There’s bad news for bus users in Cottenham and Rampton, Histon and Impington. Residents of Oakington are thankfully spared. And those who live in Orchard Park get a strange temporary arrangement whilst we all wait for the guided bus.
It’s been a double whammy. First off the Tory run County Council has announced that it is cutting all bus subsidies. That’s right: all subsidies. This means that over the next year or so all subsidised routes will be withdrawn unless the operator opts to continue running them on a 100% commercial basis. This means that Histon will lose its Thursday service, the 110, to Ely; and Rampton will lose its three times daily service, the 106, to Ely. And of course people who live on the routes in Cottenham and beyond will lose their service as well. It’s an especially cruel blow for Rampton because the 106 provides a connection to the Stagecoach service which runs into Cambridge.
Neither route is due for cutting in the first wave but we will have to fight exceptionally hard to prevent them being chopped late this year or next year.
Secondly: Stagecoach has announced that it is reducing the frequency of the Citi 7 from 6 times per hour to 3. At the same time it is splitting the service in two, so that buses will no longer continue to Duxford, Saffron Walden etc in the south, and renaming the northern service the Citi 8. Fortunately all the evening and Sunday services will be retained. Those in the south of the old Citi 7 route are being chopped.
Stagecoach says that it is making these changes for purely economic reasons. They have recently had reductions in the compenstaion they get for carrying concessionary fare passengers and in the Bus Services Operators Grant which compensates them for high diesel prices.
David has spoken at length with Andy Campbell, Stagecoach Cambridge MD who insists that there will be enough capacity on the route now that Stagecoach uses the new bigger double deckers. He is also confident that splitting the route will result in better punctuality because buses will not ‘get lost’ in the south of the county.
Sue says: ‘this is bad news all round and I’m especially concerned about the impact on Rampton. This will deprive many people of the facility to get into Cambridge. It will drive others to use their cars and that’s not good for the County’s carbob footprint. we will be gathering evidence and fighting to stop these cuts’.