EYEWITNESSES have described how a cyclist narrowly avoided going under the wheels of a guided bus but his bike was left completely destroyed in an incident on Saturday.

EYEWITNESSES have described how a cyclist narrowly avoided going under the wheels of a guided bus which then destroyed his bike in an incident on Saturday (October 1).

Simon Singh could only watch in horror as the Cambridge-bound bus he was travelling on ploughed into the bike just a mile from the St Ives Park and Ride after 12noon.

The cyclist had been riding on the busway despite warning signs telling all traffic to stay off the tracks. The cycle path between St Ives and Swavesey is currently closed for repair work.

Mr Singh, 44, of Cromwell Walk, Huntingdon, said the cyclist had ignored repeated blasts of the horn from the oncoming double decker. It later transpired that the cyclist had been wearing earphones and was listening to music.

Mr Singh said: "For a good mile the driver was beeping her horn. When he saw the bus it was quite close. The kerb [of the track] was quite high and he had a racer, so it was difficult for him to get it off the track. He literally had to dive off the track.

"That was a stupid thing - cycling on the busway with his headphones on. Buses travel there every 20 minutes.

"You should have seen the state of his bike. If the gentleman had gone under the wheels, there is no way he was coming out alive."

The bus also suffered extensive damage and had to be recovered from the site. About 40 passengers, who were on board, were then ferried back to St Ives where they awaited a second bus to take them to Cambridge.

Mr Singh, who was travelling on the 11.40am service from Huntingdon with his partner and two friends, said the journey took them more than two hours to complete.

A 41-year-old female passenger, who wished to remain anonymous, added: "There was a big bang, and the bike went underneath the bus. The bus went over it with its front wheel and then its back. Somebody pulled it out from underneath the bus and it was completely destroyed.

"I cannot believe that somebody could have been so stupid to be on the busway and have earphones on."

Service operator Stagecoach confirmed the busway was closed for two hours while the broken-down vehicle was recovered. Buses were instead diverted on to the A14 from Swavesey.

Stagecoach managing director Andy Campbell said a full investigation would be carried out. In the meantime he urged all cyclists to stay off the tracks.

"The council have got some contractors in doing some work on the cycle track between Swavesey and St Ives, so the cycle track is a construction site and not available to cyclists.

"Unfortunately one cyclist ignored all the notices and decided to trespass and cycle down the busway. Clearly he should not have been there. As the bus approached, he leaped off the bike and left the bike in the busway. The bike went under the wheels which caused some damage to the underside, which meant the vehicle had to be recovered.

"We will be carrying out a full investigation, but this individual should not have been on there in the first place. His stupidity has caused disruption to my passengers."

Since August contractors have been working to raise the level of the cycle-path and add a blacktop surface, to stop rainwater from collecting and flooding it.

The level of the path was one of the defects identified by Cambridgeshire County Council to be rectified following the departure of contractors BAM Nuttall in May.