Cambridgeshire Campaign for Better Transport

Response to the Cambs County Council's Report on Rural Public Transport of 28 Nov 2007

We welcome the publication of the bus strategy document submitted to the Environment & Community Services Scrutiny Committee meeting on 28 Nov 2007.

This response has been prepared by the Cambridgeshire Campaign for Better Transport (formerly Transport 2000 Cambs & W Suffolk). We are a local branch of the national environmental transport campaign group CBT (The Campaign for Better Transport) and also affiliated to Bus Users UK.

General: We believe that rural buses are important for all the following reasons (which are not shown in any order of importance).

These benefits interact with one another. For example, the loss of a rural service which may cause social exclusion to a local villager may also be the deciding factor in the acquisition of a car by someone who needs to visit that area occasionally. That car will then be used for other purposes, undermining the revenue base of the rest of the system and exacerbating congestion problems, which in turn make the bus service unreliable. Also the car may be used for trips to out of town superstores to the detriment of local shops (whether in towns or villages).

We therefore believe that the Council should have the following priorities when planning rural transport (again not in any particular order):

This strategy would bring benefits in all the categories above, with 3 particularly relevant to climate change and congestion, and 4 to social exclusion.

Table 2 of the report shows that an overwhelming number of journeys on supported modes of road transport are made on scheduled buses. There is no evidence that unconventional forms of public transport have the ability to cater for more than a minority of journeys currently made on these buses, so we believe that the Council should specifically rule out any strategy that shifts the emphasis away from conventional buses. However, we are prepared to welcome the development of demand responsive transport (DRT) as suggested in the report provided it's done well, see below.

The overview does not seem to take into account two important factors which have the potential to transform the way bus services are planned. Nor does the first of these figure in the detailed section of the report:

(a) The Local Transport Bill currently going through Parliament will make it easier for the County Council to introduce Quality Contracts, enabling the Council to plan the network as a whole and thus sidestep the tendency for commercial operators to "cherry pick" the best routes and leave communities on other routes to fester. We believe that a planned network would offer major opportunities to grow patronage thus allowing more buses to be supported at a given cost.

(b) The Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) offers an opportunity for the Council to finance a fully integrated county-wide network. The running costs of the required extra buses would be met through the Fund initially and later by a mixture of congestion charge revenues and extra patronage as a result of motorists transferring to public transport because of the congestion charge.

We now go through the list of recommendations.

1. We are worried that the Council does not appear to be looking for an overall mechanism to decide how much funding to allocate to subsidised transport. On the revenue side this should include items such as school transport as well as the items covered in the report. The fact that the Council is spending less than other local authorities (as stated just before Table 1 in the report) suggests that spending could be increased, even before new funding sources such as the TIF are considered. However, if there are real difficulties in doing this, we would support the Council in any representations it might make to central Government about the need for greater priority within the transport budget to be given to revenue support for buses (see our comment on Recommendation 8).

The budget headings may be set by central government but the criteria for achievement may need to be sectionalised to allow separate comparison with (a) other urban centres with flourishing park & ride operations (b) other rural areas with market towns. The capital investment in Park & Ride needs to be matched with a number of smaller but equally relevant investment projects in local centres to upgrade interchanges between various modes of transport.

We believe that the Council should set clear targets for what service levels different communities deserve, and that its funding should be decided by what is needed to achieve these targets rather than the targets be decided by arbitrary funding decisions. The TIF will make such a policy affordable. (In addition, we welcome the principle of using Section 106 funding to meet revenue support costs, which can be especially valuable in our fast growing county.)

We believe that the following targets for rural villages are achievable:

All villages: services to a town/city for getting to school or work, plus at least a weekly shopping service on an appropriate market day.

Villages on corridors: at least a 2 hourly service Mon-Sat daytime throughout the corridor. In Appendix 2 we show a proposed list of new "corridor" routes to replace existing services (where they exist) and supplement the rest of the network. (Note that one reason why we are going into such detail is to show how "corridors" can be designed to include the vast majority of villages.)

