Stagecoach’s long operating X5 bus service has been replaced with a new 905 service.
Changes to the X5 bus service - which provides vital travel into Cambridge for many people living in St Neots - have been met with anger.
Stagecoach’s X5 service was replaced with a new 905 bus service on Sunday. There will be fewer stops in St Neots and journey times into Cambridge will be longer for many.
Although there is acceptance that the new service will benefit some people, St Neots mayor, Cllr Stephen Ferguson, says he has been contacted by people who depend on the existing service and will be disadvantaged by the changes.
Cllr Ferguson is also critical of the time-scale for the changes and the lack of consultation and says although people living in Cambourne will have an improved service, those living in St Neots will be disadvantaged.
“The X5 has been a critical link between St Neots and Cambridge and I’m disappointed that the service has been scrapped without consultation and with only one week’s notice.
“Many of our residents depend on this bus service for their daily commute, as well as for access to healthcare at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
“I agree that more capacity is needed, but there is a significant concern among residents that we have lost our fast commuter coach service, for a slower double-decker local stopping service.
“The new service has fewer stops in St Neots and increased overall journey times into Cambridge, using less-comfortable buses that do not have toilets, air-con, wifi, or a place to carry non-folding bicycles.
“Although the new service will benefit some people, it looks like an overall degradation of service for most St Neots’ residents, many of whom are upset and angry at the clumsy way in which this has been implemented.”
Following agreement with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, route 905 will divert from the Caxton Gibbet roundabout and will now include Cambourne before picking up the A428 to Cambridge.
The new 905 service will no longer serve Madingley Road, Churchill College and Northampton Street, but will include Cambridge Regional College and the Science Park, before exiting onto Milton Road, where it will run non-stop to Cambridge city centre.
Managing director of Stagecoach, Michelle Hargreaves, said: “The 905 route, provides a direct and frequent connection from the Bedford, St Neots and Cambourne corridor to the north of Cambridge.
“We will be introducing double decker buses on the 905 route to provide greater capacity on buses between Bedford and Cambridge.”
“The changes to the 905 route provide better travel links to North Cambridge whilst not significantly impacting travel times for other passengers.”