Busway cracks 'a minor irritation'

CRACKS appearing in the newly-laid concrete guideway for the Huntingdon-Cambridge guided bus link are a minor irritation that will be put right before services begin, Cambridgeshire County Council said today. Tim Phillips, chairman of CAST.IRON, the group

CRACKS appearing in the newly-laid concrete guideway for the Huntingdon-Cambridge guided bus link are a minor irritation that will be put right before services begin, Cambridgeshire County Council said today.

Tim Phillips, chairman of CAST.IRON, the group that campaigned against the busway in favour of restoring trains to the St Ives-Cambridge railway line, said: "We have photographic evidence that the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway is already crumbling despite having played host to only a handful of test runs."

But Bob Menzies, head of service delivery for the 16-mile project that will be the world's longest busway when completed next year, retorted that the damage was "a minor irritation" that was not structural and did not affect ride quality.

He explained that the cracks were caused by the huge track-laying gantry as it passed from one newly-laid beam to the next.


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"The problem we have is that, when the gantry moves forward, all the weight is on the central sections, and it has small solid wheels that put a lot of pressure on the beams and sometimes chip bits off the corners," he told The Hunts Post.

"It's not a structural or ride-quality issue, and we have been able to reduce the problem with steel plates. The beams are not structurally damaged.

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"We shall repair it in due course - at the contractors' expense - but we shall wait until we have finished that section.

"Part of the section on which we were testing the buses in March is affected, and you just don't notice it inside the vehicle. The ride is very smooth.

"It doesn't affect the upstand [the part of the guideway used by the buses' guide-wheels] at all."

Mr Menzies said the project was still on track for opening on schedule in spring 2009.

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