Azara Blog: Cambridgeshire County Council and the Guided Bus scheme

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Date published: 2006/08/03

The Cambridgeshire County Council emails about the so-called guided bus scheme:

Dear Sir/Madam

As you may be aware, the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway scheme has recently been given the go-ahead by the County Council and central Government.

The busway will provide high quality, reliable and frequent bus services along a dedicated, segregated route from St Ives to Cambridge. Bus services from Huntingdon will be able to join the busway at a new Park & Ride site, which is being built in St Ives.

The Guided Busway will cost £116.2m to build. £92.5m of this total is being paid for by central Government. The remainder of the money will be gathered from developers building new houses in the area. No money from the local Council Tax is being used to pay for the busway.

The Council has appointed Edmund Nuttall Ltd to build the Guided Busway. Work is expected to start on-site in early 2007 and the busway will be open by the end of 2008.

A great idea, or (more likely) a white elephant? The claim that "no money from the local Council Tax is being used to pay for the busway" is disingenous. Any money that is spent on the guided bus means more council tax is required to fund other activities which might have been funded by these millions. And the budget for the scheme has already bloated way beyond initial estimates (surprise). Will any politician or bureaucrat take personal responsibility and resign if the current budget estimate is surpassed?

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