Long delays on buses to Addenbrooke’s Hospital as months of roadworks for Dutch roundabout begin
Patients, staff and visitors trying to get to Addenbrooke’s Hospital have been met with long delays after work started on a new Dutch-style roundabout on the route.
The Citi 1 bus, which takes passengers to the hospital, was running up to 35 minutes late on Monday (September 9) – the first day of the roadworks. Meanwhile the Citi 2 bus will not run to the hospital for six months.
Cllr Colin McGerty, chair of the city council’s south area committee, has said he will urge Stagecoach to review its plans.
He said: “This build is going on for six months through the winter, so asking people to change buses in the cold and dark just seems really unreasonable because you have to assume these are pretty vulnerable people as they are going to the hospital.
“We initially expected the works to have a horrible effect on traffic at peak times of the day, which it has had. So Citi 1 buses, which were going through to the hospital on the first day, were 45 minutes apart when they should be 10 minutes apart. That shows already the effect it has had.”
Cllr McGerty chaired the south area committee on Monday evening where he heard complaints from residents and the Cambridge Area Bus Users’ group.
As the Cambridge Independent went to press yesterday (Tuesday), he was heading to a meeting with the bus operator, bus users’ representatives and council officers to demand a solution.
He said: “This is comparable to the Mill Road closure project. That was the same on the first few days – the city centre was horrific with traffic. But after an initial period, as traffic adjusts to changes to the network and there are behavioural changes, it would disperse and find its own way.
“The undertaking I’m looking for from Stagecoach is for them to review this as soon as possible after a couple of weeks. What I really want is for the Citi 2 to go through to Addenbrooke’s.”
The Citi 2 bus, operated by Stagecoach, will not run directly to Addenbrooke’s for the construction period of more than six months. It means parts of Chesterton, Mill Road, Perne Road and Birdwood Road will not have a direct bus link to Addenbrooke’s during this time.
Stagecoach says residents could still get to Addenbrooke’s from the affected areas on its network, but passengers would have to use two buses.
Operations director for Stagecoach, Ross Barton, said: “We realise it’s far from an ideal situation for customers and we have tried to come up with the best solution within the time frame we had. Going forward, I’m happy to review any suggestions and proposals and make amendments to it and work with the council.”
He said that there was a problem with the bus running south, including safety concerns around a right hand turn.
A spokesperson for the bus operator added: “Stagecoach is willing to consider alternative solutions that may benefit passengers but, in practice, viable options are constrained by factors beyond our control such as congestion and road width.”
The new Dutch-style roundabout gives priority to cyclists and pedestrians and is being installed to help improve road safety and to encourage more cycling.