Wednesday, 2 May 2012

County Council Attacked For Failing To Act On Guided Bus Safety

Stagecoach Bus on Guided

Cambridgeshire’s Tory run county council has been accused of ignoring the public’s fears over safety on the Cambridge stretch of the guided busway.

The accusation comes from Liberal Democrats after a county council transport appeals panel failed to act on the guided bus safety record despite numerous accidents on the track.

They claim the Cambridge stretch of the busway has not been assessed properly and that the fears of parents, schools and parish councils have not been addressed.

Cllr Sue Gymer, who represents Cottenham, Histon and Impington on Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “I am appalled that the appeals panel allowed the guided bus safety audit to stand.

“I believe the safety study is not thorough and would not stand up in court if an accident were to occur. The subjectivity of ‘safe’ would not be enough protection for the county council as the report in my opinion is flawed.”

Cllr Gymer added that she did not believe the safety audit had properly assessed the path for its suitability for mixed use by large walking groups and cyclists taking a fast route to work.

The audit had also failed to record accidents on the busway including those on the Histon/Impington stretch where a bike became pinned under the bus in one incident and another where a cyclist hit a barrier because the sun was in his eyes.

“What makes me very angry is that even when the safety audit has identified problems, the county council has failed to act upon them,” Cllr Gymer added.. “Students are expected to walk in the road in Oakington because trees have overgrown the pathway.”

Cllr David Jenkins who also represents Cottenham, Histon and Impington, agrees and is worried that the speed limit on the Oakington and Park Lane stretch makes it difficult for bus drivers to stop in time to avoid an accident.

“If a student were to stray on to the CGB, I worry that a collision could be fatal,” he said.

Cllrs Jenkins and Gymer are calling for a senior county council officer not connected with the appeals panel to act on the issues raised.