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Campaigning for What is Already Agreed

Updated: Jun 13

I have just been given a copy of the letter the Conservative candidate for the Whittlesey South by-election is distributing around Whittlesey.


The crux of the letter is about his background and history within the Town and it is clear that he has a strong Whittlesey connection. It is good that we have another local candidate standing in the election. The workers party candidate is, of course, from Murrow.


There is one clear ambition stated, which is for more frequent and more affordable bus services. I applaud the fact that this is an aim - but it is already on the way and agreed. Evening services on the 31/33 service have already been agreed by the Mayor of the Combined Authority, here is the proof. Bus fares were reduced to £2 a ticket some considerable time ago and the Mayor has also recently implemented the Tiger Pass for young people that guarantees under 25s bus fares for £1. You can find out more about the Tiger Pass scheme here. You might remember that our local Conservatives opposed the bus precept, something that has created a situation where, for the first time in a generation, we can look forward to the growth in bus services that the Conservative candidate wants. Once the bus precept was agreed, the Conservatives said that Whittlesey wouldn’t benefit from it. Now they are campaigning for changes that the precept has already enabled. Campaigning for things that are already happening is pretty disappointing.


My view is that we need to be much more ambitious. In Huntingdonshire they have a scheme called TING, it is what is know as a demand responsive service. If you live within the area covered by the TING, you can use an app on your phone to ask for a bus. When the next one comes along, it deviates from the set route to pick you up from home or close to your home, it basically uses technology to make our bus services work better. It has some similarities to the excellent FACT service, but it is usable by all. The Mayor is already talking about implementing more of these schemes, including one around March. I believe one of these would work great around the Whittlesey area. It would potentially enable us to have bus services that Turves residents can access, it would enable more buses in Eastrea, Coates and Pondersbridge and it would also potentially bring buses into areas of Whittlesey where the current services don’t reach, like the birds estate and along Snoots and Churchfield Way.


Simply campaigning for something that is already going to happen isn’t good enough. Having knowledge of best practice elsewhere and understanding how it can benefit Whittlesey is the way forward. I am the only candidate that can offer that - on this and many more areas.

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