LETTER: Have a “Pay Day” once a week to help save Ely Zipper bus

Determined work continues to secure the long term future of the much loved Ely Zipper.

The Zipper hourly bus service links Haddenham, Wilburton, Stretham, Little Thetford and Witcham with Ely station (Tesco) and Ely Market Street and has been running since November 2014. The rider numbers continue to increase as more passengers become aware of the benefits.

Local county councillors Bill Hunt and Anna Bailey have been working hard with officers to continue the service for many more years.

Toby Parsons, who is the transport policy manager at Cambridgeshire County Council has already confirmed the 2016 future for the service and is co-operating with Bill and Anna on a pilot scheme in upper East Cambs called “Total Transport Policy”.

As it’s name suggests, “Total Transport Policy” is a scheme which plans when rolled out to achieve the best value and the best transport solutions for the whole of a mainly rural County.

Toby and Bill are looking at ways that extra funds can be directed towards The Zipper to give it a rosy future.

The County is considering all options but one of Toby’s ideas is the extend the mid afternoon time-table break and use the Bus to transport School pupils home at the end of their school day. Another of Toby’s many ideas is to consider “tweaking” the timetable to tie in better with train arrivals at Ely.”

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Many of the clients of the Zipper have a free bus pass and Bill suggests that regular passengers (if they can afford to) may volunteer to pay for their journeys on one trip per week.

“If pass holders are willing and able to help the Zipper’s balance sheet they really could make a difference”. Bill stresses that the ridership by pass holders is always appreciated.

Having a “Pay Day” once a week would be a big help and allows those who wish to contribute and don’t want to draw attention to themselves to “make a difference”.

The Zipper service can also stop at Barton Square Ely and already offers a young people’s pass which allows unrestricted travel on Zipper by under 21s for four months at a time at £99.50 (details on the bus or from 0345 0450675).

Toby is presenting “Total Transport Policy” to many Parish Councils and meetings have been confirmed he was at Stretham on Tuesday (1), and will be at Wilburton at 7pm on Monday (7) and Haddenham PC at 7.30pm on Wednesday (9)


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