I know buses are a lifeline for large numbers of my constituents who rely on affordable public transport to get to school, go to the shops and for the commute to work.

That is why I am pleased that over the last three years, the UK Government has spent more than £2 billion on bus and light rail services to protect them during the pandemic. This is on top of the £1 billion National Bus Strategy and the £60 million made available recently to fund a new £2 fare cap on most buses across England for three months by the end of 2022.

It is also why as MP for South East Cambridgeshire I have always pressed for good transport connections locally.

When the extremely popular Ely Zipper was threatened earlier this summer, East Cambridgeshire District Council stepped in - along with them - I fought to protect it and I am delighted this service will now continue with funding from the Combined Authority.

In recent weeks,I have also been working hard to avert Stagecoach’s planned cuts to local services. This includes calling a meeting with the Stagecoach East managing director, where I made clear the devastating impact the company’s plans would have on my constituents, and a meeting with the Combined Authority Mayor, his officials and other local MPs.

I welcome the £1.7 million, from government funding, that the Combined Authority has now put forward to maintain services at least until the end of March 2023, and I am relieved new operators have been found to cover many of the routes which were under threat.

That said, as the Combined Authority is responsible for commissioning bus services across the region, it was always for the mayor and his team to respond to Stagecoach’s plans, and I do wish they had acted sooner as this might have spared many of my constituents some of the angst I know they have experienced in recent weeks.

I am also concerned that re-tendering has led to substantial changes to some local services despite an assurance from the mayor. A prime example is the Number 12 bus, renamed the 112, which now terminates at Newmarket when before it took passengers all the way to Cambridge.

We need like-for-like services going forward. We cannot have whole villages cut-off because there is no longer a bus. We also need buses which are guaranteed for the long term and not just the next five months.

My focus now is on pressing the Combined Authority and bus operators to make sure both these things happen.