Busway opens and draws the crowds
CAMBRIDGESHIRE’S guided busway offering a minimum 10-minute frequency between St Ives and Cambridge, and bypassing the notoriously busy A14 trunk road, opened last week. Services are operated by Stagecoach and Whippet Coaches on the 25-kilometre busway, which is the world’s longest.
On Sunday 7 August, the first day of operation, Stagecoach ran extra buses to carry over 2,000 passengers who wanted to try the new service. Whippet Coaches also ran extra services. On the following day passenger numbers on Stagecoach’s vehicles totalled 7,000. Although commuter numbers are lower in August because of holidays, extra buses have been operated as people try the service.
“I’m very pleased with the performance,” says Andy Campbell, managing director of Stagecoach Cambridge. We are already looking to see if we will need to put extra buses on the service from September.” Stagecoach has the flexibility to increase frequency because it has 23 guidewheel-equipped buses to cover a current peak vehicle requirement of 15.
The busway has not made any significant change to scheduled journey times, but will improve reliability and ride quality. A smartcard, currently available online, offers travel on both Whippet and Stagecoach buses. The busway was originally intended to open in 2009.
Read more at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk