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Councillors approve permanent fence for stretch of guided busway in Cambridge

A permanent protective fence has been approved for a stretch of guided busway in Cambridge where two people died.

The section of the guided busway between Cambridge station and the Addenbrooke’s Spur has been partially closed since February 2022.

Cambridgeshire Guided Busway Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridgeshire Guided Busway Picture: Keith Heppell

This allowed for a temporary fence to be installed, but Cambridgeshire County Council has now agreed to erect a permanent one. It is expected to enable the reopening of the stretch of closed busway by spring 2024.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) announced in May that it would be prosecuting the authority after three people died on the guided busway. Two of the deaths occurred between Cambridge station and Long Road.

Steve Moir, 50, died after colliding with a bus on the section of the busway between Cambridge railway station and Long Road on September 13, 2018.

Then in October 2021, Kathleen Pitts, 52, who was on foot, died after being hit by a bus on the same section.

Councillors sitting on the authority’s highways and transport committee on Tuesday (December 5) agreed to set aside £920,000 to install the fence.

It will include moveable sections to allow passengers on buses to be evacuated during an emergency.

Officers said the partial closure of the busway was “impacting negatively on [the authority’s] relationship with the bus operators” due to the “severe damage” it was causing to services.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Cllr Alex Beckett, committee chair, said: “We have designed an innovative solution which we anticipate will allow us to return the busway back to full use.

“We want people to continue cycling, walking, running and using the maintenance track, and to allow buses to operate, so this is the best way forward.”

Additional reporting by Hannah Brown, Local Democracy Reporter

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