THOUSANDS of passengers have hopped onboard the guided busway following its launch yesterday heralding early success for the long-awaited transport system.

A total of 2,189 passengers travelled on Stagecoach's guided buses yesterday - more than 10 times the number of passengers who usually travel on the operator's Sunday services in Cambridgeshire.

The busway's other operator Whippet said it did not have exact figures for the number of journeys made on the busway yesterday but reported a busy day.

Director of Whippet Coaches Peter Lee said: "All three of our guided buses were running yesterday and we put on a few extra services as there were so many people.

"There were far more than I thought there would be."

Managing director of Stagecoach Andy Campbell said: "There were a lot more passengers than we anticipated and we had seven buses running on the busway instead of the three scheduled for the Sunday service."

While the Huntingdon to Cambridge busway service made its maiden voyage yesterday, the Trumpington to Cambridge Station busway route - run by Stagecoach - launched this morning.

Mr Campbell said: "It went very well but I've just been informed that they have dug up some of the road by A&E at Addenbrooke's so we've had to divert the route around the Addenbrooke's complex."

After 10 years of planning the maiden voyage on the busway departed St Ives park and ride at around 8.30am yesterday.

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