Market towns and principal villages: at least an hourly service Mon-Sat daytime; at least some evening and Sunday service -- the former should offer a direct and guaranteed connection from a rail station running late enough to allow passengers to return on post-peak trains from London without having to hang around; the latter should cater for both Sunday shopping and day/weekend visits; and the main service should run within easy walking distance of a railhead.

Where possible, smaller villages should also have high quality walking and/or cycling links (preferably usable at night-time) to rail stations or stops on the main inter-urban bus network. Where distances are too long to expect people to walk, good cycle parking facilities should be provided. Stops on fast main roads should have covered waiting areas available nearby with real time information so that waiting passengers don't have to go down to the main road until just before the bus arrives. These facilities would require capital spending, so we would not expect all of them to be available in the short term, but there should be a medium or long term strategy to provide them. In particular the Council should oppose any Highways Agency road proposals that are incompatible with provision for bus users. (The A14 proposals are likely to fall into this category.) A list of locations on main roads in Cambridgeshire where the network could be improved by developing new bus stops (possibly of the high quality type suggested above), slip roads and new road bridges (to enable movements needed by buses), and/or footbridges and footpaths (to give access to bus stops) is given in Appendix 1.

Furthermore, particular attention should be given to ensuring that major places of interest (notably Wicken Fen, which is not on any of our proposed corridors) are adequately served for visitors as well as local residents.

2. We support this recommendation, but the remit of a Rural Transport Partnership Forum should not be limited to community bus services: it should also cover scheduled buses (in line with their overwhelming importance as mentioned above), rail services, cycling and walking. Our Coordinator attends meetings of the Bedfordshire Rural Transport Partnership Forum which does have such an extended remit.

3. We believe that an operators' forum should be extended to become a wider stakeholders' forum which includes bus users. At present our experience is that existing bodies which are supposed to represent passenger interests (such as parish councils) are often ineffective at doing so: for example when they are informed about service reviews the knowledge does not always filter down to those who actually use the buses.

It is sometimes said that there is no fully representative body for bus users. Our organisation, for example, has members in some villages but still a minority. However we take the viewpoint that if the Council is seen to be listening to user groups then they would soon grow into a fully representative body.

The Council should also reactivate its former system of parish and community representatives, who should be regular bus users and who should be in touch with one another and with campaign groups such as ourselves so that ideas can be developed and put forward which genuinely benefit all parties.

We also believe that a Stakeholders' Forum, also including neighbouring local authorities, could usefully be put in charge of managing a Quality Contract. The ACE objectives (accountability, coordination and enterprise) would be furthered by the inclusion of users, neighbouring local authorities, and operators, respectively.

4. We are concerned that the Council seems to be thinking of DRT as good per se, rather than as a means for achieving certain ends.

We quote from the book "Car Sick" by Lynn Sloman (former assistant director of Transport 2000), published by Green Books, ISBN 1-903998-76-X. We're not saying that any demand responsive system must meet the high standards we quote, just that DRT is not a cureall.

Page 81 (quoting a planner in Maastricht, Netherlands): "When you want to make a journey, you phone a regional call centre. You have to do this at least an hour before you wish to travel. The transport company must pick up each passenger within 15 minutes of their requested departure time...".

Page 83: "But while the Dutch, German, Danish and Swiss systems were large scale and served tens of thousands of passengers every year, most of the British schemes were tiny...In Britain, you would be very lucky to come across a service that operates 7 days a week, can get you back from the cinema at 22.30, and costs not much more than the bus fare."

We believe that any DRT system should aim to satisfy the following constraints:

Furthermore, if DRT has to substitute for a conventional service, e.g. because of roadworks, then prospective passengers who might only find this out at the bus stop should be able to travel. This was not the case for Trumpington estate residents shifted to dial a ride during this summer's Long Road closure, and last year our group's Coordinator found himself unable to get to a village in Norfolk for a similar reason.

