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28 October 2014
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Graphic of the Guided Busway for Cambridgeshire
The proposed guided busway

Guided Bus given go ahead

The controversial guided bus scheme has been given the go ahead by the government. The bus way, which will link St Ives and Cambridge was given a glowing endorsement by an independent inspector. Find out more about the scheme and have your say...


"We need to work very hard to make sure this innovative scheme works effectively to support the communities in Cambridgeshire."
Councillor John Reynolds

An independent inspector has given a glowing endorsement of the County Council's plans for the Guided Busway. It's the authority's biggest transport initiative to date, and will be built along the disused St Ives and Bedford railway line. When completed, it will be the longest guided busway in the world.

The decision, announced on Friday 9th December 2005, was welcomed with delight by council chiefs, but there are many in the county who have dreaded the announcement. The busway application was submitted to the government in 2003. Since then several local groups campaigned vehemently against the proposal.

Guided Bus History...

BBC reporter Stuart Ratcliffe has been following the story from the start. He explains the background:

The Guided Bus Scheme in Essen
The Guided Bus Scheme in Essen

"The idea of the Guided Busway was first mooted in 2000. It was a result of the CHUMMS study (Cambridge to Huntingdon Multi-Modal Study), which set out various options for reducing congestion on the A14. These options included widening the A14, a light railway system, a heavy rail system and of course, the guided busway.

"The proposed options were put out for consultation and eventually the guided bus suggestion was taken as the preferred solution by Cambridgeshire County Council, along with the improvements to the A14."

Public inquiry

The County Council presented its case for the busway during a nine week public inquiry at the end of 2004. There were 2750 objections which were heard during the inquiry. Some of the main objections were from the following groups:

  • Cast Iron, whose aim is to restore regular, time-tabled rail services to the Cambridge to St Ives line
  • Save The Lakes, who are worried about the effect the guided bus will have on Fen Drayton Lakes
  • RagBus (Residents Against the Guided Bus), based in Histon and Impington, they are worried about the effect that noise will have on their homes.
  • Hartford Conservation Society
  • St Ives Town Council

An end to East - West rail links?

The proposed guided busway
The proposed guided busway

Reporter Stuart, speaking on the Steve Riches show, talked about the East - West rail line: "Obviously, once the guided busway is built, it means the idea of using the old rail line for freight is no longer possible. Planning permission has been given to use the RAF Alconbury site for a rail freight distribution depot, and when that opens - you would imagine a huge increase in freight onto the railways.

"What groups like the National Freight Forum have been saying is the East Coast mainline, which goes through Huntingdon and Peterborough is already at capacity, so if you want to increase freight onto the rails you need alternative routes. Going ahead with the guided bus on the St Ives line means you take away that alternative...

Councillor's delight

Speaking on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire's Breakfast programme, county councillor John Reynolds said: "I'm pleased that we've got through this phase, but there's still a long way to go. We need to work very hard to make sure this innovative scheme works effectively to support the communities in Cambridgeshire.

"I think it's right that these sorts of schemes are put before an inspector and all people have the opportunity to make their views known. We took a long time to bring that Transport and Works order to the inspector to make sure we'd got as much evidence as possible, so that the inspector could properly review all that evidence. Yesterday he submitted his report which supported what we've been doing."

The Guided Bus Scheme in Essen
The Guided Bus Scheme in Essen

Questioned about the effect the guided busway would have on existing bus routes, Mr Reynolds said: "We want to see increased services across Cambridgeshire. We've got a long term transport plan for bus transport. We're trying to make as many of the services as self supporting as possible. We have new buses in Cambridge going out to the villages and we want to continue to increase those through the work that Stagecoach and other bus operators do."

Councillor Reynolds hopes that the Guided Busway will be in operation at the end of 2008.

Your say

What are your views on the announcement that the Guided Busway has been approved? Do you think you will use it? Leave your comments below, or join in the debate on our messageboard:

Guided Bus Messageboard:
Guided Bus: Your messages >
last updated: 09/12/05
Have Your Say
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Phil
Utter waste of money. Might as well just bring a light rail service into operation.

jim
might as well have reinstated the existing rail routes which got scrapped way back when by beeching.it's just another crack pot idea someone decided to chuck our hard earned tax money at,with,i suspect,very little public consultation.why don't we all stand up and be counted?

