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Guided bus lane

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Bill Dawes25/10/2021 19:34:45
533 forum posts

Had a weeks holiday from Somerset up to Cambridgeshire with my wife and decided on a trip to St. Ives (not the Cornwall one of course) never having been there before looked for a car park as we drove towards town centre, saw one on left but could not see entrance, decided a road that went to the left might be where the entrance was but too late realised we were in a one way street. Seeing a short length of guided bus lane with traffic lights back onto the road decided that was the best option rather than going back the wrong way. Lights on red, changed to green so moved forward and then an almighty crash bang throwing the car about, we were in total shock as we did not see anything in the road, Car still drivable so stopped in nearby park and ride car park. on turning into a space it was obvious that something was seriously wrong, the steering went into severe oversteer. inspecting underneath and there was damage to the suspension/steering arms. Also wheels and tyres badly damaged.

There followed about 7 hours of hair tearing frustratiion trying to talk to insurance company, ages to get through, four times resulting in nothing happening waiting for breakdown vehicle and a taxi to get us back to Biggleswade where we were stopping. This is a much abbreviated version of the story. Now you are probably thinking serves you right and I am annoyed with myself for getting into this situation but what also peeves me is why is such a drastic 'punishment' neccessary for going onto this bus lane, I say punishment, it can't be described as a deterrent because what you don't know can't deter. Some local people came across to see if we were ok and said it happens a lot.

Nice welcome to St Ives, ruined our holiday although we did get to go to Cambridge and Duxford (amazing) but missed Bletchly Park which is a place i have wanted to go to for some time.

Back home now, car still up in Cambridge somewhere.

Bill D.

Buffer25/10/2021 19:46:24
338 forum posts
153 photos

So what actually happened or am I missing something?

bernard towers25/10/2021 19:50:06
573 forum posts
109 photos

I imagine as his car didn’t have the correct transponder fitted something lifts up out of the road surface hence the damage. You think they would be happy with a picture and a hefty fine!

JasonB25/10/2021 19:59:01
22577 forum posts
2635 photos
1 articles

Did you miss the car trap signs?

roy entwistle25/10/2021 21:14:14
1504 forum posts

We have them on the Manchester to Leigh guided busway as well. Not heard of many cars getting stuck lately .But there were quite a few when it first opened


Ady125/10/2021 23:05:31
5066 forum posts
734 photos

Not much you can do about it if you do get caught out

Driving without due care and attention

careless driving

to name a couple

Ady125/10/2021 23:09:50
5066 forum posts
734 photos

Must be one of those weeks

My missus phoned a week ago

"help help come and rescue me!"

she wrote her motor off on a dead straight road on a clear day...

I'll get what happened out of her eventually

Bill Dawes25/10/2021 23:10:41
533 forum posts

Well I don't remember seeing a car trap sign, the road I went down was nothing like the one in the vids Jason, they look like the sort of route you would not likely go down anyway, this was in a short side street in the town, the guided bit just a short bit of road about 30-50 metres long, the shock of what happened has made things a bit hazy, we had to stop with the car in the park and ride awaiting a breakdown truck and then for a taxi otherwise we would have walked back to photograph and see what it was, I think it was just a pit, wide enough to catch a car but not a bus. It certainly wasn't visible as I was driving towards the lights. Googling about this one in St.Ives will show it is quite common, a post back in 2017 said there had already been over 50 incidents and from the lady that spoke to us it is still going on.

This was done in all innocence, I was not trying to take a short cut as I don't know the road at all, I accept it was my fault but why such a contrivance, it doesn't achieve anything if you are not aware of it, and frequently holds up buses awaiting a breakdown truck to pull cars out, I was 'fortunate' in that my car, a Kia Niro, dropped in and pulled straight out.

Bill D.

Bill Phinn26/10/2021 02:27:59
732 forum posts
103 photos

Sorry to hear about this, Bill. Navigating Britain's increasingly complex road system is no longer something that can be safely done with the sort of intuition we once relied on to do so.

Those car traps are vicious and, as you say, not at all logical when the outcome of a car going down one is not to prevent delays to the buses but to cause them. Signage clearly needs to be improved for a start.

Bad signage and bad road design are now ubiquitous problems. A few years ago I had a one-to-one meeting with a senior road planning official from my local council after drawing his department's attention to a particularly confusing junction that after being in operation only a few weeks had apparently seen numerous accidents and near misses between cyclists, cars and trams.

What the planners had clearly never actually done was test the junction before it was put into operation on people completely unfamiliar with it, particularly cyclists. This would have told them instantly that the lights governing progress for cyclists across car and tram lanes were actually pointing the wrong way and were almost invisible to cyclists! The lights the cyclists could see clearly were the ones governing the trams and to a lesser extent the cars.

