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Post blasts council after bus plans are rejected

The Hunts Post has branded Cambridgeshire County Council “complacent” and “arrogant” after it rejected the paper’s alternative solution to a proposed Guided Bus public transit system between Huntingdon and Cambridge.

The Post has drawn up a proposal for a light rail link and a conventional bus service with a rapid section – and challenged the council to offer cost or civil engineering reasons to reject its plans.

But the council said the Guided Bus proposal on the line of a disused railway is “the only show in town” – despite the paper’s reports that it has little support from local people.

The need for public transport has arisen out of the planned A14 upgrade and a proposed 10,000-home township at Northstowe.

Hunts Post editor Paul Richardson told HoldtheFrontPage: “There is a need to reroute and upgrade the A14. People still have to go from Huntington to Cambridge and back again and therefore we need a public transport system that will work.

“There is a disused rail line between the town of St Ives and Cambridge which the County Council plans to concrete over for the Guided Bus Express Way.

“There are two big problems with this – that at either end buses will be in ordinary traffic and therefore will get held up and that once the rail line is concreted over any possible further use of the rail is gone forever. We need to keep our options open.

“For a local authority which wins awards for public transport services – it has a very good park and ride scheme – this is a little bit complacent and a tad arrogant just to put a block on the alternative solution.”

The Hunts Post reported that Cambridgeshire County Council found four “flaws” in its alternative solution – each of which it responded to in the paper.

A public inquiry into the proposals is due to begin at the end of September when Cambridgeshire County Council will try to get permission to build the Guided Busway.

Paul said: “There have been 3,000 objections, although not one from the Hunts Post because we need to report the inquiry fairly and accurately. By protesting we may compromise our position.

“The Hunts Post will not be putting our proposal before the inquiry but we think other people will.

“We don’t want a scheme imposed upon us and we think our scheme satisfies all the issues – it would be quicker for the public transport to get up and running and therefore quicker to get the work done on the A14.”

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