St Ives bypass traffic brought to a stop every two minutes

TRAFFIC lights on one of the �busiest routes in St Ives turn red EVERY TWO MINUTES in the morning peak, causing congestion in the town centre, a survey has revealed.

A transport and environment working group, made up of volunteers, has reported to St Ives Town Council that more than 2,200 vehicles used Harrison Way heading to the A14 on January 25 – and between 7am and 9am the traffic was brought to a halt 64 times by the busway crossing.

The survey said each time the lights were red for an average of 21 seconds – creating a period of at least 23 minutes when vehicles were forced to stop during the two-hour morning peak.

After the statistics were revealed to St Ives Town Council last Wednesday, Councillor Ian Dobson said the lights on Harrison Way had forced him to leave half-an-hour earlier to get to work in Royston.

Cllr Jason Ablewhite said: “It’s becoming a real problem for St Ives. Motorists face an unpredictable journey as they are being held up at this junction – sometimes it can take 30 minutes, sometimes an hour.

“The success of the guided busway is a double-edged sword. We have seen an increase in visitors to the town, with people parking in St Ives then getting the bus to Cambridge, but this is bringing more traffic.”

Willie Rae, who carried out the �survey, said some motorists were driving through red lights.

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He also said more than 750 vehicles used Needingworth Road – a route that can avoid some of the bypass – during the morning rush hours.

Cllr David Hodge said: “I have travelled on this stretch many times and have found that it takes an average of 23 minutes to get from the Meadow Lane roundabout to the Vindis roundabout. This is because you get stopped at least twice at the guided busway crossing.”

Cllr Colin Saunderson carried out his own review of the Harrison Way traffic lights between 7.55am and 8.30am on January 16.

He said: “The majority of crosses that are made by pedestrians are one at a time. I think making them wait longer will help the town’s �situation.”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council, which is the �highway authority and �owner of the guided busway, said: “The traffic to the guided busway on Harrison Way is no worse than in the original plans.

“We don’t believe the traffic lights are causing unnecessary delays to traffic using Harrison Way.”

Is the county council correct is its assumption that the lights are not causing unecessary delays? has the traffic situation worsened on Harrison Way since the guided bus services started? Send your views, along with you name and address, to