Sunday 29 October 2017

Timetable changes today (or tomorrow, in fact)

Stagecoach are making more changes to their Busway "B" service. In theory these impact only on the "regular road" section between Huntingdon and Peterborough, but it's possible there might be consequences for the Busway proper.

The B is to be rerouted via Stilton. To accommodate this, Peterborough services will leave Huntingdon 3 minutes earlier. And southbound services will generally leave Peterborough 5 minutes earlier. If this latter isn't sufficient to fit in the extra route mileage, then arrival at Huntingdon could be late, with consequences on the Huntingdon to Cambridge stretch. Only time will tell!

A revised timetable for the Huntingdon to Peterborough stretch is available for download here. The new times are also available from Traveline. The dedicated Busway pages on the County Council website seem unaware of either the route change or the amended timetable.

It's not 100% clear from either Stagecoach or Traveline if the Huntingdon/Peterborough service is continuing as a through service to/from Cambridge (there are a few runs that never have, of course). It seems unlikely that any change is planned in this regard, but until we have a new complete timetable for the whole Busway, it's impossible to be certain.

According to Stagecoach the changes come into effect today (29 October) - but there isn't a Sunday service on this stretch, so in practice they apply from 30 October.

Friday 20 October 2017

Upcoming diversions

There are two sets of Busway diversions coming up soon.

The first one concerns only the "B" route and comes into effect tomorrow, Saturday 21 October. The Orchard Park East and West stops in both directions will be closed until 6pm on Sunday week. This will allow repairs at Iceni Way, Chariot Way, Chieftain Way and Graham Road to be carried out. The maintenance track will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists though. A replacement for the Orchard Park West stop will be provided at the regular bus stop on the Cambridge Road, just round the corner. Orchard Park East would-be passengers aren't quite so lucky. Presumably they will have to walk to the CRC.

The other diversion affects "A", "B" and "C" routes, and applies this coming Sunday, 22 October. It's caused by another road race. Route A services won't serve New Square until 1 pm. Passengers should go to Drummer St Bus Station (Bay 12) instead. Until 1 pm Route B services can't serve the stops from Castle Street (Shire Hall) through to New Square, in either direction. Additional stops are being made on Victoria Road (inbound) and Histon Road Grapes (outbound). Route C services aren't using the St Ives-bound New Square stop until 1 pm

The County Council announcement about these diversions doesn't even mention the Whippet service. And provides incorrect information about the "A" change. And incomplete information about the "B". The information in the preceding paragraph is based on information provided by the operators, whom I'm inclined to trust more than the County Council.

Finally, I feel like there should be a special prize to anyone who can explain why inbound C services still stop at New Square, but B services don't...

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Autonomous vehicle trial starts on Busway

I've decided to stick with Business Weekly's definition in the title for this posting. The Cambridge News prefers "driverless robot buses" (which begs the question as to how it would be defined if actually driven by a robot...). Whilst the BBC goes for "driverless bus 'pod'". As you can tell, even defining what it is that's being described isn't easy!

Simply because it seems to repeat a press release, I'll stick with Business Weekly (links to all of the sources referenced appear at the end of this posting).

It reports that the "RDM Group is utilising its existing driverless PodZero to complete feasibility studies ahead of the potential deployment of a number of 10-seater autonomous buses that will run between Trumpington Park and Ride and Cambridge Station, via the strategically important Cambridge Biomedical Campus (Addenbrooke’s) site." The idea being that a successful trial could lead to the introduction of an autonomous bus service after 8pm in the evening and during the weekends.

An RDM member of staff notes that the Trumpington to Cambridge section of the Busway is an ideal route as "it is segregated from the highway allowing the pods to whizz up and down without traffic congestion slowing them down and also segregated from pedestrians and cyclists meaning it is a really safe route."

I wonder whether that person has actually surveyed the route at the Cambridge end of this section? It was at precisely the point where buses and cyclists aren't segregated - at the end of the guided section near the Railway Station -  that an accident happened earlier in the summer.

Funding is being provided by Innovate UK, and delivered in partnership with Connecting Cambridgeshire and the Smart Cambridge Programme.

More at the following sources - although there's a good deal of overlap, since so much of the reporting is based on the initial press release:

Business Weekly:
Cambridge News:

I submitted a previous report at the time the funding  was first announced:

Friday 13 October 2017

Le Busway

I was intrigued by this report of a Busway in Nantes, France. Unlike ours it is electric.