"The guideway cost was initially £54m, £65m, then £78m, then £86m, finally smashing the £100m mark to rest at £116m (March 2007). It was reported (Oct 09) that the final cost will be near £150m. The council's own recent figures show a cost of £181m (Dec 2010). The headline figure of £86.4m was stated widely by the promoters at the time and it was this figure that was submitted to public enquiry."
This quote comes from a Cambridge local paper.
The section south of Cambridge Station has more heavy engineering. The route needed to cross under Hills Road, as below ...
What is absolutely amazing, to an outsider like fbb, is that this hugely expensive southern extension is only used by a 20 minute frequency service with nothing at all in the evenings and at any time on Sundays.
You might be forgiven for asking whether the expense can really be justified. The theory, of course, is that other services will be "attracted" to the busway but as the bus operators have to pay for the privilege of using it, you wonder jut a bit!
So it would appear that costs have spiraled out of control (what a surprise; that's never happened before with a major construction project, has it?)
In addition, both busway operators have invested in new vehicles; this from the Stagecoach group web site:-
"Stagecoach, one of two operators providing services on The Busway, is using a £3m fleet of 20 luxury buses that have been fitted with small rubber guide wheels. The greener Stagecoach buses run on 100% biofuel and produce up to 80% less carbon emissions than vehicles using conventional diesel. All of the specially-branded vehicles are equipped with leather seats, air chill, real time information, and wi-fi to enable passengers to access email and the internet on the move."
And they've been running round on "ordinary" services for two years!
BUT, does it work?
Next blog : due Saturday August 20th
Busway Buts 3