Citi2 will not serve Addenbrooke’s Hospital for over six months

whilst many Citi1 passengers will need to change buses to reach the Hospital

From Monday 9th September 2019, the junction of Queen Edith’s Way and Fendon Road will be closed so that work can be carried out on behalf of Cambridgeshire County Council on the layout of the roundabout. Disruption is expected to last 29 weeks (so until the end of March 2020).

It is unacceptable that Stagecoach’s citi2’s passengers will have no direct access to Addenbrooke’s for nearly seven months and that citi1 passengers along Queen Edith’s Way must first travel – in the ‘wrong’ direction – toward Cherry Hinton.

Patients should not be required to change buses at exposed stops in the cold wet weather of a Cambridge winter. Will patients using citi1 or citi2 buses miss hospital appointment? Will key hospital staff be delayed, putting patient safety at risk?

We are calling upon the bus operator and the highways authority (Cambridgeshire County Council) to co-operate with the local community in finding a solution which restores our bus services.

See the bus route map below.

Both Stagecoach and the Cambridgeshire County Council have informed us of a lack of complaints. Please rectify this in the comments section below (click).

Mayor of Cambridge, Gerri Bird says the construction of the Dutch-Style roundabout should be delayed

‘Dutch-style roundabout should be held-off to reconsider impact on bus users’

Cambridge Area Bus Users would like to thank Gerri Bird for this intervention, and Local Democracy Reporter, Ben Hatton, for this excellent, and accurate, report.
Read Ben’s full report here.

Cambridge’s MP, Daniel Zeichner intervenes

On Wednesday 21st August 2019, Cambridge Area Bus Users’ secretary contacted Cambridge’s MP, Daniel Zeichner and Heidi Allen MP for South Cambridgeshire, in whose constituency the roundabout lies, asking for their intervention.

Despite being away on a short break before parliament returns, on Tuesday 27th August 2019 Daniel Zeichner replied:
Happy to take this up with the County Council and to work with Heidi.

And on Wednesday 28th August 2019 Daniel Zeichner wrote:
I’ve contacted the County Council and asked for an urgent response.

Note that phrase ‘urgent response’. Our secretary spoke to Daniel on Saturday lunchtime (31st August 2019). He had not yet received any response.

How does the problem arise?

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cycling Infrastructure Team is remodelling the Queen Edith’s Way and Fendon Road roundabout ‘to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians’.

Work will involve installing a new Dutch-style roundabout to improve safety in the area, by giving priority to pedestrians and cyclists over motorists. One of the key elements is a change in carriageway width, designed to influence slower approach and departure speeds, thereby reducing the speed of drivers.
Pedestrians will be provided with zebra crossings on each of the four roundabout entry / exit arms and on the crossing points over the cycle paths. Cyclists will be given their own cycle path, in contrasting red tarmac, to give them equal priority over motor vehicles.
During [the construction period] both of the Queen Edith’s Way arms of the roundabout will be closed 24/7 to allow for the shortest construction time.

Cambridgeshire County Council website (click for more information)
Click the image above to view/download a detailed PDF of the roundabout design.

There have been differing views about this roundabout’s design and its effectiveness. Cambridge Area Bus Users cannot, as a group, comment on those issues. What we can say is that we are in favour of schemes to create modal shift away from private cars, to walking cycling and public transport, as these should – directly or indirectly – benefit bus passengers by relieving traffic congestion.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s construction arrangements for the roundabout are to the severe disbenefit of bus users, possibly long-term, as potential passengers lose the ‘bus habit’.

Details of the service changes, timetables and the PDF of the map below, are available on this Stagecoach East service update page.

Click the map for a downloadable PDF

Although the citi1 will serve passengers departing Addenbrooke’s along its normal route, Addenbrooke’s-bound passengers from Queen Edith’s Way must travel in the wrong direction to the Robin Hood where they must cross the road for another citi1 bus coming back to  the Hospital, via Cherry Hinton Road and Perne Road. Netherhall school students in Cherry Hinton lose the option of catching the bus to school.

All citi2 passengers lose a through service in both directions, but Wulfstan Way is probably hardest hit. Addenbrooke’s-bound passengers must travel around the loop via Queen Edith’s Way to change onto a citi1 on Cherry Hinton Road. On their return two changes may be needed.

Why can’t all buses use Nightingale Avenue?