We describe three kinds of DRT which we regard as particularly worth trying out:

A: Journey to work services. These would run from villages within a town's catchment area to the town in the morning, in time for normal working hours, and back in the evening. During school terms the morning journey would not need to run as passengers could then use whatever school bus serves their village. Use of these services need not be restricted to regular commuters: other categories of user might be shoppers (who could travel in the other direction on a lunchtime bus), tourists (travelling out to farmhouse accommodation and returning the next morning) and, in summer, evening ramblers (who after work could get the bus out of town, walk to a village on a main route, spend time in a pub, and return on the last bus back to their hometown). As mentioned above the last two types would help the rural economy.

B: Connectional services. These are designed to link up with rail or main bus routes at specially chosen interchange points. Lincolnshire CC's Call Connect network, mentioned in the report, is of this type. Another, also running close to the Cambridgeshire boundary, is Bedfordshire CC's "Homehoppa" which links Bedford station with villages on or near the A6 corridor to the north.

C: Corridor services. Typically these leave a town or interchange at a fixed time and serve a given corridor en route to another town or interchange. However the exact route would be determined by passenger demand, so that only villages where passengers wished to board or alight would be served. End to end passengers should be carried without pre-booking, and if possible so should passengers going from a starting point to an intermediate village (who would tell the driver where they wished to alight). These are best suited to corridors where the road network includes cross-links between the different villages so that any combination of them can be served without lots of doubling back.

Because of the inconvenience of pre-booking, we recommend that any service which usually (perhaps at least 2/3 of the time) needs to call at a village should have a fixed stop there. (It may be appropriate to disaggregate usage figures by days of the week as well as time of day, so a journey might always serve a village on some days of the week but only on demand on others.)

Some services of type C are included in Appendix 2 below.

5. We support this recommendation. We would however like to see the following included:

(a) Printed timetables. Not everyone has access to Internet timetables -- and this applies especially to tourists who will be away from their home or office computers and for whom access to a public library computer will at most be available during restricted hours. Furthermore, a high quality printed timetable can itself be an inducement to travel and it can also include key supporting information (such as availability of through ticketing). Perhaps the most important type of printed information is a map, as even those with Internet access can have difficulty printing out clear maps.

(b) Running information. At present passengers whose buses haven't turned up as expected have great problems. They should be able to ring a control centre (perhaps the same centre as handles booking for DRT) to find out what is going on. This control centre would then be able to ring through to drivers to find out if a bus is late and if so why. In some cases they could also arrange for connections to be held for passengers whose intended bus or train hadn't turned up or was running late.

(c) The education system should include teaching schoolchildren of pre-driving age how to get around by public transport. This might delay the age when they feel it necessary to learn to drive, thus reducing traffic levels (and also reducing the safety problems specifically attributable to younger drivers).

(d) The Council should produce, or procure the production of, a series of "Days Out from..." booklets which would show a wide variety of principal destinations and places of interest, including those requiring a change of vehicle en route.

6. We support this recommendation. It should be noted that vehicles making trips to within Greater London will soon be required to adhere to stringent emissions regulations, and the Brokerage should take account of this.

Organisations that run services at regular times for their own staff should be encouraged to register them as public services open to all, as well as making their vehicles available to outside groups when not otherwise needed.

7. We support these recommendations, but note that a conflict might arise between the interests of energy efficiency and accessibility and suggest that guidelines should be drawn up as to how to choose between them.

We also note that there is no point in having vehicles capable of carrying even one wheelchair user when their access to bus stops is blocked by parked cars. Whether this is due to lax regulation or lax enforcement, it is something that the Council should prioritise, as ordinary bus users as well as wheelchair users will resent the abstraction of resources to provide wheelchair accessible buses which are rarely used because of they can't be relied on.

