How do you get from Meldreth to Wisbech? A bike ride, two train journeys and a number 56 bus of course!

A COUNCILLOR who used public transport to travel 55 miles for a meeting in Wisbech is continuing her fight against forthcoming cuts in bus subsidies.

Lib Dem councillor Susan van de Ven failed in a bid to stop Cambridgeshire County Council cutting its public transport subsidy by around �1million when it met last week - but she says the fight will continue with an online petition.

Cllr van de Ven said: “There are people all over the county, and particularly in Fenland, who are marooned even before these further reductions.

“The exercise of considering cuts to bus subsidies has opened a can of worms and has highlighted the problem of rural isolation.

“We need to at least maintain the transport subsidy, it is already quite small.”


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She claims the council is planning to cut its subsidies from �2.7million to �1.5million over the next three years.

But the council says bus subsidies are being transformed, with a new system targeted to the needs of the community.

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Councillor Ian Bates, Cabinet member for Growth and Planning, said: “There has been much misinformation about what we are doing.

“Under the old system tax payers are paying as much as �107,000 or �12 per trip for one service. We are phasing out the old system over three years and investing �1.5million annually to improve transport services for communities across Cambridgeshire.

“Before that happens we will be working closely with communities to come forward with transport solutions that fit their needs and where possible improve the current situation.”

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