It is proposed that the citi1 will use Nightingale Avenue in one direction. It was not clear to us why both the citi1 and citi2 could not use this route in both directions.

Through email and telephone discussions with Stagecoach’s team, we have learned that Cambridgeshire County Council appear to be imposing no traffic restrictions on Nightingale Avenue during the construction phase of the roundabout. This means that the road, albeit wide enough to take buses in both directions, may be choked with ‘rat-running’ traffic. The 18 buses/hour (six in each direction for citi1, 3 in each direction for citi2) would be snarled up in traffic ignoring Cambridgeshire County Council’s ‘official’ diversions. (See map below.)

A solution has now been proposed, by local resident, John Carroll. See below.

Click the map for a downloadable PDF

It is a moot point as to which is the least damaging to the environment and to the quiet enjoyment of their homes by Nightingale Avenue residents during the QE/Fendon roundabout closure:

  • 18 buses/hour from around 6am to 11pm driven by trained professionals? or
  • 1000s of rat-running private cars driven by frustrated, angry, delayed, impatient motorists, throughout the day and night?

The citi2 service is a vital link to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for residents in and around Mill Road, Perne Road, Birdwood Road, Walpole Road, Wulfstan Way, and for Chesterton residents.

Below is an annotated image of the Stagecoach citi network with the city wards in orange to match the route of the citi2 and a couple of roads highlighted, for the aid of those who may be unfamiliar with the full route.

Click the map for a downloadable PDF

Cambridge Area Bus Users are working to get these arrangements changed. (See below.) You can add your own comments at the foot of the post.

citi2 passengers have already suffered a cut in frequency from a 10-minute to a 20-minute service to Addenbrooke’s, as a result of traffic congestion on Mill Road. Additionally, Mill Road area residents have had a total rupture to through services, over the summer, as a consequence of Govia Thameslink Railway’s work on Mill Road bridge and the Cadent/Triio gas-main works.

As a result Stagecoach have lost passengers. This latest disruption threatens the long-term viability of the route.

An example of the cumulative impact of the disruption to the citi 2 can be found in this Cambridge News article, featuring, Cambridge Area Bus Users member, Ruth Greene.

The Mill Road bridge closure has affected my life in the worst possible way

A pensioner with a brain tumour is one resident who will be directly affected by the loss of the service direct to Addenbrooke’s.
Read the full article, here.

It is one thing for the Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cycling Infrastructure Team to commission a design with the intention of improving cycle and pedestrian safety. However, the skill comes in achieving improvements without causing problems for other legitimate interests, in particular bus users.

Can a solution be found?

Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and local resident, Professor John Carroll, has a produced a detailed practical solution. This is backed by fellow local resident Prof Malcolm Bolton FREng.

The Highway Authority (Cambridgeshire County Council) should install a temporary redesign/relocation of the lights and pedestrian crossing in Hills Road adjacent to Nightingale Avenue.

The current proposal is that Cherry Hinton bound citi 1 buses will turn left from Hills Road into Nightingale Avenue with the junction modifications being made just now. However no bus turns right out of Nightingale Avenue because even when the pedestrians are crossing Hills Road near Red Cross lane (and stopping the traffic towards to the hospital) there is only room for small vehicles to fit into the traffic flow and turn right from Nightingale Avenue into Hills Road.

Under current proposals there are no traffic restrictions on Nightingale Avenue. Cars taxis and other vehicles from Queen Ediths Way will choke Nightingale Avenue throughout the day and have great difficulty in turning right towards the hospital. Buses would be stuck in this ‘rat-running’ traffic and be unable to keep to any semblance of their schedule. A Solution is, however, possible. See the schematic plans, below.

Click the map for a downloadable PDF
  • Move the existing pedestrian crossing closure to Addenbrooke’s Hospital roundabout.
  • Buses turning right into Hills Road from Nightingale Avenue have a red light, before Red Cross Lane, stopping vehicles going north and a red light before Nightingale Avenue stopping vehicles going south.
  • Buses turning left from Hills Road into Nightingale Avenue would have a red light in Nightingale Avenue (possibly controlled by the bus) to prevent cars coming too close to the junction and reducing room to manoeuvre the bus.
  • There may be a need for lights at the end of ‘Hills Road slip road’ to control traffic.
  • Retain the ‘No right turn’ restriction into Nightingale Avenue from Hills Road as at present.
  • Enforce a ‘No right turn’ restriction from Nightingale Avenue into ‘Hills Road slip road’.
  • There may be a need for a temporary Traffic Regulation order, restricting Nightingale Avenue to ‘Access and service buses only’.

