Better Deal For Buses
Better Deal 4 Buses was announced by DfT in February 2020, providing some funding and challenging local transport authorities to create new bus links or increase frequencies across bus networks.
CPCA’s Transport Team decided that our strategic intent with the funding provided was to tackle issues of public transport connectivity by creating new links which we knew there was a demand for in local communities.
Four projects have been delivered with the money:
X3 From 30 August 2020 there has been a direct through bus service from Huntingdon to Addenbrookes via Papworth and Cambourne, running hourly, seven days a week. This has created faster and more direct links to the most important hospital in the region and in the other direction has provided links to Hinchingbrooke Hospital as well.
- 905. From 30 August 2020 the X5 Cambridge- Oxford service was split in two to tackle increasing unreliability due to congestion and vehicle breakdowns. Instead a new service connected Bedford – St Neots – Cambourne – Cambridge Science Park – Cambridge, tapping a great deal of supressed demand for bus services that travel directly to major passenger destinations (pre-Covid up to 9,000 people a day drove to CSP and the adjacent Regional College). Previously the X5 ignored Cambourne but it has now become the 905’s busiest stop en route and creating new Cambourne-St Neots links..
V2 The Villager V2 service, which commenced 01 March 2021, runs from March and Chatteris to St Ives to connect with the BusWay giving fast links from these market towns to Cambridge and Addenbrookes for the first time. Through fares are charged.
29 In consultation with local residents this new service started 01 March 2021 providing a trial orbital link from Hampton to Orton and on to Peterborough City Hospital without having to ride into the city and out again.
The overall grant received has been £383,887 and the cost of these schemes, after tendering, for 12 months of operation, amounts to £382,366, leaving around £1500 underspent.
Clearly the take up of these services has been badly affected by the Covid crisis and government exhortations to avoid public transport. For this reason we delayed the start of the29 and V2 services as long as possible so that as much as possible of the subsidy is spent after the crisis.
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