MORE than 220,000 trips have been made on the guided busway in its first month, bosses have announced.
Operators said they were “pleasantly surprised” at the results, having already had to add more services on the busway to keep up with demand.
Cambridgeshire County Council's busway officials said they were pleased with the passenger figures, given that August is traditionally an off-peak time for public transport., but that the true test of the busway would be when students and commuters return fully after the summer break.
The figures represent a weekly average below the peak of the first week, in which 55,000 trips were made. If they remain at that level, the annual figure would be 784,000 short of the council's stated target of 3.5million journeys in its first year.
Andy Campbell, managing director for Stagecoach in Cambridge, said: “The summer holiday period is generally a little quieter on local bus services, but we have been pleasantly surprised with the demand so far.
“We are continuing to put on extra buses to keep up with demand and as the system beds in we are confident the service on our luxury buses will go from strength to strength.”
Peter Lee, director of Whippet Coaches, said: “Even with lighter traffic on the A14 we are still seeing a good number of passengers using the route. Queues on the A14 are a big problem for buses as well as people in their cars and it is great to have a reliable alternative for our customers.
Ian Bates, Cambridgeshire County Council's busway boss, said: “It is excellent news that hundreds of thousands of journeys have been made on the busway in its first month of operation.”
“As we move towards Christmas I expect to see even more people using the busway as it offers a fantastic service which will be a boost for local businesses.”
• Has the guided bus improved your commute? Has traffic congestion in St Ives increased since it opened? E-mail your views to firstname.lastname@example.org