Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

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Big Nick
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Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby Big Nick » Sun Oct 18, 2009 15:40

A recent drive out found me at St Ives, the pretty little Cambridgeshire (not Cornwall!) town which was home to Oliver Cromwell and had John Major as MP. Better known to me as where the worlds first pocket calculator and the amazing Sinclair Spectrum came from!

I soon spotted the works for the Busway and here are some pics.

I wonder where this goes?
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They blocked the road off, maybe it wasn't finished!
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So that's why the road I was on turned into a dirt track.
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Big car park
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Across the car park are some diggers parked on the bus route from St Ives town centre, also blocked off. The buildings are next to the main bus stop and may become ticket offices.
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Last edited by Big Nick on Sun Oct 18, 2009 15:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby Big Nick » Sun Oct 18, 2009 15:43

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How far to Cambridge?! Wish I could get a bus...
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Funny looking bus stop :?
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Ah, this is the shelter.... :lol:
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Entrance to bus park compound. Questionable signage.
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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby Bryn666 » Sun Oct 18, 2009 15:48

Yes, I hope that supplementary plate beneath the No Entry sign is site-approved...! And in any case it should read "Except for CGB buses"
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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby Big Nick » Sun Oct 18, 2009 15:51

This will stop me driving my car into the bus lanes. And bugger up the bus timetable too!
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Pedestrian Crossing, probably unfinished.
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Looking back along the busway to the St Ives car park.
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This is the bridge over the Great Ouse.
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Closeup of bridge construction.
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Over 6000 concrete sections were made for the bus lanes, this is the expansion joint at the first bridge over the Great Ouse.
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Looking back along the bridge, the footpath on this side is much narrower than the other.
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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby Chris5156 » Sun Oct 18, 2009 17:41

Bryn666 wrote:Yes, I hope that supplementary plate beneath the No Entry sign is site-approved...! And in any case it should read "Except for CGB buses"

The direction signs for "private road" and "all other routes" are horrible too - they shouldn't be flag signs as they are in advance of the junction. I doubt that "Private Road" is a legitimate destination legend. Why not just signpost St Ives, Huntingdon and wherever else properly to the left and leave the right turn unmarked?
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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby si404 » Sun Oct 18, 2009 18:50

Big Nick wrote:Funny looking bus stop :?
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Looks like you'd be able to get a train from there...
Entrance to bus park compound. Questionable signage.
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Reads like the no entry only applies to the CGB Buses!
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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby Derek » Sun Oct 18, 2009 19:47

Whoops, post deleted - didn't see the comment above. But yes, I would read that sign as no entry for the buses only

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby B1040 » Sun Oct 18, 2009 20:02

This was supposed to open early summer. We're still waiting and wondering if it will open before Christmas.

The local paper is now grumbling because the schedule for the guided bus allows the same time as the regular bus which takes its chances on the A14.

http://www.huntspost.co.uk/searchcambs/ ... mid=WEED07 Oct 2009 11:14:41:780&tBrand=HPTOnline&tCategory=search

Cambridge is one place where public transport can be faster / cheaper / less stressful than the private car.

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby SouthWest Philip » Sun Oct 18, 2009 20:06

B1040 wrote:The local paper is now grumbling because the schedule for the guided bus allows the same time as the regular bus which takes its chances on the A14.
The bus probably won't be able to go as fast on the busway as on a (relatively free-flowing) dual carriageway. And it will still get stuck in traffic on reaching Cambridge. A a single broken down bus on the guided busway would, I guess, have a similar effect on journey times as a breakdown on the A14.

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby flyingscot » Sun Oct 18, 2009 20:18

I hope it is better constructed than the Edinburgh one- but then again the Edinburgh one was for trams in essence!

Be interesting to see how it does.
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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby murphaph » Sun Oct 18, 2009 20:37

Why didn't they just lay a road? It's hard to imagine this thing could be cheaper than standard asphalt construction, and as mentioned a breakdown looks like it would cause havoc.

They were going to build one of these on the old Harcourt alignment in Dublin but thankfully were forced to build a tram instead.

I must say, I've never really gotten the guided bus thing.

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby A8000Bob » Sun Oct 18, 2009 20:48

murphaph wrote:Why didn't they just lay a road? It's hard to imagine this thing could be cheaper than standard asphalt construction, and as mentioned a breakdown looks like it would cause havoc.

They were going to build one of these on the old Harcourt alignment in Dublin but thankfully were forced to build a tram instead.

I must say, I've never really gotten the guided bus thing.


Just a thought........ Seeing as it is a former railway and all, why not just reopen the thing. :roll:

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby scragend » Sun Oct 18, 2009 21:05

murphaph wrote:Why didn't they just lay a road? It's hard to imagine this thing could be cheaper than standard asphalt construction, and as mentioned a breakdown looks like it would cause havoc.

