Transport 2000 Cambs & W Suffolk

Newsletter 66, April 1999

Disclaimer: the contents of articles do not necessarily reflect Transport 2000 policy at either national or branch level. If you know any reason why any opinion expressed on a matter within the branch's remit should not be branch policy, please contact the Secretary/Coordinator -- it is through the exchange of ideas that methods for solving our problems are developed.

Please note that although in this newsletter we concentrate on matters of strategic importance, we would like to hear from any member on any transport related topic, however small. If you have a complaint or suggestion of any kind we will endeavour to pursue it ourselves or to advise you on how to pursue it yourself.


We apologise for the long delay in the production of this newsletter, but events kept cropping up which we felt we had to cover (and which has resulted in it being bigger than usual). However, before covering any of them we have some sad news to report.

Graham Hill.

We deeply regret to announce the death of our Chairman Graham Hill, in Papworth Hospital at the end of October, which came to our attention shortly after we sent out our last newsletter. The following obituary appeared in the Ely Standard.

Members of Ely City Council stood in silent tribute at Monday's meeting to recycling and transport campaigner Graham Hill, whose death was reported last week.

Mr Hill, a city councillor from 1991 to 1995, was particularly known for his involvement in WASTE, which mayor Derek Crawley said could be regarded as the forerunner to the black box recycling scheme.

An appreciation of his life and work has also been given to the Standard on behalf of the Ely Labour Party by Brian Coupe. He writes:

``Following on the account of Graham's activities in last week's Ely Standard, I would be grateful for an opportunity to mention how greatly he was appreciated in the Ely Labour Party as a colleague and friend. He was gentle and unassuming, with an impish sense of humour, but the depth of his feelings emerged when he perceived justice and unfair discrimination. He had the energy and determination to put matters to rights, and there are many who have cause to be grateful. In his connection with the Labour Party he served for a period as a councillor, and attended party meetings regularly, where his intimate knowledge of local events helped and guided those present. He was an active campaigner at elections, always ready to give his time to leaflet deliveries, knocking on doors and helping with administrative matters. Above all, he was highly valued and respected, and inspired affection in all who worked with him. He will be very much missed.''

To this obituary Lotti Bailey of the Cambridge & District Trade Union Council added: ``Graham Hill was also a staunch trade unionist and represented his union branch, MSF Cambridge General, on many outside bodies. He was a long-standing delegate to Cambridge & District Trade Union Council, which he represented on the management committees of the local Citizens' Advice Bureau and the Cambridge Independent Advice Centre. He will be missed by the local trade union movement.''

Graham had been the Chairman of our predecessor organisation, the Cambridge Area Bus Campaign, from the outset in 1985, and continued in this role when we became the local branch of Transport 2000. Perhaps his greatest contribution to our campaign was the energy he spent in distributing our 1990 petition against the County Council proposals to remove concessionary bus passes from many pensioners, where we gathered a total of 5,000 signatures. The County Council changed its stance to the point of agreeing to continue to coordinate the scheme if district councils took over the financial responsibility, and, one by one, they did so. For some of them we believe our petition was a determining factor.

He was a regular user of bus route 109 between Littleport and Cambridge, both when he lived in Stretham and after he moved to Ely, and was quick to complain when buses didn't turn up. He was also keen to promote links to Addenbrookes Hospital, to which Cambus now has through ticketing from many areas.

Branch news.

Here is a diary of forthcoming events.

Mon 12 Apr: Branch meeting at 6.00, hosted by member John Ratcliff at his home in 10 Cockburn St, Cambridge. Cockburn St is the fourth turning on the right after crossing the Mill Road railway bridge, and is also easily accessible from the cycle bridge near the station. The meeting will be followed by a Cambridge Friends of the Earth Transport & Planning meeting at the same place at 7.30, which members may wish to stay for.

Thur 15 Apr: At 10.00 at Terrington House, Hills Road, Cambridge there will be a public inquiry into whether sanctions should be imposed on Cambus because of its unreliability, and, if so, what. We hope that due consideration will be taken of the effects on bus users before any decision is made.

Thur 15 Apr: At 7.45 at the Town Hall Arts Centre in Haverhill there will be a meeting of the Cambridge-Sudbury Rail Renewal Association. This is the first of their meetings that is reasonably accessible from the Cambridge area thanks to the improvements in the bus service between the two. Consultant Scott Handley will be presenting the results of his pre-feasibility study into the reopening of the line. We also hope to raise the issue of bus services on the corridor (see later). There is no affiliation relation in either direction between us and CSRRA but we hope that this campaign will be of interest to some of our members.

We welcome one new member: W. Ap Rees from Little Eversden.

The Coordinator is expected to be away between about the second week of May and the end of June (the dates are not yet finalised). During this period communications should be addressed to the Chairman (see head of newsletter).

We would also like to record the setting up of the Cambridgeshire Transport Forum which aims to bring together transport-related campaign groups throughout the county to provide a concerted response to the Local Transport Plan process.

Minutes of Transport 2000 Cambs & W Suffolk AGM -- 12 Dec 1998

On Saturday 12 December 1998, the Cambs & W Suffolk Branch of Transport 2000 held its AGM at 2.30pm at the Friends of the Earth office in St Michael's Church, Cambridge. Seven members were present: Basil Bonner, Elizabeth Cary, John Chisholm, Stephen Harangozo, Simon Norton, Martin Thorne and Ben Walsh.

The meeting opened with the sad news of the death of our chairman Graham Hill. We remembered what a wonderful amount of support and help he gave us.

We then proceeded to elect a new committee. [The names of the new Chairman, Coordinator/Treasurer and Minutes Secretary appear at the head of this newsletter.]

Stephen Harangozo will therefore replace Graham Hill as one of the agreed signatories for our Girobank account (the other being Simon Norton). It was agreed that one signatory should be enough for cheques of up to GBP 100, but that both signatories should be needed for larger cheques. A copy of these minutes would be sent to Girobank to enable them to update their details.

