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Guided busway: Partial closure of Cambridge southern section amid safety review

An inbound section of the guided busway between Cambridge Railway Station and Addenbrooke’s Hospital will temporarily close in January.

Busway off Long Road by Sedley Taylor Road where there was a fatal RTA. Picture: Keith Heppell. (53900453)
Busway off Long Road by Sedley Taylor Road where there was a fatal RTA. Picture: Keith Heppell. (53900453)

The busway will be used from the railway station to Addenbrooke’s and then buses will use Hills Road on the return journey.

It follows ongoing communications with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and as well as the Cambridgeshire County Council’s own review of safety on the busway.

From mid-January - expected to be January 17 - the closure will come into effect and further measures, such as painting new lines, installing signs and a temporary barrier to stop people from walking and cycling on the track while it is not being used, will be installed.

The HSE is 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. It also yet to conclude its 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.

Cllr Peter McDonald, chair of the highways and transport committee at the county council, said: “We have taken the extremely difficult decision to partially close the southern section of the guided busway while we wait for the outcome of the independent safety review, following our ongoing communications with HSE.

“This is a temporary measure while the review we have commissioned is carried out. When we receive the recommendations of that review, we will carefully consider any future actions that are required. It wouldn’t be appropriate for us to try and pre-empt the outcome of the review at this point. “However, we continue in our duty to keep the safety of the guided busway under continuous review and to make any additional changes and introduce realistic temporary measures we feel able to take to reduce any risks further.

“We have already considered fencing and closing the maintenance track, and after weighing up all the risks we feel this partial closure is the most appropriate short-term, temporary measure that can be implemented while the safety review is completed.

“We want people to continue cycling, walking, running, and using the maintenance track and allow buses to operate, albeit in a slightly reduced way. We have been working closely with the bus operators.”

The independent safety review is expected to conclude in February.

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner said: “I welcome the decision to suspend the incoming lane of the busway close to Cambridge station pending further decisions on the safety of that stretch of the busway. We have been awaiting the outcome of the HSE enquiries for a long-time, and answers are needed. This is an important transport link for Cambridge, but it needs to be safe - and many will continue to wonder why proper segregation wasn’t achieved at the outset.”

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