday 29 September 2016

Cambourne busway proposal

A plan to build a busway between Cambridge and Cambourne could be bad value for money.

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Route R - temporarily reduced frequency

Acoording to a report in the Cambridge News, service frequency on Route R,  between the railway station and Trumpington Park & Ride, is to be temporarily reduced from 17 October. This service has to turn round at the station, and the turning circle is being moved (or, possibly, removed), one consequence being that Route R services will have to venture out on to Station Road and Hills Road, with all that this means for journey times and (un)reliable timekeeping. So the service will operate on a 30-minute frequency, instead of the current 15 (this is, of course, only a peak-hour route, Mon-Fri).

All the partners involved are reported to be committed to restoring the original service "in the New Year".

There's no news of this change as yet on the Stagecoach website.

Friday 9 September 2016

More Closures 10/11 September

Further partial closures of the Maintenance Track are scheduled for this weekend. But there is conflicting information.

Sign at Park Road Histon
The above photo taken about 19:00 on Fri 9th - but there were no closures of any sign of work having been done.

Sign at Longstanton

And this one at Longstanton shortly afterwards.

Swavesey Parish Council website reports:

"To undertake defect works on the Busway and urgent tree works between Oakington and Park Lane Histon, the Busway and maintenance track will be closed this weekend between Longstanton and Park Lane, Histon, from Midnight Fri 9th Sept to 5am Mon 12th Sept."

Whippet report:
Busway C on Saturday 10 September and Sunday 11 September 2016Due to engineering works, Busway buses will be unable to use parts of the track over the weekend as follows:
Longstanton Park & Ride – on Saturday and Sunday, buses will use the bus stops adjacent to the car parking, not the usual stops.
Oakington – on Saturday, buses will not be able to use the normal stops on The Busway. Buses will instead use bus stops on Cambridge Road. Click on the image below to see a map.
And Stagecoach report:

09 Sep 2016 to 11 Sep 2016

Due to engineering works taking place, Busway A and B services will be disrupted on Saturday 10th September and Sunday 11th September

Longstanton Park and Ride - Saturday and Sunday
Please note on both dates the A and B services will be unable to use the normal platforms at Longstanton Park and Ride. Please use the Citi 5 stop at the site which is located adjacent to the Car Park.

Oakington Busway Stops - Saturday only
On SATURDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER ONLY the A and B will be unable to serve the Oakington Busway stops.
Customers are advised to use the stops in the village on Cambridge Road, near the junction of Dry Drayton Road instead.
Buses towards Cambridge will use the same stop as the Citi 6 does towards Cambridge. Buses towards St. Ives will use the stop opposite.

Friday 2 September 2016

Further Busway closures this weekend.

Thanks to James for commenting in the last post about Swavesey to Longstanton maintenance track being closed this weekend.

Sign at Swavesey bus stop today.

The busway website says that the busway itself will also be closed "to undertake maintenance work", and buses will not therefore be passing the Swavesey bus stops, but will use alternative stops nearby in Over Road.

The Whippet site has the same information here describing the reason as "engineering works".

Thursday 25 August 2016

Partial closure/diversion this weekend

Stagecoach report that the Busway track will be closed between St Ives and Swavesey this weekend - Saturday and Sunday, 27-28 August. Buses will use the authorised diversionary route between the St Ives Park and Ride and the Swavesey Buway stop (i.e. the A1096, A14, and the village road from the Trinity Foot through Swavesey - and reverse for services heading towards St Ives). Fen Drayton Lakes stop will not be served during this period.

I've been unable to find any announcement about this on the County Council's Busway site. And a technical glitch means that it seems to be the case that you can only find it on the Stagecoach website if you're using a mobile device (running Android? or perhaps it's only visible to Chrome users? or something...). I was at St Ives Station Road and FenDrayton stops yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) and there was nothing to warn of this imminent diversion. Not exactly great customer service!

Thanks to Simon Norton for spotting this.

Wednesday 17 August 2016

Greenery (again)

Less than four weeks ago this blog carried comments by Paul Verbinnen on verge cutting along one section of the busway, the destruction of wildflowers and the lack of litter collection before any cutting took place.

Elsewhere, though, it's a lack of maintenance which has been causing problems. The Cambridge News reports the views of regular cyclist David Palmer that the rural cycle routes leading into the city are in a dreadful state. Included in his criticisms are the Busway between Histon and Oakington (Mr Palmer is a Histon resident), where overhanging brambles “pose a risk at face level" and weeds obscure the ground-level reflectors (something, without undertaking any research whatsoever, I seem to recall someone on this blog - or in the Comments - anticipating would be a problem when they were first installed).

