Sunday 4 September 2011

Extra Buses for Cambridge Busway

Extra buses are set to run on the Cambridge guided busway to meet passenger demand, operator Stagecoach has confirmed.

The company’s managing director Andy Campbell said plans were being finalised for more services on weekdays, and talks had taken place with Cambridgeshire County Council to boost Sunday services as well.

More than 55,000 journeys were made on the guided busway during its first week of operation, and operators Stagecoach and Whippet had to lay on additional buses to cope.

Mr Campbell, pictured, said: “The service is carrying more people than we anticipated at this early stage. We are having to make adjustments to operate additional buses on the routes.

“We have been in discussions with the county council on increasing the frequency of the Sunday service.”

A new timetable will be introduced on September 4, less than a month after the link between Cambridge and St Ives opened, following use of duplicate services during busy periods in recent weeks.
Stagecoach will run buses along the guideway every 20 minutes on Sundays, compared to the hourly trips introduced at the launch, although some extra departures have already been introduced since then.
Fellow operator Whippet will run an hourly service, instead of the four it originally intended to run each Sunday.
A Stagecoach service will continue to Huntingdon every hour, according to Cambridgeshire County Council.
Stagecoach also intends to run more peak time buses from Monday, September 5, to cope with increased demands from schools and colleges.

The busway has been open less than a fortnight and the operators are keen to see what commuter loadings are after the school holiday period finishes.

Cllr Ian Bates, the council’s growth chief, said it would be several months before the real benefits of the busway could be assessed.
He said: “As the holiday season ends and we move towards Christmas I expect to see even more people using the busway as it offers a fantastic service.
“The improvements now will help make the system more reliable which we believe is key to getting people out of their cars and onto buses.”