Stagecoach East calls for better communication from utility …
Stagecoach East has called for better communication between those who make decisions about Cambridge's roads - after discovering that utilities work will close Girton High Street on September 10 and September 17. The bus company said left it without any feasible diversion route for its service 6.
UK Power Networks is also set to cause disruption to bus service 1 on Gazelle Way from September 11 until October 6, and the new Springstead Village development will have traffic control on the Gazelle Way roundabout from September 18.
David Boden, business development director for Stagecoach East, said: “As a company, we consistently run more than 98 per cent of our scheduled miles. We want to achieve the same with punctuality, but this is made difficult in Cambridge not only by general congestion, but also by planned road works.
“Cambridgeshire County Council officers work exceptionally hard to try to mitigate the effects on our services from roadworks where they can, but there are sadly limits to their powers. Now is the time for everyone, including the utility companies, to engage with bus operators directly in a meaningful and productive way.
"With such engagement and a desire from utility companies to go the extra mile, even when this costs them extra money, solutions can be found, such as shuttle buses paid for by the utility company.
“Service 1 is the busiest bus route in Cambridge, offering key strategic links for our customers. Sadly, this is not first time Gazelle Way has been dug up this year.
"Alongside congestion, this has meant we have, reluctantly, had to reduce the frequency of the service 1 down from every ten minutes to every twelve, just to ensure we can offer our loyal customers as reliable a service as we can.
“Buses are a key lifeline for the city. With a genuine desire from everyone to go that extra mile in minimising disruption to bus services, we can offer the residents of Cambridge the excellent service that we all want them to have.”
A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesperson said: “Cambridgeshire County Council’s streetworks team works proactively and closely with bus operators on all temporary closure requests, and we collectively seek to minimise disruption to bus services wherever possible. We meet monthly to consider the forward programme of works and remain in regular dialogue. Utility providers and developers have a statutory obligation and legal right to install and maintain their apparatus in the public highway.
"Developers also have a legal obligation to deliver highway improvements and provide new utility services to new developments as part of their planning consent. We work closely with utility providers and developers to ensure that they have explored opportunities to carry out work in the least disruptive way. Road closures are always the last resort and usually health and safety driven, which is important to protect both the workforce carrying out the work and the travelling public.”