Follow this link for the full story.

Thursday 4 August 2016

New bus stop for Houghton village

After coming off the guided busway at St Ives, Stagecoach's route B heads towards Huntingdon. But it doesn't stop at the sizeable village of Houghton & Wyton (population around 2000) because there is no bus stop on the main road that skirts the village.

An article in the Hunts Post (3 August 2016, page 19) reveals that a long campaign by the Houghton & Wyton Parish Council may be about to bear fruit. Cambridgeshire County Council has now agreed, in principle, to fund a pair of bus stop and a pedestrian crossing to allow bus passengers to cross the A1123 safely. The crossing will also improve access to a local cemetery and make it easier for vehicles exiting from the village onto the main road.

Wednesday 3 August 2016

Guided busway bus stop was 'darker than hell'

The husband of a woman killed while crossing the busway track at the Fen Drayton stop in November last year  has described the location as 'darker than hell'.

There is no lighting at the bus stop, possibly to minimise disruption to bird life at the adjacent nature reserve.

The question of lighting at the stop will be considered at a review hearing on 9 December. A full inquest is expected in early 2017.

Saturday 23 July 2016

Cutting verges and shredding litter

For several weeks the verges of the guided busway have been looking fantastic, with a fine show of wild flowers. But it seems the Cambridgeshire County Council is now starting to trim the verges.

This blog has been contacted by Paul Verbinnen who writes about 'the wide scale destruction of the wildflowers alongside the Busway between Orchard Park and Oakington.

He says:
I understand that the Busway requires maintenance and wholeheartedly wish for more regular and meaningful maintenance, especially where the solar lights are obscured and the surface is breaking up. But it seems to me that over the last two days, 21st & 22nd July, unnecessary and excessive cutting has taken place. Whole stands of beautiful wild flowers have been destroyed and debris littered across the maintenance track. At the same time, the litter was not collected and now lies shredded and dispersed with probably ten times as much to pick up now. All in all, it looks dreadful and I’m really annoyed that some insects may have been destroyed too.

It appears that commonsense cutting of the immediate margin bordering the path has been ruled out and the maximum width selected for flailing. At the same time, the private contractors haven’t touched  the trailing brambles or protruding bushes and so the path remains narrowed. It would appear to be gross incompetence on the part of the County Council for doing unnecessary work and omitting the essential trimming. With shards of glass and metal cans now littering the banks it is only a question of time before that makes its way onto the path.
Here are two photos of the shredded litter.

Thursday 7 July 2016

Another accident - Trumpington again

Local media are reporting another accident this morning, between Trumpington and the Park & Ride on a single-decker Route A service. The bus was heading towards the Park & Ride, and had no passengers at the time. The driver is reported to have escaped uninjured.

More on this story from the BBC and Cambridge News (the latter includes a number of photos).

Trips, slips, etc.

The Cambridge News has discovered, by means of a Freedom of Information request, that the County Council has received 15 compensation claims since the Busway opened, of which 6 were successful. These six cost a total of £18,700 to settle. Defective paving (by no means unique to the Busway, of course) and an unmarked bollard are amongst the causes of incidents which gave rise to these payments.

The full story is available here.

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Stagecoach Route R

A year after it was introduced, bus route R, which provides a direct link between Trumpington Park & Ride and Cambridge Rail Station, has been pronounced a success by bus operators Stagecoach.

Monday 9 May 2016

Delays yesterday at Oakington

Yesterday, busway services were affected by the Wings for Life event. Two buses in each direction were held up waiting for the runners to pass. The bus I was on was 30 minutes late reaching St Ives.

Tuesday 3 May 2016

Alterations to Stagecoach guided buses during May 2016

There will be alterations to bus services  on certain dates during May, and full details can be found here.