Richard
What a great idea. Avoid the lighter-loaded rural roads, then join the congested urban ones in the city. Take the worst elements of rail and bus, mix them together with tax payers money and get a guided busway. Fantastic!

Mikey
i thought the point of this was to 'green up' urban areas. Whats the point in a long distance guided bus route?Am i missing the point?

Andrew J Scott
Another nail in the coffin of not only common sense but long term potential of using rail for freight. A glance across Google Maps shows hot little would actually have to be done to reinstate the rail line from Cambridge all the way to Oxford. If Cambridge was serious about becoming a potential competitor to Silicon Valley, it needs a fast Oxford > Cambridge rail link. That will now NEVER happen. Some stupid half-diluted "guided bus" with all the restrictions of rail but NONE of the benefits. Further destruction of existing infrastructure (stations) which is short termist. From the government this shows a complete lack of ANY future intention to genuinely increase use of rail for freight. Its pathetic, short term thinking.

John Johnson
WHAT FUEL DOES IT USE?

Kayleigh Clark
I Would Like To No Were The Bus Stops Will Be not Just Were It Starts And Ends

MRS D CLARK
GREAT IDEA TO REDUCE TRAFFIC BUT AS I LEAVE IN EARITH I HAVE TO STILL DRIVE EITH 3 MILES TO WILLINGHAM AND LEAVE MY CAR SOMEWHERE OR 6 MILES TO ST IVES, SO NO ADVANTAGE TO ME OR MY CHILDREN WHO WILL STILL NEED TO BE CHAUFFEUR DRIVEN!

Martin Collings
Why does it need to be Guided??? A driver is still needed so why not just build a road?Light rail or even heavy rail would of been (although alot more costly) more beneficial.

Ray Leach
As someone who spent his teens in Wimbledon, I recall really enjoying using the trolleybuses. Little noise, efficient and environmentally friendly. By all means use the guided system, but replace the unfriendly diesel buses with trolleybuses. Who knows, you may even set a trend that Greater London could follow

Stevie
This is an appalling idea which is just gonna suck more and more money as it goes along.Better option would have been a light railway system instead which would have utilised the excisting rails and stations.Im wondering who's palms have been greased with money to get this guided bus idea passed with its ever spiraling budget...

Pedro Guerrero
Great Britain has the great transports but of the World. But what lacks the Guided Bus that is in South America like in: Sao Paulo, Quito, Buenos Aires, Talca & Caracas go to do the same of Europe.

Phil
Britain's public transport system is an embarrassment when compared to Europe!

Phil
why not have a tram? They are guided and they have more carriages.

David Bond
The benefits of re-instating the Cambridge-St Ives-Huntingdon railway would have far outweighed any benefits of converting the line to a guided busway. This decision is a mistake, driven by idealogues, aided and abetted by an anti-rail government, and NOT WANTED by the majority of locals. Unfortunately the shambolic nature of the railways as a result of privatisation has played right into the hands of the busway proponents. A glance outside the UK, for example to Switzerland, will show what can be achieved by a comprehensive commitment by society to railways. Scotland has realised this; so has Wales, but England has lost the plot.

Richard Day
I think the giuded bus way is a great idea. I will provide quick and easy acsess in and around cambridge and it is a good way to reduce carbon imisions but it will be a shame to see all those old train stations demolished

Mark Potter
I think it's simply awful. It's absolutely scandalous to destroy all those old stations and the original line, to replace it with noisy, slow, little buses. It's a cop out, probably just because it's a cheap and easy option. A train is the best thing.

Hagar
This idea is a waste of time,bring back the railway.If there's still a shortage of HGV driver's,the railway would certainly help.

Dan White
Why do governments and councils despise trains so much? Our Victorian forefathers created a superb rail legacy for us which we continue to wreck, dismantle and abuse. When will the continually useless none-entitles who run our state departments discover the possibilities of such a sensible, practical and increasingly relevant form of transport? Probably when they've exhausted every other possible idea first I expect!

alan little
Please just look at the A14, and the trucks that use it, why not have a rail link from the east coast to the midlands, who knows the rail link might get people out there cars too.

