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£2.9m is set aside for widening the guided busway in Cambridge after two fatalities

Millions of pounds have been set aside to widen the path alongside the southern section of the guided busway from Addenbrooke’s Hospital to Cambridge Railway Station.

Guided Busway, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell. (6996599)
Guided Busway, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell. (6996599)

The decision comes amid safety investigations into the deaths of a pedestrian and a cyclist on the southern stretch of the busway.

Councillors unanimously agreed to earmark £2.891million for the feasibility, design and implementation of widening in 2023-24 where “reasonably practicable” at a meeting of Cambridgeshire County Council’s strategy and resources committee.

It says any future proposals would be subject to public engagement.

In a statement, a council spokesperson said: “Restoring the southern section of the busway to full operational use is a priority for us.

“A precise timeframe is, at present, unable to be provided as it involves complex issues, however we are continuing to work hard to achieve a satisfactory resolution.”

An independent report produced by Mott Macdonald on the southern section was published in June last year.

It recommended that “at a minimum, the existing footpath/cyclepath should be widened as much as is practicable”.

In response, the county council said it was “looking at opportunities to improve the quality of cycling and active travel provision along the maintenance track”.

The council says this latest decision means it has “simply identified funding to progress the recommendation of the independent report from Mott Macdonald”.

In addition to the review conducted on behalf of the council, the Health and Safety Executive is also investigating the death of Kathleen Pitts, 52, of Ravensworth Gardens, Cambridge, who died after being struck by a bus near Sedley Taylor Road on October 26, 2021.

The HSE has still yet to conclude its long-running probe into the 2018 death of cyclist Steve Moir, 50, from Sawston, who died in a similar area of the busway, between Long Road and Cambridge railway station.

Speeds between Long Road bridge and the railway station in both directions were reduced to 15mph in November 2021. Previously buses could travel at 56mph.

The funding comes from the transfer of additional income from the government’s Business Rates Relief Reconciliation Grant.

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