Use it or lose it warns councillors over Ely's Zipper bus service

PUBLISHED: 11:28 14 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:28 14 March 2017

Councillor Bill Hunt chats with a driver on one of the Zipper buses PHOTO: Archant Newspapers

Councillor Bill Hunt chats with a driver on one of the Zipper buses PHOTO: Archant Newspapers

Archant

People are being urged to use it or lose it with the village to city centre Zipper bus service.

Launch of Ely's Zipper bus service in 2014 - now people are being told use it or lose it PHOTO: Archant NewspapersLaunch of Ely's Zipper bus service in 2014 - now people are being told use it or lose it PHOTO: Archant Newspapers

The buses were launched in 2014 thanks to the hard work of councillors Bill Hunt and Anna Bailey.

But Cll Hunt said: “The total cost of this service is £114,000 per year and we must keep reducing the net cost if we want to keep the Zipper’s wheels turning and we do.

“There is one solid message and that’s “use it or loose it”.

Cllr Bailey said: “Bill and I are doing our best to keep the Zipper serving the community and we hope to continue with that work.”

They said that usage was up but subsidy was down due to county council cut backs.

They have secured the Ely Zipper for at least another year but need to make sure people keep using it to retain the vital transport lifeline.

The Ely Zipper is the hourly bus service that is an important link between Haddenham, Wilburton, Stretham, Little Thetford, Witcham and Ely.

The service was started in November 2014 after much hard work by local councillors Hunt and Bailey and serves both Market Street and the Station in Ely.

In 2015/2016 there were 22,900 journeys taken by the public.

In 2016/2017 the figure will rise to 27,252.

As a result, the net cost to Cambridgeshire County Council has reduced from £69,900 to £58,039.34 and the cost per journey has reduced from £3.05 to £2.13.

These figures are part of the picture that have secured the Zipper’s future until at least March 2018.

Bill and Anna said they know there is much work to be done to keep the Zipper” serving the community and many options such as sponsorship are now being explored.

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