This article was published in 2014, in Newsletter 115.
Busway extension as a tarmac road
At the first session of the County Council’s new Economy and Environment Committee on 27 May, members approved the officers’ recommendation to construct the Busway extension as a tarmac road. It was argued that a road was not only about £400,000 cheaper than a guideway, but also more flexible to accommodate changing requirements for the area around the Science Park Station, which is expected to alter dramatically in the coming years.
However, the tarmac road is planned with a short guideway section at the Milton Road junction to filter general traffic. Officers recommended this as a cheap, low maintenance alternative to rising bollards, though it means that unguided buses will also be prevented from using this new access to the Science Park Station.
The former railway bridge over the Milton Road underpass will be replaced with a wider bridge, to allow buses from the station to turn left on to Milton Road. However, there was no mention that on this widened Milton Road junction no provision will be made to allow buses to turn north-west towards eg Milton and Waterbeach. This limitation will also make the tarmac road less flexible than local residents associations and investors would hope for. Opening the junction for buses serving the villages north of Cambridge would also avoid additional costs when using the first part of the new tarmac road as a more direct access to the Nuffield Road Industrial and Trading Estate from Milton Road. This route would avoid cyclists on Nuffield Road, en-route to the new station access having to move right across the path of left-turning lorries.
The petition for this access has closed at 800 signatures and was handed over to the chair of the Committee, Councillor Ian Bates, on 5 June. As the lead petitioner I was invited to speak to the Committee on 8 July 2014. As the station plans progress we will need to find a majority to present a motion.