It is hoped that the effectiveness of our organisation will be improved now that all the committee, and many of our other active members, can be contacted by email.

We also reviewed our representatives, as shown at the head of our newsletters. The only change made was that Basil Bonner replaced Robin Adams as our Inland Waterways representative.

The AGM concluded with a vote of thanks to Simon Norton for his generous giving of time and knowledge to the organisation.

Following the AGM we held a general meeting at which many topics were discussed, including ticket validity generally (a complex and confusing issue!), the need for trains to Whittlesford on Sundays, our aims in trying to improve local and county transport services and some cycling issues.

Our next general meeting was provisionally set for Tuesday 26 January 1999 at 6.00. It was hoped to advertise this to members generally by means of our newsletter. [Note: this turned out to be impossible. However, the meeting was held at this time at 53 Abbey Road, Cambridge, and the minutes as shown above were agreed.]

New campaigns?

We would like to set up campaigns dealing with specific corridors, and would be glad to hear from any members who would be interested in participating, or, better, helping to organise them. Here are three corridors, with provisional names for the campaigns covering two of them. Note that they all extend outside our area, which is why we envisage that the campaigns would be independent of our T2000 branch.

Note that we have sent this newsletter to several non-members who have shown signs of being interested in the issues to be covered by these campaigns.

1. A14 Transport Action Campaign (ATAC).

This campaign is motivated by the withdrawal of Cambridge Coach Services 71 between Cambridge and Worcester, as reported in our last issue. Its prime objective would be to secure some kind of replacement, preferably integrated with the rail network (as the 71 wasn't). However it would also cover other issues on the corridor: St Ives line reopening, park & ride at Bar Hill or Fenstanton, buses for the villages west of Huntingdon...

2. Granta Valley Integrated Transport Initiative (GRAVITI).

This campaign is motivated by the loss of services between Saffron Walden and Addenbrookes or Whittlesford following January's Cambus changes (see below). It would also cover traffic management on the A505 and in Saffron Walden, developments in Duxford and Hinxton, park & ride at various sites, rail services between Cambridge and Stansted including new stations, connections into points further afield in Essex and, perhaps, the effects of Stansted Airport expansion.

3. Stour Valley.

This campaign is motivated by the announcement by Essex CC that they will withdraw support from services 601 and 603 (Saffron Walden-Colchester via Haverhill and Sudbury) at the end of the 1999 summer season. This will leave just a Cambs CC service (Cambridge-Clare) and Suffolk CC services (Lavenham to Ipswich, Mildenhall and Colchester, the last via Long Melford and Sudbury) with a frustrating gap between Clare and Long Melford. We have worked out an integrated network obtained by running through buses between Cambridge and Ipswich via Linton, Haverhill, Clare, Long Melford and Lavenham, connecting at the last two with the Mildenhall-Colchester service (which we'd like to see extended to Cambridge via Burwell, Bottisham and Anglesey Abbey) and at Linton with an extension of Essex CC 504 (Harlow-Saffron Walden), as laid out in our bus strategy document.

From Workhorse to Thoroughbred. This is the title of the ``daughter document'' to the White Paper that the Government has recently published on the subject of buses. We have compiled a preliminary response which will form the basis for discussion at the 12 April meeting, and which will be sent to members on request. (Comments by end April please -- this will allow the Coordinator to incorporate them into the Branch response to the DETR.)

The paper proposes action on several fronts: giving local authorities more influence over buses (including clearer powers to enhance commercial services), statutory backing for Quality Partnerships, an end to the deregulation ``free for all'', better bus information, more joint ticketing, minimum standards for concessionary fares, and an option to set up ``Quality Contracts'' for area wide networks to be franchised on a similar basis to what not happens in London. All very good.

But we believe that there is a need for a halfway house between the Quality Partnership approach, which operators are not (and will not be) bound to adhere to, and Quality Contracts covering whole areas. We believe it would be more appropriate to set up ``Quality Corridors'' covering groups of routes but not whole areas. In fact, we have cited all three of the corridors that are the subject of our proposed campaigns as examples of why Quality Corridors are needed.

Other issues include the need to ensure that there is adequate finance for revenue support, especially when the Rural Bus Grant scheme expires in 2001 -- this could be done by making revenue support eligible for financial support through the Local Transport Plan process after the publication of the ``definitive'' plans which take effect in 2001. (Note: we may have given the impression that this would be happening anyway, because that is what we thought, but we were wrong. Local Transport Plans will be required to plan for revenue support and other non-capital spending, but this will not be financed by the Government through the LTP process.)

We have also expressed our concern at the imposition of EU driving hours regulations on all services. This will remove any incentive for operators and local authorities to split routes up (see Newsletter 63), and that's a good thing -- but not if it results in the cuts which operators would be seeking to avoid by such splitting happening anyway! We don't see why local buses on country roads should be subject to the same regime as long distance lorries on motorways, and are not convinced that there is any case for the change on safety grounds.

Other issues on which we have commented include some of the defects in the administration of the Rural Bus Grant, the need to improve the tendering system and give greater freedom for ``de minimis'' support for improvements to commercial services, and the need to ensure that cross-boundary movements don't fall between the stools of the two or more local authorities involved.

Car taxes and the Local Transport Plan. We have replied to a Government consultation on the proposed workplace parking tax and road user charges.

Contrary to what we may have said before, the Government does plan to bring in legislation to allow workplace parking taxes in such a way that they can be extended to other forms of private non-residential parking without further legislation. Good!

Otherwise our main concern is that the parking tax should be implemented as soon as possible, so as to give local authorities more money to spend on worthwhile transport projects, including revenue support; and to influence the decisions of those who provide employment so that, for example, they are more prepared to listen to the needs of people travelling to work by public transport. We see road pricing as a longer term strategy which, however, is likely to be essential in the longer term.

