£1m to improve bus services across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire

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The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CaPCA) is to resume work on its Bus Reform Project, which started in May 2019, according to Peterborough Today.

The project aims to look at ways in which bus services can be drawn together post-Covid 19, to provide a well-functioning and integrated transport network for the region, and is being led by Metro Mayor James Palmer, chair of the Bus Reform Task Force, with a team of officers from member councils which is headed by Bus Strategy Manager Oliver Howarth.

CaPCA held an online board meeting on 30 September, where Head of Transport Roland Potter said: “The purpose of the Bus Reform report before the Board today is to identify ways of delivering improved bus services within the CaPCA area. I’m sure I need not remind members that the Covid-19 crisis has had a very significant impact on the bus market, and on 9 September the Transport and Infrastructure Committee approved proposals to amend the bus reform task force programme milestones to reflect the pace of recovery of the bus market.

“Approval is now sought from this Board for the release of the remaining £1.2m budget provision set out in the medium term financial plan to be used to fund short-term innovation trials to inform subsequent reform proposals. These proposals were discussed by the Transport and Infrastructure Committee where they were endorsed unanimously by those present.”

The Metro Mayor responded: “We set out all our plans and reform through the last task group with the intention of doing one thing, and clearly Covid-19 has put an end to that. We are now in a very different situation but we are in conversation with government to make sure that we’re in a strong position to invest in our bus service and that work is ongoing.

“We will continue to do whatever we can to improve the bus service given the errant state that it is currently in.”

Members unanimously approved the re-start of the Bus Reform Task Force along with its new objectives and the release of the £1.2m of funding.

Bus services in the Peterborough area are included in the project. RICHARD SHARMAN