The new 905 bus service commissioned by Mayor James Palmer, which provides a long needed public transport option to those commuting between Cambourne and Cambridge Science Park, has carried over a thousand passengers in its first two weeks of operation.
Almost half of these boarding’s (475) were in Cambourne, demonstrating why it was important for the Mayor to take action to provide additional public transport in the Cambourne area.
There have also been significant numbers travelling from St Neots showing that people are willing to make longer journeys by bus, with the right provision of services in place.
Mayor James Palmer said:
“The phenomenal take up of the new bus service linking Cambourne to Cambridge proves without doubt that I was right to step in to ensure new transport solutions for the area that are available now.
“While other politicians have spent months talking about unpopular schemes that would not be in place for several years and not go where people need to go, others recognised the need for immediate solutions, and I’m delighted that my action is paying off in people enjoying these new services.
“While Covid has changed the way we work, people will still need to get to major employment areas including the Science Park and Addenbrookes, and new bus routes like these provide a great alternative to the car. They will also reduce traffic on the congested local roads and can help bring forward the housing developments that the people of South Cambridgeshire have been waiting for.
“Thank you once more to Stagecoach and the local councillors who have helped make this happen.”
Michelle Hargreaves, Managing Director of Stagecoach East, said:
“We are really pleased to see how many people have benefited from the new 905 service, which launched last month between Bedford and Cambridge via St Neots and Cambourne. We recently implemented several changes to our bus network, including this new service, to provide vital links and sufficient capacity for commuters and students as schools returned. It is brilliant to see that over 600 people, according to passenger data, have utilised the service since, demonstrating how popular the new route has been in particular with Cambridge Regional College students and Cambourne residents.
Earlier this year, James Palmer, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough gave a commitment to providing new bus services from Cambourne to major areas of employment such as the Science Park and the BioMedical Campus. Following on from this decision and in close collaboration with local councillors, two new bus services were procured to improve bus services between Cambridge and Cambourne.
From 30 August, Stagecoach has diverted the X5 service from Bedford and St Neots to Cambridge via Cambourne, Cambridge Regional College and Cambridge Science Park. Diverted journeys have be renumbered 905 and run every 30 minutes, Monday to Friday.
From Monday 31st August, Whippet service X3 has also provided a new hourly link to Addenbrooke’s from Huntingdon, Godmanchester, Papworth and Cambourne. These buses will serve Cambridge Railway Station. There are extra buses at shift change times for the BioMedical Campus and the hourly service will run seven days a week.
These new bus services are urgently needed due to current transport pressure into the area, especially at the growing Biomedical Campus where Addenbrooke’s Hospital is located.
There are currently an estimated 26,500 visits to the campus every day from patients, staff, academics, scientists and visitors, with future growth set to increase this number.
With 8,500 people employed on the Biomedical Campus, the Combined Authority and Cambridgeshire County Council are keen to try and move people away from using cars to using buses where possible. This new route allows people to make direct journeys from West Huntingdonshire without changing bus. The new service also links Cambridge Rail Station with the college on Hills Road.
The new route from Cambourne to Cambridge Science Park, will also provide a viable public transport option for the Science Park, which has 7500 employees and Cambridge Regional College, which has 1600 students.
Anthony Browne, MP for South Cambridgeshire said:
“Public Transport services have not been keeping up with growth in Cambourne for some time and I know this will be appreciated by residents who have repeatedly told me how much we need to improve local bus services
“Commuters, shoppers and hospital patients are crying out for the quick and convenient access to Cambridge, and these services are a step in the right direction. I am glad that Mayor Palmer has listened to residents and worked with local councillors, moving swiftly to find and implement a solution.
“My focus continues to be delivering other key infrastructure projects such as the East West rail link and Cambridge South Station, since our area continues to grow at one of the fastest rates in the country. I look forward to working with the Mayor to keep South Cambridgeshire moving.”