We have also replied to consultations from both Cambridgeshire and Peterborough on the Local Transport Plan, stating our belief that parking taxes need to be implemented in all areas for the reasons given above. Peterborough's questionnaire asked for priority rankings for different types of spending -- top of our list came public transport information, but we had to put in lots of qualifications throughout. This applied even more to Cambridgeshire's questionnaire in which we were asked to divide a notional sum of GBP 10 between various spending areas. We said that there was no way of doing this without considering the merits of individual projects and whether they could be financed by the money available -- for example, spending money on rail development such as the St Ives line reopening will be most cost-effective if there is enough money to implement a comprehensive programme.

Changes to Stagecoach Cambus and Viscount bus services, introduced 3 Jan 1999. These details were supplied by Mr John Holmes, county transport officer.

General comments: Some new services are to be provided and certain frequencies improved. A number of new links are created by these changes. A number of journeys and services are being simplified or withdrawn. Services in the evenings and on Sundays are, in some instances, being brought more into line with the Mon-Sat daytime services.

The changes were put forward by Stagecoach, but some amendments were made as a result of discussions with the Council.

X11: Cambridge-Newmarket-Bury. Most journey times changed by up to 10 minutes. 08.00 Cambridge-Bury (Sat) withdrawn west of Newmarket. 20.51 Exning-Cambridge replaced by evening journeys on 111 (see below).

X46: Cambridge-Royston-Bassingbourn-Mordens. 08.48 Trumpington-Royston (Mon-Fri) starts Cambridge at 08.25. 08.35 Foxton-Cambridge (Sat) starts Royston at 08.20. 16.10 Guilden Morden-Cambridge starts at 16.08 and runs direct between Litlington, Royston and Cambridge. Journey times into Cambridge in the morning peak extended to take account of traffic conditions.

X55: Cambridge-Chatteris-March-Peterborough. The 14.25 Cambridge-Peterborough, which diverts via Neale Wade School and Turves on schooldays, runs 18 mins later into Peterborough. 16.00 Peterborough-Cambridge (Sat/Sun) and 16.45 from March (Mon-Fri) run 15 minutes later throughout. New Mon-Sat journey Peterborough-March at 17.45. Some other journey times altered by 5 minutes.

X56: Cambridge-Chatteris-March-Wisbech-Kings Lynn. 06.10 Wisbech-Cambridge (Mon-Fri), 06.50 March-Cambridge (Sat) divert via Milton. 15.25 Cambridge-Kings Lynn (daily) terminates at Wisbech. The return journey starts Wisbech at 17.45 and, on Mon-Sat, runs via Wisbech St Mary and Guyhirn replacing 17.45 Kings Lynn-Chatteris. 08.05 Chatteris-Wisbech (Mon-Sat) runs 5 minutes earlier to March, then via Guyhirn and Wisbech St Mary to Wisbech. Some other journey times altered by 5 minutes.

2: Oakington-City-Addenbrookes. The extension of the service to/from Addenbrookes has had reliability problems. The service now runs to the Rail Station then via Tenison Road to Mill Road, then replaces 4 to Cherry Hinton. On Sundays an hourly service between Oakington and the Rail Station replaces 92.

3: Cambridge: Rail Stn-City-Fison Rd. Evenings and Sundays an hourly service runs as above, extended beyond the Rail Station to Mill Road, Coleridge Road, and Perne Rd, replacing 98. With 8A (see below), the new evening/Sunday service offers half hourly link between the City Centre and the Coleridge area. Some journeys extend beyond Fison Road to/from Waterbeach replacing 196.

4: Cambridge: Arbury-City-Cherry Hinton. Rerouted south of Emmanuel Street via Hills Road, Rail Station, Addenbrookes, Hinton Way and Stapleford to Sawston, half hourly Mon-Sat daytime. City-Cherry Hinton section is replaced by 2 (see above). With 5/5A (see below), provides 10 minute daytime service between Arbury and Addenbrookes via the City Centre and Rail Station. Replaces 22 between Cambridge and Sawston at improved frequency.

5: Cambridge: Arbury-City-Addenbrookes-Cherry Hinton. On Mon-Sat, continues beyond Cherry Hinton to/from Fulbourn and, as 6, to/from Teversham. On Mon-Sat evenings, operates half hourly between Arbury and Cherry Hinton. On Sundays, operates half hourly between Arbury and Cherry Hinton, then alternate journeys go to/from Fulbourn or Teversham, replacing part of 92.

5A: Cambridge: Arbury-City-Addenbrookes-Newmarket Rd P&R. New service half hourly Mon-Sat daytime. With 4/5 (see above) provides 10 minute daytime service between Arbury and Addenbrookes. Runs via Perne Rd replacing 113.

6: Cambridge: Teversham-City-Buchan St. Runs half hourly, instead of every 20 minutes. Continues beyond Teversham to/from Fulbourn and, as service 5, to Cherry Hinton Tesco and Addenbrookes. With 104/105 provides an approximately 15 minute service along Histon Road.

7: Cambridge: Cowley Rd-City. Last four journeys from City Centre (17.37-18.37) replaced by extending journeys on service 8 to Cowley Rd.

8: Cambridge: Fen Estate-City Centre-Addenbrookes Hospital. Four journeys extended to Cowley Road replacing the 7 (see above).

8A: Cambridge: Meadows Centre-Kings Hedges-Chesterton-City-Coleridge. New service, hourly evenings and Sundays, replacing 93 (City-Kings Hedges) in the evenings and 92 (Sundays) over part of Cherry Hinton Road. With 3 (see above), offers half hourly link between the City Centre and the Coleridge area. Provides new evening and Sunday service to/from Buchan Street and the Meadows Community Centre.

22: Cambridge-Hinxton-Saffron Walden. Replaced by 4 (see above) and 102 (see below). Connections, with through fares, are offered between these routes for passengers between points south of Sawston and Addenbrookes.

31/32: Cambridge-Fowlmere-Barley. Timing changes, including replacement of the 32 journey by a 31 (08.40 Cambridge-Fowlmere) and 118 (see below).