May Bank Holidays
On Monday 2nd May 2016 and 29th May 2016 Busway services will operate a Sunday timetable. Most other Stagecoach services will also operate a Sunday service. Click HERE for further information.
Wings for Life Event - Sunday 8th May 2016
On Sunday 8th May the Wings for Life event is taking place in Cambridgeshire. Busway services in Cambridge will be affected until 1400 as they will be unable to serve Jesus Lane, Round Church Street  and Shire Hall stops before this time.
Customers are advised to either use Drummer Street bus station, New Square or the stop outside "The Grapes" on Histon Road.
Busway B services are expected to resume normal route at 1400.
Please note that all other Stagecoach buses in Cambridge will be disrupted. If you have onward connections please click HERE for full details

Tuesday 26 April 2016

Route "R" passenger numbers "over target"

Stagecoach reports that passenger numbers on Busway route R (Railway Station-Trumpington Park and Ride, rush-hours only) are running "over target". As Andy Campbell, MD of Stagecoach East, puts it: "In the second week of April this year, we carried over 1,600 passengers on the service – well over our target".

The full story is carried on the Cambridge Network website (a source of which I admit to being unaware until a few minutes ago).

Saturday 23 April 2016

A video of Cambridge to St Ives along the Guided Railway 48 Years Ago

A railway enthusiast, Edward Thorp, in 1968, having heard of the forthcoming closure of the Cambridge to St Ives railway passenger service, made the trip with an 8mm camera to record for posterity.

This has been converted to video, and posted online at

It shows many landmarks still instantly recognisable to people travelling on its successor the guided busway, and many things you won't see today, including
- Signal Boxes at every station
- Aeroplanes at RAF Oakington - both on the ground and in the air
- A notice at St Ives Station of the closure of the railway passenger service.

Wednesday 23 March 2016

Busway services over the Easter weekend

Stagecoach have announced what bus services they will be running over Easter. Good Friday and Easter Monday will have a Sunday bus service i.e. no evening buses. Easter Saturday and Sunday will have a normal Saturday and Sunday timetable.    Full details here.

Whippet likewise will be running a Sunday service on Good Friday and Easter Monday. Info here.

Saturday 19 March 2016

Truimpington accident - report published

The County Council has published its report into the accident that took place near Trumpington on 22 February. The bus crossed a maintenance track, and came to rest on the embankment on the western edge of the Busway corridor. The report is pretty damning, and it's clear that the driver was at fault - quite possibly negligent? Access to the report is on the County Council's website. It has been picked up by various media, including the BBC and Cambridge News.

Two things I noticed in passing: one is the reference in the report to something called the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway Operations Handbook. I'm guessing this is regarded as an "internal" document and not available for consultation by members of the public. The other is that Stagecoach refused to allow the County Council an archive copy of CCTV recordings from the bus involved in the accident, limiting access to the report's authors to a viewing onsite at the Fenstanton depot.

Saturday 12 March 2016

Flooding Near Fen Drayton

The Foot/Cycle/Maintenance track / Bridleway is closed between Fen Drayton and St Ives due to flooding.

Going from Swavesey towards St Ives this morning the first indication of flooding was finding the gate at Fen Drayton closed for people going towards Swavesey. And in that direction the track is not (yet) flooded.

Gate closed at Fendrayton

On my return I opened the warning sign at Swavesey.

Near Oxholme lake the track is indeed flooded, and water appears to be rising. Doubtless nearer St Ives it is deeper.

Near Oxholme Lake

Water is flowing across Holywell Ferry Road towards Swavesey, and the level in Covells drain is above the level of the surrounding fields.

Holywell Ferry Road

Thursday 3 March 2016

Smile - you may be on camera!

CCTV is everywhere, of course. And the Busway is no exception. But the output from only a small proportion of CCTV cameras is fed to the web here in Cambridge. (Compare this to, say, Washington DC, where all of the traffic cameras feed images to the web.) What's perhaps more surprising is that, in Cambridgeshire, such web output is limited almost exclusively to the Busway and its associated Park and Ride facilities.

Interestingly, less that half of those feeds (just 19) are included in the County Council's own listing:

Once again, I'm indebted to Richard Taylor, who discovered that there are no fewer than 43 such feeds operating, and has listed them all on his own blog:

(The list appears below the latest output from each of those cameras within the City.)

I would draw your attention to Richard's comments about the inconsistency/illogicality in the County Council's labelling of its cameras - it sometimes requires a fairly detailed knowledge of the location to work out exactly what you're looking at and from where.

These are snapshots, and not continuous live feeds. Images seem to be updated every 5 minutes. If old images are archived publicly, I've no idea where.
Remember, too, that these aren't fixed cameras, so the angle and breadth of coverage from any one camera can change (the temporary speed limit at Trumpington was more obvious earlier this week than it is at the time of writing, for example).

