Bus Special: The bus turned up, then drove straight past me!’

Jonathan Tewson Route: Cambourne to Huntingdon Car Journey: 10 miles (20mins) Bus Journey: £5.65 single Time: 2h 30mins (via Cambridge) THE task was an easy one – leave the car at home and get a bus to work. Living in Cambourne, I often saw buses driving

Jonathan Tewson

Route: Cambourne to Huntingdon

Car Journey: 10 miles (20mins)

Bus Journey: £5.65 single

Time: 2h 30mins (via Cambridge)

THE task was an easy one - leave the car at home and get a bus to work. Living in Cambourne, I often saw buses driving around and, as I work in Huntingdon, thought it would be an easy and different way of travelling to work.

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After what was bound to be a successful trial run, I was seriously considering leaving the car at home and travelling to work each day by bus.

What transpired has unfortunately made the idea of bus travel a little unappealing. The following story may be a little amusing because of my naivety, but it is unfortunately true.

On Thursday, when I was given this very simple task, I checked on some websites to find the quickest route. This, I thought, would be easy but after 30 minutes of trawling through different options I finally worked out that my quickest route would be Cambourne to St Ives and then St Ives to Huntingdon. It promised a journey time of 1 hour 10 minutes to cover the 10 miles from Cambourne to Huntingdon (which takes 20 minutes to drive).

I awoke on Friday morning to see sunshine - probably a first for this summer. So far, so good. A gentle stroll to the bus stop outside Morrisons took five minutes and I arrived at 7.30am in plenty of time. I scanned the timetable to double-check that my facts were correct regarding the 7.40am bus to St Ives. To my surprise my bus was not listed. A little panic set in as I was the only person at the stop, but I was reassured when I telephoned Whippet - there was indeed a 7.40am bus from Cambourne. How daft of me not to believe a timetable!

I was very impressed to see, at 7.40am on the dot, the St Ives bus approach. . . and then drive straight past me. Unaccustomed as I am to getting on buses, I was a little confused - I have since been told (and repeatedly laughed at) that evidently I needed to wave to the driver to inform him that I would like

to ride on his vehicle.

It was 7.41am and I was stranded in Cambourne. Checking the timetable again (and of course double-checking with the Whippet hotline) the next bus to St Ives was 9.11am.

Not ideal as I start work at 9am.

In my daze I saw a few buses going to Cambridge, so I thought my next best option was to head for the city and then Huntingdon. At 7.55am I hopped on a Citi bus to Cambridge at a cost of £2. In fairness, I thought it was good value... despite that fact I was going in completely the wrong direction. The journey took 30 minutes.

At Cambridge bus station I was told how to get to Huntingdon and I waited at bay 11 for my bus which was departing at 8.55am. I didn't move from bay 11. I was determined to catch this bus. I looked at my watch - it was departure time but the Huntingdon bus was still locked and there was nobody near it. They had decided to use another bus and it was, even though I admit it, more by luck than judgement that I saw it 'hiding' behind the 'original' bus. I ran to the bus, jumped on and after paying £3.65 we were off to Huntingdon.

Eventually, at 9.54am, I got there. My journey was over and it had taken only two-and-a-half hours.

* Problems with finding bus details - as well as getting one to stop - prolonged Jonathan's commute to Huntingdon.