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Stagecoach: How we aim to get you where you want to go

I am very pleased to be working on this new series of articles with the Cambridge Independent. I want to ‘show you behind the curtains’ a little bit, to let you know more about how we aim to get you where you want to go.

Darren Roe, managing director of Stagecoach East. Picture: Richard Marsham
Darren Roe, managing director of Stagecoach East. Picture: Richard Marsham

I promise that one hallmark of these articles will be their honesty: if we do something wrong, then I will explain our thinking and tell you what we are going to do about it.

So it is that I am starting by talking about the busway. In April, we made changes, which we hoped would improve efficiency, reduce the cost of service provision and allow customers to make the most of the busway, but, in reality, the changes did not have the effect we expected.

Usually, at this time of year, we would expect the number of young people using the bus to get to school or college would start to reduce as they go on study leave before their exams, and we also expected the opening up of the southern section of the busway to improve the cycle time of the buses (as we had previously had a 30-minute diversion in place); in reality, the impact of these changes caught us by surprise. This has resulted in more customers than expected wanting to use our services, meaning some customers could not get on their usual bus.

I deeply regret that this has happened because we have not been able to offer our customers the level of service you are entitled to expect.

So, what are we going to do about it? We have brought forward changes, which were due to be made in June, to 19 May to tackle the problem. The changes will see additional services to Addenbrooke’s Hospital and improved frequency on a key route from St Ives to Cambridge. They include:

- Two new services will be introduced along the southern section of the busway to work with the A service and provide a combined 10-minute peak frequency between Trumpington Park & Ride, the railway station and Addenbrooke’s, from Monday to Friday:

o The new H service will operate between Trumpington Park & Ride and Addenbrooke’s during morning peak times.

o The new R service will operate between Trumpington Park & Ride, Addenbrooke’s and Cambridge railway station.

- Additional resource will be added during the morning peak to provide greater capacity between St Ives and Cambridge. This means routes A and B will provide a combined 10-minute frequency along the main section of the guided busway track from St Ives into Cambridge.

- Route B will extend to serve Long Road Sixth Form College Monday-Friday at selected times. These journeys will replace the current C service.

We will be out and about the Park & Rides in Trumpington and St Ives giving out free teas and coffees to our passengers and answering questions on the updated services. Please do come and have a brew on us.

Stagecoach East managing director Darren Roe. Picture: Richard Marsham
Stagecoach East managing director Darren Roe. Picture: Richard Marsham

So, that’s the first article. I hope you will want to read more of them in the future, and also that I will be able to answer any questions that you have about your local bus services. If you have a question, please send it to the Cambridge Independent and they will pass it on.

To those using our services, thank you - we really, really appreciate you travelling with us. To those who don’t currently, please consider using your local bus services where you can, even if for just one day a week. It all helps with the reduction of congestion in the region, and at £2 for a single journey is great value. And, if you are lucky to have a concession pass, it’s free! If you don’t have a free bus pass yet, then you can find out if you qualify at gov.uk/state-pension-age.

Enjoy your journey, wherever you travel!

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