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Tories reject call to reinstate city centre shuttle bus

November 27, 2012 11:37 AM

County Tories have rejected a Lib Dem call to reinstate Cambridge's city centre shuttle bus by using some of the profits the county council makes from residents' parking schemes.

Cabinet members at Cambridgeshire County Council threw out the idea today (Tuesday, November 27) claiming the free service was not a good use of public money because the service was free of charge.

The decision has infuriated Liberal Democrats who have been fighting to bring back the shuttle bus which clocked up 67,076 passenger journeys the year before it was axed.

Lib Dem County Councillor, Lucy Nethsingha, who represents Newnham hit out at the decision during the Cabinet meeting.

She said: "The shuttle-bus provided a much valued service, not only for the elderly and disabled, but for all shoppers with tired feet and heavy bags. It helped with access to the city's independent traders and encouraged shoppers to use more of the city centre.

I am shocked that the Conservative County Council, who claim to be business friendly but cannot see the economic case for the shuttle-bus, as well as failing to understand the social value."

County Councillor Sarah Whitebread, who represents Market ward, said: "The city centre shuttle was a lifeline for many elderly and disabled people who relied on it to get around the city centre. It was also the lowest subsidised passenger bus in the county. Despite the fact that it was well-used and cost efficient the Tories decided it wasn't worth saving."

The Lib Dems suggested the county council's £100,000 subsidy for the bus could be replaced with money from the £800,000 profits from Cambridge's residents' on-street parking schemes.

"This made complete sense," added Cllr Nethsingha. "By investing a small amount of the profit from the parking schemes back into the city, the shuttle bus could be back on the road helping those with limited mobility and linking shops across the city centre."