Monday, August 15, 2011

The Cambridge Guided Cycleway (busway) one week later

Saturday, August 13th: It seems that the Cambridge Guided Busway (CGB) is generating a fair bit of interest now that it is running. So I thought I would check it out again a week later, well actually 6 days later to be precise.

the route is pretty much the same as last time, here is the Bike Route Toaster link. Although this time around I took a slightly different route to Mill Road and didn’t go under the roundabout at the junction of Newmarket Road and East Road. The distance for the round trip was 63Km/ ~40miles. (The map is last week’s route and does not have the minor changes I made this time – sorry.)

The latest data indicates that there have been nearly 56,000 trips made in the first week. The article also points out that this has been during the Summer when the schools are out, people are on their summer holidays and  so A14 congestion is not too bad and there is less pressure to seek alternate routes.

In summary I still haven’t seen any buses on the Southern section, although I did see someone waiting for a CGB Bus next to the Railway Station. I saw 8 cyclists using the Southern Section and 45 cyclists on the Northern section as I headed to St Ives. I didn’t count the cyclists on my way back. I also saw 15 buses as I headed North along the CGB. There was a mix of single and double decker buses. Quite a few of them seemed to have a reasonable number of passengers on them. There were fewer people milling about the bus stops in the middle of the route though than the week before though.

Also I didn’t get waved at. Last week several bus passengers waved at me as they went by.  The CGB buses were almost achieving train status?

The buses also still seem to bunch up a bit as well.

I probably also ought to mention that for anyone who read my Post about my failing seat post – in hindsight it had made a lot of creaking noises for a month or so beforehand. So it didn’t quite fail out of the blue. It was a reminder to pay attention to odd noises though.

So get out the eye-bleach, some more HDR pictures along the CGB are coming your way. Don’t worry I’ll get over it I only started playing with HDR 18 months ago.

Winking smile

I haven’t worked out what the likelihood is of seeing a CGB Bus on the southern section at the weekend. However once again I didn’t see any buses. Mind you the southern section is only around 4Km/2.5 miles long from Trumpington P&R up to the railway station so at an average speed of 24Km/hour I would cover it in 10 minutes and according to this timetable it runs every 20 minutes on a Saturday, so maybe I have just been unlucky.

There is still work on-going work at the end near the railway station though. Here is a Cambridgeshire County Council leaflet explain a bit more about the Busway (pdf). There is rather a nice aerial shot on page 2. It also pointed me at this website: The actual CGB didn’t have much to take picture off though. So at the station end I took this one of some flats.

The bridge ahead is the Hill’s Road bridge with the railway line running alongside.

Once I got through to the Milton Road end of the northern section it wasn’t until Histon that I saw a guided bus – it had stopped at the bus stop there.

As is the way with buses another passed by the other way which you can see up near the Histon bus stop.

It was a bit of a grey day, probably accentuated by the fact that several of the fields had been Combined and ploughed and so instead of being golden were earth brown.

The buses do look slightly odd as they trundle up the concrete tracks.  I don’t know whether it is because they drive in such a straight line or because I know they are on the concrete tracks.

A bit further along I passed a couple of kids walking their dog. It seemed that the lad had to show off and starting walking along the concrete track as a bus came the other way. The bus driver slowed down and beeped his horn. There are some idiots around. You can’t blame it on the kid not realising that buses were running as he didn’t get  on the track until he saw a bus coming the other way. He did it deliberately.

I wonder what training the drivers were given when dealing with curves in the track. As far as I am aware trains have speed limits posted along the track to warn the drivers. However there don’t appear to be any on the CGB. When driving a car you learn to slow down when turning the wheel or preparing to do so – yet on the CGB the driver doesn't turn the wheel.

The cycleway between Swavesey and St Ives has yet to be given a tarmac surface. Although with the recent dry spell it the most cycle-able I have seen it. However there are “lanes” developing as cyclists strive to take the “safest” route. Off the lines there can be quite a lot of loose gravel and if you don’t pay attention you can get caught out.

The busway tracks have been raised to minimise the risk of them being flooded, not so the cycleway. Apparently the cycleway will be raised a bit during August – they are going to have to hurry up as we are already half-way through August.

Another freshly Combined field along the route. Although it was dull and overcast the temperature was pleasant for cycling.

I didn’t bother going into St Ives on this ride I turned around at the Park and Ride. Although the wind wasn’t too bad it was more beneficial on the way back to Cambridge. I stopped here for a drink and some jelly babies. That building is the MG Owners club.

On the way back I took a better picture (of a flower I failed to identify in a previous post) It is Rosebay Willowherb or Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium).

As I passed the Histon area there was a pleasant scent in the air from what looked like a commercial cultivation of roses. There was also a field of sunflowers – just a bit too distant to take a picture of though.

I didn’t take picture of, or count every bus that went past on the way back either.

I did stop at the Milton Road end to see how CGB buses joined/left the busway. I didn’t see any though. The last bus stop before Milton Road showed a “no service” sign so I assume they turn off and head around  Orchard Park. Currently though the Busway website shows some routes diverted.

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