James from Hinckley (Leics)
OK, its obvious that many people in the area are against the guided bus idea. Its even been proven that many motorists will leave their cars at home if there's an adequate rail service, whereas buses, conventional or otherwise do nothing for people. At the end of the day, the government opted for the busway as they stand to make money from it; these buses will still have to use conventional roads in Cambridge and thus are still subject to road tax and fuel duty, whereas if the rail line was reopened as an electrified link the government don't stand to make anything from it, in fact they may lose as it has the potential to REMOVE lorries off of the road as the line will also be able to carry freight too and thus its one less lorry that needs to get taxed which no tax and less fuel duty will hit the treasury, thats the only reason why the bus was approved, because the government will see something in return

Daniel Smart
18/09/06 I had avoided not commenting on this story because I live in Oxfordshire. However, I have noticed that the government is chipping in £92m of taxpayers' (i.e. my, and every other taxpayer's money) on this guided bus experiment. Put the railway back for less cash than the bus and let us have a transport link of national benefit if national taxpayers have to pay for it.

David Rolph
02/09/2006 having been to the area today for OU purposes, now having seen what the old railway line is like, if this is cleaned up and the trees and bushes cleared, new track etc this would make a wonderful difference for people trying to get into cambridge, not the daft and stupid system i believe they are building, and yes after five years it will be ripped up, no it would make a tremedous difference

Simon
Because the buses will be fume belching diesel buses this will actually increase air urban air pollution of the type which is most poisonous to people's health. They should use electric trolleybuses which are as environmentally friendly as trams.

steve
congratulations on being given the go ahead. Despite the critics assertion that light rail was preferable the Government wouldn't have sanctioned that scheme.

David Rolph
This is a stupid idea, and costs more in the long run, perhaps a tram system would have been better

Andrew
What a waste of 'OUR' money, can we not have someone from the rail indusrty sort these bus spotters out?

Paul
What a mad scheme. It would be cheaper to build an electrified railway line. This will be ripped up and turned into a road within five years!

Mr Page
I think that this proposed scheme will be a success, and I, for definite, will benefit from this scheme

David, Fenstanton
You can't please all the people all the time... and you'd be lucky to please some of the people some of the time. So quit trying to throw the toys out of the pram because you didn't get your way. The guided bus won't solve all the problems, but then none of the solutions were perfect. Just wait 20 years til petrol is non-existant or incredibly expensive, and be glad you've been out on your bike putting the miles in, 'cause you'll be glad you did. I for one will welcome the cycle lane the guided bus will provide so I can bike to work without getting sucked under a bloody lorry.

Excellent!
Let's say that one of these buses can carry 75pax, and that they could run up to every 7/8mins. That is a potential ~640 cars off the road every hour, as most of these commuters travel one person per car. It's a certain improvement. Have artic buses, and there'll be even more passenger space. It seems to be the best option, especially in light of these protest groups (I wonder what their mode of transportation is?) - if they're complaining about a busway, then how would they ever condone a far more intrusive railway, either light or standard gauge. Incidentally, trains would run less frequently, maybe every 15-30mins weekdays, and would only be able to carry twice the passengers of a guided bus, based on an inter-suburban two-coach passenger train. As for the idea of having free buses every 5 mins: exemplary. Except that they run on a normal road, contributing further still to congestion. And would the goveernment be willing to subsidise this, as it won't pay for itself! To be honest, one wonders how many people will be prized out of their precious cars. They may well find it to be more efficient, cheap and find that they are pleased with themselves for being kind to the environment (in the long run). You will never know until you give it a try!

Henry
What a terribly short-sighted scheme, destroying a rail corridor in this growing region that could be sorely missed in ten years time. The channel tunnel rail link will be operating from Kings Cross, through services will be running to Gatwick Airport, and carbon taxes will make rail freight more attractive. If this amount of our money has to be spent now, then why not use it for an extra bus/taxi/coach/carpool/emergency lane on the A14 which would attract many more users than a bus lane alone.

Clive Richards
A Complete and utter waste of taxpayers money. Yet another example of local politicians forgetting who gave them their mandate and not listening to those people. At all turns there was a huge majority against so who will benefit? Answer only the developers involved in delivering the project!

Alan
Incapable of carrying the number of passengers needed to have any effect on the A14, incapable of taking freight off the A14, incapable of providing an alternative rail route for the ECML, incapable of slotting into a badly needed east-west rail link, very handy for developers to point to in their outrageous planning applications. The only people supporting this daft, expensive project are the councillors of Huntingdon and Cambridgeshire who stand to gain.

PJ
I think that this is the biggest waste of public expenditure for some time. How many people wil get in their cars drive to the car parks then get on the guided bus. Also if people do not wish to use the good and cheap bus servise today why would they use this

John Bailey
I need a railway...How can I get my pushbike on the bus? I will have to buy a car instead and use A14 to get to work! I live 6 miles from St Ives Cambs.

Nic Davies
I think this is the most wonderfuly STUPID idea i have ever heard. PUT THE TRAIN BACK IN!!!

John
Redo the train links in this area, ever tried getting a train from Huntingdon to Cambridge? It's ridiculous, and build a station in St.Ives too!

H
It would be more than helpful to have a tram or rail service between huntingdon and cambridge. At the moment only bus service connects the 2 at cheapest and that too is still a long journey. Many people live in huntingdon and work in cambridge-im sure it will be welcomed and accepted once in operation. Its about practicality, easing traffic congestion, and creating accessibility at the end of the day.

sajjad
World is moving to more cleaner type of transportation, would be nice if they can get electrically operated type of transport and make it cheap so every body can use instead of cars and big thirsty buses! Look at transport system in Switzerland and other EU countries much more efficient, cheap and above all environment friendly, do not be short sighted please.

pete
doesn't matter if its a bus, a train, or whatever. if it costs more than a car people wont use it.

Jon
Guided bus,what a waste of time it will be like every other public transport system in the country where the cost to use it weekly will be more than filling your car up with petrol. I personally feel that it should be a railway service opening up all the old remaining railway lines that still exist linking them to the city. Running a reliable and cheap service to encourage people to leave there cars at home. surely it makes sense??? Failing that stop the city and local councils from selling of land for profit to let developers build more and more houses in an already congested area,without really making changes to the road network where thease developments are being built. And then having the cheek to tell us that to many people are congesting the roads so they can implement a congestion fee for doing so when they are to blame for not improving local public transport and road networks.

Joe
Why was the rail alternative so quickly rejected by CCC? It is quicker, more flexible, and has the potential to be better integrated into other transport modes in the future. In addition I would probably use it. Guided bus on the other hand is inflexible (small fleet of specialist vehicles) and ends up in the worst traffic to get into central Cambridge. I can't see me ever using it. I therefore predict it will be of limited benefit to the community (no benefit at all to releaving the A14)and the money would be better spent on other projects to improve public transport (and roads) in the area.

Tony
This scheme will never make a profit because it will never carry enough passengers to make it pay. Should have gone for the rail link, its more versatile.

Colin Burroughes
What a waste of money Either ban the lorries between 7am & 9am and 5pm & 7pm or build them their own road, both a fraction of the cost of this nonsense. The journey time under this scheme from Huntingdon to Cambridge is still going to be excessive for a 20 mile journey, it'll still be quicker to walk!

Alan
Anything to make the journey into Cambridge more bearable is a good thing but I can't help think that this is a short-sighted solution. The re-introduction of an integrated rail link would have been much more benificial but I guess that would mean that someone would have to admit that it was mistake to close the line in the first place. Not likely... So not bad 5/10.

Brian Hope
Put me in the pro. camp. I am interested in conservation and am still sure that any disruption on "reserve" type places will be temporary. Nature has its own way of ignoring we humans. In terms of facilities, can anyone seriously recommend the A.14 in opposition to this? Relying on the new road plan is far too distant and this will help that anyway. We've got to start considering the planet before personal likes and dislikes, and this will reduce pollution and emissions. We actually need an expanded rail network to take all the Containers that are despoiling the countryside when taken by road. Get those trucks off the road, there'd be plenty of local jobs for the drivers in the distribution network that would have to be set up at Railheads, and they can drive lighter vehicles that by then would be dual-fuel or gas vehicles. It would mean safer roads, quieter roads, and villages. Getting on with this could help review the whole situation, act as a catalyst.

fran
if you want to be late for work, then take the bus! (city 6 service) i cant wait for the new bus as i am sick of getting the bus from oakington into cambridge! im learning how to drive at the moment so i can drive into work. the stagecoach bus service needs a lot of attention.it will be a while before i can trust a public service.

