Combined authority backs county-wide review of bus services

MAYOR: James Palmer's combined authority has backed the review.

MAYOR: James Palmer's combined authority has backed the review. - Credit: Archant

A wide-ranging review of bus services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has been agreed by the county’s combined authority.

Members of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority board met last Wednesday (November 29) and agreed a £150,000 review of commercial, subsidised and community bus services.

The results of the review will be used to formulate a local transport plan.

Councillor Charles Roberts, portfolio holder for transport, said: “Buses provide vital services to our communities. They provide economic and social benefits by connecting people with jobs, shops and facilities; they can minimise social isolation; and can reduce congestion on some of our busiest roads.

“There are a mix of commercial, subsidised and commercial services operating across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough; some are extremely successful and some do not have high enough patronage levels to continue operating in their current form.

“This review is vital to ensuring we can deliver the highest quality service for local people whilst feeding into the wider transport priorities for the combined authority area.”

The review will be undertaken with input from local bodies including councils, the Greater Cambridge Partnership and bus operators.

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The mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer added: “It is important that we have a strategic look at the provision of bus services across the entirety of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“I’m fully aware that many people are not satisfied with the current provision so the review will provide a valuable opportunity for us to consider how things might be done differently.

Mr Palmer said: “I’m excited by the review. As mayor, I’m keen to do things differently and look at things afresh.

“This strategic review will enable us to take a proper look at the future of bus service provision in our area and how it’s likely to develop and change over the years ahead. “There are many options open to us that will hopefully enable us to play an active role in delivering better services to the people who rely on buses.”

The combined authority hopes the study will produce a number of options for improving services in the medium and long term.

Mr Palmer said a key aim of the study would be to recognise and understand the wider economic and social benefits of an effective bus service against a range of operating models.