44/45: Cambridge-Fulbourn-Haverhill. All journeys numbered 44 and none run via Addenbrookes. A half hourly service between Fulbourn and Addenbrookes is provided by service 5 (see above). Reduced to hourly between Fulbourn and Cambridge, though peak journeys to/from Cambridge are maintained. New half hourly Fulbourn-Cambridge service provided by 6 (see above). Most journeys extended beyond Fulbourn to Balsham and other villages. Fulbourn is included in the area of the Cambridge Megarider.

92: Oakington-City-Cherry Hinton-Teversham-Fulbourn. This Sunday service is replaced by 2 (Oakington-City), 3/8A (City-Cherry Hinton Rd) and 5 (City-Teversham/Fulbourn).

93: Cambridge: Kings Hedges-City-Fison Rd. This evening and Sunday service is replaced by 3 (City-Fison Rd) and 8A (Kings Hedges-City).

94: Cambridge: Arbury-City-Mill Rd-Cherry Hinton. This evening service is replaced by 3/8A (City-Mill Rd) and 5 (Arbury-City-Cherry Hinton).

95: Cambridge: Kings Hedges-City-Fison Rd. This evening service is replaced by 5.

98: Cambridge: City Centre-Mill Rd-Addenbrookes-Cherry Hinton. This evening and Sunday service is replaced by 3/8A (City-Mill Rd/Coleridge) and 5 (City-Addenbrookes/Cherry Hinton).

102: Cambridge-Sawston-Saffron Walden. New hourly service via Trumpington, Gt Shelford, Stapleford, Hinxton, Ickleton and the Chesterfords, replacing 22/112 between Sawston and Saffron Walden. With 103 offers a half hourly service between Cambridge and Sawston. Most journeys connect at Sawston with 4 for Addenbrookes.

103: Cambridge-Sawston-Duxford. Hourly Cambridge-Duxford, most journeys extend as 112 (see below) to/from Whittlesford and Cambridge. Most journeys connect at Sawston with service 4 to/from Addenbrookes. New Mon-Sat evening hourly service, Cambridge-Sawston with the last journey (23.05 from Cambridge) extending through to Pampisford, Hinxton, Ickleton, Duxford, and Whittlesford.

104/105: Cambridge-Histon-Cottenham. Two earlier Cambridge-Cottenham journeys arriving 07.55 and 09.14. Three journeys serve Histon, St Audreys Close, replacing 196 (see below). 08.43 from St Audreys Close provides an 08.45 Histon to Cambridge journey. Hourly Mon-Sat evening service.

108: Aldreth-Wilburton-Ely. New service replacing 171 to a different timetable. Includes round trip Cambridge-Littleport via Waterbeach, leaves Cambridge 07.30 and returns 15.37, part replaces 109/124.

109/124: Cambridge-Milton-Ely-Littleport. All journeys numbered 109 (or 108, see above). 17.50 Cambridge-Waterbeach extended to Ely and Littleport. 07.52 Landbeach-Cambridge replaced by diversions of X56 and 109. New Milton-Cambridge journey at 08.51 (Mon-Sat).

111/122: Cambridge-Burwell-Newmarket/Soham. A number of changes to these services, but throughout much of the day and in the evening Mon-Sat an hourly Cambridge-Burwell service is provided. There are also some changes to the evening peak departures from Cambridge.

112: Cambridge-Lt Shelford-Duxford-Saffron Walden. Increased to hourly throughout the day but curtailed at Duxford. Section between Ickleton and Saffron Walden replaced by 102 (see above).

113: Cambridge-Linton-Haverhill-Kedington. Increased to half hourly daytime and hourly evenings (Mon-Sat), alternate buses serve Horeseheath. Evening buses no longer serve Sawston (see 103 above).

116: Ely-Soham-Burwell-Newmarket. Minor timing changes. 16.15 Newmarket-Ely (Mon-Fri) replaced by a connection between 111 and 122 at Burwell.

118: Cambridge-Comberton-Longstowe-Gamlingay. Minor timing changes including new 08.35 Cambridge-Comberton journey (Mon-Fri) part replacing 32 (see above).

121: Fordham-Soham-Ely. New Mon-Fri service consisting of 2 early morning journeys to Ely and 3 evening journeys from Ely, connecting with London trains. One journey each way runs via Isleham.

125: Ely-Little Downham. Saturday journeys (08.55/12.25 from Little Downham, 12.00 from Ely) are withdrawn. Minor timing changes to Mon-Fri journeys, which are extended to part replace 132 and 134 within Ely.

132/134: Ely: Community College/Yorke Way-High Barns School. Replaced by extensions of 125 and 355.

136: Cambridge-Linton-The Camps-Haverhill. 17.40 from Cambridge replaced by a journey from Linton connecting with the 113 from Cambridge at 17.45.

141: Cambridge-Dry Drayton. Replaced at extensions of 500 (Madingley Rd P&R, see below) at similar times.

157: Cambridge/Cottenham-Willingham-Earith-St Ives. 11.25 St Ives-Cottenham and 12.20 Cottenham-St Ives journeys withdrawn east of Willingham. 12.28 Willingham-St Ives journey runs 15 minutes earlier.

166: Cambridge-Newmarket-Exning. 17.50 Cambridge-Exning (Mon-Fri) runs 5 minutes earlier. 18.05 Cambridge-Newmarket (Sat) runs at same time and extends to Exning.

171: Earith-Haddenham-Ely. Part replaced by 108 (see above).

196: Waterbeach-Cambridge-Histon. Histon leg replaced by diversions of 104 (see above). 16.35 Cambridge-Waterbeach (Mon-Sat) replaced by extension of 3 (leaving Emmanuel St 16.30) running via Newmarket Road, not Coldhams Lane. The 09.40 Cambridge-Waterbeach and 13.56 Waterbeach-Cambridge are withdrawn.

202/203: Cambridge: Newmarket Rd/Trumpington-Coleridge/Netherhall Schools -- Replaced by journeys on 5/5A.

