‘Use it or lose it’: Councillor Bill Hunt voices concerns over future of Ely Zipper bus service

PUBLISHED: 14:23 14 January 2016 | UPDATED: 00:54 15 January 2016

The Zipper Bus.

The Zipper Bus.

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Ely Standard reporter Seb Pearce joined East Cambridgeshire County councillors Bill Hunt and Anna Bailey on a trip on the Ely Zipper bus to promote the service amidst fears that it could be scrapped.

Councillor Anna Bailey, Ely Standard Reporter Seb Pearce and Councillor Bill Hunt aboard the Ely Zipper bus.Councillor Anna Bailey, Ely Standard Reporter Seb Pearce and Councillor Bill Hunt aboard the Ely Zipper bus.

The ‘Zip’ service, which started in October 2014, links Witcham, Haddenham, Wilburton, Stretham and Little Thetford with Ely with hourly single-decker buses.

However, Cllr Hunt is concerned that the service may be scrapped by Cambridgeshire County Council in a bid to save money.

He said: “It’s taken a while for people to realise that the service is here. The bus is used by people of all ages and with the new Cinema and Leisure Centre being built soon there will be a greater need for the service.

“I’m desperate to keep it at least until the end of the financial year.”

The Zipper Bus driver Robert Skinner with Councillor Bill Hunt.The Zipper Bus driver Robert Skinner with Councillor Bill Hunt.

The Zipper’s three-year contract is due to end next year, and Cllr Hunt had one simple message for those wishing to keep the service – use it or lose it.

One service user who would be sad to see the Zipper go is June Madge, who lives in Haddenham and uses the service to travel to Ely.

She said: “I use the service two to three times a week. I’d have to get taxis if we lost it, which would cost a lot of money.

“It’s not just older people that get on the bus – a lot of children use it in the summer when they want to get to Ely, so losing it would affect more people than you think.

“I’ve always found that the Zipper is reliable, user-friendly and it’s a nice place to meet and chat with friends.”

The Zipper service, run by Dews Coaches, was given its unique name by Sutton resident Britni-May Edwards after she replied to a competition to name the bus run by the Ely Standard.


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