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Blog: The Guided Bus

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Tuesday found me in bucolic CAMBRIDGE for Work Reasons. The work reasons need not unduly concern us here - we were there to look at a new way of setting up our databases and forms, which was a) Quite Good and b) JUST (but only just) within the realms of my understanding - but what DOES concern us is the GUIDED BUSWAY!

The Guided Busway is a length of CONCRETE TRACKS designed JUST for buses to go down. The bit I travelled on between the railway station and Addenbrooke's Hospital is an old train track that has been converted into two pathways with concrete sides and another length of concrete down the middle, sort of like a track for wheels. The idea is that the bus can drive along normal roads quite happily, but then when it gets onto the busway little extra wheels attach to the side of the normal wheels (or maybe they're there already, I was too excited to check) which then touch against the concrete sides and steer the bus, so that the driver can (if they wish) wave their hands in the air like they just don't care. NB This is definitely what I would do, as it ALSO means that the bus can go REALLY FAST without fear of hindrance from other vehicles or pedestrians, as the track runs beside a FENCE so nobody ever has any reason to cross in front of it.

I'd read about it before we went, largely because people I know in Cambridge had tweeted pictures of what happens when idiots try to drive their cars along it (they get their exhausts knocked off and crash almost straight away). This RESEARCH however did not prepare me for the THRILL RIDE of ZOOMING along on it while jiggling from side to side as the bus steered itself. It was brilliant! Apparently local train enthusiasts had campaigned against it as they wanted the TRANE to come back, but I say unto them GUYS! have a go on the guided bus instead! It is GRATE!

The rest of the day was, as I say, all well and good, but the only thing that compared to riding the Busway there was... well, it was riding the Busway BACK again! MAN ALIVE! It is one HECK of a thing - they should make it a TOURIST ATTRACTION, it is approx 10,000 times more exciting than looking at a posh people's polytechnic!

posted 5/4/2017 by MJ Hibbett

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