We have written to Daniel Zeichner MP and Heidi Allen MP, both of whose constituents are affected by this service disruption. We have also contacted every Cambridge City Councillor and every Cambridgeshire County Councillor through whose ward/division the citi2 passes, and have already received a number of helpful responses. It is still unclear as to which councillors were made aware of the disruptive implications of the construction phase of this scheme for bus services.

Daniel Zeichner, despite snatching a brief holiday before parliament returns, replied on 27 Aug 2019:
“Happy to take this up with the County Council and to work with Heidi.”
And, on 28 Aug 2019:
“I’ve contacted the County Council and asked for an urgent response.”

Gerri Bird, Mayor of Cambridge, City Councillor for East Chesterton, a regular passenger on the citi2 and a wheelchair user, has confirmed that she was not consulted on the implications of the construction phase of this scheme for bus users of the 24/7 closure of both Queen Edith’s Way arms of the roundabout. Cllr Bird knew nothing of the effect on her bus service until Cambridge Area Bus Users contacted her.

Cllr Bird is now calling for a pause for this scheme: ‘Dutch-style roundabout should be held-off to reconsider impact on bus users’

Certainly, Cambridge Area Bus Users was not consulted about this disruption, nor were Birdwood Road Residents’ Association, nor, as far as we can ascertain were many other residents’ groups. We are in touch with as many as possible, to co-ordinate action.

Ben Hatton, Local Democracy Reporter, wrote this piece in the Cambridge Independent: Anger at loss of bus route to Addenbrooke’s for 29 weeks as Dutch roundabout constructed.  

We wrote to Stagecoach’s Ross Barton, Operations Director, and Vanessa Armstrong, Marketing & Customer Experience Manager, inviting their comments.

Whilst they will not openly criticise Cambridgeshire County Council, it seems clear, ‘reading between the lines’ that Stagecoach’s management were not consulted by the Cambridgeshire County Council, merely informed of plans with very little time to attempt to find a ‘least worst’ solution to maintaining some sort of bus service.

We have written to Graham Hughes, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Executive Director Place & Economy, requesting a meeting between senior county officers, councillors of affected county divisions, representative of Residents’ Associations served by the citi2, Stagecoach management and members of Cambridge Area Bus Users Executive Committee. Urgently. Ahead of the proposed closure.

We propose that the start of the works be delayed until a suitable solution for bus services can be found.

Moreover, we question whether this total closure of Queen Edith’s Road is the best way of speeding the construction. Construction in the spring and summer of 2020 would enable longer daylight working, and be more likely to avoid weather-related delays.

Download your choice of poster – help the campaign.

Click the image to download a printable PDF of this poster
Click the image to download a printable PDF of this poster

Please note that any advertisements which appear in association with these posts are not indicative of any endorsement by Cambridge Area Bus Users. They are placed there by a WordPress algorithm.

Add your comments below, or email us to tell us what you think.

See also Tobie52’s contribution in the comments section of the ‘Comments, Compliments, Complaints and Opinions’ page.

J, a passenger who works on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, has also emailed us a complaint about the citi2 service.

16 thoughts on “Citi2 will not serve Addenbrooke’s Hospital for over six months

  1. It takes me 25 minutes to walk from Netherhall school to Addenbrooke’s, in which time I have to wait another 30 minutes for a bus to take me back to Haverhill. This 50 minute waste could all be prevented by putting another Citi 1 bus on, at peak times. It’s inconvenient and a waste of time. A citi 1 bus travels to Cherry Hinton all day so why can’t one travel the opposite direction?


  2. This will adversely affect a lot of disabled people who have mobility limitations (so switching busses is problematic), and are often too poor to afford taxis. Law suit? Did they do an equality assessment for disabled people?


  3. Very disappointed that the citi2 to Addenbrooke’s will he closed. This is a very busy service and hugely important to those of us who need to access the hospital but do not have a car. I live off Mill Road and it’s ridiculous that I can nearly see Addenbrooke’s from Coleridge Road but will need to go to extra expense and effort to travel there throughout my pregnancy. The people of the citi2 route have endured enough with the diversions caused by the bridge closure!


