Free bus travel for 16 to 18 year-olds pledged by Labour candidate for mayor

Dr Nik Johnson

Dr Nik Johnson, Labour candidate for Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Voting is on May 6. - Credit: Labour

Labour’s candidate to be Cambridgeshire mayor has set out his vision for the role, saying he will be open to others’ ideas.  

Nik Johnson believes that his professional experience as a doctor provides him with the skill-set to lead the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.  

On transport, he said he wants to implement a “fully integrated, greener transport system”. 

He said he will provide free bus travel for 16 to 18-year-olds, and a means-tested subsidy to under 25s.  

He also said he would rebrand the bus fleet along a “Fen Tiger” theme, where the buses would be painted orange and black. 

“Orange for the setting sun of the Fens and black for the loamy soil”, he said. 

He will also explore the possibility of a busway into the Fens, and ask the Greater Cambridge Partnership to “reconsider” its proposed Cambridge South East Transport busway route. 

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On the question of a metro for Cambridge area and beyond, he said he will “reconsider the need” for such a system owing to the changes brought by the pandemic". 

It would “not be a priority for me to do in the first four years”, saying bus franchising and linking in other projects such as East West Rail into the current system would take priority.  

He said the combined authority’s affordable housing programme should follow the “successful” Cambridge City Council model of building council houses, but said he accepts that would require additional government funding.  

Cllr Johnson’s proposals include: 

Working with councils to implement a requirement for a minimum of 50 per cent affordable housing in new developments 

Expanding the electric bike roll-out to market towns  

Implementing a “county-wide water management group” to prevent flooding and preserve water 

He said: “I know how to run budgets; I know how to work and get the best out of staff.  

"As a doctor it’s not in my nature to make big promises I cannot keep. 

“I stick to the facts as I see them, make my diagnosis accordingly, and then try to fix the problem to the best of my ability. 

“I can only pledge to use the same principles to do my best for all residents.”