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Cambridgeshire bus revolution is just what the doctor ordered

His ‘mayor’s fare’ is among a raft of new routes and bus service improvements

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Under 25s can travel anywhere across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough by bus for just £1 in the first stage of Mayor Dr Nik Johnson’s bid to end years of neglect of public transport. The new ‘mayor’s fare’ will operate from May 28 and means any resident under the age of 25 will be able to apply for a card which enables them to travel for £1 a journey.

“Yes any under 25s has to apply for a card but once they have it they can show to operators and will be charged only £1 for a bus journey,” he said.

“And most importantly this applies to ALL under 25s across the whole of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”

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His ‘mayor’s fare’ is among a raft of new routes and bus service improvements he hopes can begin throughout the autumn once contracts have been agreed with operators.

“There have been huge frustrations at the taking away of bus routes by local operators – and particularly what happened in September 2022 which left huge areas across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough at threat of being cut off from any public transport,” he said.

“It’s been a real challenge to start rebuilding a bus network working alongside communities and councillors – I was grateful for the help of local councillors – but particularly the local communities, parish and town councils have been fantastic at helping with the design and implementation.”

“These new routes will make a real difference to our residents’ lives, helping more people take advantage of good quality public transport for getting to and from their place of work, education, or training, and for all the various things we each need and want to do in our personal lives.

“I am very grateful to everyone who took part in the consultation and really proud of what this investment will achieve.”

Last week Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority confirmed details of 30 new and improved mayoral precept funded bus routes across the region.

“These new and improved routes are based on feedback from more than 700 residents who responded to a region-wide consultation in December and January,” said a Combined Authority spokesperson.

Subject to procurement, the routes are currently estimated to start service throughout autumn 2024.

The Combined Authority is also reviewing how it can improve bus stops and introduce better, more reliable, and greener buses to the network.

Detailed maps of each of the 30 new and improved precept-funded routes can be accessed by visiting https://cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk/better-buses.

The new services will, for example, create an express link between Cambridge and Huntingdon, a new service between Ely and Longstanton Park and Ride, a new Soham to Cambridge service and a new service connecting Christchurch to Wisbech and Downham Market, and a new Chatteris to Manea rail station service.

Peterborough to March services will be improved with extensions to Chatteris and Ely, and later evening journeys to Whittlesey.

In Peterborough improved orbital services are promised together with a better frequency of services through Thorney and Eye.

Dr Johnson believes the mayoral precept that is helping to fund the new services is fair and offers “a good distribution for the whole of the area”.

Here’s a summary of the changes/new services that the Combined Authority ‘signed off’ earlier this year.

CAMBRIDGE

1: Express service linking Cambridge and Huntingdon with the potential to extend to Alconbury Weald. A draft route and timetable will follow. This could also serve Fenstanton and is a cross area service on a key corridor of growth.

2:  New orbital bus service to key destinations around Cambridge, avoiding journeys into the centre and need to change buses. CAPCA will develop key destinations and indicative routing that works best for connecting local communities.

3: Busway – higher frequencies Trumpington to Rail Station and Addenbrookes. CAPCA will engage with incumbent operator to assess options for improvements.

4: Extension of Route 18 to Parkside and increase in frequency across whole route. The aim is to develop options with existing timetable.

5: Restoration of a direct link from Histon Road to Addenbrooke’s.

EAST CAMBRIDGESHIRE

6: Develop additional Ely Zipper service providing an enhanced link between Sutton and Ely via villages in between, while also exploring a link to Mepal. Could be incorporated as part of other enhancements, including new service Ely – Longstanton.

7: New service between Ely and Longstanton Park & Ride, via Witchford, Sutton, Earith and Willingham. Could incorporate Ely Zipper proposal.

8: New service between Soham and Cambridge, via Burwell, Swaffham Prior, Swaffham Bulbeck and Bottisham.

9: Improvements on B1102 corridor with interconnections to access different parts of Cambridge and other centres to which people travel.

10: New Demand Responsive Transport trial. Collaborating with the community to define a service zone that offers maximum coverage to rural communities. Development will focus on Isleham and Little Downham and wider communities and be considered alongside scheduled services to identify gaps.

FENLAND

11: 68 (Wisbech) Enhanced days and hours of operation, plus extending route to include Morrisons, including a consideration of a Saturday service

12:  31/33 Later evening journeys to Whittlesey (also serving Amazon and McCains)

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13:  New service connecting Christchurch to Wisbech and Downham Market. Engagement with incumbent operator on Route 60.

14: New service between Chatteris – Manea rail station – Christchurch – Wisbech, co-ordinated with train times at Manea. Develop draft route and timetable – Chatteris to Wisbech via Christchurch and Manea.

15: Enhancement on Peterborough to March route with extension to Chatteris and Ely.

16:  Improvements to Chatteris – March – Whittlesey – Wisbech corridor. Assess existing contracts and commercial services to develop improvements

17: New Demand Responsive Transport trial. Collaborating with the community to define a service zone that offers maximum coverage to rural communities. Development work to commence

HUNTINGDONSHIRE

18: Provide a link between Fenstanton and Huntingdon railway station. Fenstanton could be incorporated into express service options linking Cambridge and Huntingdon Develop draft route and timetable

19: Route 66 – improve frequency between Huntingdon and St Neots. Engagement with incumbent operator to assess options for improvements and investigate potential for easier connections to Cambridge.

20:  To enhance frequency of service between Ramsey and Huntingdon and provide interchange with service operating between St Ives and March at Warboys. Continued refinement of timetable in partnership with community representatives and tender of revised services.

21:  X2/X3 Huntingdon – Cambridge – Addenbrooke’s. Engagement with incumbent operator to assess options for improvements.

22:  904 Improve frequency and earlier and later journeys. Engagement with incumbent operator to assess options for improvements. Additionally investigate the potential of extending the route to serve Folksworth

PETERBOROUGH

23: Options for orbital bus services to key destinations around Peterborough, avoiding journeys into the centre and the need to change buses. Define key destinations and how these can be linked taking into account lessons learnt from Route 29.

24: Improve service frequency through Thorney and improve service to Eye with improvements. Work with incumbent operator to increase frequency of services via Thorney and look at options for Eye.

25:  Route 5 – improve service frequencies.

SOUTH CAMBRIDGESHIRE

26:  Integrate 1A and 5A services between Bar Hill, Swavesey and St Ives and enhanced frequencies.

27: Route 4 – Improve frequency Cambourne to Cambridge and investigate expansion of service to North East Cambridge.

28: Route 8 – improve frequency. More direct route and expansion to Rampton. Engagement with incumbent operator to assess options for improvements

29: X13 Haverhill to Cambridge – increase frequency. Engagement with incumbent operator to assess options for improvements.

30:  New Demand Responsive Transport trial. Collaborating with the community to define a service zone that offers maximum coverage to rural communities. Development work to commence.

Full details of the changes for each part of the Combined Authority area can be found by clicking the appropriate link below:

CAMBRIDGE

https://cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/1-Cambridge-City.pdf

EAST CAMBRIDGESHIRE

https://cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/Plans-on-a-Page-2-East-Cambridgeshire-Finalised-V2.pdf

FENLAND

https://cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/3-Fenland-.pdf

HUNTINGDONSHIRE

https://cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/4-Huntingdonshire-.pdf

PETERBOROUGH

https://cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/5-Peterborough.pdf

SOUTH CAMBRIDGESHIRE

https://cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/6-South-Cambridgeshire.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

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