204: Cambridge: Walpole Rd-St Paul's School. Replaced by journeys on 8.

336: Peterborough-Eye-Thorney-Wisbech. 07.50 Thorney-Wisbech (Mon-Fri) and 18.00 Wisbech-Guyhirn (Mon-Sat) replaced east of Guyhirn by diversion of X56 (see above) and new 354 (see below). Further minor timing changes.

354: Wisbech-March. New route linking with trains at March. One journey between March, Guyhirn and Wisbech part replaces the 336 arriving Wisbech at 08.15. Some journeys run through to a town circular replacing the 08.20, 15.35, and 19.10 journeys on the 370/372 (see below) at slightly different times.

355: March-Chatteris-Sutton-Ely. 06.50 Chatteris-Ely (Mon-Fri) extended to start from March at 06.23. 15.07 Sutton-Ely (schooldays) continues via Brays Lane to Market St in Ely. 16.39 Sutton-Ely (Mon-Sat) runs 15 minutes earlier. 17.28 (Sat) and 17.43 (Mon-Fri) journeys run via High Barns and Brays Lane.

370/372: Wisbech Local services. 08.20, 15.35 and 19.15 journeys are replaced by 354 (see above) and 16.10 is withdrawn. 15.05 Saturday journey also operates Mon-Fri. 17.40 journey replaced by journeys at 17.10 and 17.50.

500: Cambridge Park & Ride: Madingley Road. On Mon-Fri, 08.00 from Madingley Road and 17.50 return extend to/from Dry Drayton, leaving 07.27, replacing 141 (see above).

Comments on the changes.

In general we are pleased to see much better evening and Sunday services within the City. Now there are 5 buses per hour in the evening from Cambridge station to the City Centre, as opposed to just 1 before. Here are some more detailed comments, in order of service number.

5A: This should extend beyond the Newmarket Road park & ride to link up with local service 3, thus giving the Newmarket Road housing estates a direct service to Addenbrookes. Also, 111/122 should be retimed to connect with the 5A at the park & ride site, and X11 should make an extra stop there for the same reason.

44: While the new service is a considerable improvement for the villages, it is a deterioration as far as direct links between Fulbourn and Cambridge are concerned. Also we would like to see the village routes not serving Haverhill extend to Newmarket, replacing part of routes 46 and 115 (see later).

102/103/112: The 102 and 103 should run beyond Addenbrookes as an extension of 4, with the Mingle Lane diversion transferred to a new route between Cambridge and Sawston via Trumpington. The 102 should also connect in the Sawston area with 103 (for journeys between Whittlesford and Saffron Walden) and at Saffron Walden with Essex CC's Village Link 5 for Thaxted and Stansted Airport connecting for Chelmsford and Southend. Anticlockwise journeys on the 103 and 112, which interwork to provide a circular route from Cambridge to Duxford, should be modified to reduce the number of right turns across the A505. As things stand, the route will be even worse affected by the proposed A505 ``safety'' scheme than the old network (see Newsletter 63). Also, evening journeys on the 103 should interwork with other services north of Cambridge to provide new through facilities to/from the railway station.

104/105: The proliferation of diversions off this route is unacceptable.

108/157/196/355: The loss of the link between Ely and St Ives, previously available by changing at Earith, is of major concern. We call for the extension of 355 to St Ives, maintaining the connection at Sutton with the X55/X56 and replacing 157 between Earith and St Ives. We are not satisfied with the run-down of the Cottenham end of the 157, which should extend to Cambridge via a rail link at Waterbeach station replacing 196 and its replacements (part of route 3, see above)

109/125: Extra journeys to Little Downham should be provided by diverting some 109's between Ely and Littleport.

111/116/122: We welcome the improved service, but the opportunity has been missed to provide three-way connections between these routes at Burwell.

113/136: We welcome the improved service on route 113, but believe that alternate journeys should go via Bartlow and The Camps as route 136. This would be accompanied by a regular link between Linton, Saffron Walden and Audley End which would connect to/from Cambridge (including Addenbrookes) and Haverhill at Linton or Bartlow, and replace existing 29 (Saffron Walden-Linton) and 59 (Audley End-Haverhill). As with the 103, evening journeys should interwork with services north of Cambridge.

141/500: This sets a precedent for integrating park & ride with conventional buses -- we would like to see this happen at the Babraham Road site when that opens.

Other Cambs bus changes.

January saw some changes in National Express between Cambridge and London, including the replacement of one of the Kings Lynn extensions by a through ticketing arrangement with service X56, and the loss of the Ely extension. The latter came just as we had pointed out to National Express that a positioning working for the latter could provide a much needed connection off the 17.52 Liverpool-Norwich (21.55 ex Peterborough, 22.27 in Ely) operated by Central Trains (part of the National Express group).

March saw the introduction of improved services in the area south of Newmarket. Routes 45 and 46 run from Linton and Horseheath, 47 from Upend, with journeys 6 days a week from Linton, Upend and intermediately. Also two journeys on route 115 have been extended from Six Mile Bottom to Newmarket. However this still falls far short of what we believe is appropriate -- a 2 hourly extension of route 44 (see above), incorporating the 115, and regular diversions of Suffolk CC 202 between Haverhill and Newmarket which provides buses 5-6 times a day.

Easter saw changes to Peterborough's Sunday services. A new route 300 leaves the city at 11.00 and 14.00 for many places of interest in the area en route to Stamford, connecting with city buses and with the X94 from Wisbech and Kings Lynn. However Lincs CC cuts (see below) mean the end of the service to Spalding and beyond, including a Kings Lynn extension that hadn't come in till after Lincs CC had published its November 1998 timetables!

We also draw attention to the future withdrawal, at the end of the 1999 summer season, of the 601/603 Sunday service between Saffron Walden and Colchester, as mentioned earlier. This cuts across a corner of the county and also connects with the 38 from Linton (alas, not Cambridge any more, see Newsletter 65).

