Anthony Browne MPis asking everyone to complete the Survey on the future of our transport services. It deals with congestion charging and future bus services. At the end of this article giving information on their proposals/suggestions is a link to the survey. Please, fill it in now!
Making Connections 2022 survey
This consultation is seeking feedback on a proposed package of measures to improve how people travel in Greater Cambridge. Full details of the proposals can be found in the consultation brochure. The proposals involve:
- A transformed bus network, offering cheaper fares, new routes, and faster, more frequent and reliable services between 5am and 1am
- Lower traffic levels enabling improvements to cycling and walking infrastructure and supporting public realm enhancements
- Funding these improvements through a Sustainable Travel Zone. Vehicles would pay to drive in the Zone at certain times. This would also reduce traffic, tackle pollution, emissions and climate change and support improved access to opportunity and health in our communities.
All fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
We are proposing to transform the bus network to offer cheaper fares, new routes, and faster, more frequent and more reliable services with longer operating hours.
In developing these proposals we have taken into account your feedback from our last consultation in autumn 2021. We want your further input to shape the improvements and make sure buses offer you an attractive choice for more of your journeys, whether the whole journey or part of it.
You can view our detailed proposals for bus improvements in our consultation brochure, and they can be summarised as follows:
- Cheaper fares – a £1 flat single fare for the city and immediate surrounding area (broadly equivalent to the current Stagecoach Cambridge zone) and a £2 flat single fare for the wider travel to work area. Fare caps would mean lower daily and weekly charges, and special tickets for families, children and others would be introduced.
- More routes – with direct routes between residential areas, towns and villages and growing employment areas, education, key services including health services and leisure opportunities.
- Fast, high frequency services – up to 8 buses/hour on key routes in the city, up to 6 buses/hour from larger villages and market towns, and hourly rural services. Waiting times would be much shorter, buses would run faster and more reliably with lower traffic levels, and new express services would offer even faster journeys on key routes.
- Longer operating hours – from 5am-1am Monday-Saturday, and 5am-midnight on Sundays, supporting our evening and night-time economy and shift workers. Additional buses may run outside of these times to support shift workers.
- A huge increase in rural services – providing frequent connections to market towns, train stations and the core bus network. This will include scheduled services as well as Demand Responsive Transport (bookable buses), meaning every village would have access to a bus service.
- Simpler ticketing – a tap-on tap-off system like in London would mean fares and caps were automatically calculated.
- Zero emission buses – cleaner buses, meeting local ambitions for the whole fleet to be zero emission by 2030.
These improvements would start immediately following a decision to go ahead with the overall package, and ramp up over the next 4-5 years.
The improvements would be funded initially by GCP, and then by the proposed Sustainable Travel Zone charge – so bus services and cheaper fares would be in place well before any charge for driving.
Are there any additional improvements to bus services that would be needed for you to use bus services for more of your journeys? If so, what are they? Or if you are a non-bus user, what would encourage you to use the bus?
A London-style bus network
The London bus network is the most comprehensive in the UK. It is publicly managed or “franchised”, accountable to the Mayor, with bus services, routes, timetables and fares specified by Transport for London. To the passenger this has led to a simple, integrated approach with an easy to use, comprehensive network of bus services. Lower fares and simple multi-operator ticketing have supported growing patronage of the network and a fleet of electric vehicles have improved air quality and the local environment. Other areas such as Greater Manchester are looking to adopt this approach.
The Mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority is exploring the potential to franchise the bus network across our region, to deliver a similar low-fare, high quality bus network.