Saturday, 21 December 2019

Arthur Henderson

Arthur Henderson, generally credited with coming up with the concept of kerb-guided busways back in the mid-60s, died on December 4th, aged 93. He was an engineer and for a time had a consultancy as well as leading something called the "Traffic Research Centre", which owned a small fleet of vintage buses, some of which were roadworthy and were occasionally seen on roads in the Cambridge area.

I have seen it suggested that he was involved in some way with the Adelaide guided busway (opened 1986).

I knew Arthur very slightly, in a non-transport context, but had no idea of his professional accomplishments.

Perhaps other readers of this blog have their own memories, or can provide additional detail. If so, please add a comment to this post.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear of his death. I met him once, many years ago, at a local meeting of one of the engineering institutions. He told me the story of how he invented the kerb-guided bus concept to suit one very specific need: an express bus link to serve Heathrow Airport. In those days, the majority of airline passengers still checked in at a city centre terminal (such as the West London Air Terminal on Cromwell Road) and were transported to Heathrow by airline bus. The airlines wanted a faster bus service as the buses got stuck in traffic. Arthur's idea was to get rid of the Grand Union Canal and run express buses along the route, half-sunk into the ground to reduce noise. But the strip of land owned by the canal wasn't wide enough for a proper road, hence the curb-guided bus concept. The particular attractiveness of guided bus in this scenario is that the buses could drive right to the aircraft side. Of course, it never happened, but I'm sure he was proud to have seen his idea come to fruition in his home town.


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