THE new ‘improved’ Stagecoach timetable seems deliberately to inconvenience anyone trying to take the bus from the railway station [in Huntingdon].
Virtually every bus is timed to leave either at the same time a train from London arrives or within two to three minutes of a train arriving (meaning there’s almost no chance of catching a bus), or else leaves passengers with a half-hour wait with no place even to sit down.
Furthermore, they’ve cut back evening services, which were already only hourly. So, if you commute and take the 5.40pm train from London, your bus leaves as the train is scheduled to arrive – literally the same minute.
Take the 6.40pm, and you have a 40-minute wait. Take the 7.10pm, and the train is due in at 8.02 ... but the bus leaves at 8.05 (and the train is never right on time).
So either Stagecoach didn’t bother to look at the railway timetable or hates commuters – or just doesn’t care (possibly all three).
People base their lives around transportation. I used to take the bus, but will be forced into driving every day to the station from St Ives.
The bus has always been undersubscribed, I suspect in part because no one feels like they can trust Stagecoach. Evidently they’re right.
Editor’s note: Stagecoach commercial director Philip Norwell replies: “There are fewer buses calling into the railway station at Huntingdon during the daytime. However, the hourly bus that terminates at the station is timed to get customers to the station 14 minutes ahead of a train to London and depart seven minutes after a train has arrived from London. Route B now extends to Hinchingbrooke Hospital twice each hour, and these journeys stop at the station approach on George Street. In addition, the station approach is served by Routes 45/66 which add extra arrivals and departures, especially at peak times.
“The busway route in particular now seeks to meet the needs of customers to a variety of destinations, including Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Huntingdon town, St Ives town, Cambridge city centre, Peterborough city centre and now includes peak journeys to and from the market towns of Ramsey and Chatteris. In combining these to form a frequency of buses every seven or eight minutes along the track will meet the growing demand.
“The service will offer a range of journeys to the vicinity of Huntingdon railway station to allow for interchange - it is not designed to meet specific trains but to ensure an onward journey with the minimum of delay, dependent upon time of day.”