The long-awaited trial of the V2 (Villager 2) bus service linking March and St Ives, which is due to start on 1 March 2021, is the latest of Mayor James Palmer’s commitment to provide alternative ways to travel across Cambridgeshire without needing to use a car.
Operators Stagecoach, will provide four round trips during the day, linking March, Wimblington, Chatteris and Warboys to St Ives. Users will then have the option to change bus and to head on to Cambridge and Addenbrookes.
Tickets and passes issued by the operator can be used on this service, as well as concessionary free bus passes. The V2 service will also include the addition of a 5 o’clock bus, scheduled to leaving St Ives for March, to get people home from medical appointments at Addenbrookes.
This is the first time that an attempt has been made to provide a fast bus link between March to Cambridge.
Mayor James Palmer said:
“I’m very pleased to see this new route improving accessibility for people living in the towns and villages between March and St Ives. Bus routes that truly serve the needs of their communities are key to our ongoing drive for inclusive, sustainable growth and it is vital that we continue to ensure that they are available to the people who need them most.
“Whilst the spread of Covid is having a large impact on the number of people using buses and other means of general transport, it is important to have viable and useable alternatives, rather than using the car, available for people to use as the current pandemic restations are lifted.
“As we take on the overall administration of bus services across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, I am determined for us to drive bus recovery through genuine engagement and understanding of the communities who are served by these vital transport routes.”
County Councillor for Chatteris Ward Anne Hay said:
“I have long been an advocate for better transport services within the rural communities of Cambridgeshire, particularly for the residents of Chatteris.
Through my work representing FDC on the Combined Authority Overview & Scrutiny Committee and chairing The Bus Reform working group, I have championed the cause of better connectivity for Fenland and surrounding areas and am pleased the Mayor has taken this on board and I would ask all residents to support this initiative.
“I am pleased to be able to work with Mayor Palmer and would ask that when the final route map for the CAM network is decided that consideration is given to including the rural areas such as Chatteris in order to open further opportunities for the residents in this part of the County.”
Darren Roe, Interim Managing Director for Stagecoach East said:
“We are delighted to soon start trialling the extension of our V2 service, which will provide a vital transport link to Cambridge and Addenbrookes for residents living in areas between March and St Ives.
“At Stagecoach East, we are dedicated to connecting communities within the wider Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area and providing a safe and convenient means of transport for those in less central locations, which the extended V2 service will do. Feedback from our customers is valuable and we are constantly looking for ways to update and enhance our services to improve accessibility for all.
“We look forward to seeing the V2 in action come March and are working hard to maintain stringent COVID safety measures, social distancing regulations and hygiene standards on-board across our entire service network to ensure our buses remain a safe and secure means of travel.”