Bus special: Volunteers try out bus routes
BUSES look to have a big future in Cambridgeshire. The multi-million guided bus will roll into action early in 2009; the proposed congestion charges in Cambridge is aimed at forcing more people out of their cars and onto buses; and this week the new bus
BUSES look to have a big future in Cambridgeshire.
The multi-million guided bus will roll into action early in 2009; the proposed congestion charges in Cambridge is aimed at forcing more people out of their cars and onto buses; and this week the new bus lane in Huntingdon has begun its task of cutting journey times for passengers travelling into the town from the west.
The foundations are being laid for a bus- dependent county, but we are already told the bus services are improving and more passengers are choosing to hop on board.
But is it really possible to give up the car for the daily commute?
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The Hunts Post employed the help of five commuters to find out. They each had to travel by bus from their home to their office or to a work-related appointment.
While the results were mixed, it has to be said that all the services tested were reliable, comfortable and on time. We may have even converted one of our volunteers into a regular bus passenger.
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Cost was another matter. Bus journeys are expensive - especially for anyone who is earning only the £5.35 minimum wage. Anyone buying a return fare to Cambridge from St Ives would be working for about an hour-and-a-half simply to pay off the cost of getting to work.
And getting around some parts of the county is simply a nightmare. At the current service levels, the bus simply cannot even start to compete with the car.
We now want to hear both the good and the bad about the bus routes in your area. Is it possible for you to get to work by bus? Is the service reliable, efficient, good value? Where are the best and the worst routes?
Write to The Hunts Post at 30 High Street, Huntingdon PE29 3TB or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org