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FENSTANTON PARISH NEWS

Bus Service 1A Cancellation - Parish Council

Posted: 18/08/2017


The following is taken from the presentation made by Fenstanton Parish Council's Chairman, Cllr Paul Kent to Cambridgeshire County Council's Economy and Environment Committee on 10th August 2017 at 10am, regarding the Whippet Bus Service Withdrawal.



1A BUS ROUTE:

"My concerns will be for special consideration to be given to Fenstanton (and other Parishes) elderly, young, disabled, widowed residents who cannot drive and working families who do not have access to a vehicle of their own or cannot drive to the Guided Bus route for their onward journey.

Fenstanton HACT Community Transport Service currently available is not an acceptable long term solution for those who need access to regular daily transport for study, medical or work attendance (refer to timetable). A more effective and regularised solution needs to be identified by County and Parish Councils over the coming months to avoid the negative impact on residents who are less fortunate than most.

Currently there is insufficient data on bus passenger numbers, frequency of travel, peak usage times and volumes by destination, Whippet could provide this as a working basis for Officers to evaluate over the coming months.

The Post Office in Fenstanton has also been identified for conversion into the new style single counter for incorporation into an existing retail outlet, and the existing Post Office (model) to be closed down.

There has been no uptake by the Village business community on the basis of cost effectiveness. This would mean that pensions, social security payments and cash withdrawals will need to be diverted to St Ives with no means of Public Transport available to take the elderly and benefits claimants.

New Housing Development for Fenstanton will introduce a further 230 houses to the Village, 40% of which will provide social housing, which will increase the demand for Public Transport in the future. Officers should evaluate this impact over the coming months.

Some of the current bus route strategies appear to be outdated and centred around reaching major destinations like Peterborough, Cambridge, Huntingdon and St Ives. A different strategy could be to localise Village bus routes around the Guided Bus route pick up points on their major arterial transport links. County Officers could evaluate the existing routes and re design the links to optimise how villages could more effectively link into the Guided Bus routes using smaller vehicles tailored to passenger volumes.

Discontinuing public transport services will force current and future residents to utilise small vehicles such as taxi's or a second car, which will increase vehicle congestion and air pollution, this would work against the objective of supporting effective Cambridgeshire growth whilst reducing traffic congestion and air pollution.

It never pays to accept the inevitable without evaluating the detailed current and future facts required to make an effective decision to improve what currently exists and achieve a more effective outcome in support of a Cambridgeshire wide strategy.

I urge you to support the continued provision of services whilst developing a fully detailed strategy and plan for the future."






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