8. We support this recommendation. It should be said that we suspect that the effect on the EU regulations on the existing bus network has been exaggerated: to the best of our knowledge the only extsing routes long enough to qualify (excluding express coaches) are the X1 Peterborough-Lowestoft via Wisbech, the X4 Peterborough-Milton Keynes (which doesn't serve any communities within the Cambs CC area except in the evenings and on Sundays, though it does pass through on the A605), and X5 Cambridge-Oxford.

However, we believe that a properly integrated network should include many more longer routes -- see Appendix 2 below. We also believe that given adequate promotion (often at regional level or through rail operators) the development of longer routes would generate enough revenue to cover the cost increase -- though of course it would be better still if this cost increase could be avoided.

We would like to see the Council also making representations to the Government on the ease of introducing Quality Contracts and the need for revenue support, both issues highlighted earlier.

9. We strongly support the idea of efficiency gains, though our interpretation of these may differ from that of the Council.

Does "higher cost services" refer to the cost of operation (say per passenger mile) or the support cost (i.e. subsidy) ? If the latter, as the full report suggests to us, potential for cost reduction is likely to be comparatively less because the subsidy is heavily dependent on usage which is to a great extent route-specific. But even if the former is meant, there are factors like traffic congestion and local pay rates which need to be taken into account.

The most important type of efficiency gain is that deriving from increased usage. Some examples of new types of usage which could be developed are:

(a) Local day trips: use a school or journey to work bus to town and then continue by connecting bus (which may be the positioning working of another bus serving the same school or workplace) to another town within the region. This applies whether or not the original service is demand responsive (see comment on Recommendation 4 above).

(b) Visits to the countryside -- especially from Cambridge, with its lower level of car ownership and high potential use from tourists, if only they are given guidance on where to go and how to get there.

(c) Long day trips, usually involving feeding into rail or key inter-urban bus or coach services. It is important that rail passengers to London on Mondays to Fridays can leave London after the peak (as determined by the availability of Cheap Day Return fares) without having to hang around at their railhead. We'd also like to see rail tickets made available on key inter-urban buses, so that for example a passenger from Cambridge to Manchester could travel out by train and return by bus from Milton Keynes on the same Saver ticket. This type of interavailability may be crucial to the viability of our proposed "A14 Express" (see Appendix 2 below) linking Cambridge, Huntingdon, Kettering and Rugby.

10. We support this recommendation.

We now comment on two issues mentioned elsewhere in the report -- the priority areas, and the linked issues of user satisfaction and value for money.

Priority areas: we are mystified as to how these were chosen, as they certainly don't seem to reflect our impression of where there is a major existing deficiency of service. However we offer the following comments on their existing services and how they could be improved. In some cases further details of our proposed improvements are shown in the Appendices.

Parson Drove: has a reasonable service (Fowlers 9) to Wisbech. However, this could usefully be linked with other Fowlers routes to provide a corridor to Spalding, or with Lincs CC Call Connect Plus services at present running only as far as Sutton St Edmund. Incidentally why does the timetable on the county website refer to support by Norfolk CC (whose area is not entered by the service) rather than Lincs CC (whose area is) ?

Wisbech St Mary: We treat this separately from Parson Drove as it's on a different route -- the 46 to Wisbech and March, which offers a reasonable (hourly) service. However it would be helpful if buses diverted via Chainbridge to run past March station, and if an interchange was advertised with route X1 in the Guyhirn area. Later evening and Sunday services between March and Wisbech, interworking with the B1101 corridor, would also be helpful.

Manea: We believe that the best way forward is to improve the village's train service, for which there is an active local campaign. We would then recommend that route 333 be replaced by an adaptation of the 60/61 group to connect with these trains (and serve parts of the village at a distance from the station), which would also open up a new through service to Wisbech.

Fordham and Isleham: We treat these together, though the former is reasonably served by route 12 while the latter has a very poor service, because we would like to see a new route serving both: this would replace part of the 10 between Cambridge and Burwell, connect with the 12 in both directions at Fordham, and continue to Mildenhall demand responsively (i.e. via Isleham if required).