The orientation of the lights was changed within 24 hours. My intervention may have saved someone's life.

David Colwill26/10/2021 08:01:27
774 forum posts
40 photos

How about this.

Another example of over enthusiastic traffic calming.

J Hancock26/10/2021 08:44:43
832 forum posts

I first saw this ingenious method of car wrecking at work while drinking a coffee, outside a 'brasserie' ,

somewhere in mid-France.

Certainly quite spectacular

If you are moving , the dissipation of the kinetic energy in such a short distance results in much damage.

Ady126/10/2021 09:16:14
5066 forum posts
734 photos

They had the rising bollards in Edinburgh at one time but they failed in the up position after about 3 weeks and it took around a week to get them back down

They just use cameras and fines now

I'm pretty sure that if a private road owner developed a car crashing system on the driveway to his house which could result in the injury of the driver and passengers the authorities would be all over him like a rash

Definitely a possible case of ultra vires by the council, since NOBODY should be allowed to cause a deliberate accident, deliberate damage nor deliberate injury

Michael Gilligan26/10/2021 09:23:35
20076 forum posts
1041 photos
Posted by Ady1 on 26/10/2021 09:16:14:


Definitely a possible case of ultra vires by the council, since NOBODY should be allowed to cause a deliberate accident, deliberate damage nor deliberate injury


Well-said, Ady yes


Martin Kyte26/10/2021 09:57:27
2722 forum posts
48 photos

Unless of course you consider keeping cars off the busway prevents more serious accidents such as colliding with busses.

regards Martin

Ady126/10/2021 10:08:55
5066 forum posts
734 photos

Not really comparable

That council is setting hidden traps on a publicly accessible space which can cause serious injury

I'm pretty sure that's not a socially responsible attitude

Is anyone else allowed to set hidden traps on publicly accessible spaces which can result in serious injury?

Edited By Ady1 on 26/10/2021 10:12:00

Robert Atkinson 226/10/2021 10:22:14
1195 forum posts
20 photos

I don't know about St Ives, but there are couple of places in Cambridge where the start of the guided busway is tarmac not concrete, The buses join it there and it would be much easier to mke a mistake than were the tarmac road crosses the busway at 90 degrees or so.
The car traps are visious because the results of a head on collision between a bus and car is serious. You can't swerve out of the way. The hole traps are simple and need minimal maintence. Tyre spikes or one way ramps cost more and need to be maintained.
A has been hinted at, you could als get ticket just to add to the misery.

Robert G8RPI.

Ady126/10/2021 10:31:26
5066 forum posts
734 photos

If the council are going to inflict criminal damage on a vehicle in that space then there needs to be a gate at the start which can only be operated by buses

Plus a turning area so road users can rectify their error and turn back

Mike Poole26/10/2021 11:44:57
3305 forum posts
73 photos

Smashing a car in a busway seems a daft way of controlling access, the probability of blocking the busway seems high and the chance of a head on collision remote unless the bus driver is asleep in which case he will hit the car anyway. Surely a camera and fine system would educate drivers to not deliberately use the busway and an inadvertent user would get a penalty and reminder. If anyone fancies a visit by car to Oxford  I would say don’t bother, the town is littered with camera traps for drivers and extortionate parking charges if you do succeed in getting in to town. There is no escape from being charged to visit the town as they charge you to park at the park and ride and then charge you to use the bus. Unless you want to see the dreaming spires I wouldn’t bother to visit. Oxford council must have shares in Amazon and out of town retail parks.


Edited By Mike Poole on 26/10/2021 11:46:02

Graham Titman26/10/2021 12:36:29
132 forum posts
18 photos

Mike you missed out the hours wait to get in the hospital disabled carpark section and the charges i have to go there next week and the letter states to allow at least 1hour to park.

JasonB26/10/2021 13:15:37
22577 forum posts
2635 photos
1 articles
Posted by Ady1 on 26/10/2021 10:08:55:

Not really comparable

That council is setting hidden traps on a publicly accessible space which can cause serious injury

I'm pretty sure that's not a socially responsible attitude

Is anyone else allowed to set hidden traps on publicly accessible spaces which can result in serious injury?

Edited By Ady1 on 26/10/2021 10:12:00

You would do similar damage if you drove into a traffic island or straight into a curb or bollard. As the "traps" look to be sign posted are the hidden or just not driving with due care and attension.

I'm not sure if the guided busses are unmanned, if so best keep cars well away.

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