Friday, 27 January 2012

Taxpayers Fork Out £120,000 For One Bus Passenger

Cllr Susan van de Ven
(LD, Melbourn)

A flagship Tory bus replacement project which no-one wants has already cost Cambridgeshire taxpayers £120,000 with another £40,000 committed.

Since launching a pilot for the planned countywide scheme, only one passenger has travelled three times between Sawston and Duxford Station. The traveller didn’t have to buy a ticket as the route hadn’t been registered so the journey was free.

The pilot for the Cambridgeshire Future Transport scheme has been running for seven weeks across 11 villages in the Duxford area.

 It is the brainchild of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Tory administration which wants to sink £1.5 million of taxpayers’ money into it as a replacement for £2.7 million worth of subsidised buses across the county.

A website has been set up to allow residents to book journeys, but there has been no take-up.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Susan van de Ven, Lib Dem Shadow Cabinet Member for Transport said: “The Conservatives claim their new project will be a model of efficiency but in seven weeks it has transported one passenger at a cost of £120,000.  This is is a disastrous waste of taxpayers' money.

“The administration hasn’t thought this through. They saw the bus subsidies as an easy way of clawing back money to bolster their finances. They said they didn’t want empty buses running round the county but now they have used taxpayers’ money to buy new minibuses which are standing empty.

“The Tories don’t understand what people want because they haven’t done their research,” added Cllr van de Ven. “What the administration does with £1.5 million had better be effective.  Cambridgeshire Future Transport is not the answer, let alone what the administration has promised – something better than what we had before.”

Cllr  van de Ven has launched a petition against the bus cuts which can be found here: