Last stop for the 114

Whippet is deregistering 17 bus services in Cambridge, claiming they are unprofitable. The following services will take their last journeys on 2nd September.

Service 1                   Hilton – Hemingfords - St Ives
Service 1A                 St Ives – Fenstanton – Cambridge
Service 2                   Cambridge - Hardwick - Toft - Caldecote – Boxworth
Service 3                   Papworth St Agnes – Papworth Everard – Huntingdon (Saturday journeys only)
Service 5                   St Ives - Hemingford Abbots - Hemingford Grey - St Ives
Service 7A                 Whittlesford - Babraham Road Park & RideAmanda Tayloramandataylor
Service 8                   Cambridge - Dry Drayton - Papworth Everard
Service 9                   St Ives - Elsworth – Hilton
Service 12                 St Ives Town Circular
Service 15                 St Ives - Swavesey – Over
Service 16                 Huntingdon - Oxmoor Circular
Service 18                 Newmarket - Fulbourn – Teversham – Cambridge
Service 21                 St Ives - Earith - Somersham – Ramsey
Service 45                 Huntingdon - Houghton - St Ives
Service 45A                Huntingdon - Houghton - St Ives
Service 114               Cambridge City Centre - Grafton - Beehive - Addenbrooke's
Service 117               Cambridge City Centre - Fen Estate

Here is a statement on the deregistrations from Whippet.

The 114 which runs between the city centre and Addenbrooke’s will be missed in this area. It has provided a useful route to the Beehive and Grafton Centres, as it runs down Coleridge, Lichfield and Mowbray Roads.

The County Council has been considering varying the frequency on this service; they will now need to retender it along with the other services. The challenge will be to find another operator who can make them work financially, given the passenger take-up and the congestion on the routes.

City Deal consultation starts today

City DealThe Greater Cambridge City Deal is a partnership between central and local government to deliver new infrastructure in Cambridge and the sub-region.

It is managed by a board comprising leaders of the councils in the area (Lewis Herbert, Steve Count and Frances Burkitt), plus representatives from the universities and business. They have just launched proposals to tackle rush hour congestion and are proposing eight initiatives. Some of the proposals have had a mixed reception, particularly bus lanes at the expenses of trees. One that has generated a lot of controversy in this area has been the congestion checkpoints, which would block major roads at peak times, incuding Hills Road.

The package includes:

  1. Better bus services and expanded use of Park & Ride
  2. Better pedestrian and cycling infrastructure
  3. Improved public space and air quality
  4. Peak-time Congestion Control Points (PCCPs)
  5. A Workplace Parking Levy
  6. On-street parking controls
  7. Smart technology
  8. Travel planning

These proposals aim to transform people’s ability to travel into, out of and around Cambridge by providing more efficient, safe and reliable capacity for travel, without the need to get in a car.

There is more information on the City Deal’s website and at community hubs and employment locations across Cambridge, South Cambridge and beyond. A series of events and exhibitions are being held including three in Queen Edith’s:

Addenbrooke’s Concourse tomorrow, 12th July

Babraham Road Park & Ride site 13th July

St John’s Church, 20th July

All aboard the Abbey-Addenbrooke’s Express!

115 busGood news! We’re getting a new bus service. Starting next month, the new 115 service, run by Whippet, will run hourly between the Newmarket Road Park & Ride site and Addenbrooke’s Hospital. The bus will stop at both Long Road and Hills Road sixth form colleges, St Bede’s and the Perse. In the other direction, it drops you off at shopping and leisure destinations such as Sainsbury’s, Mill Road, the Abbey Pool and the Cambridge United football ground.

The new service is a trial, funded by Section 106 developer contributions and will be made permanent if there is good take-up – so if you enjoy shopping, swimming or soccer, take a ride on the 115. Its first journey will be on Tuesday 3rd May.

Here’s a timetable and a handy map showing the route

Help us overturn Tory Park and Ride fees

Yesterday, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Conservative Cabinet voted to introduce a £1 parking charge at the five Park & Ride sites in Cambridge. This would be on top of the existing bus fares for those who take the bus, and people parking cars and then walking or cycling from the Park & Ride sites would be paying for the first time.

This is extremely controversial, especially because there has been no consultation with users, employers, residents or anyone else. Nor has there been any assessment of the risks, such as parking displacement or modal shift. I spoke at Cabinet myself and focussed on the danger of extra parking in our already congested streets.

The Liberal Democrats have called this decision in, which means it will be voted on again by a committee comprising councillors from all the parties represented on the Council. (more…)

Liberal Democrats oppose Tory ‘sweat tax’ at Cambridge Park & Ride sites

P&RWe are disturbed to see that the County Council’s Conservative Cabinet is due to consider a lightning strike on Park & Ride users, with the introduction of a parking charge. This would be on top of bus fares and is targetted at people  – such as commuters — who walk or cycle from the Park & Ride rather than take the bus. A sweat tax, if you like.

The Liberal Democrat group has called for the plan to be withdrawn, as there has been no consultation with the users of the service, the people living near the Park & Ride sites, with councillors in the city, or with the district or city councils – despite the statement in their paper that these groups have been consulted.

While it is right that charges should be reviewed to ensure the Park & Ride sites are run efficiently, it is not right to change things with no consultation. In Queen Edith’s, I fear that if charges are brought in at Babraham Road, our local commuter parking problem will intensify.

The Tories’ case for the charges has been badly presented, with insufficient attention to the risk of parking displacement and of the effect on sustainable travel.pound coins

We have called upon the Tories to drop their plans until they have consulted users and people living near the Park & Ride sites, as well as councillors representing people in the Park and Ride site areas.

M11 repairs closure between Girton and Trumpington

orange conesI have been informed that the area between Junctions 11 and 14 of the M11 will be closed between the 16th September and 1st October.

