Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Improving Rural Transport

Petrol prices are rising, in 3 year traffic is up 30% through the villages and congestion is increasing. Yesterday it took me 45 minutes to travel 4 miles, this was in the countryside outside the city boundary. Is there a better way?

The ward I represent as district councillor is the most rural in South Cambridgeshire. It’s also the most deprived when it comes to public transport. There are buses, they are subsidised by the County Council. In the daytime they are often empty. Many of the residents commute to Cambridge – but there is no early morning or evening bus for commuters. Is there a better solution?

Information from the bus company and the County Council is erratic… but the last thing we need to spend money on is a hoard of bureaucrats riding the buses to collect data. We need to understand what users think of the service and what they want. Too often public services are supplied by well meaning councillors rather than demand driven.

I’ve launched a survey with our local MP Jim Paice to find out what people think of the buses. If a commuter service is available will people use it? I hope we will get some decent feedback and provide what the public want with their money.

Sometimes I get involved in an issue and don’t know quite where it will take me. This is one of them.

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