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Page last updated at 15:42 GMT, Thursday, 28 October 2010 16:42 UK
Guided bus: Making use of the unused tracks
Cyclists on the guided bus route at Histon
Cyclists say the guided bus tracks make their journeys much easier

People living on the route of Cambridgeshire's guided busway have reacted to news that the contractor and council blame each other for delays.

While buses should have been using the tracks from February 2009, locals have put them to good use as cycleways.

Finn Holding said: "It's very handy for work. It's the perfect cycle path for my daily journey to the Science Park."

One Histon resident added: "It's going to be a shame when the buses are on it, to be honest."

'Pleasant cycle ride'

Finn Holding, from Histon, has been using the guided busway for the very purpose it was designed - to make his commute to work easier.

He said he used it every day to cycle from home to work and said that the abundance of wildlife along the track made "for a very pleasant cycle ride".

However, he said that the time delays and the increasing costs of the project were ridiculous.

Man cycling on busway
The guided busway is currently being used as an unofficial cycle lane

"I don't see why the rail track wasn't reinstated. It would have given commuters all the way from Huntingdon to Cambridge a direct rail link to trains going to London," he said.

Another Histon resident said it made a fantastic running track and he used it four times a week.

"It's a good shortcut by bike as well," he said. "If you can dodge all the people walking up and down it."

He added: "The overall impression of the project is that it's been a complete shambles.

"Cambridgeshire's folly. There's the Angle of the North and there's the misguided bus route of Cambridgeshire."

'Intrusive'

David Parkin said that the construction of the busway had forced him to sell his home in Impington.

"When they built the platform at the end of my garden, it illuminated the whole of the back of my house," he said.

"When they started testing the route using double-decker buses, people on the top deck would wave at us. It was intrusive and I really felt I had to move.

"But I do still use it as a shortcut when I'm on my bicycle," he added.

Ann from Cambridge also knows how it feels to have to give up your home because of the guided busway.

My house was torn down to make way for an access road," she said.

"I'd lived there with my family all my life and my children's pets had graves in the garden. I had a lovely fish pond with frogs and toads as well.

"I was there when they pulled it down. It was a very sad day."

She added that she was sure a lot of people would be glad to use the busway and thought it would be very good for Addenbrooke's Hospital.

"But for me, there are lots of memories. When I hear news about the busway it makes me very sad," said Ann.

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• Whatever the outcome of this sorry state of affairs, the fact remains that few people in the county wanted this stupid busway and the County Council would do well to learn to listen to the reasoned arguments of the people who voted them in. In a city which is meant to lead the world how did we get into such a mess?
Daniel Hipkin, Ely

• I have walked most of the northern section and almost all of the concrete beams appear to have cracks in the guiding kerb wall. Some of these cracks also seem to extend across the running surface. The discoloration around the cracks suggests there may be some water penetration. Some of the bigger cracks appear to have been filled with an epoxy resin or similar.

Maybe this is expected and will not impact operation when (or if?) the busway eventually opens. It will be interesting to see the results after a few hard winters of freezing and thawing...
John Connett, Cambridge

• If Bam Nuttall are so bad at building guided busways why did Luton council award them the contract to build another one there? Cambridgeshire County Council don't have a leg to stand on and should be ashamed of their unprofessional approach to this dispute.
David Bloye, Diss, Norfolk

• Perhaps none of this would have happened if the railway had been retained and reopened?
Ivan Tan, London

• It has been alleged by residents at Dry Drayton that some of the northern section concrete tracks are cracking up, if this is correct what effect will it have on the safety of the buses using the Busway?
Ray Charter, St Ives




SEE ALSO
Guided bus: Operators' concerns
28 Oct 10 |  People & Places
Guided bus: BAM Nuttall speaks up
27 Oct 10 |  People & Places
Guided busway: Final beams laid
06 Oct 10 |  People & Places
Guided busway: Cambs v Manchester
03 Sep 10 |  People & Places
Guided busway contractors warned
07 Jul 10 |  People & Places
Guided busway hit by more delays
30 Apr 10 |  England
Council plea over busway defects
10 Mar 10 |  England
Fears for 116m guided bus scheme
13 Jan 10 |  England
No deadline for guided bus launch
04 Jan 10 |  People & Places
Fresh delay for guided bus route
10 Aug 09 |  England
Guided bus trial run
12 Mar 08 |  England


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