22/01/2018

Public transport

Improve Harston's Bus Service

Harston isn’t unique in suffering from a wholly inadequate bus service. Many rural villages have seen a decline in public transport provision, with recent reports suggesting that bus coverage is a a 28-year low. An unsubsidised, for-profit service makes it easy for operators to axe services which don’t pay, regardless of the impact on those reliant on it. This increases a reliance on cars.

Just a few years ago, no fewer than four different bus services operated in Harston, albeit some infrequently. In late 2016 and early 2017, Harston Residents’ Group fought to return the Stagecoach East 26 route – Harston’s only remaining bus – to an hourly off-peak service after it was cut to two-hourly. The campaign succeeded but with a change at Trumpington Park & Ride – something not appreciated by many of its users.

We believe that a regular, fast and affordable service between Royston and Cambridge would take a lot of traffic off the A10. The Greater Cambridge Partnership should subsidise the service for a significant length of time to see if this approach becomes self-sustaining. Under Stagecoach East, we have:

26 bus Cambridge Royston
© Andrew Harvey-Adams
  • Only 2 morning peak-time buses into Cambridge
  • No buses between 07:34 & 10:16 - a 2hr 40min gap!
  • No late evening or night time service
  • No service south to Royston until after 09:00
  • Expensive: £3 adult single fare; £6 return (no changes); £6.70 'dayrider'
  • Old, noisy, dirty and uncomfortable buses
"Cutbacks in public expenditure and falling revenues which are causing reductions in bus services, are likely to have an impact particularly in rural areas. People without cars, those with disabilities, the elderly and school children are the most severely affected by severance. This combination of problems can exacerbate poverty by reducing access to key services such as employment, education and healthcare, lead to social isolation and reduce physical and mental well-being."
UCL Transport & Poverty study

Re-open Harston Train Station

Harston Station 1950
harston train station 2017

Harston Railway Station was closed on 17 June 1963 under the Beeching Proposals. A number of residents have suggested that reopening it would provide a welcome and useful service between Cambridge and London – particularly in light of the forthcoming Cambridge South Station at the Addenbrooke’s Biomedical Campus.