Guided busway was sheer folly

PUBLISHED: 15:05 05 January 2012

Guided Bus, St Ives.

Guided Bus, St Ives.

Archant

SEAN Hickin’s letter about his two-hour journeys from Addenbrooke’s to Huntingdon (The Hunts Post, December 21) represents the beginning of the public’s realisation that the guided busway does not improve journey times or reliability for the vast majority of typical journeys.

The explanation is simple and two-fold: Two-thirds of the timetabled journey is on ordinary roads, mixed in with the traffic just the same as before the guideway was built.

On a minimum timing of 84 minutes, 27 minutes are guided, 47 minutes are unguided and 10 minutes are needed to change services (there are no through journeys from Addenbrooke’s to Huntingdon).

To access the guideway at the Science Park, the bus has to travel for three miles north-east along the congested Milton Road, during which time it is not getting any closer to Huntingdon.

The remaining Whippet services have reached Girton in the same time, which is considerably closer to St Ives. This is why they can afford to visit Bar Hill and Fenstanton and still be quicker than guideway services.

Nothing can be done to mitigate these factors, which demonstrates the sheer folly of spending £200million on the concrete gutterway. Far greater journey time savings could have been achieved for conventional bus services at a fraction of the cost.

The busway was built on a railway route, and it should have stayed part of the local, regional, national and international rail network.

TIM PHILLIPS

Chairman, CAST.IRON

Cambridge Road

Babraham

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