Wednesday 20 September 2017

Guide wheel damage - FoI request

And yet another Freedom of Information request...

Sam Webster pickied up on the response to a previous FoI request. The latter had said, inter alia, that the "... considerable damage to the upstand further along the beam ... is consistent with damage caused to the guideway elsewhere on previous occasions where a guide wheel has sheared off". Sam wanted "counts, dates, locations and further descriptions of the 'previous occasions'".

The County Council, in its response, has provided information on two previous incidents. One, in November 2012, took place at the road crossing just north of Longstanton Parn & Ride site; the other was at Orchard Park in April 2013. In both cases the bus was incorrectly positioned in relation to the entry flare, resulting in the bus rolling and the guide wheel (or its arms) fouling the concrete upstands.

The first incident resulted in the driver's dismissal; the second in disciplinary proceeedings against the driver.

For the full FoI exchange, including more details on both incidents, follow this link:

Saturday 16 September 2017

Timetable changes - busway services

Stagecoach have announced some timetable changes which affect services on the guided busway, starting from 17 September.

Busway A - The journeys on route A departing St Ives bus station at 0636/0706 Monday to Friday, returning from Hinchingbrooke Hospital at 1900 will be diverted to serve RAF Wyton and Houghton village. This is following the withdrawal of route 45 by Whippets Coaches. There is also a new journey from Boxworth into Cambridge (via St Ives and the Busway) Monday to Friday, departing Boxworth at 0644, serving Elsworth at 0649 and Hilton at 0657. The 1733 from Central Cambridge is extended to serve these villages.

Busway A/B/D - Journeys numbered D which operate via Cambridge North Station will no longer serve the station. These will now be renumbered route A. There are also changes to Sunday services beyond St. Ives. These journeys will depart 5 minutes later and arrive minutes later throughout.
Busway N - This service will continue to operate every 20 minutes into Cambridge first thing in the morning. Buses will now operate hourly throughout the day. This reduction is due to a lack of passengers using the service after the morning peak.
Busway R - Changes to early morning journeys in order to allow more time for passengers to connect with trains at Cambridge station following changes to the platform of London bound trains.

The new timetable can be viewed here:

The announcement from Stagecoach can be viewed here:

Tuesday 12 September 2017

Speed monitoring - again

Cast your mind back to the August 4 post about speed monitoring. From that, we learned that the County Council carries out speed checks and passes the results on to the operators. Subsequently, as reported on August 18, it was revealed that the communication is entirely verbal, and that no written record of what's reported to the operators is kept.

Now, in its initial statement, the Council noted that
"The current devices we use do not have the ability to record the data, it has been primarily a monitoring exercise. We are looking into expanding our monitoring capability which will lean more towards enforcement and the different types of speed recording devices, which will log data, in future."

I've been informed that the BBC ran an item last week, both on Look East and on the radio, about a new laser speed gun that the County Council has just acquired. My correspondent notes that it's reported to have cost £17,000. But at least this one will, apparently, keep a record of the results. On Look East's late programme there was the briefest of clips of it in use on the busway. Unfortunately, the BBC iPlayer only has the previous day's Look East available for catch-up viewing, so I'm totally dependent on others for providing this information. Thanks!

Problem solved, perhaps?


Sunday 10 September 2017

Busway incidents reported to the HSE - FoI request

Another recent Freedom of Information request was to the Health & Safety Executive. Sam Webster asked for "a list of all of the incidents on the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway that have been reported to yourselves along with dates, the source(s), a brief description and whether or not you investigated."

The HSE submitted its response two days ago. It has records of only three incidents:
  1.  The fatality on 17 November 2015
  2. The Whippet crash near Cambridge station on 21 June 2017
  3. An incident between Histon and Oakington on 15 July 2017 in which a young cyclist fell off the maintenance track onto the Busway
Paperwork relating to the first of these is exempt from disclosure - the HSE notes that their investigation is ongoing.  Documentation about the others is included in the FoI correspondence.

Here's the link to the FoI request and the related documentation:

(Please note the original version of Document 2 posted there should be ignored - the wrong file was attached. The correct version of that document appears later in the exchange of correspondence.)

Wednesday 6 September 2017

Secret train fares to St Ives via the Guided Busway

Thanks to Mike Prior-Jones for alerting this blog to a secret fares option allowing through tickets to St Ives via the busway - but only if you book the tickets from a travel agent or a staffed station. And only from stations served by Great Northern Trains. It works via Cambridge or Huntingdon, apparently, an railcard reductions are available.

Full details here.

Friday 1 September 2017

The Cambridgeshire Guided Busway Order 2005

A recent post included a reference to something with the exciting title "The Cambridgeshire Guided Busway Order 2005". It occurs to me that there may be readers of this blog - especially newer ones - who have never encountered this piece of legislation. I don't think it's ever been referenced in the blog before. It's pretty obvious from the title what it covers.

The Order is also known as Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 3523. It's less obvious from that title what it covers...

To access the Order, simply follow this link. (Or you can download this PDF version if you'd prefer.) Enjoy!