Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Bus Subsidies Roller Coaster

Cllr Susan van de Ven
(LD, Melbourn)

Stagecoach’s announcement of changes to its bus services comes in the wake of the county council’s timetable for comprehensive withdrawal of bus subsidies.

Cllr Susan van de Ven, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson, said:  “While there is good news for some people there is very bad news for many others.

“The additional services announced by Stagecoach are welcome, but reflect just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the transport deficit that plagues rural Cambridgeshire. For those people who are losing services with absolutely no warning, the county council needs to step up its game and consider how it will help them.

“The earlier than expected withdrawal of some subsidised services means that the council’s flagship Cambridgeshire Future Transport project has even less time than expected to get in place its alternatives – which it has promised will be ‘as good or better.’”

Whittlesford County Cllr Tim Stone, said, "There are many very worried people in our villages. The county council needs to act rapidly to explain how it is going to re-arrange services in the face of the Citi 7 moves.”

“Whittlesford, Heathfield and Hinxton residents, as well as people who work there, will want to know how they are going to get to work, go shopping and visit doctors and medical centres."

Cllr van de Ven said, “The council has been caught-out because it has dictated to commercial operators a subsidy withdrawal schedule to suit itself.     If the council wants more leverage with commercial operators it should consider a Quality Bus Contracts scheme.”