Guided busway: Speed reduced to 15mph on Cambridge section to ‘reduce chances of serious injury’
The speed limit on the guided busway southern section in Cambridge has been reduced to 15mph, Cambridgeshire County Council has announced this afternoon (Friday, November 26).
The further speed reduction, which will run between Long Road bridge and the railway station in both directions, is being implemented just days after a 30mph limit was put in place on the city-bound track from the Long Road bridge to the Hills Road bridge. Previously buses could travel at 56mph.
It follows the death of pedestrian Kathleen Pitts, 52, of Ravensworth Gardens, Cambridge, at Sedley Taylor Road on October 26, which has prompted the council to appoint an independent expert to conduct a safety review, who has begun work and will visit the site in December.
The county council says it has a duty to keep matters under “continuous review” and in considering these matters “we have thought again about realistic measures we feel able to take to reduce the risk further and decided to implement a further speed restriction”.
Cllr Peter McDonald, chair of the highways and transport committee at the county council, said: “Speed is a key factor in safety, by reducing the speed limit to 15mph we allow a very short stopping distance and a lower speed reduces the chances of serious injury.
“We have focussed on this southern section of the busway as we want to do all we can to make the busway as safe as possible and it’s also the section which has the most amount of pedestrian and cycle use on the maintenance track.”
The 15mph speed limit is now in place. Bus operators have been told and the signs will be “installed shortly”.
Cyclist Steve Moir, 50, from Sawston, died in a head-on collision with a guided bus on the same stretch when he fell in its path in 2018. A Health and Safety Executive review into that incident is still incomplete, three years on.
Fellow cyclist Brian Robertson called for a physical barrier to be installed on the busway earlier this month in the Cambridge Independent.
There have previously been calls for a 20mph limit on the stretch, with survival rates seven to 10 times higher, and stopping distances halved between 30mph and 20mph.