Author Topic: Guided Busway-good or bad?  (Read 7107 times)

Adam Dowling

  • Guest
Guided Busway-good or bad?
« on: November 12, 2007, 09:12:11 AM »
Guided Busway for Cambridgeshire.
Hopefully you all know about the basics of this route.
I have heard the planned vehicles are going to be Mercedes Citaros, apparently there was one trialling with Go Whippet-can anyone prove this?
Anyway, the main question is, do you think it will take large amounts of traffic off the A14? If I have got this right the main A14 traffic is lorries from Felixstowe and Harwich. So how is a guided busway supposed to ease congestion on a route where most vehicles on it are not even heading for Cambridge?

Offline Julia_Hayward

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 2
  • -Receive: 131
  • Posts: 771
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2007, 09:44:31 AM »
Oh, don't get me started! :)

Coincidence that you should mention it today - the Busway's main (possibly only?) political driving force has just been forced to resign after a "significant error of judgement"... http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/region_wide/2007/11/12/b28565f1-8d29-4fa5-96c9-f6aa43a3a76d.lpf

Tony

  • Guest
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2007, 11:21:45 AM »
A guided-busway is just what it says.  A busway for buses with guide wheels fitted.  Lorries do not have these fitted, neither do cars and, more to the point, neither do all buses.   So, no other vehicle will be able, nor allowed to use the busway.
Nothing as far as I can see will ever see congestion on the A14 being eased.  It is too vital a route between the M1/M6 and the M11/A12.  You in the Anglia Bus Forum area will know how busy the A12/M11 can be also.

Cheers

Offline Martin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 8
  • Posts: 1416
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2007, 01:14:00 PM »
From what I have read recently I think they predict it will remove 2.5% of the traffic on the road. I think the hope is rather than reduce drastically the level of traffic, it is to try and keep it stable and encourage alternatives that will preevent an increase in the traffic volumes. The best answer to the lorry situation is to be able to move cargo around on trains - but in this country we haven't put the investment in.

Tony

  • Guest
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2007, 04:04:19 PM »
Goods by rail?  Only as far as DRFT at Crick, then onto lorries to take the stuff back to Felixstowe... or am I being cynical?

Offline DGH

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 8
  • -Receive: 93
  • Posts: 1037
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2007, 08:01:47 PM »
I could write a long winded explanation of why I hate this so much, but to control my blood pressure I'll just say - STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!

Reference the Citaro - yes Whippet had one for a bit and so did H&D - don't read to much into this. What basically happens is the manufacture rings up and says "would you like a new bus for the week for free?" and if you've got any sense you say - "oh, go on then..."

The same can be said for the Optare demonstrator that was here earlier in the year.

Adam Dowling

  • Guest
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2007, 08:45:46 PM »
never saw any demonstrators but I see your point about the free bus..

Offline Danny

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 3
  • -Receive: 0
  • Posts: 265
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2007, 08:20:59 PM »
Funny about Citaros being used.

I thought Lothian were going to use Citaros for the 22 on the Edinburrgh busway, but were told there was no guided option - hence they wente for B7RLEs. Maybe the new Euro 4/5 ones do.

Offline Elsworth Fox

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 10
  • -Receive: 38
  • Posts: 232
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2007, 12:46:49 PM »
The main reason for the Guided Busway is Northstowe.  Buses will provide a link between the new town and Cambridge, and to some extent St. Ives (if the town wakes up to what is on offer) in a way no other form of transport can.  The only sensible alternative would be an lrt system that ran straight through the centre of Cambridge.  Can you see people that would rather protect diseased cherry trees than allow a bus lane accept that?  Can you see this or any other government willing to put the funding into such a scheme?

Without Northstowe, people working in Cambridge on average or lower incomes will be forced to live further and further away from the city with the consequence that there will be more congestion and pollution on the region's roads.

There are advantages to Huntingdon and St. Ives residents as well.  Whilst buses using the guideway will not be quicker than those currently using the A14 when all is well, how often is all well on the A14?  And it will only get worse.  When I commuted into Cambridge on either H&D or Whippet, I never knew when I was going to arrive and it was even worse coming home at night.  If you had to arrive at a particular time, you had to allow up 30 minutes leeway and that wasn't enough sometimes.  Of course, if there was a problem on the A14 then services became unreliable and passengers took to their cars even though they experienced the same problems.

One final benefit of the busway, it will protect the route for public transport use into the future.  Without it, how long would it be before a landowner persuaded the route's owner to sell just one small section and then the route would be useless?  This is the problem with the Hitchin to Bedford rail route, some of it has been sold off so it would cost significant sums to rebuild a rail link between Cambridge and Oxford.


(edit: formatting altered)
« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 04:23:13 PM by Suzy Scott »

Offline Julia_Hayward

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 2
  • -Receive: 131
  • Posts: 771
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2007, 01:13:31 PM »

Offline DGH

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 8
  • -Receive: 93
  • Posts: 1037
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2007, 07:48:13 PM »
And the advantage of a bus over a train??

