'Bus service changed route as junction is too dangerous'
PUBLISHED: 08:33 13 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:02 13 December 2017
A transport boss who runs a bus service through Bassingbourn says he has been forced to change the route because of a dangerous junction.
A2B’s Bus and Coach Ltd’s Brian Clifford – which runs the 127 through Bassingbourn, en route from Royston to Guilden Morden – has had to cease travelling via the junction of North End with Fen Road and Guise Lane.
He said: “The junction has become too dangerous to turn the vehicle, because the vehicle has to turn where there is an island and it’s just too tight, especially when cars are illegally parked.
“We have had on many occasions now near misses with the vehicle reversing, and unless something changes soon there will be an accident or – God forbid – someone will get killed.
“There’s often children in the vicinity and I won’t put the possibility of one of them being injured on my, or any member of my team’s, conscience.
“I understand that a small amount of people will be inconvenienced by removing the service from there, but now – and as always – safety is paramount.
“We are going to trial the alternative route around the North End-Mill Lane area so the service continues to operate there, but unfortunately if this meets resistance or doesn’t work then there will be no alternative but to withdraw the 127 from that area.”
Cam Vale Bus User Group chair Susan van de Ven said: “In the good old days county highways would have been able to shave a couple of feet off the offending island in order to ensure clear passage for a turning bus.
“Nowadays county’s budget has been stripped down to nearly nothing and they ask parish councils to fund these things.
“It isn’t right. Parish councils are not set up to do highways’ work. Nevertheless we are stuck with a practical problem to solve.
“It is important that the bus is able to serve that corner of Bassingbourn, to provide transport to people who don’t drive and can’t manage a long walk, perhaps carrying shopping.
“Bassingbourn Parish Council is stepping up to figure out if they can help. It all depends on whether the cost estimate that county provides is within reason – and bearing in mind that this is not the only highways job that has found its way to the parish council.”
At the Cam Vale BUG meeting on Monday last week, there was some dispute as to how much the cost of altering the island would be – which councillors present at the meeting said it could be as much as £20,000 for the job.
How much it would cost to add yellow lines to stop cars parking illegally at the junction was also discussed, and it was said this could cost anything from £1,500 to £10,000.
A spokeswoman for Cambridgeshire County Council said: “We are aware of the concerns raised by residents on the bus route in Bassingbourn and are working with the bus operator.”