An important rural bus route has been saved after Cambridgeshire County Council stepped in to prevent residents and school pupils losing their service.
A tender was issued by the County Council last month as part of a range of options being considered to replace service 46, between Wisbech and March, after Stagecoach announced it would be withdrawn at the end of April 2018.
Councillors agreed to fund a replacement bus service in the short term, at a cost of £36K, and this support will stay in place until 25 August 2018 – ensuring a continuous service during the critical school exam period, while a more permanent solution is found.
The new timetable has been scheduled around school times, to ensure students for Neale-Wade Academy will see no break in service. The timetable will change from an hourly service to every hour and a half.
The service will continue to be operated by Stagecoach and in the meantime the County Council will be working with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayor James Palmer and the Combined Authority to consider further longer term options.
Cllr Ian Bates Cambridgeshire County Council’s Chairman of the Economy and Environment Committee, said: “When Stagecoach told us of their decision to withdraw the bus route, we immediately looked at the options available to prevent our residents, including students travelling to Neale-Wade Academy in March, suffering from the anxiety of having no bus service, especially in the lead up to exam time which will be stressful enough.
“We have agreed this short-term, one off fix to fund a replacement local bus service, as it is vitally important to us that residents have the necessary transport links in place and we are determined to work with the wider local government family to find a more permanent solution.”