Petition to save Cambridgeshire buses

A PETITION of more than 1,000 signatures has called on Cambridgeshire County Council to protect the county’s buses.

The petition presented to the council today is in response to �2.7 million worth of cuts to bus subsidies over four years which threaten as many as 22 routes across Cambridgeshire.

The Liberal Democrat councillor Sarah Brown, who is behind the petition, said: “The Tories are threatening services which are vital for elderly, disabled and families in our city.

“They have made this decision to plug a black hole in their finances which they created without any regard for how it impacts on our city.”

The 139 service, which serves Sawston, Foxton and Royston will have its subsidy cut from April 17, leading to operator Stagecoach cancelling the service as part of the �160.6m savings.

In February Liberal Democrat county councillor Susan van der Ven said: “The buses are so significant because they serve elderly people. The 139 service only costs �4,407 a year to run and will deny so many the chance of getting around.

“It makes no sense to cut this bus subsidy. I asked the two lead councillors at the County Council how they plan to help students get to college after the bus goes. They did say that maybe the bus operator will still run the bus without the subsidy.

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“This would be nice but we’ll have to wait and see. Unfortunately we know that most of the buses under threat are simply not viable without the subsidy.”

The number 31 service between Barley, Chishill, Heydon, Fowlmere and Cambridge, which is frequently used by college students, and the 128 service between Royston, Bassingbourn, Meldreth, Shepreth and Melbourn are also under threat.

Last month the council voted against a Liberal Democrat motion to delay the closure of the shuttle bus for a year.