Daniel
The problems with the A14 and the problems that the Guided bus will address are vastly different in their cause and heritage. The need for this mass transit system is due to uncontrolled and often inappropriate expansion in the greater Cambridge region. This expansion and the traffic problems it causes can only get worse if local politicians and central government have their way. The main A14 problem however is due to poor planning in the 1970’s when the local traffic plus the M11 and the traffic from the East Coast ports was funnelled into an unsuitable road between Cambridge and Huntingdon. Both are examples of fundamental problems conceived in the name of progress. Hence any work done to the local infrastructure will only be tinkering unless these main issues are addressed.

Neil, Histon
The bus will still have to switch to normal roads once it gets into Cambridge - where it will get stuck in trafic and delayed. In addition what happens if a bus breaks down on the guided part of the route? How does the bus behind it go around it? Sort the A14 out before starting on madcap schemes which are doomed to failure due to poor planning.

Dave Clough RAF Wyton
Fantastic, anything is better than the present conditions on the A14, as a Season ticket holder to Kings X. Let me tell you that the trains leave a lot to be desired.

john
Will plans of the guided BUSWAY counteract and include barriers to stop car dumping?

Dr John Wright
I live in a small village called Lode about 8 miles from Cambridge which, pre the insanity of Beeching, used to have it's own station with a direct link to Cambridge. Now it has an eratic bus once every two hours. Public transport in Cambridgeshire is [rubbish] - hence the appalling congestion which girdles the city every morning and evening - we'll leave the A14 on one side! A disgruntled local lesident.

Alistair
How many people can fit on one of these buses and what will be the frequency. Lets say that these buses can take 50 people and there are 10 an hour - If all buses are full that will be 500 people an hour not using the A14. Whoopee, that's not going make the slightest bit of difference to congestion on the A14. What a waste of money this project is going to be.

Suzanne
I am in favour of the guided busway. We need better public transport, and any extra services must be a good thing. Travelling from Huntingdon to Cambridge every day is terrible, so I only wish that the guided busway could be completed sooner.

A.Anon
The worst thing about the A14 is the lorries. It isn't just people that need to be diverted from the road, it is also freight. With this in mind I think the bus option is extremely short-sighted. It would only cater for local pasenger traffic. The rail option would allow for freight and local and longer-distance passenger travel. Having been on the guided buses in Essen Germany, I was not overly impressed - it's certainly not the quickest way to travel - so hardly an improvement on the A14!

Simon (West Midlands)
A guided busway was tried on route 65 a few years ago. Guided buses ran ran in the centre reservation where there used to be trams until the 1950's. When they got towards Birmingham city centre they still had to queue with all the rest of the traffic! Why not use trolley buses in Cambridge? Electric powered from wires on the guided section and batteries in town. Quiet and pollution free through villages and countryside as well as in the towns?

david shaw
good idea, thats about it. I dont understand how some people can complain about unless its going to directly affect them, which i dont see how it could.

Mike
The biggest problem on the A14? Lorries. Lorries. Lorries. The solution? Direct car users onto a glorified (but still totally inadequate) park-and-ride scheme. The reason behind this? The powerful haulage lobbying groups can put money in the right pockets.

PETER
A guided system where a normal road would be sufficient. Unguided where it is most needed. Does this make sense? More buses on the crowded streets of Cambridge transporting Addenbrookes and railway station passengers unnecessarily through the centre when a quick rail trip around the periphery would be better for everyone. Using the existing railway bed, thus eliminating future rail use, is short sited and unnecessary. Small, less costly, adjustments to the existing road network would be far more cost effective and of more value to the travelling public, leaving the rail bed for more enlightened times. Even if costs prevent the full St. Ives reopening of the rail line, an initial reopening to the outskirts of Oakington, with a park and ride facility, would have much broader long term benefits for cross-Cambridge traffic and the environment in general.

paul teare
As one family who's home will be savaged by this, I hope those [responsible] sleep in their beds with a clean conscience.

david reeves
when the plans for the busway were first published, there was no indication that the bus would cross at least five roads between St Ives and Cambridge. No-one has yet expained to me what will happen during rush hour. Guided buses every two minutes will bring the roads to a complete halt. What about the rights of those people who simply want to in a different direction to the bus?

dave in america
Why can't the rail be economically efficient? When I visited Impington I wished for the train service to be running.

