Total transport could change the face of social transport in Ely and surrounding villages

Total Transport Survey, for East Cambs, Toby Parsons, Project Manager,

Total Transport Survey, for East Cambs, Toby Parsons, Project Manager, - Credit: Archant

A flexible minibus service, revised bus routes and a new booking and information centre could come to Ely by September as part of sweeping changes to social care transport.

Councillors are being asked to vote in favour of the changes in a meeting at the end of the month.

The aim is to allow a greater mix of people to access community and schools transport that currently costs the county council £3million a year.

The county council says that represents 720,000 trips a year – and they are convinced it can be managed better by bringing together individually-funded areas of transport into one centralized system to make it easier for the public to make important journeys around the county.

Three networks of fixed bus routes are envisaged, centred on Ely College, Soham Village College and Witchford Village College, with each network to include services for their partner primary schools, where required.

Toby Parsons, transport policy and operational projects manager, said the recommendation was amended following a public consultation and said the general purposes committee is asking members to approve the changes for the northern half of East Cambridgeshire in a meeting on Tuesday May 31.

The original model, discussed at a meeting on March 15, has been reviewed in light of a public consultation and further officer and member discussions.

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It is hoped the service will replace existing provision including home-to-school or college transport, social care transport, dial-a-ride services (DAR), and contracted local bus routes.

Councillors are being asked whether to award contracts for the flexible minibus service and booking and information centre.

Yet to come is a report setting out the costs and benefits of altering day care session times to allow transport provision to be integrated with special needs school transport.

Councillors are being asked to agree that passes issued under the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme are not accepted on the new Flexible Minibus Service.

If approved then substantially affected will be Ely North & East, Ely South & West, Haddenham, Littleport, Soham & Fordham villages, Sutton.

In addition a small number of individual residents of the following divisions may be affected including Burwell, Chatteris, Cottenham, March East, March West and Waterbeach.