TAXIS are likely to be banned from a new £1.3million contraflow bus lane planned for Huntingdon ring road. It will be the first buses-and-emergency-vehicles-only road in Cambridgeshire as elsewhere taxis and pedal cycles are also allowed to use them. Howe
TAXIS are likely to be banned from a new £1.3million contraflow bus lane planned for Huntingdon ring road.
It will be the first buses-and-emergency-vehicles-only road in Cambridgeshire as elsewhere taxis and pedal cycles are also allowed to use them.
However, planners fear if taxis were allowed to use the lane it would create extra traffic turning right from George Street into the bus lane and would be too disruptive to traffic flow on the ring road. It could also compromise safety in the bus station, which will have to be re-modelled to allow access from the east.
The aim of the bus lane, to be built on the north side of Walden Road, is to cut journey times to the bus station by more than three quarters.
The Huntingdonshire traffic management committee is expected to approve consultation on detailed plans for the scheme when it meets on Monday (June 5).
The junction between George Street and Walden Road will need to be widened and traffic islands changed to make way for right-turning buses, and a small tract of land at the rear of the Falcon public house may have to be compulsorily purchased if agreement cannot be reached with the owners.
A dual-use pedestrian and cycleway is planned for the town centre side of the bus lane.
But the committee is warned that any serious delay to the project, which is vital to the introduction of the Huntingdon-Cambridge guided bus link in 2009 and to improved town centre bus services, could set it back two-and-a-half years.
The scheme is at risk from the second phase of Cambridgeshire County Council's £30million redevelopment of land it owns in Princes Street - the first phase includes the new courts complex on the corner of George Street, which is due to open next year.
For safety reasons, unless the bus lane is built by May next year, when phase two is due to begin, a start on the bus-lane scheme will have to wait until the phase is complete in late 2007.
But the county says it is still on track to achieve to have the contraflow in place in time.