Smarter Cambridge Transport's response to the Combined Authority's initial consultation on its Local Transport and Connectivity Plan
Category - Buses
Could ‘lollipop’ bus routing be the answer?
We need to reallocate road space to ensure it is safe to walk and cycle in the city, and quick and convenient to catch buses. Here's one way.
What are the options for reducing traffic in Cambridge?
Let’s start where we should have done in 2015, using deliberative democratic methods to build a coherent transport strategy for Cambridge.
What to do with buses in Cambridge city centre?
Reducing traffic in the city depends on reducing the amount of traffic entering it: not a future GCP is endeavouring to create.
Getting the basics right for bus services
The Cambridge City Access and Public Transport Improvements report MUST set out how bus services and stops will improve markedly from 2022.
A bus service for every village, every hour
Imagine if very village had a bus service at least every hour, at least 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's possible, and here's how.
Bus back better? A new national strategy
We need bus services to work for many more people.The new national bus strategy seeks to address this, with clear and sensible ambitions.
The right way to reduce delays to Cambourne buses?
An independent audit is underway of the Cambourne to Cambridge busway. Can we now hope for sense to prevail?
Electric cars in bus lanes: a good idea?
The small incentive this idea will create to buy EVs is more than offset by the negative impacts on buses and cycling.
Response to Eastern Access consultation
Smarter Cambridge Transport’s comments and additional ideas for improving access to Cambridge by cycle, bus and train from the east.
Response to Cambridge South East Transport consultation 2020
The Greater Cambridge Partnership is expected on 1 July 2021 to give the go-ahead for this scheme to proceed to its final stage before granting permission for its construction. The most recent information is available...
Positive innovations coming to Cambridgeshire bus services
Initiatives like these are important. Everybody needs to be able to get about, whether or not they have access to a car.
Too much busway, too little station
Two more public consultations recently launched illustrate just how out-of-step with the times transport authorities are.
The cost of congestion on bus users and what to do about it
Congestion costs bus users twice over: longer journey times and higher fares.
The legacy of the Citizens Assembly
Last year a Citizens Assembly considered how to reduce congestion, improve air quality and provide better public transport. What's happened since?
How does a car park by the A11 help Haverhill?
The determination of the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) to build unwanted busways would be admirable if it wasn’t so profoundly misguided.
Responding to the consultation about the Universal bus service
A range of proposals, including strongly urging Cambridge University to negotiate a ticket-sharing agreement with Stagecoach.
Will politics or economics sink the Cambourne busway project?
Will politics or economics sink the busway project, or will it re-emerge Phoenix-like from the ashes as a new form of affordable mass transport?
Is the mayor’s Bus Reform Task Force on track to deliver?
There is no doubt that James Palmer is serious about improving bus services, but can his Task Force deliver?
Why Uber’s business model is not good for our health
The pressure on public transport from investor-subsidised private alternatives won’t be for the public good.
What did I learn from a field trip to the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany?
Ghent is an interesting comparator for Cambridge: a bold transport plan has all but removed cars from the medieval city centre.
How much does it cost to run a bus?
What would make the bigger difference: another 2,500 people using Park & Ride or 55,000 more people using buses in the region?
All change at Stagecoach East: new management, new buses
At a recent open event, staff were refreshingly honest about the shortcomings of Stagecoach’s service in recent times
‘Through the Looking Glass’ economics used to justify a new P&R at Hauxton
On every single metric, the ‘preferred’ option scores worse than all scenarios considered, including not building the P&R!
Call for an alternative to the Cambridge South West (Hauxton) Park & Ride
How to let the Greater Cambridge Partnership's Executive Board know what you think of the plan.
Light rail: Cambridge shouldn’t be scared of proven technology
In this case, the popular option is also the right one.
Will making the bus driver redundant save public transport?
Even if a computer can drive the bus, it doesn’t mean we won’t need any staff on board.
10 practical ways to reverse the decline in bus usage
What can we do to encourage, support or force Stagecoach to up its game?
Bus lanes provide just 0.5% of the economic benefits of the Milton Rd scheme
How much greater would the benefits be if the space was used for wider footways, continuously protected cycleways, more trees and sustainable drainage?