Mike James
A foregone conclusion has come to pass. I do not see where the benefits come from for a system that relies on the use of the already overcroweded roads of Cambridge for the latter part of its journey. What next - a ban on all cars in Cambridge in order to give this white elephant freedom of the road and to force those who have to visit the city to use it? I live in Fen Drayton so I know the vagaries of Cambridge and its roads all too well.

dave hopkins
I stayed in Impington and wished that the train was back in service. It is my preference to restore the existing line.

Prit
I agree completely and utterly with Alastair. Buses are the cheap option, but from a customer perspective, not particularly attractive. You only need to look at the abolition of Routemasters to see how buses are perceived. And what a travesty that has been...

Peter Tomalin
The only way this could possibly be judged a success is if it drastically reduces congestion and casualties on the A14. Does anyone seriously believe it will? The truth is, there is no proper case for this busway. It's entirely politically motivated, and a shocking waste of money. When it's all finished and the A14 is as congested and dangerous as ever, I hope the councillors who are pushing this through will feel very proud. Their mark will be a concrete and tarmac scar on the landscape which will cost an absolute fortune and be of no real benefit to the wider community.

Anon
I original come from the Black Country area, and there we had a tramway system installed pretty similar to this guideed bus idea. Much of the local comunity objected to it calling it a "white elephant", and many here have done. May I say that the finished results is popular and effective. The one advantage is regular times for catching the transport with nothing else to delay it or hold it up. If the tram as due at 14:01 it would be there at 14:01. The timeing is so good that there is signs at each stop allowing any awaiting customers to see how long they need to wait for the next service (typically no more than 5 minutes). The tram service is effective and works, but this could be as it runs between two major cities/locations (birmingham and wolverhampton) servicing all the towns along the track length. The benefits of a tarmac surface running a bus would be the noise reduction. This type of transport would be much more quieter than a rail mounted system (stand by any train track and listern to a passing train!). However, I do agree that the route is pointless from what I can see, as it doesnt appear to realy connect anything to cambridge. St.Ives is a beautiful little village, and isnt exactly the centre of commuting cambridgeshire. The idea is great, the principle excellent. The location and implementaion is right of target. Close but not gold star!

Simon Moseley
I'm not sure if I am shocked or saddened by the County Council decision to go ahead with this unpopular idea. We once had a railway to be proud of in this Country but now it’s a joke. Re-opening the railway line seems a far better option I could take my bike on that. Once again it shows how out of touch our Councillors are with reality and us the people they are suppose to be supporting. Where is this additional funding coming from? I won’t be using this bus way, if I want to bus I can use one already in service. I have no intention of paying for it in taxes. But what I would really like instead of wasting any more time or money on this is:- SORT THE A14 OUT NOW!

Emma
This guided bus scheme as no benefit to me whatsoever. And it seems that the majority of the public do not agree either, this is yet another mad idea which in part will have to be funded by the public who dont want it in the first place. The rail link should of been reinstated for passengers and freight. A) you cannot take a bike on buses b) It cannot serve every village. It seems like an underhand gate way to ensure more houses can be built around the surrounding area. Especially when northstowe is built. they spend the money on the major problem that needs addressing NOW with the overcrowded A14.

Alastair
The decision from central government to give the go ahead is no surprise considering decisions to axe light rail schemes in other parts of the country, in favour of bus systems. This, however, ignores the fact that buses will never have the same effect on attracting people away from cars, partly because of snobbery but also because buses invariably get vandalised and become noisy and scruffy very quickly and are therefore unnatractive where the car alternative exists. A tram system would have been far more effective in reducing car use on the route, but the lowest cost solution has won the day. Also, shifting the possible future east-west rail route to run via Royston (as the original route will be blocked by the busway), will limit the effectiveness of the proposed scheme through restricting capacity, as eats-west trains will have to compete with London services for track paths.