Balsham: On existing corridor route 16 between Cambridge and Haverhill and feeder route 19 between Haverhill and Borough Green, and also served by shopping route 46 to Newmarket. We believe that this could be improved if a more frequent service was operated between Cambridge and Haverhill, shared between the Linton and Balsham corridors (the latter served hourly), and a new 2 hourly service was introduced between Stansted Airport and Newmarket via Saffron Walden, Linton, Balsham then demand responsive.

Somersham: We call for this to be served by an hourly Cambridge-Ramsey corridor service via Northstowe, Willingham, Earith, Somersham and Warboys, with some journeys continuing to Peterborough. An hourly St Ives-Somersham service would also be welcome, with alternate journeys extended to Huntingdon/St Neots and Ely.

Kimbolton and Staughton: The former is currently served by the Beds CC supported ND2 DRT service, but the publicity for this as far as Kimbolton is concerned is very confusing. Both villages are also served by route 152 to St Neots and Bedford, plus some of the West Hunts shopping services. We suggest that the ND2 and 152 be replaced by interlinking circular routes Wilden-St Neots-Kimbolton and Kimbolton-Sharnbrook, with connections for Bedford at Wilden, St Neots and Sharnbrook. Kimbolton also needs a special service on days when the Castle is open to the public (invariably Sundays, unless the owners can be persuaded to change this).

Ellington: This is currently only served by West Hunts journey to work/school and shopping services, but we believe it should have a regular and frequent 7 day a week service by the A14 Express (see 9 above).

Elton: Reasonably served by routes X14 (daytime) and X4 (early evenings and Sundays), but an advertised stop on the A605 giving access to the X4 during the daytime would make it easier for Elton people to travel west.

Folksworth: Again this is treated separately from Elton. It is poorly served by routes 15 and 16, though more journeys are accessible from the latter by walking to/from the B1043. One possible strategy would be to increase the frequency on 15 to 2 hourly and divert it to serve Stilton, while diverting corresponding 16 journeys via Holme and Conington village.

Satisfaction and Value for Money: There is one fundamental reason why one would expect a higher satisfaction level for dial a ride: it is restricted to categories of user with relatively limited needs which it is capable of catering for. By contrast users and prospective users of scheduled bus services are much more likely to want to travel to varied destinations some of which will not be currently served.

We don't see why information on passenger usage of contracted services should be confidential. And it presumably wouldn't be if they formed part of a Quality Contract network, as we would like to see.

There is nothing in this part of the report to change our view that conventional bus services (including wholly or partly demand responsive routes) should continue to be the mainstay of public transport provision. The Enoch et al report referred to says that "buses are most effective and efficient when operating along corridors" -- which is why we want to see an improved corridor network that serves as many communities as possible.

Appendix 1 -- Locations on main roads which need to be made more bus friendly

Note: numbers are National Grid references. These should not be taken too literally as they are only intended as a rough guide to where we believe action is necessary. We are not specifying whether we are looking for upgraded bus stops, new road links or new footpaths, or several of these. Only locations in Cambridgeshire are shown. Furthermore, locations relating to the section of the A14 where upgrading is currently in prospect are not shown, because full details of the intended plans are not yet available. This list is not claimed to be exhaustive.

A1 and A1(M): Southoe (187643 and/or 186648), Buckden (195683-198687), Huntingdon Life Sciences (192739), Upton (185790), Sawtry (174837), Stilton (166894), Water Newton (109971).

A10: Milton North (478634), Waterbeach (488650).

A11: Granta Park (517487).

A14: Kennett (700671), Bottisham (548598), Ellington (161721), Easton (142723), Spaldwick (127732), Leighton Bromswold Turn (107739), Brington Turn (087747), Molesworth (070751), Bythorn/Keyston (052757).

A47: Guyhirn (399030), Bevis Hall for Wisbech St Mary (438067).

