The Guided Busway between Histon and the junction close to Orchard Park West is now to remain closed until January. Stagecoach apologise for the disruption, and indeed it is bad news for most passengers on the traditional A & D routes, who have longer journey times as the buses divert through Orchard Park.Thanks to Barry for sharing his thoughts.
It’s also bad news for people wanting to go to most of Orchard Park in the evening; no buses go through the estate after 9pm and the stop on Histon Rd that the evening B services call at is a long walk from Orchard Park East. It's also unfortunate for anyone in Orchard Park wanting a direct bus all the way to Huntingdon or Peterborough.
Overall however, Orchard Park wins handsomely from this, and when things go back to normal the service we’ve enjoyed since the summer will be sorely missed. Not only has our rush hour service more than doubled from 4 buses an hour to 10 (even before you consider that the diverted B’s still aren’t that far from the Orchard Park West stop), but we now benefit from direct services to the Science Park, Cambridge North Station, Cambridge Station, Addenbrooke’s, Trumpington & beyond. I’ve used the bus more in the last 5 months than in the previous 5 years since I moved here, as the convenience of the bus now beats cycling to the stations!
Users of the B also benefit from a more direct journey into Cambridge (though they are a bit more at risk of congestion above J32 of the A14).
With the changes having become at least a medium term thing it’s a shame that the last three evening Bs weren’t rerouted via the Science Park so that they could have served Orchard Park too; I feel that more people would have benefited from it serving all the other stops north of the city centre instead of Jesus Lane and Shire Hall (and they might have found out that in fact more people than they think work late at the Science Park!!!). It might not have seemed worth arranging for the initial two weeks, but for six months (or maybe more???) it could have been.
Perhaps when services return to normal will also be a good time to look at the location of the Orchard Park East stop, which is located only a few yards round the corner from where it could have been served by more than twice as many buses.
What do you think?