As you know, in my County Councillor capacity, I have been working with officers to come up with an interim ‘rescue package’ for the 21 service which is due to be withdrawn on Sept 2nd. Passenger numbers are very low and Whippet has been running at a loss for some time. However I am aware that for the few who use it, it is a lifeline and some have no alternative.
We have, over a short time frame, tendered to replace the withdrawn services and analysed the cost. Some will require significant subsidy, including our 21 service. A report was considered by the Economy & Environment Committee this morning and I went along to speak in support of the 21 service.
This was successful and money will be diverted from a small transport fund to support a 21 service for up to 12 months. In the meantime a review will take place to consider how best to find a sustainable solution to carry such a small number of passengers, many of whom only travel on an ad hoc basis.
This means the 21 should carry on uninterrupted for the time being – albeit with a different operator.
Please feel free to share this information.
Steve Criswell (Cllr)
CCC Somersham & Earith Division
Chairman, Communities & Partnerships Committee