Steve
This offers nothing more than the existing bus services between Huntingdon, St Ives and Cambridge which are already under used. Once in Cambridge this reverts to a standard bus it offers nothing.A Light Rail system would have provided an attractive alternative with additional benefits of increasing tourism and getting people out of their cars - Who wants to get out of their nice warm car to ride a bus! The only people that will benefit are the county council who will charge the bus companies to run on the guideway.

Gillian Parrish
So, Councillor Reynolds is happy about the guided bus is he? Hooray! It is the most ridiculous scheme I have ever heard of. People will still have to drive to the stations to use the bus, so will still be getting in their cars, polluting the atmosphere and adding to traffic problems in villages along the bus route. Once the bus joins the street traffic in Cambridge it will be slowed down and have no advantage over other forms if transport. I have lived in Fen Drayton for seventeen years and would have stayed there, but will move if this goes ahead. I walk round the nature reserve nearly every day and will not be able to bear to witness the desecration of a beautiful area. Why, if the A14 is being improved, do we have to suffer this guided bus fiasco? I haven't spoken to as single person who thinks it's a good idea.

Dave
It's still a totally absurd scheme, running on a guideway to bypass uncongested rural roads, then switching to normal roads just where the congestion starts. It should be quite entertaining to watch the chaos on Milton Road at peak times when it starts. And no, I won't be using it.

Chris Lightfoot
We'd be much better off keeping the railway. When the busway fails (or fails to be profitable enough, or the government get bored of subsidising it), the right of way will almost certainly be turned into a road, meaning that any effective public transport link will be lost.

The Raven
Why are the County Council so set on this ridiculous idea? What on earth makes anyone think that this guided bus system will make any difference to the amount of traffic on the A14? It must be such a small percentage of the people who use the A14 daily that come from St. Ives that you may just as well put on airships from Wellingborough to Cambridge for all the good it will do. This decision stinks and one has to wonder who will actually benefit from this, apart from the companies employed to build it, subsidised to run it (they will need a subsidy, it won't ever operate at a profit)...there is no other logical reason that anyone could support this idea with quite so much enthusiasm if it wasn't for personal gain?!

Colin Davidson
A scheme with all the disadvantages of a bus and a train, that cuts out the fast part of any journey (the main road) and links two traffic hot spots, and which doesn't offer any increase in speed or reduction in cost for making a journey. No one on or near the route supports it, no one in Cambridge, Huntingdon or St. Ives wants it. This is the biggest white elephant in East Anglia.

Mark Bingley
This will be a huge waste of public money. The potential for a train link is huge.... and yet all we will have is bus that runs mostly empty. People in Huntingdonshire will still be unable to get to Stansted Airport without adding an extra hour over the time it takes in a car. And I will still be unable to take public transport from Huntingdon to Cambridge, 5 days a week with my bike. Oh well...... that will be me on the A14 in my car for many more years. What a wasted opportunity, typical of this country.

Molly
As someone who walks the area around the lakes every day, I find it difficult to believe there will not be an impact on the wildlife and tranquillity - this area is uniquely natural. And it's all going to be spoiled in the name of progress by a system few people will use because it basically doesn't take them where they need to go. Very disppointing that it appears commonsense arguments have been ignored. Shame on our 'leaders'.

Richard
This is a bad move when it is clear that the money would have been spent betteron rail which would attract car users and offer opportunities for freight, in addition the decison is strange when almost all those living close to it opposed it, as did most transport experts.

Bill Ashby
Is it true EU and/or Central Governemnt would pay for a mapcap-scheme but local would have to pay for an ordinary roadway - so it's guided bus or nothing?! Why can't normal buses be run on a normal tarmaced road ? * The track would be cheaper. * Modificaions to buses would be NIL. * Any bus could use it. * Buses could go around broken other down buses. * Roads are less vunerable to vandalism and malfunction than tracks. * Income from motorists illegally trying to use the roadway and avoid the A14 WHEN its blocked - phnar, phnar! P.S. I hope a cycleway will be incorporated whatever they do.

