Guided Busway pains and gains

This article was published in 2007, in Newsletter 75.

Although cyclists may have mixed views on the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway, the path alongside should eventually give benefits both to the north and south of Cambridge for such users. Members of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign Committee and others are working to ensure that the best possible use can be made of these routes, even though there may be short term pain.

Hills Road bridge will be next for major roadworks associated with the guided bus to push a tunnel under the bridge near the signal box
Image as described adjacent

So what is the pain?

A number of road closures have caused disruption to cycle routes although, at least so far, none have been closed to cyclists. The next pain will be the work, for a number of months from January, to construct a new underpass for buses, cyclists and pedestrians beneath the north-west side of Hills Road bridge. The traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction, but we’ve received assurances, but not in blood, that a route will be kept open for both cyclists and pedestrians.

And what about the gains?

We’ve always been told that the routes from Trumpington to the station, and from both Histon Road and Milton Road to Histon, will be tarmacked. Further north there have been issues about the surface and a permeable rather than sealed surface was originally proposed. Now various groups are realising that such a surface is unsuitable for regular ‘utility’ (shopping, school, work etc) trips although it may be acceptable for leisure ones. It is hoped that contributions from the Northstowe developers will allow an upgrade of part of this route.

The beams are swung into place over the railway near Addenbrooke’s to create part of the new Guided Bus route, and adjacent cycle route
Image as described adjacent

In addition the lighting of some sections is also being considered. At a recent Guided Busway Liaison meeting it was stated that this was something the County wanted but did not have funding. Again, given the pending developments both north and south of Cambridge, this is something that developers should fund as it would greatly increase the utility value of the route and increase personal safety.

Finally, the bridge beams for the Guided Busway route across the railway, between Trumpington and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, were lifted in during October. Unfortunately it will still be many months before cyclists will be able to use the adjacent path and hence avoid the difficult crossing of the rail line.

Jim Chisholm