A rural bus link between March and Wisbech must be future-proofed say campaigners

PUBLISHED: 16:48 18 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:49 18 April 2018

Labour Party campaigners continue their fight to save the number 46 bus. Here with a petition signing in March market place.

Labour Party campaigners continue their fight to save the number 46 bus. Here with a petition signing in March market place.

Archant

A vital link bus that been granted a temporary reprieve until the end of summer, must be secured with a long term plan, say campaigners.

Kathy Dougall, who has organised a petition to save route 46 from Wisbech to March, said: “The strength of feeling about the closure of this route has had an effect but we still need to ensure it continues beyond August and as a through route not split in two.

“We will continue to fight for this.

“We believe the county councils should be working closely together to ensure that vital cross boundary routes, like the 46, into and out of Wisbech and March continue to serve the needs of local residents”.

Initially, Stagecoach announced they would withdraw the service on April 28 but now it is saved until August 25.

Campaigners were in Broad Street in March asking local shoppers and bus passengers to sign the petition which calls on the two councils to work together to save the route in its entirety.

In just three hours 374 people signed the petition. Three weeks previously 352 signed in just two hours at Wisbech bus station. Total signatures now exceed a thousand.

Norfolk County Council have separately arranged for the section between Wisbech and Lynn to be operated by Lynx, while Cambridgeshire have achieved a temporary reprieve from Stagecoach on the March to Wisbech section.

The Wisbech Branch of the NE Cambs Labour Party believes this is a vital through route for local residents on both sides of the county boundary and should be retained in its entirety.

Kathy, party secretary, said: “We believe that the 46 would be the ideal bus route for extending to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. As well as providing a direct service for Wisbech residents visiting the hospital it also serves many of the villages on both sides of the county boundary.”

Sue Docket, secretary of the local Trades Union Council added: “It is about the economics of the community.

“Investing in good local bus services has wider economic benefits, for example, enabling local businesses and services to thrive while isolation, particularly among the elderly, adds to social care costs.”

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