Re-launching campaigning for better buses and services for Gtr Cambridge

Are there enough people willing to step up and help?

Have a read of Richard’s update here. <<– PLEASE SHARE THIS LINK TO ANYONE INTERESTED

“The key issue is whether there are enough people – and who they may be – who would be willing to form the core of activists who would then run the Bus Users’ group.”

Richard Wood of Cambridge Area Bus Users (CABU)
Have a listen to Richard with Julian Clover on Cambridge105 here discussing the proposals from the Greater Cambridge Partnership on radically-improved bus services.

Regarding the new proposals – and the looming publication of the Local Transport and Connectivity Plan from the Combined Authority, I wrote:

“Also, it means (for a few more of us) reading up on developments in the bus industry – so some of you may want to start buying Buses Magazine to see what new things other places are getting which we might want to get as well. (No, I’m not on a commission!)”

Above – what I wrote in a recent previous blogpost highlighting some of the industry press publications which can be easily overlooked by campaigners yet are a useful source of information when campaigning for improvements.

Essentially it’s easier to make the case for something if another place has already achieved success, rather than trying to appeal for something that as yet remains unproven. Everyone politician praises innovation, but few are prepared to discuss/be held accountable for the very high risk of failure that comes with it.

What CABU will be covering:

One of the things campaigning on transport issues in/around Cambridge involves is figuring out who does what in local government. Furthermore, the social media column inches have been dominated by the impact of any congestion charge.

“Sadly, much of the reporting and social media comment has been over-excited disputation about the details of any subsequent funding through a mooted congestion charge. Perhaps the bus user’s point of view needs to be heard more clearly.”

Richard Wood – Secretary of CABU

The immediate focus on public transport has to include the proposed bus service improvements that the authorities concerned have proposed. They will be front-loading significant sums of money towards – including a proposed 20% pay increase for bus drivers to encourage more people to apply to become drivers and deal with the shortage of drivers in the industry. Because all of this is scheduled to happen before any congestion charge comes in, public scrutiny is essential to improve the proposals that will go out to consultation later in the autumn. And that must involve regular bus users – of which I used to be one but can now only manage about once a week.

If any of you can get posters printed and pinned up on local supermarket notice boards or community notice boards, drop CABU an email and they’ll send over an image for you to print out and put up in your neighbourhood. (I still haven’t figured out who owns which bus stop shelters so don’t want to go around pinning stuff up there lest I get busted for fly-posting).

And for those of you interested in the history of buses in/around Cambridge, there are a few books around that explain how we got to here.

As Richard stated, time for a relaunch.

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