Cambs guided busway - trespassers warned of safety risks

MEMBERS of the public walking or cycling on the guided busway – they are still technically trespassing – have been warned that they could be at risk from heavy machinery.

For the time being, the risk is particularly to the east of Huntingdonshire, where contractors are preparing the maintenance track-cum-cycleway next to the guideway for black-topping between Swavesey and Longstanton.

But in the coming weeks work will also start on the car park at St Ives park-and-ride, on the viaduct over the River Great Ouse between St Ives and Fenstanton and on other stretches of the maintenance track.

Signs have been placed at the entrances to the route to inform residents work is being carried out, and Cambridgeshire County Council bosses are reminding walkers and cyclists that the entire route is still a construction site and, as machinery will be in use on all sections, there is no public access.

Councillor Roy Pegram, cabinet member for growth, infrastructure and strategic planning, said: “We have been working with the contractors who are carrying out the surfacing for some time and it is good news we have been able to begin the works without delay. People want to see the busway open as soon as possible and again this is another step towards making that happen.

“To make sure these works are completed quickly work will be carried out at a number of locations over the weeks ahead and for safety reasons we would ask people not to use the route until all the works are finished. There is no doubt the cycleway will be fantastic addition to Cambridgeshire facilities once it is completed.”

A council spokesman urged the public to keep away from the 25km longest busway in the world while remedial work was in progress.

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“The contractors carrying out the work - formerly BNL and now, between St Ives and Cambridge, Jacksons, have a duty to take a reasonable approach and to barrier-off areas that are under active construction. BNL discussed site safety with the Health and Safety Executive, and the HSE said it was not practical to fence off a 25km-long site for the duration of the works.

“The council is the landowner and therefore has the same responsibility as you and I do if someone were to trespass on our front gardens, for example.”