Bus services in rural East Cambridgeshire have been in decline for a long time. The current funding model for bus and fare subsidies does not work well for rural areas – the more people that get on buses in central Cambridge and South Cambs with free bus passes (which are statutory), the less money is available to subsidise non-commercial bus routes in rural parts of the county, with the inevitable consequence that subsidised routes suffer.
Conservatives championed the introduction of the very successful Ely Zipper bus service – basically it is a simple, hourly service that trundles round the Grunty Fen villages taking people to and from Ely, getting people to where they want to go in a reasonable amount of time. It has been incredibly successful – as the ridership increases the level of public subsidy reduces. It is much loved and well supported by local people and we want to replicate this model throughout the district.
Buses are now the responsibility of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and Conservatives at East Cambs District Council have been working hard to try to secure improvements for our residents.
In 2020 the District Council sent a survey to every household in the district asking people to identify improvements. We have used this to develop a New Bus Service Proposals for East Cambridgeshire Prospectus.
The prospectus sets out the improvements our residents want to see – including new scheduled services, improvements to existing services and demand responsive transport services. These aim to improve connectivity to transport interchanges such as railway stations and the Guided Busway and improve access to areas of employment, local shops and services and to support better connected communities.
Conservatives at East Cambs are doing everything we can to secure better bus services for our district.