A428: Hardwick (375597), Cambourne (314603), Eltisley (269599).

A605: Elton (092928), Haddon (132935).

Appendix 2 -- Proposed new strategic and corridor bus routes

Note: Only services with major changes from the existing network are shown. This includes services where the change is outside Cambridgeshire.

A14 Express: Cambridge station and city, appropriate intermediate stops, Huntingdon station, A14 villages, Thrapston, Kettering town (south) and station, Rugby Coachway (A14/M1/M6), Rugby station and town centre. At least hourly.

Business Link: Stansted Airport, Hinxton (Genome Campus), Granta Park, Babraham (village and turn for institute), Wandlebury, Babraham Rd P&R, Addenbrookes, Cambridge station, city and Madingley Rd (West Cambridge site), Cambourne (near Business Park), Papworth Hospital, Wood Green Animal Shelter, Godmanchester, Huntingdon (station), Hinchingbrooke (school/hospital and Business Park), Huntingdon Life Sciences, Sawtry (Village College), Peterborough (Hospital and bus/rail station). Hourly.

Stour and Colne Valley Links: 4 buses per hour Cambridge-Haverhill, 2 via Abington, Linton and Horseheath, 1 via Linton, Bartlow and The Camps, 1 via Addenbrookes, Worts Causeway, Fulbourn, Balsham, West Wickham and Withersfield. Buses continue hourly to Clare, Cavendish, Long Melford, Sudbury, Hadleigh and Ipswich, and 2 hourly to The Hedinghams, Halstead, Earls Colne, Chappel and Colchester.

Airport link: Stansted Airport, Stansted Mountfitchet, Newport, Audley End (Fighting Cocks), Saffron Walden, Hadstock or Ashdon alternately, Linton, Balsham then demand responsive to Newmarket. 2 hourly.

Ouse and Nene Valley Links: Three 2 hourly services: St Neots, Southoe, Buckden, Brampton, Huntingdon, Godmanchester, The Hemingfords, St Ives, Somersham, Earith, Sutton, Mepal, Wardy Hill, Coveney, Ely (centre and station); as above to Huntingdon then RAF Wyton, Warboys, Chatteris, March (centre and station), Guyhirn, Wisbech St Mary, Wisbech; and St Neots, The Offords, Godmanchester, Huntingdon, villages west of A141, Ramsey, Ramsey Mereside and Forty Foot, Benwick, March (centre and station), Coldham, Wisbech. Extra buses would run St Ives-Earith-Somersham and Huntingdon-Warboys.

Fens Link: Cambridge, Northstowe, Willingham, Earith, Somersham, Pidley, Warboys, Ramsey, hourly with alternate buses continuing to Upwood, Ramsey Heights and St Marys, Pondersbridge, Whittlesey and Peterborough.

Waterbeach rail link: Hourly circular from Cambridge via Fen Ditton, Horningsea, Waterbeach (station and village, connecting at the former with trains), Landbeach, Cottenham, Rampton, Willingham, Over, Swavesey and Bar Hill.

Granta Valley Links: Existing routes C7 and 31 are adapted to connect with the Business Link service and other express coaches might would be diverted to serve a new interchange at the Hinxton Genome Campus. Buses would also run hourly from Cambridge via Addenbrookes to The Shelfords, Hauxton Village and Harston, then to Hinxton alternately via Foxton, Fowlmere, Thriplow and the Imperial War Museum and via Newton and Whittlesford. Also from Royston via Barley, Great Chishill, Heydon, Chrishall, Elmdon, Ickleton and Great Chesterford (for rail connection).

