Text Size

Current Size: 100%

Cambridgeshire bus cuts victory

5 July 2011
Responding to confirmation that Cambridgeshire County Council have agreed to review their decision to cut all funding for council-run bus services, Campaign for Better Transport’s public transport campaigner Alexandra Woodsworth, said:

"We welcome Cambridgeshire’s commitment to reconsider cutting its support for bus services. This is a reprieve for bus users from all walks of life who simply couldn’t have got by if they’d lost their local bus – whether it’s temporary or permanent remains to be seen. We were also pleased at Cambridgeshire’s recognition that in future decisions, it must take full account of its legal obligations, and be prepared to stand up to close scrutiny in the courts. This is a real victory for campaigners in Cambridgeshire who have been fighting tirelessly against these damaging cuts.”

Cambridgeshire County Council was identified as one of the worst areas in the country for bus cuts by Campaign for Better Transport’s Save our Buses campaign. Last month Cambridge resident Jo Green, with support from Campaign for Better Transport, launched a legal challenge against the council’s decision.

Notes to Editors

1. Read the committee paper from Cambridgeshire County Council which covers the withdrawal of the bus subsidies and the judicial review here

2. Cambridgeshire County Council agreed on 15 February 2011 as part of their Integrated Plan for 2011/2012 to cut all funding for subsidised bus services over a four year period (saving £2.98m) and instead provide £220k towards community transport for 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 only.  Subsidised services account for 20 per cent of all bus services in the Cambridgeshire, or 1,924,870 passenger journeys per year.

3. The legal challenge identifies three ways Cambridgeshire County Council has potentially acted unlawfully:
- Failure to discharge statutory duty to secure public transport under section 63 of the Transport Act 1985
- Failure to properly discharge its duties under s71 Race Relations Act 1976, s76A Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and s49A Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to have “due regard” to the various identified equalities needs of protected groups
- Conducting a flawed public consultation process/failure to undertake any proper public consultation on cuts to bus subsidies whilst proposals at formative stage

4. Under the 1985 Transport Act, councils must "secure the provision of such public passenger transport services as the council considers appropriate to meet any public transport requirements which would not otherwise be met“, and "ensure bus services are provided where they are socially necessary and would not otherwise be provided commercially." A review of statutory local authority duties, including those contained in the Transport Act 1985, is available here

5. Save Our Buses is a campaign from Campaign for Better Transport that makes the case for buses to Government decision-makers and supports local campaign groups to fight bus cuts in their area. For more information, or to view the interactive map showing bus cuts across the county, visit the Save Our Buses website. As part of the campaign, the group sent a joint letter, co-signed by 28 other organisations, to David Cameron PM urging him to so more to protect buses.

6. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).