Postbag: Better transport
IT IS no surprise that Tim Phillips is selective with his facts about the Fastway guided bus scheme in Crawley (Letters, February 22). He fails to mention that daily passenger figures are already 41 per cent higher than predicted and a recent survey of
IT IS no surprise that Tim Phillips is selective with his facts about the 'Fastway' guided bus scheme in Crawley (Letters, February 22).
He fails to mention that daily passenger figures are already 41 per cent higher than predicted and a recent survey of passengers found that 96 per cent were satisfied with the service. Since the system was launched in September 2003, more than 5,000,000 journeys have been made.
In terms of the outcome of the Cambridgeshire guided busway inquiry, Mr Phillips is correct to point out that in spite of the 2,500-plus objectors, the independent inspector decided that the overall benefits of the scheme as a whole outweighed each of the individual criticisms of it.
That is to say the inspector felt the interests of the wider population must be put first.
The county council has a duty to do just this and we are doing our utmost to provide better public transport and manage the massive growth agenda that Cambridgeshire must deal with.
Thousands of new houses are being built to provide homes for people who want and need to work in the area. We must do something to provide these people with an attractive alternative to their car.
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Mr Phillips's claim that we are "desperately short of finance" for the busway only serves as an indication of his absence of understanding of Government procedure for funding large schemes.
The council is not permitted to submit its final application for funding until it has a final contract price with a preferred bidder who can build the scheme.
Once we have that price we will submit our application to the Government and we are very confident that funding will be forthcoming.
The cost of building the busway will be met by central Government and the developers who are building new houses.
Funding will not be taken from the local Council Tax.
We will then build the guided busway and provide tens of thousands of local people with a high-quality, reliable and frequent alternative to their car.
Councillor JOHN REYNOLDS, Cambridgeshire County Council cabinet member for environment and community services, Shire Hall, Cambridge