Mayor catches the 'Tesco' bus and then agrees short term lifeline
- Credit: Mayor's office
He came, he saw, travelled on it himself – and now Mayor Dr Nik Johnson has stepped in to temporarily save a Wisbech bus service.
“It’s obvious to see the importance of the local bus services here in Wisbech this morning- waiting for the 68 ‘Tesco’ bus,” he said on a visit to the town.
“It is increasingly clear to me that with ongoing cooperation, there is hope for improving all bus services across the county.”
Days after his visit Dr Johnson, Mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, announced a £15,000 grant to preserve the ‘68’ for six months from March 31.
It will then undergo a fresh review.
Initially, the funding for the service was provided through Section 106 developer’s money.
Since then, the Combined Authority stepped in to provide temporary funding which draws to a close at the end of March 2022.
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Mayor Dr Johnson with his head of transport, Rowland Potter travelled on the Wisbech 68 bus route on February 24.
They met locals who regularly use the service.
He said the excursion was an opportunity for him to listen to people’s concerns and to understand the degree of necessity for such a service.
“This is to ensure that the Combined Authority continues to provide public transport services which are good value for money and successfully meet the needs of those who use them,” he said.
The service 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.
Mayor Johnson said: “It was good to meet the passengers and see the route and the community it serves for myself.
“It was clear there is a real community spirit in Wisbech, and they were passionate about saving the bus service.”
He added: “I am glad that the Combined Authority will continue to support the service until a more sustainable option can be put in place.
“Cooperation within the community is needed for long-term survival of this service, and this involves encouraging more people to use the bus.”