Since it's over 4 months old, I've rechecked Richard's list in the past few days, and all of the links seem to be still active. I was unable to discover any new ones, although there are plenty of unused IP addresses in the range covered by the active feeds.

Wednesday 24 February 2016

Bus diversion on Sunday 28 February

Buses on Route B will be unable to serve stops at Shire Hall, Jesus Lane and Round Church Street on Sunday 28 February from start of service in the morning until about 13.00 This is due to road closures for the Cambridge Half Marathon.

Buses towards St Ives will call at the stop outside the Grapes on Histon road, and buses to the city centre will call at the bus top in Victoria Road near the Histon Road corner.

Other bus routes that use Bridge Street will also be diverted.

Details here and here.

Monday 22 February 2016

Friday 12 February 2016

Bus diversions 13-21 February

Due to utility work taking place the Busway B will be unable to serve the following stops from Saturday 13th February until after the last bus on Sunday 21st February:
Shire Hall (both directions)
Jesus Lane (outbound)
Round Church Street (inbound)
Customers are advised to either use New Square, Drummer Street Bus Station or the stop on Histon Road, outside "The Grapes" public house for buses towards St Ives.
Please note journeys towards Cambridge will also call at the stop on Victoria Road (near Histon Road corner) so customers can access Shire Hall.
The utility work is expected to be completed by 22nd February 2016.
Please note other Stagecoach services are also affected by this. See here for more information.

Thursday 28 January 2016

Filming on the Busway, and other issues

Local blogger and community activist Richard Taylor reports in a recent blog post how a County Council staff member attempted to prevent him filming on the Busway at Longstanton, claimed that the bridleway (i.e. the cycle/maintenance track) was private property, and refused to identify himself, even though he was seen to be wearing a Council lanyard. Taylor goes on to document an exchange with County Council officers which sheds some light on things, whilst leaving some questions unanswered.

It's impossible to summarise concisely just what happened, so I'm going to chicken out and just offer a link to the blog post so you can read all the details yourselves (and, indeed, view a video of the incident).

Thursday 21 January 2016

Maintenance work and bus diversions in the Histon/Orchard Park area

On Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th January, buses will be diverted near Histon, because of maintenance work on the busway track.

Bus route B will be unable to serve the Cambridge-bound stop at Histon and both the Orchard Park stops. Instead they will us the stop outside the shops near Histon 'station' and teh stop in Histon Road near the junction with Kings Hedges Road.

Route A will be diverted via Orchard Park.

Full details for Stagecoach routes can be found here.

Details for Whippet route C are here.

Saturday 2 January 2016

[Updated] Busway extension to new Railway Station - and the right kind of bollard?

In the last post there was mention of "the recently completed extension of the busway that will serve the new Cambridge North station."

The busway extension is not open yet, and probably won't be until there is a station to go to, but part of the adjacent cycleway/footpath is.

There is a traffic light controlled pedestrian crossing at the end of the current busway to cross Milton Road (in one leg - no intermediate islands). The entrance to the new busway extension is clearly closed with metal fences, but the entrance to the footpath/cycleway is open.

View from Milton Road

The "Busway" is a normal single carriageway road, with a short section of surface-mounted metal guide-rails and a car-trap at the entrance.

Closer view of the bollards
The foot/cycle path is similar to that along the rest of the busway, but the bollards are quite different.

- They are about twice the height,
- Painted black and white
- With a reflector near the top
- And a pair of handles.

The handles appear to be to help lift the bollard out of the socket.

The path continues just round the bend from the furthest point visible in these photos, then you are forced to turn right along a short path to join Nuffield Road.

I wonder if National Cycle Route 51 will be diverted to use this new path?

Update 16 Jan 2016

Today I took some more photos.

Viewed from the side, it is apparent that these bollards are designed to lift out of their socket when unlocked, and the locking flap (shown on left here) hinges down to cover the hole. But to the right of the hole as viewed in above photos, there is a metal eye so that as the flap goes down, the eye protrudes through the hole in the flap so it can be padlocked locked in place.

The next picture shows this eye viewed from ground level. I estimate it is about 25mm high, and about 5mm thick. If you hit that with the edge of your cycle tyre, I suspect it could cause a puncture. Hitting the padlock if it was in place would not be very pleasant either.

Finally, a photo of the bollards where the connecting path from Nuffield Road meets the new busway extension:

These are very similar to the old bollards along the busway, but with proper reflectors at the top, and black/yellow stripes below that.