Number 68 bus to continue ahead of Board meeting discussion
Following calls on the Combined Authority to continue funding the Wisbech Tesco bus route 68, a decision has been made to temporarily extend funding of this service until the Combined Authority Board Meeting on the 21st of September, where the service will be discussed alongside other bus funding measures.
Before this, the Transport and Infrastructure Committee on 14th September will be considering a paper on the future of bus services across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, looking at the wider issues affecting the sector and options going forward. Route 68 and other routes will be considered as part of this process.
This is a difficult time for bus services across the country, not just within Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, with the rise in fuel costs and the recruitment and retention of drivers impacting on services nationally. The Combined Authority is working to mitigate the real impact on day-to-day opportunities that a loss of bus services can have on our communities. Buses are essential in ensuring members of our community can get to work, hospital appointments, supermarkets and more, and in a cost of living crisis can often be the most cost-effective – and in some cases only – transport option available. The Combined Authority is committed to providing sustainable public transport services which are good value for money and successfully meet the needs of those who use them.
Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson said: “The Combined Authority is the Local Public Transport provider for the region and has a responsibility to ensure that services are there for the communities who need them. I have spent time over the last year talking to residents and listening to their concerns. I have already written to Baroness Vere to highlight the issues local bus providers are facing and will continue to make the case to Government for funding support to ensure we have bus services that meets the needs of our residents.
By extending the funding for Route 68 we are bringing it in line with the funding decision on buses being taken to Board at the end of the month in line with our future of buses strategy that officers have been working hard on in recent months.”
Route 68 is operated by FACT community transport, a charity serving the Fenland, Huntingdonshire and East Cambridgeshire area. It runs on a circular route between Horsefair Bus Station and Tesco (Cromwell Road). There are also stops at Aces Eye Clinic, Wisbech Retail Park, College of West Anglia, Queen Mary Centre and Rosmini Centre. The Combined Authority will assist Fenland District Council to enhance the marketing of the route and improve the customer experience.