There have also been minor timing changes to several routes, including the 15/16 (Orwell-Royston, Wednesdays) and the 29 (Linton-Saffron Walden), while the 38 (Linton-London) has been reduced to one journey each way on Mondays to Fridays. Finally, it is worth mentioning that Peterborough City Council has won a Rural Transport Challenge award to develop an evening taxibus service for villages within its area. Details are awaited.

Planning and roads.

Hunts District Council has turned down the plans for a freight distribution centre at Alconbury Airfield. The developer is appealing and the plan will now go to public inquiry. Our attitude to the scheme remains that it has considerable potential to remove traffic from the roads but that we would support stringent conditions to ensure that this actually happens.

A survey for the developers has shown that 40% of lorries on this section of the A14 would be in the market for transfer to a rail service between Felixstowe and Alconbury for onward distribution by road or rail. This does not, of course, mean that if the depot is built then 40% will transfer, but it certainly suggests that there is scope for taking traffic off the roads. The developer's proposed ``Quality Bus'' network would also have potential to reduce car traffic levels -- again, it isn't certain these would be achieved but it shows the potential.

We have also commented on proposals to expand the Genome Campus at Hinxton. We believe that this should be dependent on developing the transport interchange potential of the site, just off Stump Cross, which can be served by coaches on the M11 and A11 corridors, as well as by rail, for which the best site for a new station would be Hinxton.

We plan to object to proposals for a motorway service station at Duxford. The site in question is the one which we believe should be used for park & ride, coach and bus interchange, and access to the Imperial War Museum by a footbridge across the M11. The proposal apparently incorporates the Hunts Road roundabout element of the A505 ``safety'' scheme (see Newsletter 63), which the developer will presumably pay for -- what effect will this have on the county's plans for the rest of the scheme? (We don't object to the roundabout per se, but we do to the rest of the scheme.)

In Cambridge City we welcome the forthcoming implementation of plans to reduce traffic in Emmanuel St and Rd. Not so welcome is the news that the Clifton Rd site will remain in use as a car park (though charged for) after the park & ride service has been transferred to Babraham Rd.

The Coordinator took part (on behalf of Friends of the Earth) in a second Highways Agency workshop on the future of the A14. However there is relatively little to report therefrom. The Government has agreed to bring forward the proposed multi-modal study for the route -- which everyone agrees is good news whether they support or oppose the ``widening'' solution. The Cambridge Evening News, which has conducted a campaign on the issue, has been ingeniously ambiguous about whether the campaign is intended to promote widening.

The Coordinator also attended a conference in Robinson College, Cambridge on Climate Change, and the transport workshop therein. Again, not much to report.

Bus changes in adjacent counties.

We start with Lincs where the Council from Easter axed no less than 97 services (though its own press releases said 54). This was in accordance with the county's statement that it didn't expect to be able to keep most of the Rural Bus Grant services going after Easter, but, not surprisingly, it has still outraged many local people.

The outrage was justified in the sense that the services haven't been given a fair trial. 39 of them are ``journey to work'' services, but new patronage from this source can only come if people change jobs or homes, and should therefore be expected to be slow in building up. (Mind you, it would be different if motorists were offered incentives to use public transport by means of a tax on workplace parking.) We learned of one person who got a job which depended on one of the new services just a week before its axing was announced -- how many others would have been deterred from seeking, or offering, jobs by this uncertainty?

The issue of the ``Spalding Guardian which announced a public meeting on the cuts also announced the closure of Tesco's Spalding store, with employees offered jobs at a new store at Market Deeping. These days stores stay open late -- and the evening service between the two towns was one of those subject to the axe.

Neither was a fair trial given to the many services useful for leisure, given that British Summer Time, and thus the end of dark evening, only started a week before the cuts.

The cuts also include some services of longer standing, such as the Sunday service between Peterborough, Spalding, Kings Lynn and Boston mentioned earlier, also evening town services in Grantham and the Sunday bus between Louth and Grimsby. Of the routes we mentioned In Newsletter 65, the ones to go are the evening route between Spalding, Market Deeping and Stamford as mentioned above; the evening route between Peterborough and Spalding; and the commuter bus from Long Sutton to Wisbech.

Meanwhile Lincs CC has won a ``Rural Transport Challenge'' grant to develop a ``Connect 6'' network around the Lincoln-Skegness route. This has been improved to hourly (Mon-Sat) and 5 journeys (Sun), with weekday connections to/from Wragby, Baumber, Horncastle and Spilsby. Together with other services in the area such as the rail link between Market Rasen and Louth, both of which are on the Connect 6 network, worth a day out using the new GBP 11 day return fare from Cambridge to Lincoln. (A day out ticket on Lincs Road Car, who run most of the radial routes around Lincoln and some other routes in the area, costs GBP 4-40.)

Northants has seen several new routes on Sundays linking Northampton with surrounding villages as far as Market Harborough, Towcester (serving the Stoke Bruerne canal museum) and Mears Ashby, plus various routes in the scenic area towards Banbury and (on Mondays and Wednesdays) a route between Corby and Uppingham which closely follows the freight-only railway towards Oakham.

Beds has new routes between Dunstable and Harpenden (via Chaul End, but the views are disappointing), and between Henlow Camp and Bedford via Haynes village. A further route between Potton and Flitwick was also expected from the end of March, including a Sunday journey extended to Stoke Mandeville Hospital. A pity these routes can't extend to provide a much needed extension to Cambridge!

It also amalgamated its Sunday services to Eaton Bray and Studham to form a single loop from Luton and Dunstable. Connections are still available to/from Tring, Wendover and Aylesbury with Bucks CC route 61A, but not necessarily at Whipsnade Zoo (see Newsletter 65) and unadvertised in the publicity of any of the three counties involved.

Herts has improved some village routes such as Stevenage to Luton via Codicote, and introduced a Sunday service between Hemel Hempstead and Chesham, also upgrading Watford-Aylesbury to hourly. It has won a Rural Transport Challenge award to develop information provision by means of the Internet -- and has at last restarted its area books, which have had a hiatus since winter 1998.

