No ‘silver bullet’ to improve Cambridgeshire’s buses
There is no silver bullet to improve of the area’s bus services but long overdue reform is on the cards.
That’s the message this week from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayor Dr Nik Johnson as he issued an update on work being carried out by the Combined Authority and partners on finding innovative ways to improve services.
In his statement Mayor Dr Johnson said: "Better bus services across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are vital to the future of our region. As Mayor, it’s clear to me that the status quo is not an option, and that as a Combined Authority we’re best placed to lead on much-needed change.
"Our ambitions are not modest, and nor should they be. Through our network improvements, we want travelling by bus to become second nature for residents, with the aim of doubling usage region-wide by 2030. To do this we first need to make services more convenient, more frequent, more reliable, and more affordable, and are hard at work on ways of delivering what I see as being essential, invaluable, and long overdue reform.
"Whilst there are very appealing options available to us offering vastly more control over local services, it’s important to stress that there are no silver bullets when it comes to improving the bus network. That said, my view is that there’s a clear route ahead of us, with the Combined Authority now taking the necessary steps to find out whether ‘franchising’ or an ‘enhanced partnership’ can get us to a place where, as a region, as residents, and as an economy, we have the high-quality bus services we need, want, and deserve.
"As for next steps, we anticipate having completed the required preparations, including an independent audit of what’s known as the ‘Outline Business Case’, in time to launch what promises to be a major public consultation early in the New Year. In the meantime, I’ll continue to champion the better future I believe is possible and am determined as Mayor of our Combined Authority to stay the course in seeing it made real."