Wisbech town bus service under review as figures show where passengers want to go - and, in the case of North Cambs Hospital, where they don’t
- Credit: Archant
A Wisbech bus re-launched last summer after a previous attempt – and £52,000 in subsidies failed – is once again under threat.
Launched as a 12 month trial to replace the previous service axed by Stagecoach, funding is soon coming to an end.
Cash for the service launch came from £350,000 through a section 106 agreement provided by Tesco when they opened their out of town store. The supermarket provided the cash for up to four years to finance a local service but Stagecoach pulled out after falling numbers.
A survey by Fenland Council shows where customers are coming from and where they want to go to and clearly it is not North Cambs Hospital. Not a single passenger has been recorded as having asked to be dropped off there.
“We have reviewed the service and propose to remove areas of the route with lowest usage,” said a council spokesman.
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“This would allow the service to focus on more popular stops including Ramnoth Road, Tesco and the Horsefair. It is hoped that these changes will improve the service for existing users and encourage more people to get on board.”
A consultation event is taking place at the Horsefair Bus Station on June 8 and people are being invited to drop in between 10am and 1pm to tell the council what they’d like to see on the service.
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Comments can also be sent to email@example.com. All comments must be received by 4pm on June 15.
“Public feedback will be used to help design the new route that will launch later this year,” said the council spokesman.
Unless numbers pick up the council fears that once the support funding comes to an end so too will the service.
.The number 68 operates six days a week with the service being run by Fenland Area Community Transport (FACT) although membership is not a requirement in this instance.
The route serves many residential areas to the south and northwest of Wisbech which are not covered by other bus services and includes stops close to Tesco, Horsefair, North Cambs Hospital, Rosmini Centre, Thomas Clarkson Academy, Hudson Leisure Centre and Asda.
FACT is responsible for collecting fares and issuing tickets with the revenue handed to Fenland Council.
But since the service does not start until 9.30am bus pass holders can use it for free all the time.