Major safety shake-up pledge for guided busway
- Credit: Cambs Police
Buses will be slowed permanently on the £180m Cambridgeshire busway following a safety review.
It is one of the recommendations of consultants Mott MacDonald who were commissioned to carry out the review.
A county council spokesperson said Mott MacDonald’s had put forward recommendations “that could reasonably be made to enhance safety”.
These include a permanent lower speed limit consistent with a public highway in an urban area.
They also want “new and consistent signage, reflective lining and opportunities to improve the maintenance track where possible”.
Mott MacDonald has produced separate safety studies on both the northern and southern sections of the busway.
The council spokesperson said: “The guided busway is designed to be a safe and rapid transport system which keeps buses, cyclists and pedestrians off the highway.”
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At the end of last year, Mott MacDonald were commissioned as experts to carry out a fully independent safety analysis.
“Safety on the busway is a priority for the county council,” said the spokesperson.
Cllr Alex Beckett, chair of the highways and transport committee, said: “The council committed to undertake a full and detailed safety review of the busway from independent experts.
“It was important this review was thorough and entirely independent.
“We promised we would update when we were able to and now, I’m pleased to say we can.”
Cllr Beckett said following Mott’s reports, “we have already implemented many of the recommendations, such as a 30mph speed limit on the whole southern section.
“Many of the markings, signs and high-friction surfacing will be complete by the end of August.
“We are also looking at opportunities to improve the quality of cycling and active travel provision along the maintenance track.”
Cllr Beckett said: “In February, following ongoing communications with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), we took an extremely difficult decision.
“That was to partially close the southern section of the guided busway in one direction between Cambridge station and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.
“It was always a temporary measure while we waited for the outcome of the independent safety review.”
Cllr Beckett said they have shared Mott MacDonald’s reports with the HSE “and our subsequent planned actions.
“As Mott MacDonald have indicated that ‘a physical fence would not be a long-term practical intervention’ we are now in an ongoing dialogue with the HSE about removing the temporary fence.”
The Mott MacDonald reports and the actions the County Council is taking can be found here (personal information has been redacted): here