A bus service in Ely on the verge of being lost has been given a reprieve.

The Ely Zipper, run by Dews Coaches, alongside the Wisbech Tesco 68 bus were threatened earlier this year due to financial concerns.

But both services will now be funded by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CAPCA) until March 25, 2023.

Dr Nik Johnson, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: “I hope that this funding will provide some reassurance for those people and communities who rely on them.”

The Ely Zipper service starts and ends in the city, connecting villages including Witcham, Haddenham, Aldreth, Wilburton and Stretham.

Both this and the Wisbech Tesco 68 route are not related to the bus services in Cambridgeshire due to be axed by Stagecoach this month.

Dr Johnson admitted there are “huge ongoing challenges” with the bus network across the county, which he feels have been emphasised by Stagecoach’s decision to cut some of its services.

“The Combined Authority is working on the changes needed with partners and operators across the region to bring better buses to people regardless of where they live or their income,” he said.

“It includes making the case to government for more funding and looking at bus reform, with the case for bus franchising continuing to be looked into carefully.

“I would encourage people to continue to use the Zipper and Wisbech Tesco bus services, where they are able.”

Both the Ely Zipper and Wisbech Tesco 68 buses will continue to run on their current timetables.

CAPCA will also consider other funding options for these services from April 2023 when the existing financial support has expired.

Earlier this year, East Cambridgeshire District Council says that without intervention, the Zipper, which carries out 22.000 passenger journeys a year, would end in September.

Cllr Anna Bailey, leader of East Cambs Council, told Mayor Johnson that “given the relatively modest sums involved, it would be a false economy not to support the service through to the point of retendering.

“I am calling on them (CAPCA) to do the right thing and recompense district council taxpayers and Grovemere Property for the £10,400 we have jointly underwritten the service by."