Tuesday 3 May 2011

Cambridgeshire's Transport Revolution

This press release was issued by the County Council today.  It challenges every comment that has been made about subsidised buses.   We have always made plain that our intention is to develop community transport to replace the old and outdated methods.

Conservatives innovate, others whinge.

"BE PART OF CAMBRIDGESHIRE’S TRANSPORT REVOLUTION A new scheme to revolutionise transport in Cambridgeshire could unlock tens of millions in investment, make it easier for people to catch a bus and has the potential to create new businesses. Cambridgeshire County Council is working in a cross authority partnership to see if public services can align their resources to boost local transport and business enterprise. Once agreed, pathfinder projects could be set up in the County by autumn to provide high quality community transport that will meet the needs of residents and statutory services ranging from taking children to school to providing transport to the local doctor. These local transport groups could include franchise agreements were residents are guaranteed a high quality service and which would encourage local enterprise, business and employment opportunities. The Council is looking to set up the first pathfinder projects in areas where bus subsidies are being reduced. Alone the County Council spends more than £20 million on providing statutory transport with extra money available for community schemes. The Council wants to see existing businesses, budding entrepreneurs and charities to step forward and grab this opportunity to take part in the scheme. Cambridgeshire Future Transport is a partnership between the County Council working with district and city council partners as well as other public services and authorities. It also has representatives from community transport and bus operators to help provide business and industry knowledge. The initiative will:
  • Ensure transport is well managed, easy to use, and delivered at a reasonable price
  • Handing budgets and power to communities so that they can find local solutions to local transport needs
  • Looking at an innovation fund to help local entrepreneurs and charities start up and expand local transport services
  • Drive through savings for public services while providing a seamless transport service
 Currently the Council spends millions of pounds on subsidising large buses that are often empty and sometimes buses and even local mini-buses are left idle through the day between pick-ups. This means there is plenty of capacity not only for improvements to be made but to create jobs and increase economic prosperity. The new scheme being developed could plough millions of pounds into the hands of local residents and businesses and co-ordinate transport across organisations to provide a much better service."
Nick Clarke, Leader Elect of the County Council, will be on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire tomorrow morning talking about our transport plans.

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