Our Cambridge South West Park & Ride consultation response
Why Smarter Cambridge Transport does not support any of the proposed options for expansion of Trumpington P&R or building a second site at Hauxton.
Back where we started with the Cambourne to Cambridge busway
You can let politicians know you want a change of course for the Cambourne to Cambridge busway.
We need to reinvent multi-operator ticketing now
The Combined Authority and GCP should be reinventing the Busway Smartcard to work county-wide with all bus operators.
Call for an alternative approach to the Cambourne–Cambridge Busway
How to let the Greater Cambridge Partnership's Executive Board know what you think of the plan.
Could we make buses free for everyone?
Those over retirement age are entitled to a free bus pass; what would it cost to extend this to everyone?
The state of our bus services
The whole service provision needs redesigning – as is happening now in Dublin.
Cambridge city bus hub
Cambridge has one central hub, and secondary hubs at Cambridge station and Addenbrooke’s hospital. What are the alternatives to make it easier and quicker to travel around by bus?
Why not to trust transport forecasts
Actual costs and benefits would have given the Guided Busway a ‘poor value for money’ rating, which would not have qualified for taxpayer funding.
Why Park & Ride is NOT the solution
The social and environmental benefits of radically improving rural bus services far outweigh those of Park & Rides.
Before a congestion charge
Neither the Greater Cambridge Partnership nor the Combined Authority has a plan to transform bus services across the region.
Future-proof, not temporary
We can build an extensive public transport network now using buses. Here's how.
Multi-operator bus ticketing
We just need politicians, council officers and bus operators to sit down together and agree to make this happen.
A bus journey is about the experience
Before trying to knock a few minutes off bus journey times, we need to understand that the quality of the journey experience is arguably more important to people
The Case for Bus Franchising
Planned well, franchising could deliver a Swiss-style integrated, comprehensive public bus service.
A ‘people centric’ strategy or perpetual congestion?
Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) published a report in March that deserves more attention than its uninspiring title and status suggest.
“So there you have it: don’t depend on buses.”
Significant delays or cancellations within a bus operator’s control should be penalised in a way that benefits users.
A service level agreement for bus travel
Less variability in journey times is not actually what most people who use buses complain about. Missing a connection because of delay is a big headache. It’s why people don’t like having to change buses.
Response to Cambridge South East Transport Study (A1307) Consultation 2018
The full response to the consultation: why Smarter Cambridge Transport supports most of the short-term measures proposed (some with modifications), but does not support any of the three long-term strategies proposed.
Negotiating the elephant on the A1307
5,000 new jobs are coming to the Biomedical Campus by the middle of next year, with no extra transport provision for them.
This is not an infrastructure project!
One Ticket, One Network, One Brand here will do more to achieve modal shift than rolling out some red tarmac for a few buses a day.
Lessons for Cambridge from Singapore
London does integrated transport pretty well. Arguably Singapore does it better. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough's mayor can learn from both.
Frequency: the key to better public transport
Imagine a gate at the end of your driveway that opens only once every 30 minutes. You cannot apply a private motorist's mentality to shaping public transport policy.
What we need right now is not a busway
For South Cambridgeshire residents, what's needed are attractive, comfortable, reliable and flexible public transport options from close to where people live.
When is a bus not a bus?
The Mayor has maintained that buses aren't the answer for the Cambridge area, so the consultants have wheeled out something vaguely called a 'metro'.
Response to ‘Cambourne to Cambridge’ consultation
Rather than building extensive new road capacity for buses, we need to make better use of existing road capacity, build travel hubs and re-route bus services, and create safe and convenient cycle and pedestrian routes...
More use of the southern busway please!
The guided busway between Trumpington Park & Ride and Cambridge station is underused. How could we make more use of it?
Releasing Drummer St bus station from its dreary existence
The councils’ strategy for coping with growth is to have many more people commute by bus, but there’s no strategy yet for how to accommodate all the extra buses in the city.
A hard-headed look at buses
You probably know you can get a guided bus from Cambridge to Huntingdon? It takes 1hr 7mins. You can save yourself 14 minutes by catching the Whippet X3, which runs via Cambourne and Papworth – yes, via Cambourne. Take...