One commercial change: Cambridge Coach Services 77 between Stansted Airport and Stevenage has been replaced by an extension of Speedlink 747's Stevenage service. Buses now run half hourly between Brighton, Gatwick and Heathrow, then 2 hourly to Norwich (via Stansted Airport, Newmarket and Thetford) and hourly to Luton (via Watford, Hemel Hempstead and Luton Airport) with alternate extensions to Stansted Airport (via Stevenage) and Milton Keynes.

Essex has done more, though not as much as originally hoped for. From our point of view the highlight is Village Link 5 which runs hourly between Saffron Walden and Bishops Stortford via Thaxted, Stansted Airport and Hatfield Heath. A highly scenic route with good connections at the airport for Chelmsford and Southend -- but alas, one can't use First Rangers on the service even though it is run by First Eastern National. Also, connections with the 102 to/from Cambridge are tight northbound and near misses southbound, and the later journeys have no connections towards Cambridge unless one is prepared to walk to Audley End station. (Our proposed Audley End to Linton service, which in the evenings would interwork with this route, would provide Cambridge connections at both ends.)

Other Village Link routes connect Bishops Stortford with Stansted Mountfitchet by a circuitous route; Clacton with Harwich and Manningtree; Chelmsford with Wickford; and villages north of the A12 around Brentwood with Epping, Chelmsford, Brentwood or Romford according to the day of the week. (There are also several interesting school buses in this area.)

However, several services in Essex are at risk of cuts, such as the 82 between Colchester and Fordham. We have already mentioned the 601/603 Sunday service between Saffron Walden and Colchester.

Arriva have split up their Stansted Airport services, to the inconvenience of longer distance users. The network is now 500 Harlow-Romford (hourly), 501 Harlow-Brentwood (hourly), 502 Harlow-Romford (hourly), 510 Stansted Airport-Harlow (half hourly), 511 Epping-Lakeside (4 journeys). There have also been timing changes to the 724 between Harlow and Heathrow. This is due to the impact of EU driving hours rules (see earlier). To make things worse, the ``500'' group services terminate at Harlow Mill station (1 train per hour) rather than Harlow Town (4 trains).

First Eastern National have also changed their Diamond service between Bishops Stortford, Stansted Airport, Chelmsford and Southend to run faster to the last with extra local buses south of Chelmsford. Also changed is the 132/133 (Bishops Stortford-Braintree, no longer serves Stansted Mountfitchet or the airport, Sundays included). In connection with this, Herts and Essex CC have diverted Sunday route 512 (Harlow-Elsenham) via Thorley Park and Stansted Airport.

Essex CC has won a Rural Transport Challenge award to develop an integrated network (weekdays only) in the Dengie Peninsula. Try this for a day out in due course (using the Diamond service from Bishops Stortford or Stansted Airport to Chelmsford).

Suffolk: Not much here apart from minor changes. Route 306 has been introduced to provide a basic shopping service from Kentford to Bury and Newmarket.

Norfolk: January saw a complex of improvements in East Norfolk for which see the Great Britain Bus Timetable. Noteworthy is a network of Sunday buses around Norwich, including a service from Diss connecting with the 200 from Cambridge, which makes this now the best county for an outing using a Sunday Rover. (Other gateways from Cambs include the X94 from Peterborough and Wisbech via Kings Lynn, and the railway from Cambridge to Kings Lynn.)

Norfolk have won a Rural Transport Challenge award to develop their Coastliner network, with a 7 day/week service envisaged this summer. A new attraction to which, however, visitors are discouraged, is ``Seahenge'' near Holme next the Sea -- only visible at low tide. Alas, the beauties of the area will remain out of bounds to the people of Spalding, at least on Sundays (see Lincs).

Further afield.

In this section we will try to indicate what we regard as the best value access from Cambridge. (It is not feasible to provide access details from all parts of Cambs.)

North Yorkshire. Since our last newsletter we received word that the Wensleydale Railway Company had successfully started a fairly comprehensive network stretching between Northallerton and Garsdale. The company hopes that this will be a precursor for an eventual rail service. Unfortunately the company will be deprived of the fruits of its enterprise when this, and all other services in the area, will be withdrawn from 12 April as a result of retendering; at the time of writing no details have been released about the replacement network.

The Wharfedale and Nidderdale services will be running again this summer (though there are questions about the Sunday service between Harrogate and Pateley Bridge). New routes have also been put on to Malham (Saturdays) and Lothersdale (weekdays) -- both suitable for Pennine Way walkers -- as well as evening and Sunday services from Harrogate to Otley (for Bradford), Wetherby and Tadcaster (for York).

The North York Moors network will again be running ``Daffodil Buses'' every Sunday in April in Farndale, with connections from York and Hull (inter alia). Its main summer network shows further improvements including daily running in high summer and new routes to Thirsk (including across Sutton Bank), Eskdale (Commondale) and a further extension in Dalby Forest.

Best access is by the East Coast Main Line. To get to Hull, the cheapest way is to buy a train ticket to Scunthorpe or Grimsby and get a bus across the Humber Bridge -- a worthwhile trip in itself. In the present timetable it is possible to get back the same day on weekdays but not Sundays. If York is used as a railhead one can get there and back on a weekday, and back on a Sunday.

Chilterns. We now move nearer to home. Bucks CC has now replaced most of the Sunday services it axed last year -- one exception is the section of route 353 between Chesham and Berkhamsted which, significantly, crosses the border into Herts. Alternative links are provided by the 52 (see Herts above).

Bucks has also put on some new rural services in the area around Marlow, and a ``village'' link between Bicester and Buckingham.

