Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

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Halstead
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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by Halstead » Tue Oct 20, 2009 00:41

GrahamP wrote: AIUI a guided busway is technically a railway, so the use of any road-style signage must be questionable!
Railway? Where are the bleeding tracks!? :hammer:

Going OT I was temporarily engrossed at the busway network in Runcorn after viewing it on an A-Z.
6 years...

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by B4133 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 02:46

Big Nick wrote:From what I've read the CGB buses are standard Eclipse single-deckers and Scania/Alexander double-deckers, additionally fitted with guide wheels. These vehicles will run on biofuel.
The DDs can only be used on the northern part of the route due to a low bridge in Cambridge.
I wouldnt be suprised after the first week of it opening a driver forgets and decapitates the bus - a sign of an already flawed scheme. I wonder who's operating it? Is it First.

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by t1(M) » Tue Oct 20, 2009 09:08

B4133 wrote:
Big Nick wrote: The DDs can only be used on the northern part of the route due to a low bridge in Cambridge.
I wouldnt be suprised after the first week of it opening a driver forgets and decapitates the bus - a sign of an already flawed scheme. I wonder who's operating it? Is it First.
That would surely be a rostering issue: it's not very often DDs get put on routes that only SDs can run. Most decapitation issues happen on diversions, special workings, etc.

The guideway has two branches in Cambridge: presumably the DDs will only operate the route that covers the northern branch

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by GrahamP » Tue Oct 20, 2009 15:22

Halstead wrote:
GrahamP wrote: AIUI a guided busway is technically a railway, so the use of any road-style signage must be questionable!
Railway? Where are the bleeding tracks!? :hammer:
I'd hazard a guess that the legal definition of a railway is that vehicles are physically guided by the permanant way, whether that be by the use of rails, kerbs, a monorail, magnets or whatever.

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by RichardA35 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 17:25

GrahamP wrote:
Halstead wrote:
GrahamP wrote:AIUI a guided busway is technically a railway, so the use of any road-style signage must be questionable!
Railway? Where are the bleeding tracks!? :hammer:
I'd hazard a guess that the legal definition of a railway is that vehicles are physically guided by the permanant way, whether that be by the use of rails, kerbs, a monorail, magnets or whatever.
Search for ROGS (The Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems (Safety) Regulations 2006) for the current definition of a railway

Railway’ means a system of transport using parallel rails which:
• provide support and guidance for vehicles carried on flanged wheels; and
• form a track which has a gauge of at least 350 millimetres or crosses a carriageway (whether or not it is on the same level).
‘Railway’ does not include tramways.

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by Tom » Tue Oct 20, 2009 22:11

As others have said upthread, this is a complete white elephant and has seemingly only come into existence due to some conditional grant from central govt to Cambs County Council, and the supposed prestige for certain councillors & officers of having such a big innovative project. There's a whole catalogue of failed aspirations; the recent disappointments are that tickets for the two providers' services will not be interchangeable despite earlier promises (thus effectively reducing the service frequency), and that the timetabling is such that there's hardly any time saving over the current services which use the congested A14.

You'd be hard pressed finding anyone in and around Cambridge who supports it. Not to say that the corridor itself isn't ripe for exploitation; it's just that this guided busway scheme is an utterly bonkers way of doing it. About the only thing in its favour is that a cycle path is being constructed alongside to give a higher quality cycle route between Cambridge and St Ives.

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by Burwellian » Wed Oct 21, 2009 01:43

B4133 wrote:I wonder who's operating it? Is it First.
We wish. The main operator in Cambridge is Stagecoach, who will run on the Busway.

Compared to the service offered by First in Swansea, I find Stagecoach in Cambridge to be totally and utterly awful; it's often quicker to walk within the city, and services beyond city limits are nigh non-existent (they seem to love Haverhill, but have tried more than once to cancel all buses anywhere near Burwell). Go Whippet and Huntingdon & District both operate in Hunts, but I think Stagecoach owns at least one of those two now.

(p.s. Don't forget the chaos caused in Cambridge by the works trying to put the Busway in under the Hills Road and Long Road railway bridges. Yes, the Hills Road bridge needed strengthening anyway, but those works certainly haven't helped popularity either)

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by True Yorkie » Wed Oct 21, 2009 02:23

The office of fair trading has referred the bus industry to the competition comission simply because of unfairness in places where there is a single dominant operator... be it first, stagecoach, arriva, etc - where there is one primary operator there is noteable service cuts and fares are on average 9% higher than in areas whereby two big companies compete.
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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by B4133 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 03:17

JVGazeley wrote:
B4133 wrote:I wonder who's operating it? Is it First.
We wish. The main operator in Cambridge is Stagecoach, who will run on the Busway.
Ah, now i know. Usually Worstgroup likes guided busways as they become the operator who dominates the G/Bw (like in Bradford).

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by Chris5156 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:33

B4133 wrote:
JVGazeley wrote:
B4133 wrote:I wonder who's operating it? Is it First.
We wish. The main operator in Cambridge is Stagecoach, who will run on the Busway.
Ah, now i know. Usually Worstgroup likes guided busways as they become the operator who dominates the G/Bw (like in Bradford).
I think "usually" is a bit much - they may operate the services in Bradford, but Leeds has more guided busway than anywhere else at the moment and those services are operated solely by Arriva and First.