Cambourne needs a bus station
The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) is deeply mired in complexity and controversy over building a busway from Cambourne, an orbital link to Addenbrooke’s, and a new Park & Ride west of Cambridge. It has spent...
Trumpington Park & Ride
The sudden and unexpected withdrawal of Grosvenor’s planning application for a sporting village and 520 houses south of Trumpington Meadows has created an opportunity. Some years ago the County Council negotiated a deal...
Repairable defects or design flaws in the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway?
Smarter Cambridge Transport has prepared a detailed review of reports commissioned by the County Council. It identifies more than twenty areas of concern with the busway not identified.
Reorganising buses is all the rage
Groningen, Oldenburg, Ghent, Hasselt, Bogotá and Algiers did it years ago. Houston and Seattle did it recently. Dublin is doing it now. Cambridge isn’t. But it should be. Houston, Texas radically simplified its bus...
Free is not always best
Recently local politicians have called for Cambridge’s Park & Ride car parks to be free again, and MPs have called for hospital car parks to be made free. ‘Free’ means somebody else is paying, in this case taxpayers...
Let’s make taking the bus more attractive
Twenty years ago, I found myself working in my company’s Manchester office for a week. One morning, the regional sales manager and I had an appointment in the city centre. In our suits and carrying briefcases, we...
Let’s make our buses easier to understand
Those who don’t understand public transport don’t use it. Bus operators and local authorities all over the world could help themselves by giving passengers the sort of usability we take for granted on metro...
Bus franchising: a golden opportunity
The Bus Services Bill allows the mayor here in Cambridgeshire to adopt London-style franchising of bus services. This is a golden opportunity for innovation.
Should Park & Ride parking be free?
Cambridge’s MP and all three voting members of the City Deal Executive Board have called for the £1 parking charge at Park & Ride sites to be removed. The intention is good, but the policy is wrong. The seven...
Only Connect: a pretty good motto for public transport
Before Victoria Coren claimed ownership of “Only Connect,” it was E M Forster’s, extolling humans’ need to for connection. It’s also a pretty good motto for public transport: we spend a lot of time talking about cars...
Reducing Traffic Congestion and Pollution in Urban Areas
Ideas for reducing congestion and pollution in urban areas, developed in the context of the Greater Cambridge area, typical of many UK towns and cities.
Response to Cambourne to Cambridge busway proposal
Further to our response to the public consultation, we have prepared seventeen key questions for the City Deal Executive Board to answer in relation to its decision on 13 October 2016 to progress a proposal to build a...
Rebooting the City Deal
Smarter Cambridge Transport held its first public event, Rebooting The City Deal, on Friday 14 October at Wolfson College, attended by around 250 people. Our thanks to Antony Carpen for videoing the event. Here are the...
Cambourne to Cambridge busway
The City Deal is proposing spending a £142m on a new road for buses from Cambourne to Cambridge. That might seem like a good idea, especially if you live in Cambourne, Highfields Caldecote or Hardwick and commute into...
Greater Cambridge City Deal: A New Approach
Areas of concern [Updated 23 August 2016: expanded section on access and parking permits] Here in summary are ten concerns that residents, businesses and observers have voiced about the City Deal: The City Deal is...
Updated September 2018 with details about a Cambridge city bus hub moved to a new paper. Background After years of growth, bus patronage is in decline, locally and nationally, at a time when train patronage continues to...
A ‘travel hub’ refers to a bus, tram or train station with more facilities than a bus stop, and with the dominant modes of access being walking and cycling.
Response to Milton Rd and Histon Rd consultations 2015/16
Next key date: 20 March 2019. The Executive Board will be considering final outline designs for Milton Road before proceeding to detailed designs and building in 2020–21. The Assembly meets on 27 February to pre...
Can we do better than bus lanes?
The County Council’s view ‘Bus priority’ has come to be used interchangeably with ‘bus lane’ or ‘busway’: the Cambridgeshire Long Term Transport Strategy (November 2014) refers to, “On-line or off-line bus priority...