£150,000 worth of funding towards a review of the current bus provision across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has been given the green light at today’s Combined Authority Board.
Board members were asked to agree funding of £150,000 for a strategic review of commercial, subsidised and community services, which will then be fed into the new Local Transport Plan.
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 is 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 stakeholders including Local Authority partners, the Greater Cambridge Partnership and local bus operators.
Mayor James Palmer added: "It's 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 across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough 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.
"The 2017 Bus Services Act enables Mayoral Combined Authorities to consider franchising as a potential option for bus service provision. This is something that will be fully explored by the strategic review.
"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 of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who rely on buses."
It is envisaged that the study will provide a menu of potential options for improving the service in the medium and long term. The study will consider a broad range of factors, recognising that different areas of the Combined Authority may require different solutions. A key aim of the study will be to recognise and understand the wider economic and social benefits of an effective bus service against a range of operating models.