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by MJN » Wed Oct 21, 2009 13:32

Arriva seem to have pulled their services from the guideway, the new buses on the 163/6 don't have guidewheels (unless they have changed their minds after all?)

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by Steven » Wed Oct 21, 2009 13:34

Whatever happened to the guided busway in Birmingham?
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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by Chris5156 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 13:36

MJN wrote:Arriva seem to have pulled their services from the guideway, the new buses on the 163/6 don't have guidewheels (unless they have changed their minds after all?)
Ooh, that's news to me - new buses? The other ones were 'new' when the guideway came in, so they can't be more than six or seven years old yet. Nothing wrong with them!

The 163 and 166 stop right outside my parents house back in Leeds, so I'll have a look when I go back this weekend. I find it hard to imagine they'd not use the guideway - Metro would have things to say about that - though IME the rush hour traffic jam still manages to overtake the buses on York Road so it might be a good idea.

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by MJN » Wed Oct 21, 2009 13:40

Indeed, they replaced the buses with new single deckers a couple of months or so back, and did not fit them with guidewheels. I've seen them several times myself on York Road. Not sure why this is. Not seen them since September though and have heard nothing more through other forums, so they may have changed their minds but it seems not. Be interesting to see what you discover though.

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by Jeni » Wed Oct 21, 2009 13:48

Steven wrote:Whatever happened to the guided busway in Birmingham?
It opened in 1984 as Tracline 64 on Streetly Road

It was removed in 1987 after another operator refused to fit guide wheels.

Youtube vid

Image

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by Chris Bertram » Wed Oct 21, 2009 13:50

Steven wrote:Whatever happened to the guided busway in Birmingham?
Well, there was never very much of it - only 600m or so, on the 65 route in Short Heath, just north of Erdington - and it didn't last very long, though I can't remember when exactly it was decommissioned. The buses were double-deckers with guide wheels. I'd guess it failed for all the reasons that have already been put forward - all the disadvantages of a fixed tram system when it goes wrong, with none of the advantages.

This route seems to attract experiments - it's the only one locally that I can think of where bendi-buses are running currently. It goes past our office.
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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by Mark Hewitt » Wed Oct 21, 2009 14:34

I just remembered the TEOR system which they have in the centre of Rouen. Basically it's just a normal road, but painted down the middle are a set of lines, which the bus uses to steer with.

Image

The advantage here is that it operates in the way you would expect from a guided busway, but it can also be used by normal vehicles to reach breakdowns etc.

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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by Steven » Wed Oct 21, 2009 15:03

Chris Bertram wrote:
Steven wrote:Whatever happened to the guided busway in Birmingham?
Well, there was never very much of it - only 600m or so, on the 65 route in Short Heath, just north of Erdington - and it didn't last very long, though I can't remember when exactly it was decommissioned.

Was it really that short? I remember such a huge fuss being made on regional news programmes...
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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by Chris Bertram » Wed Oct 21, 2009 15:24

Steven wrote:
Chris Bertram wrote:
Steven wrote:Whatever happened to the guided busway in Birmingham?
Well, there was never very much of it - only 600m or so, on the 65 route in Short Heath, just north of Erdington - and it didn't last very long, though I can't remember when exactly it was decommissioned.

Was it really that short? I remember such a huge fuss being made on regional news programmes...
Yes, well regional news is apt to make a big fuss on a quiet news day. It was the first in the country, so I guess someone thought it worth trumpeting. I think they did the same about the MAGLEV transporter that connected Birmigham International Station with Birmingham Airport when the new terminal first opened, also in 1984 and also at a length of 600m. That closed in 1995 (reliability issues and obsolescence of parts), and is now a more conventional cable-hauled system.
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Re: Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (pics)

Post by Johnathan404 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 16:10

Chris5156 wrote:This scheme looks to me like a complete waste of time - but then I'm by no means the first person to have said that :D I sincerely hope that it is sorely underused and that the people responsible are hauled over the coals, but sadly I think only one of those two things is actually likely to happen.
Then Tom wrote:As others have said upthread, this is a complete white elephant and has seemingly only come into existence due to some conditional grant from central govt to Cambs County Council, and the supposed prestige for certain councillors & officers of having such a big innovative project. There's a whole catalogue of failed aspirations; the recent disappointments are that tickets for the two providers' services will not be interchangeable despite earlier promises (thus effectively reducing the service frequency), and that the timetabling is such that there's hardly any time saving over the current services which use the congested A14.

You'd be hard pressed finding anyone in and around Cambridge who supports it. Not to say that the corridor itself isn't ripe for exploitation; it's just that this guided busway scheme is an utterly bonkers way of doing it. About the only thing in its favour is that a cycle path is being constructed alongside to give a higher quality cycle route between Cambridge and St Ives.
This is exactly the same for Hampshire's bus rapid transport scheme, which is was originally branded as a guided busway and that is itself a watered-down tram scheme. It's being hailed as the solution to all of the region's traffic problems, even though it'll only run from just outside Fareham to just outside Gosport along an old railway line. The Frequently Asked Questions make a good read, particularly the bits about the A32.

The council are also adamant that within a few years the whole conurbation will be connected by a wonderfully brilliant bus network. What they haven't explained is how they'll provide this without digging in to the congested roads which caused this whole thing to be planned in the first place.
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