  4. It was bad enough when the 10-minute Citi2 service to Addenbrooke’s was cut by half. For children or anyone who’s old or unwell, 20 minutes is a long time to stand in the wind and rain. If a bus is cancelled, we can wait up to 40 minutes. What are we meant to do with no service at all?
    Genuine question: how are we meant to get to Addenbrooke’s after 9 September?


  5. Members of QEWRA are residents and cyclists.
    It is not the cycle lanes residents object to, but the loss of green space to put them in. Cutting down trees hardly helps climate change. A ‘solution’ that takes a leafy residential street and replaces it with an even greater width of tarmac, cutting down both small and large trees does not support climate change. And remember the proposal still required buses and lorries to share the cycle lanes with children on bikes. It was a bad joke which residents were right to oppose. If we really want to tackle climate change we have to do better than that.
    Buses are motor vehicles which is why the motor vehicle capacity of the roundabout affects them. Right now the roundabout appears to promote a modal shift away from buses.
    Wookey talks of evil. We would question the motives of those who claim the roundabout will be safer for cyclists without evidence, and who ignore the evidence that other Dutch roundabout designs are much safer. We fear that almost all users will lose with this design of roundabout. We cannot understand why the safer Dutch designs were not offered in consultations to the public. We can hope that the pedestrian crossings will at least make it easier for walking, but this is subject to the confusing design not causing accidents to pedestrians.

    As regards councillors knowing, the County Council’s webpage on the roundabout contains all this information and the letters that were sent to local residents which includes many of our local councillors.

    It was, as has been mentioned elsewhere, discussed in the South Area Committee in July (and previous meetings), with residents expressing particular concern to all the councillors present about the disruption to buses. The QEWRA has also been making the point for years that projects that reduce motor vehicle traffic capacity are bad for bus users, emergency service vehicles and so on. We presented to the Economy and Environment Committee.

    It is true that the wider consultation on this project has been woeful, but this appears to be deliberate so as not to invite criticism. Stagecoach were not even aware of the roundabout propsals until they were contacted by QEWRA.


  6. been re checking the map and if mowbray road cannot be used by citi2 as it serves wulfstan way then send it down nightinggale avenue to addenbrookes and then send the citi1 down the mowbray road/fenland road route to addenbrookes all should be happy with that


  7. It’s not clear why the citi2 can’t just continue to Addies via Nightingale Avenue for the duration of the works. If you leave the 3rd arm of the Roundabout open then the works will take several months longer (and cost more).

    Some people (like ‘Queen Ediths Way’ above) are determined to do everything they can to stop reallocation of road-space away from private cars to bikes and people walking. They have made a huge fuss about this roundabout which has caused enormous delay, and they got cycle lanes along QEW killed off too. People still obsessing about ‘traffic capacity’ (by which they mean motor-vehicle capacity, not ‘people capacity’) in the face of the climate emergency are at best horribly misguided – and I would use the word ‘evil’. If we don’t make radical changes to the way we do things over the next decade the survival of the great majority of people on Earth is at risk. Adding some decent cycle lanes is hardly radical, but even that is fought against tooth and nail.

    I despair.

    For the bus routing the choices are 1) going via Nightingale Avenue instead of Fendon Rd (making journey slightly longer?), 2) going down Mobray Rd instead of Wulfstan Way, or 3) (as proposed) having to either change bus or walk the last 5 mins. You’d have to ask bus users which of those is the most sensible compromise.


  8. I can assure you that the councillors did know. They don’t care.

    Nor do they care that this scheme will adversely affect bus users after it is finished. The redesign will cut the vehicle capacity of the roundabout by around 20% at a time when demand is projected to increase, leading to longer queues.

    They are also aware that the there are specific safety issues with this design for cyclists, and so their safety will not be enhanced. A similar scheme in the Netherlands is being redesigned because of the high number of accidents.

    And yet they proceed anyway. Why? Because it is a vanity project and they cannot back down now with losing face.

    Cambridge Area Bus Users Secretary and Website Manage adds:

    We would be interested to see what evidence you can advance for your assertion that “that the councillors did know. They don’t care.”

    This flies in the face of what individual councillors have told me, and the help which they have offered to improve the situation for bus users. My own experience in discussions with councillors of all main parties, locally, is of people who, albeit they disagree on some policies, have a spirit of public service, are hardworking and willing to co-operate across party boundaries for the public good wherever possible.


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