Ok, it can take you into Town, but then so can the Park & Ride at Cowley Road which it goes straight past, and the train would take you straight into the station for a quick change for a train to London etc, not to mention the possibility of reinstating the link through to Huntingdon etc.

Offline Nat2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 1
  • -Receive: 14
  • Posts: 378
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2007, 09:35:30 PM »
I would think the main advantage of the busway, will be the reliable journey times it should be able to provide for commuters. I used to operate Whippet's 0800 journey from St.Ives to Cambridge as part of my regular shift for a while back in the late 90's. The conditions on the A14 even back then varied wildly, and therefore affected the arrival time of anyone using the bus.
A further advantage a busway provides over light/heavy rail, is the versatility of the bus route at the end of the busway - which clearly has the ability to provide a reliable commute for many more communities other than the ones which are actually on the busway (or the railway - if this option had been chosen).
I can't help think that if the Goldline level of quality being trialled currently by Stagecoach in Perth/Leamington were to be adopted by operators on the busway, then it would offer a real alternative to car commuters, who might just enjoy the stress/traffic free journey right into key destinations around the city.
I think someone should actually be appluaded for actually spending the sort of sums of money that are readily spent on roads/trams/trains on buses for once!

Tony

  • Guest
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2007, 10:44:42 PM »
I think most of you have missed the question at the beginning of this article.  Part of the question asked if you thought it would ease traffic on the A14.  The answer to that has got to be 'NO'.  Car drivers who use the A14 to commute to work will still use the A14.  Lorries etc will still use the A14 to get to wherever it is they go.  It may help bus traffic, but will every operator operating into Cambridge at present be able to afford the fitting of guide-wheels so they could use the busway?
The figure of 2.5% offered as the amount of traffic being removed from the A14 isn't very much.  That is only 5 vehicles out of every 200, not enough to make a difference.

Tony.

Offline DGH

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 8
  • -Receive: 93
  • Posts: 1037
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2007, 07:22:52 PM »
3 Operators are being given a licence to operate on the guided busway, Whippets, H&D and Stagecoach. As I understand it all vehicles that are to be used on the route are to be new. Julia raises a good point, what if one breaks down? We all know how often modern buses break down and Stagecoach dont have a recovery vehicle and I dont think H&D do either, just us at Whippets. Guess there might be a guided tug! I cant see the same level of service being given to the A14 corridor when its finnished, so has anybody told Fenstanton to expect a cut in its services? Having said that I bet the H&D service from St Ives to Cambridge will still be quicker than the guided bus.

Just to clarify again about the Citaro's, they were offered by the Merc rep for a weeks trial for free and have nothing to do with the guided busway, at least not from an operators point of view - the rep might be trying to put ideas in operators heads! I dont think you will see anything other than Volvo's operating on Whippets part of the route - unless their hand is forced.

Offline Martin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 8
  • Posts: 1416
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2007, 07:34:15 PM »
Are all routes running on the Guided Bus likely to be commercial and does this mean that there is the potential for competition between the different operators?

Are the two new Park and Ride sites included under the current arrangement thus meaning Stagecoach would be the operator from those two new sites?

Offline DGH

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 8
  • -Receive: 93
  • Posts: 1037
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2007, 08:51:13 PM »
I dont think competition will be very viable, except in the case of fares as buses wont be able to compeat on anything else? I would imagine the licence covers a specified amount of 'paths' in the same way that railway 'paths' are allocated? 

Offline Elsworth Fox

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 10
  • -Receive: 38
  • Posts: 232
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2007, 04:33:09 PM »

Offline Julia_Hayward

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 2
  • -Receive: 131
  • Posts: 771
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2007, 05:04:37 PM »

Offline Martin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 8
  • Posts: 1416
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2007, 05:12:06 PM »
On the other hand, the guided buses will have to go down Milton Road, and it can take 20 minutes just to get across the Union Lane junction avan in the daytime...

I would expect that if that junction is problematic then the council will install priority measures so that buses gain automatic priority at the junction. This is very common at traffic lights in London where sensors are placed to ensure that as a bus passes the lights can be changed to their priority. City bound I cannot see a problem installing this technology. Milton bound is slightly more problematic due to the location of the bus stop - but still not that difficult. All it may require is that the bus is stopped momentarily while the lights change.

Cambridge has to provide the buses running on the Guided Bus routes priority at all junctions if it is to be successful.

Adam Dowling

  • Guest
Re: Guided Busway-good or bad?
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2007, 02:33:03 PM »
Thanks for the replies!
This has given a large amount of insight into the problems and advantages of a guided busway-and of course there is Northstowe too, which will require new transport connections.
This Poll is now locked
« Last Edit: April 14, 2008, 05:05:29 PM by Adam Dowling »