Oxfordshire has put on several new services. These include links between Henley and Woodcote; Woodcote (weekdays) to Goring & Streatley station, Wallingford and RAF Benson, extended on weekdays to Watlington and Chalgrove and on Sundays to Dorchester, Culham station and Abingdon; Wallingford to Didcot and Chilton; Chalgrove to Wheatley, Horspath and Oxford; and some ``village'' routes between Oxford and Bicester. The unitary authority covering Newbury has put on a service to Didcot via Compton and Chilton, and that covering Windsor is supporting a diversion of Stagecoach Oxford X39 (Oxford-Heathrow) using varying routes via Windsor in the evenings and on Sundays.

Best access is by one of the Cambridge-Oxford services. Stagecoach United Counties X5 serves Milton Keynes, Buckingham Tesco's, Bicester and Oxford (using the newly opened Tingewick by-pass). Explorers and Sunday Rovers are valid without surcharge to Milton Keynes, from which there are local connections to Aylesbury and other places. The Cambridge Coach Services route serves Chalfont & Latimer station, Old Amersham, High Wycombe, West Wycombe and Stokenchurch.

Cotswolds. We define this to include everything west of Oxford, and start with an upgraded service once a day to Wytham and Cassington. Wytham Woods, the sett ing for the Inspector Morse book ``The Way through the Woods'', can be visited by applying for a permit from the University Chest Estates Office, Dartington House, Little Clarendon St, Oxford OX1 2HS.

The main routes west of Oxford are to Swindon, Stratford, Worcester and Glioucester. The first has hourly buses and is also served by train. The former hourly service to Stratford and Birmingham run by Stagecoach Midland Red was withdrawn in the new year. Stagecoach Oxford provided a replacement of three buses a day as far as Stratford, but this has now been upgraded to 2 hourly. Moreton in Marsh, Evesham and Worcester have regular trains on which Network Railcards are valid (except in the peak). Burford, Northleach, Cheltenham and Gloucester have a not very frequent service operated by Swanbrooks from Oxford.

Within the Cotswolds, there is a new twice daily (including Sundays) service between Stratford and Bath, serving Hidcote Manor Gardens, Chipping Campden, Broadway, Moreton in Marsh, Stow on the Wold, Bourton on the Water, Northleach, Cirencester, Kemble station, Tetbury, Old Sodbury and Dyrham Park. Between Moreton and Cirencester this supplements an hourly weekday service.

Another new service runs several times a day between Gloucester and Cirencester, connecting to/from Swindon, via a varying set of villages. Cirencester also has improvements towards Stroud, which in turn has buses several times a day to Bath via Tetbury and Yate. Stagecoach Midland Red have withdrawn their services 21 and 22 between Stratford, Moreton and Bourton; replacements have been provided by the councils involved but we do not have details.

Further south there are improvements on routes like Swindon-Trowbridge via Avebury and Devizes (hourly), with consequent changes to other services south of Swindon towards Marlborough, Hungerford (which has many more buses) and Newbury via the scenic Lambourn Valley. The ``Ridgeway Explorer'' is running again this year every Sunday between Swindon, Wantage and Reading. Further west Bristol has Sunday buses to places like Severn Beach, Marshfield and Blagdon.

Access from Cambridge: apart from the routes via Oxford, one may either use National Express via London, from which the day return to Cirencester, Cheltenham and Gloucester is just GBP 10, or try to make one's way cross country via Northampton and Banbury -- a more interesting route but harder to plan.

Thames east of London. The Jubilee Line Extension will, when it opens, provide direct access to the Millennium Dome, but to see it now one may use service 108 from Stratford (linked directly to Cambridge by National Express), which has been diverted through the area for the benefit of construction workers.

Also in the Stratford area, new walking routes have recently opened on the Bow Back Rivers and ``Greenway'' (the Northern Outfall Sewer -- but don't be put off by that, it's a nice walk!).

Further east, there is the new Bluewater shopping centre, served by several new bus routes including Ensign Bus 324 which runs half hourly from Romford via Lakeside Shopping Centre. The 324 has late night journeys and also runs hourly during shopping hours on Sundays. London Transport routes to Dartford (except the 726 from Heathrow, which has been cut back to Bromley) have all been extended to serve the centre, and 1 day Travelcards are valid all the way -- best access is to get a train to Crayford and pick up a bus from there.

Or get a rover ticket on Arriva. From Saffron Walden, Stansted Airport or Bishops Stortford necessary changes are at Harlow, Romford (more frequent than Brentwood) and Lakeside, with onward connections to many places in Kent. From Royston, change also at Ware.

Welsh Borderlands. Last time we mentioned the Forest of Dean network, which can be accessed via Gloucester. Further north, a new network has emerged linking Hereford, Weobley, Kington, New Radnor, Llandrindod Wells, Presteigne and Knighton. A pity it doesn't extend further to Clun, Bishops Castle and Shrewsbury, but at least Shropshire now has a good Sunday network with services radiating from Shrewsbury in all directions, in addition to the Telford network mentioned last time. This summer the National Trust will be running a minibus from Church Stretton up the Long Mynd (hitherto a hard climb!) at weekends.

The recommended access route to Shrewsbury or Hereford is via Northampton and Birmingham.

Cumbria. There is now a bus service along the west coast between Barrow and Whitehaven on Sundays, when there are no trains. Recommended access is by rail to Kirkby Stephen then bus via Kendal -- or try the reinstated service from Darlington and Barnard Castle to Brough to pick up the same bus. Improvements in the Brampton area were promised but we have no details.

Hampshire. Improvements in the Meon Valley with hourly services Alton to Fareham and Winchester to Petersfield. Access: rail from London.


We would be grateful if members could pay their 1999-2000 subscription now, although technically it doesn't fall due till May. We are not enclosing renewal forms (though we will with the next newsletter), but the rates are still GBP 3.50 (ordinary), GBP 2.50 (concessionary) and GBP 5 (household and corporate).

Some members still haven't paid for 1998-9. We have struck off all but the corporate members, for whom we appreciate that there may be difficulty in getting the signatures needed. For these we recommend that the opportunity is taken to pay the 1999-2000 subscription at the same time, i.e., a total of GBP 10.

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