Whoever said ‘be afraid, be very afraid’ could easily have threats to Fenland buses in mind
THE phrase ‘be afraid, be very afraid’ is attributed to the hit movie The Fly but it’s a saying we can expect to hear more of us as the details of bus service cuts in Fenland are revealed.
We suspect our readers are only just awakening to the consequences of Cambridgeshire County Council’s proposals to axe subsidies with most Conservative councillors happy to accept them as an unpleasant side effect of the economic crisis.
Cuts in Cambridgeshire subsidies will rate them as some of the most draconian of any local authority: this is one ‘league table’ where pride may certainly come before a fall.
Thus far we have only been able to obtain from the county council the routes where subsidies apply and where the money will be withdrawn. What is lacking is the detail of specific services under threat.
Fenland is not alone is relying on public transport to enable its villages and rural communities to thrive and prosper but, within Cambridgeshire, it does have specific needs and requirements and these cuts will inevitably impinge upon us more than in many places.
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Stagecoach, which operates many of the threatened services, doesn’t buy into the belief of some council officials that community transport can plug some gaps.
As the company’s managing director said “there are some things that can be done, but I don’t think that’s enough to cover people who need to get to the doctors, the chemist, hospital or to visit friends”.
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These are, inevitably, tough times but the county council’s responsibility is to ensure some sectors of the community are not more adversely affected than others.
The proposals, as outlined, suggest this is not necessarily the case.