Bus company agrees to talks on expanding X1 bus route to pass through Wisbech St Mary and Guyhirn

PUBLISHED: 10:27 11 February 2014 | UPDATED: 10:27 11 February 2014

Steve Barclay MP.

Steve Barclay MP.

Archant

A bus company has agreed to meet MP Steve Barclay to discuss upgrading a bus route so it passes through two Fenland villages.

X1 Bus Blogger Gerard Fletcher, left, and fellow bus enthusiast Bruce Billingham with the First Direct X1 bus. X1 Bus Blogger Gerard Fletcher, left, and fellow bus enthusiast Bruce Billingham with the First Direct X1 bus.

First Eastern Counties’ regional commercial director, Steve Wickers, will meet with the North East Cambs MP, who has called for Wisbech St Mary and Guyhirn to be included on the XI bus route.

A petition backed by 344 residents requesting a diversion was delivered to the bus service provider.

The X1 Bus starts at Peterborough, heads down the A47 and diverts through Thorney before rejoining the A47.

A spokesperson for First Eastern Counties said: “We recently received correspondence from the office of Steve Barclay MP requesting a meeting to discuss this proposal.

“Our regional commercial director, Steve Wickers, will liaise with him.”

Campaigners claim stopping at Wisbech St Mary and Guyhirn would enable residents to access the shopping and leisure activities on offer in Peterborough and the surrounding areas and could help people from further afield to cut down on the cost of their daily commute.

Wisbech St Mary resident Brian Sandall, who is leading the campaign, said: “The good thing about this service is that it starts early and finishes late in the evening; meaning not only is it good for commuters but great for evenings out, going to the theatre or cinema.

“A bus service would allow us to cut down on fuel and parking costs.”

Mr Barclay said: “A diversion of the popular X1 service would not only offer the local community an efficient and affordable way of getting in to Peterborough but would also set an important precedent in adapting existing transport services to fit the needs of local residents.

“Having seen the local support for this initiative, it is clear that residents believe the service would have a good uptake.”

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