David
This route used to be a railway, now, rather than re-opening it as a propper railway line, it has been decided to implement a cheap, unflexible and inadequate scheme. This shows that the Beeching Axe which fell in the 1960s and resulted in the destruction of many railway lines, and the closure of many railway stations was wrong. If these old railway routes were revived and trans-national freight was moved back onto the railways. This country would benefit from a 21st century transport network. The current scheme demonstrates that we have had politicians who have no vision and who can't see beyond the next election.

Geoffrey Reed
I cannot believe the council have opted for this highly expensive scheme. An original iron rail system (with a station at Cowley Road park & ride) would be much more acceptable. Each carriage would have a far greater passenger capacity and as such would carry more people more frequently. I recently used the Cambridge bus system, after many years using my car, the result left me in no doubt that my car was a much more realistic, convenient and inexpensive form of travel by comparison! I waited at three seperate bus stops only to find, at each one, the bus passed me by! When I did eventually catch a bus the cost, for such a short distance, was ridiculous! I am at a loss to see how this guided bus system will be better than an iron rail system. The set-up cost for an iron rail system is far less than for the guided bus and in turn could transport far more bodies at better intervals. Mark time - the car will never be replaced until government places a ban on it's usage! Shoppers will NOT carry shopping bags very far, busses and trains do not replace the car for shopping and while city centres atract, as with the new Lion Yard "Grand Arcade" then we must stop burying our heads in the sand! The country is factually getting older, by population, which means less of us wish to carry heavy shopping too far! Cars are our only beneficial asset when shopping.

Tony
What a waste of money,there is no way this is going to relieve congestion on the A14,when this goes ahead thy will need to continue it further up the A14 to account for the many people living in Huntingdon & beyond,who will continue to use the A14

Somersham Resident
Why on earth would anybody, against all public opinion, want to put a guided bus system here. It seems faily obvious that re-establishing the rail line would be a far, far better prospect, perticularly in terms of flexibility, usage and growth, the guided bus will offer none of these, whereas a reinrtoduction of the rail line would. A rail line could ultimately link Felixstowe with the midlands and the planned terminal at Alconbury, how much freight will a guided bus remove from the A14......

Andrew Harmsworth
Given the cost of all this - even before anything has been built - could not the money have gone on FREE buses every 5 minutes for everyone?!

Colin Redman
This news is a disaster for the area. What people want is a rail link, not buses which have a limited capacity. Also what happens to the service when a bus breaks down and nothing can get be? Shortsighted in the extreme.

Lesley
I think this is the biggest waste of public money for a long time. It's totally unsuitable, what happens when it comes off the trackway onto Milton Road and joins the rest of the traffic jams? It'll just be another bus in the queue.

Doctor Carrot
This is great news for the environment of south Cambridgeshire. Cheap, fast, reliable, dedicated bus links from St Ives through to Cambridge and Trumpington will really take some of the pressure off the A14. This is great news, despite the whinging of an old-fashioned bunch of steam-heads! Let's not forget that the railway was closed in 1992 because it was uneconomic then -- and the inspector's report seems to say that it's still uneconomc.

Peter Heath
A huge expenditure to serve such a small part of the county.

Richard
As pointed out in the enquiry a guided busway can never be as cost effective as a railway nor carry as many passengers per member of staff. One train can carry the equivalent of many buses at a lower cost and less environmental damage. there will be an initial honeymoon period when this new form of trnasport is busy but it will not last and it will lose money. It is inflexible since it does not integrate with any form of national transport and only carries passengers - has anyone heard of a guided lorryway anywhere? We need to encourage long distance freight off the roads - this scheme will not do so. It will suffer from delays and congestion in the areas where it does not have a dedicated road - this could cause congestion on the busway itself when three or four buses all vy for entry to the busway at the same time! The schem will not be of benefit to me yet a light railway or similar, especially if it ultimately extended to Huntingdon would have done so. As a result it seems likely that I will have to stick with my little metal box and not be of any help in reducing pollution and congestion since public transport, as a result of this decision, does not provide a viable solution for travel to and from work.

chris
as someone who knows the area v. well i find this news vey dissapointing. This will be a white elephant and it will never carry the passengers that a railway would

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