Bus protests long overdue

SO, Conservative Councillor Mike Simpson now has deep misgivings about the guided bus – which he now tells us is not needed and costly . If he really believes this, what has he been doing for the last couple of years while his Conservative colleagues

SO, Conservative Councillor Mike Simpson now has "deep misgivings" about the guided bus - which he now tells us is "not needed and costly".

If he really believes this, what has he been doing for the last couple of years while his Conservative colleagues have been supporting the scheme?

In the recent vote in Cambridgeshire County Council, all the Huntingdon Conservative county councillors (Dutton, Kadic, Brown and Hyams) and the Huntingdonshire District Council leader, Ian Bates, voted in favour of the scheme.

It is only the Liberal Democrats who have been pointing out for some time that this scheme is environmentally harmful, and that the cost is not worth the time saving it will produce, because it will not achieve the objective of tempting Huntingdon commuters out of their cars.

So why has Cllr Simpson suddenly woken up?

Could it be that he is standing for re-election in Huntingdon East next year?

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Could it be that he is afraid that he might lose his seat to the Liberal Democrats, whose candidate David Priestman won in May 2006? Is he trying to regain a bit of credibility with voters who will be adversely affected by the scheme?

We will be interested to see how Cllr Simpson uses his influence to modify the proposals.

The forthcoming consultations will mainly be about the rest of the Huntingdon town centre vision so we don't think there will be much scope for change at this stage.

The Liberal Democrats will continue to do what they can to argue the case that most sensible Huntingdon people have been putting to us on the doorstep - we do not want Hartford, Huntingdon and St Ives to be damaged by bus priority lanes that remove trees and hedges and cause disturbance and nuisance, not to mention increased use of rat-runs.

PETER FLEMING

Prospective Liberal Democrat candidate for Huntingdon East

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