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Mayor meets St Ives team at heart of better bus travel


Mayor meets St Ives team at heart of better bus travel

People behind the friendly voices which help thousands of callers from all over Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to get the bus passes they need were visited by Mayor Dr Nik Johnson as part of his work for better and more inclusive bus travel. 

The Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, who has just had his transport plans approved by the Combined Authority Board, was visiting the contact centre in St Ives to meet the team which answers calls for advice and assistance from the public. 

Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson:  

“The staff here really care; they do an incredible job in looking after around 200k concessionary passholders. The team are totally focussed on the community, they’re at the forefront of delivering services that help make transport more inclusive and accessible, all with a friendly face.” 

Under rules set by the Department for Transport but managed locally, passes permitting free bus travel are available for a range of people who may qualify because of age, reduced mobility or disability, hearing, learning or vision issues, and injury sustained during military service. 

Under the Combined Authority, the partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council’s St Ives Contact Centre has been central to bringing together and streamlining what were different services for Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, now even providing a face-to-face service in public libraries. 

The management for the scheme came under the Combined Authority in 2021 when staff were transferred from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The two separate processes were combined on 1st February 2023 and other aspects of the service were also aligned, offering Peterborough residents additional benefits such as assisted telephone applications and the unique face to face support in local libraries for the first time.  

Improving bus travel for everybody in Cambridgeshire is a priority for the Mayor and Combined Authority. Plans include doubling the number of passenger journeys by 2030. This involves a range of improvements that will attract travellers, from more electric buses, to significant change in how services operate from the current deregulated system, perhaps by ‘enhanced partnerships’ or actual franchising that would give the Combined Authority – and its directly elected and accountable Mayor – much greater control over how buses operate.