Bedfordshire Links: Each of the following would run 2 hourly. Cambridge, Comberton, Bourn, Cambourne, Caxton, The Gransdens, Waresley, Gamlingay, Potton, Sutton, Biggleswade; St Neots, Abbotsley, Waresley then as above; Cambridge, Comberton, Bourn, Longstowe crossroads, Caxton, Cambourne, Eltisley village, Croxton, St Neots, Eynesbury, Little Barford, Tempsford, Blunham, Moggerhanger, Willington, Bedford; Cambridge, Barton, Haslingfield, Harlton, then either via The Eversdens, Kingston, Bourn turn and Longstowe Crossroads or via Orwell to Arrington (for Wimpole Hall), then to Croydon, Hatley St George, Gamlingay, Gamlingay Cinques and Great Heath, Everton and Sandy; and Royston, Kneesworth, Litlington, The Mordens, Wrestlingworth, Dunton, Biggleswade.

A10 Link: Hourly from Cambridge via A10 corridor to Royston, Buntingford, Ware and Hertford. Route between Royston and Buntingford is alternately via A10 and via Barley, Barkway and Wyddial; route between Buntingford and Ware is alternately via Hare Street, Braughing turn, Puckeridge and old A10 and via Westmill, Great Munden, Dane End and Tonwell.

Mildenhall Links: Extra hourly service from Cambridge via Bottisham village to Newmarket, extended to Mildenhall alternately via Moulton, Kennett, Red Lodge and via Snailwell, Chippenham, Freckenham, Worlington. Also divert alternate journeys on route 10 (Cambridge-Burwell-Newmarket) to continue beyond Burwell to Fordham (connecting with 12 to/from both Newmarket and Ely) then demand responsively to Mildenhall via Isleham, Freckenham and West Row if required. Some of these buses might continue to Lakenheath (village and station connecting with trains making extra stops), Hockwold, Weeting, Brandon and Thetford. Also 2 hourly service between Ely and Bury via Prickwillow, Shippea Hill, Mildenhall airfield, West Row and Mildenhall, beyond which extra buses would run to Bury.

Peterborough South area: As now route 16 runs hourly to Sawtry with alternate journeys via The Alconburys, but continues to Yaxley, Hampton and Peterborough alternately via Glatton and Stilton and via Conington village and Holme. To maintain an hourly service to Stilton route 15 between Peterborough and Oundle is increased to 2 hourly and diverted via Stilton between Yaxley and Folksworth.

West Hunts and East Northants DRT: Links Spaldwick or Brington Turn, Sawtry and Oundle serving villages in area on demand responsive basis. Connects with A14 Express at Spaldwick or Brington Turn, Business Link/Peterborough South service at Sawtry, and existing X4 and X14 at Oundle. Also with school buses at all three corners of the triangle.

North Beds and SW Hunts DRT: The existing ND1 (Bedford-Wilden circular) entirely within Beds is retained and extended to Wilden crossroads. New demand responsive circular routes are provided, one linking Wilden, St Neots and Kimbolton via Colesden, Wyboston, Staploe, Duloe, B645 villages, Little Staughton, Bushmead and Colmworth, and the other linking Kimbolton and Sharnbrook via Pertenhall, Keysoe, Keysoe Row, Bolnhurst, Thurleigh and Bletsoe on the one hand and Knotting, The Deans, Shelton, Hargrave, Covington and Tilbrook. Connections at various points for Bedford, and at Kimbolton with school, work and shopping services to Spaldwick via Stow Longa or Catworth and Brington Turn.

Newmarket-Haverhill: 1-2 hourly partly demand responsive service. Cambs villages covered would be Woodditton, Saxon Street, Cheveley, Ashley, Upend and Kirtling.

Wisbech NW: A network of routes, mostly about 2 hourly and some demand responsive, linking Wisbech with Lincolnshire's Interconnect 505 route at Long Sutton, Holbeach or Spalding.

Manea rail link: Extra trains to stop at Manea with connecting buses from Chatteris to Manea village and station, Welney then with various route options to Wisbech and Downham Market, preferably connecting for whichever is not directly served. The network beyond Welney could include the Cambridgeshire villages of Gold Hill (in which case the Wildfowl & Wetland Trust reserve would be served) and Christchurch.