They were going to build one of these on the old Harcourt alignment in Dublin but thankfully were forced to build a tram instead.

I must say, I've never really gotten the guided bus thing.


I don't really get it either - I went on the O-Bahn in Adelaide which is essentially the same thing, and it was just strange. IIRC the speed limit on the O-Bahn was 100 km/h. In Brisbane they had a segregated bus route but it was basically just a separate (paved) road for buses only, which I would have thought would work much better.

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby Helvellyn » Sun Oct 18, 2009 21:33

murphaph wrote:I must say, I've never really gotten the guided bus thing.

Me neither. Looks to me like all the disadvantages of a railway combined with none of the advantages (other than that the same vehicles can use the rest of the road network).

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby t1(M) » Sun Oct 18, 2009 22:03

A8000Bob wrote:
murphaph wrote:Why didn't they just lay a road? It's hard to imagine this thing could be cheaper than standard asphalt construction, and as mentioned a breakdown looks like it would cause havoc.

They were going to build one of these on the old Harcourt alignment in Dublin but thankfully were forced to build a tram instead.

I must say, I've never really gotten the guided bus thing.


Just a thought........ Seeing as it is a former railway and all, why not just reopen the thing. :roll:


Guided busways are most useful when a short length of guided route is to be provided on an otherwise conventional bus route. Here we have the opposite, the buses will spend most of the time on the dedicated track, only visiting normal streets at each end. For that, it would be cheaper and easier to lay nomal railwyas (tranmway) lines, using tram tracks for the street running. That's what Croydon did, very succesfully.

There are very few examples of guided busways in the world, and most of them are in the UK - Bradford (2.3km), Crawley (1.5km), Ipswich (200 metres: a second section has been closed), and Leeds (about 800m: like the A64(M), it's much longer in one direction than the other), as well as closed ones in Birmingham and Edinburgh (the latter being converted to a tramway). There is one each in Nagoya (6.5km), Adelaide (12km),
and Essen (another German one, in Mannheim, has closed)

The Cambridgeshire scheme, at 26km, will more than double the total length of busways in the world. I can't help feeling that there must be reason hardly anyone else is doing it!

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby B4133 » Sun Oct 18, 2009 22:36

For some reason i want to fit some stabalisers to a Transit and go down this guided busway :lol: .

On a more serious note, The sign which looks like a stop for a tram / rail station was probably done to make the system look fast paced and exciting. All that Leeds got was a banner stating that this is your guided busway and Bradford, well it got nowt as far as i can remember.

Oddly enough a G/Bw can be easily fitted between Brighouse and Huddersfield due to the wide central res.

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby wrinkly » Sun Oct 18, 2009 23:12

t1(M) wrote:There are very few examples of guided busways in the world, and most of them are in the UK

[snip]

Leeds (about 800m: like the A64(M), it's much longer in one direction than the other)


According to Wikipedia the total (one-way) length in Leeds is 3.5km.

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby CJ » Sun Oct 18, 2009 23:47

murphaph wrote:Why didn't they just lay a road? It's hard to imagine this thing could be cheaper than standard asphalt construction, and as mentioned a breakdown looks like it would cause havoc.


The justification given is that the busway is following the old railway alignment, which is too narrow for a standard S2 road. If they had just put down standard tarmac in the available footprint, it wouldn't be wide enough for two buses to safely pass each other without slowing right down -- therefore the only way to fit buses into the railway's width was to build a busway so that they can pass close together at high speed safely.

Of course, "safely" is a relative term when it seems like some local youth could dump a brick on the busway track and derail a bus, sending it flying off into the river, but I'm sure nothing like that would ever happen...

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby True Yorkie » Mon Oct 19, 2009 00:54

Big Nick wrote:How far to Cambridge?! Wish I could get a bus...
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With the wind behind you and on flat ground, it could be done in just over an hour :laugh: even if going a little slower, 90 mins would be acceptable for cycling it.
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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Postby M5Lenzar » Mon Oct 19, 2009 01:42

CJ wrote:
murphaph wrote:Why didn't they just lay a road? It's hard to imagine this thing could be cheaper than standard asphalt construction, and as mentioned a breakdown looks like it would cause havoc.


The justification given is that the busway is following the old railway alignment, which is too narrow for a standard S2 road. If they had just put down standard tarmac in the available footprint, it wouldn't be wide enough for two buses to safely pass each other without slowing right down -- therefore the only way to fit buses into the railway's width was to build a busway so that they can pass close together at high speed safely.

Of course, "safely" is a relative term when it seems like some local youth could dump a brick on the busway track and derail a bus, sending it flying off into the river, but I'm sure nothing like that would ever happen...


Couldn't they have just rebuilt the railway?


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