This is to enable repairs to the road surface and renewal of road markings.

The work will be done at night, starting at 8.00pm on Monday 16th September and finishing on the 1st October.

The contractors, Carillion WSP, have provided contact details as follows:

Tel: 01767 684633 9.00am-5.00pm

[email protected]

Hihways Agency: 0300 123 5000 out of hours

and here is their letter with full details: M11 Road Repairs letter.

A11 trunk road closure

conesNext Monday, September 2, the Highways Agency will be carrying out overnight repairs to the A11 Trunk Road between Junction 36 of the A14 and Fulbourn and the road will be closed on one side. The works will involve patching to worn out sections of the carriageway and refreshing road markings.

The works are scheduled to start on the evening of Monday 2 September. The working hours will be between 8.00pm and 6.00am, Monday – Friday nights.

The southbound carriageway will be closed between 2 September and 4 September inclusive and the northbound carriageway will be closed between 9 September and 12 September inclusive.

A signed diversion route will be in place for traffic wishing to travel on the A11.

Through traffic wishing to travel southbound on the A11 will be diverted to carry on the A14 westbound to join the M11 southbound at Junction 31 (Girton Interchange). Traffic wishing to return to the A11 will need to continue to junction 10 (Duxford) on to the A505 eastbound to re-join the A11 northbound.

Through traffic wishing to travel northbound on the A11 will be diverted to carry on the M11 northbound to join the A14 eastbound at Junction 31 (Girton) and continue on the A14. Traffic wishing to return to the A11 will need to continue to junction 37 to return on the A14 westbound to rejoin the A11 southbound.

There will be signed diversions signed for local traffic. Access will be maintained at all times for Emergency Services.

The contractors, Carillon, will do their best to do the work as quickly as possible, but allow extra time for your journey of ir possible, go a different way.

Any queries, contact CarillionWSP on 01767 684633 between 9am and 4.30pm or their Customer Care department at [email protected], or the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

ADVANCE WARNING: Mowbray Road: closed for maintenance this Thursday

road-closureMany people will have noticed the signs advising a road closure in Mowbray Road. This is so that the County Council can carry out surface dressing of the road. Their contractors did some preparatory work a couple of weeks ago, and this week they plan to carry out the second stage, overlaying the road surface with a plymer-modified bitumen and covering it with aggregate or chippings. This is to seal the surface to keep water out and improve the road’s ability to stand up to its heavy usage.

The County Council plans to close Mowbray Road to through traffic between 9.30am and 3.30pm on 4th July. If the weather is good, that will be the only day the road is closed; if it rains, things will take longer. Here’s the weather forecast for Thursday.

There will be people at the end of the road to give access to properties for residents and businesses, though it won’t be immediate and you may have to wait a bit. Buses will also have access. Other traffic will have a signed diversion: Cherry Hinton Road, A1307 Hills Road and A1134 Queen Edith’s Way and vice versa. Cyclists will be able to wheel their bikes along the pavement.

Some people have raised concerns about bin collections. I have been in touch with the City Council and they assure me that they will collect the bins the next day if necessary.

Also scheduled for repairs are Babraham Road and Cherry Hinton Road. Hills Road will be resurfaced in August.

What to do if bus timetables aren’t working

Real Time Passenger Information is the technical term for what you see on the illuminated displays at bus stops that tell you when the buses are on their way. They are handy if you’re trying to decide which bus to take, or whether it’s quicker to walk. I know that they are useful because when (occasionally) a display is out of order, people tell me! Here’s a short post on how to get them working again quickly.,

Last week, the display was broken at the stop on Hills Road opposite Marshall Road and outside Homerton College. First, it simply gave the times for the day before – then went completely blank. Although it had been reported to a bus driver, the County Council were unaware of the malfunction.  When I reported it on Friday last week, the traffic manager at the County Council, Mr Gerry Watkins, promised it would be working again in two days. I am pleased to report that Mr Watkins went one better and had it restored to working order in just one day – extremely impressive.The Council has a smart system of ‘interrogating’  the displays remotely every six hours to check for malfunctions, but this time, the remote check had not detected the fault. Mr Watkins said he was pleased people find the displays useful and commented,’There are still certain circumstances in which we have to rely on someone visually noticing a problem and informing us. It is our aim to respond and correct within two working days.’

SO: If this or any other timetable display is not working, ring the County Council traffic department on 0345 0450675 or email them from their website.

The County Council was consulting councillors on good locations for new timetable displays earlier in the year. Based on the feedback we received, George, Jean, Geoff and I recommended additional displays for the Citi 1 and Citi 2 routes and we hope to see some new ones soon.

Liberal Democrats launch petition against Tory bus cuts

Why are we waiting?

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats have launched a petition to reverse the Tories’ 100 per cent cuts to rural bus services.

The petition, started by Liberal Democrat county councillor Susan van der Ven, “Stopping the cuts to bus services in Cambridgeshire” reads:

“We the people of Cambridgeshire are opposed to the Conservative County Council’s decision to scrap 100% of funding for subsidised buses, which led to an application for Judicial Review.

“Socially necessary bus services are vital to the whole of Cambridgeshire, especially for young people who need to access to centres of employment, those with mobility issues who wish to access the wider community and its resources, and for tackling the root problem of ‘rural isolation’.

“We also believe that the “Cambridgeshire Future Transport” project, to which half of bus funding has been transferred, is fundamentally flawed and not capable of delivering an adequate replacement for the existing public transport network, never mind the improved system that has been promised.

“We call on the Conservative administration to reinstate 100% of the cuts to bus funding and to conduct a systematic view of Cambridgeshire residents’ transport needs before making any changes to it.”

The petition can be found here: http://epetition.cambridgeshire.public-i.tv/epetition_core/view/Buses