Cashing in on the Cambridge-St Ives guided bus...when it opens

HOW best to cash in on the Guided Bus route to Cambridge - once it arrives that is - and revive the flagging fortunes of St Ives?

The answer is clean and green: 'get on yer bike!' We should draw inspiration from the Netherlands and initiatives closer to home where the bicycle has created a tourist mecca.

Any of your readers who have free-wheeled along the Camel Trail in Cornwall, a disused rail track between Padstow, Wadebridge and beyond, will know what a fantastic, eco-friendly visitor attraction it represents. Not to mention the hundreds of jobs it has created along the way. Hungry cyclists need feeding and bikes need mending or hiring, all providing customers for pubs, restaurants and shops.

Yes, lots of people think the Fens are bleak and boring, but let's make a virtue of our flat landscape threaded with attractive rivers, by developing a tourist destination with its own unique identity.

Apart from the Thicket between St Ives and Houghton, villages and towns are like islands and anyone wishing to go for a spin has to take their life in their hands on the roads. We need joined up cycle trails that open up the countryside for everyone to enjoy.

Creativity and vision is required to lure tourists out of Cambridge but what better than the 'Bicycle Express' to a cream tea on the Quay, a relaxing river cruise, an ice cream by a mill or the strawberry fields of Somersham. Hitch a purpose-built trailer to the back of the guided buses and cyclists who run out of steam can always hop on and ride back to their starting point.

As a previous contributor to the letters page suggested, re-branding the historic market town as 'St Ives-on-Ouse' is just the kind of pro-active marketing strategy we need to bring the money in.

Scrap the billion pound A14 revamp and spend a fraction of the money on a low carbon initiative that will not only create local jobs but also help people keep fit. Get on yer bike Cambridgeshire County Council and give us a healthy route to prosperity.

LORNA WATKINS

Somersham