County Council bus from Fenland to Cambridge saved by workers who use service
PUBLISHED: 08:00 19 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:35 02 June 2010
A DAILY bus service that for 43 years has taken county council workers from Fenland into Cambridge has been saved even though a £6,000 a year subsidy has been axed. The service began following local government re-organisation whic
Story by: JOHN ELWORTHY
A DAILY bus service that for 43 years has taken county council workers from Fenland into Cambridge has been saved even though a £6,000 a year subsidy has been axed.
The service began following local government re-organisation which saw the former Isle of Ely amalgamate with Cambridgeshire County Council and since then has clocked up nearly 700,000 miles. On only a handful of occasions has it been halted because of bad weather.
Now users have formed their own travel club to maintain the service which means they can open it up to anyone else wanting a regular and reliable return journey each day into Cambridge.
Colin Arnold, a regular user of the coach for the past 25 years, said: "The service has been a lifeline to those who cannot afford to drive into Cambridge or who don't drive anyway.
By forming a transport club, he said, membership can now be opened to anyone in March or Chatteris or along the route who need to travel regularly into Cambridge at a very reasonable cost. Mr Arnold said users don't have to travel every day and the charges will reflect that.
The coach leaves March at 7am from Broad Street and stops en route at Wimblington, Doddington, Chatteris, Sutton, Haddenham, Wiburton and Cottenham, arriving at around 8.20am. It returns just after 5pm except on Friday when it leaves at 4.20pm.
A county council spokesman said the subsidy represented a fifth of the total budget available to support and encourage staff to travel in more environmentally ways. Therefore round a fifth of the budget was being spent to support, on average, only 26 people out of a total workforce of some 6,500 people.
The spokesman added: "We are delighted the current users have been able to form a travel club".
CONTACT: Colin Arnold on 01223 457202 or David Lilley on 01223 699114 for travel club details.
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