The brother of a cyclist who was killed when he was hit by a bus on the Guided Busway in 2018 is calling for more safety measures to be put in place.
Rob Moir, from Cambridge, has mounting concerns that a fatal accident “could happen again” after another pedestrian was killed on the same busway as his brother last week.
Rob’s brother, Steve Moir, from Sawston, was cycling home from work on September 13, 2018, when he was hit by a bus on the guided busway in Trumpington after he clipped the curve.
The guided busway runs for 16 miles between St Ives and Cambridge and has a track where buses travel next to a pedestrian pavement and cycleway without any barriers in-between.
Steve’s inquest concluded that it was an accident and the bus driver at the time did everything they could to try and avoid him but as the bus is driven in a guided path, the bus had nowhere to go.
Following Steve’s accident, his family campaigned for the speed limit in the area to be lowered to help prevent any future accidents on the busway from happening.
The family succeeded and shortly before Christmas in 2018 Cambridgeshire County Council reduced the speed limit from 52mph to 30mph along the stretch of the city-bound track from the Hills Road bridge, for around 875 metres, towards Long Road Bridge.
However, despite the speed limit being lowered, Rob wants more safety measures to be put in place to ensure “this would never happen again”.
In November 2020 Rob told the BBC: “We’ve been lucky that nothing similar has happened in the last two years.”
But just a few years after Steve’s fatal accident, last week another pedestrian was killed by a bus on the same guided busway just a short distance away from where his brother was hit.
The woman who was in her 50s was on the guided footpath on October 26 when she was hit by a bus on the busway between Cambridge train station and Long Road, near Sedley Taylor Road.
Rob continues to call for an urgent review of the safety measures around the busway and for something to be put in place to stop these fatal accidents from ever happening again.
Rob told CambridgeshireLive: “It’s about trying to avoid the worst circumstances.
“While the numbers increase who use it, unfortunately, accidents occur and while the buses are still going along that track, they can’t deviate at all without any separation or another method.”
Wanting something to be put in place, Rob adds: “The easy option would be to close the path, but so many people use that and it’s really useful. It’s about trying to make it work with the least possible risks.”
Rob said: “If there’s some sort of thing that could go up that could deflect people away, back into the walkway, and back into the cycle path.
“People could trip over the curbstone that’s there, it’s very hard to see anyway, and then fall into the path of a bus which is exactly what happened to Steve.
“Once you’ve collided with the curve, there’s nothing to stop you after that.”
Rob also adds that it can be “a little bit unnerving at times” when walking on the path next to the guided busway particularly during peak times when a lot of people use it.
Talking further about the importance of extra safety measures to be implemented Rob adds: “Lots of children walk along there. I use it reasonably frequently and I’ve seen people carefree going along there, but they have no idea of the risks that are involved.
“I knew the buses went by very quickly so I always tried to move away from them onto the other side of the path and I know a lot of people do that now.
“But kids don’t necessarily understand the risks and so things have to be put in place to try and build in the lowest possible risk for them.”
Following the most recent accident to happen on the busway, Rob said: “We hoped it never would, but it happened quite soon after.
“Two deaths in three years, if you extrapolate that out, that’s a lot of deaths going to occur”.
He added: “The issue is still there. And clearly the risk is still there”.
Three years later after Steve’s death, a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the accident has yet to be completed.
Rob said: “I think everybody’s waiting on the health and safety report because obviously that might compel people to spend money and do certain things.
“People need to start thinking about what to do right”.
An HSE spokesperson told CambridgeshireLive that “the HSE investigation into this incident is ongoing.”
A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire County Council said: “We are working with the police and Stagecoach to understand what happened following the fatal accident on 26 October.
“We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the woman’s family and friends”
“The Busway is 26km in length and runs from St Ives to Cambridge. Cambridgeshire County Council believes that overall this is a safe transport infrastructure and continues to keep safety of the busway under review”.
They added: “In light of the ongoing investigation by HSE it would not be appropriate for us to comment further”.
When Rob was asked how important it is to him for safer measures to be put in place, he replied: “The family would like to see something there so it doesn’t happen to anyone else as we know what they would go through, what the family would be going through”.
He added: “Some of the family do actually use that part of the busway, so it’s a personal thing as well for your own safety when you’re going along there.
“When these things happen there’s a lot of impacts, not just on the immediate impacts to the individual and their family, but to a lot of other people too.
“Let’s try and make a system that’s not completely safe, safe. That’s what it’s about”.