Bus Special: Journey went smoothly but I’ll be sticking to the Ford’

Lisa Pennells Route: St Ives to South Cambridge Car Journey: 19 miles (35mins) Bus Journey: £7.65 return Time: 1h 10mins ON A normal morning, when I m using my car, I take my time over breakfast. It s only when I m good and ready that I hop into my car a

Lisa Pennells

Route: St Ives to South Cambridge

Car Journey: 19 miles (35mins)

Bus Journey: £7.65 return


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Time: 1h 10mins

ON A normal morning, when I'm using my car, I take my time over breakfast.

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It's only when I'm good and ready that I hop into my car and begin my 40-minute journey from St Ives to my place of work near Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. It's a leisurely start to the day.

On Friday morning, I was rudely awakened by my alarm an hour earlier than usual. I rushed around the house, barked and growled at my partner, and in order to make it to the bus station on time, I was forced to leave home without the jump start I get from a large dose of caffeine (something I always take an extra few minutes to do before driving).

In a thoroughly bad mood, I stumbled through the rain to the bus station (a five-minute walk).

Thankfully, my journey to work (and my mood) did improve from that point onwards: the bus was on time and the driver friendly.

And not only did I have a double seat to myself, but the traffic on the A14 was not too bad (of course, it was slow in places, but it always is).

Even the traffic in Cambridge city centre was tolerable, meaning I arrived at Drummer Street bus station four minutes earlier than scheduled.

At this point, I had to get a connecting bus to travel the remaining two miles south to Addenbrooke's. This involved a 10-minute wait (it should have been five, but the bus was running late) and a 10-minute journey, and - you guessed it - a 10 minute walk at the other end. However, it all went amazingly smoothly... but not everything was as it seemed.

The private schools in Cambridge had already broken up for the summer holidays. Put all those extra Chelsea tractors back on the road and the story would have been different.

I know had I attempted this journey during full term time, the hordes of school, college and university students joining the morning rush would have made things far less comfortable, and great deal more time-consuming.

As it was, my usual 40-minute journey to work by car was replaced by one that took an hour and 10 minutes.

Using the bus (out of term time) would add an hour to my day and it's not something I would like to do on a regular basis.

Considering how much longer this journey would take during term time (and the cost of a £7.65 return ticket), it's really not a realistic option for me to be green and travel to work by public transport - at least not before the guided bus is up and running.

Until then, I think I'll stick to my faithful little Ford thanks very much.

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