Pippa urges "pause and rethink" following STZ consultation

26 May 2023
Pippa Heylings stepping on to a bus

Responding to the results of the Making Connections consultation this week, Liberal Democrat Parlimentary Candidate for South Cambridgeshire Pippa Heylings said:

I'm urging our local authorities to hit the pause button and take the time to really think through the changes needed to the scheme. There is clearly widespread support for better buses and active travel, but I’ve also heard local people’s concerns about how the the proposals would work in practice. A scheme of this kind can only be brought in once local authorities have taken control of bus services and are delivering improvements. Most importantly of all, local authorities need to take the people of Cambridgeshire with them, and they need to build broad support for any scheme to be successful.

The Making Connections consultation proposed measures to transform the bus network alongside better walking and cycling infrastructure with a scheme to fund the improvements.

More than 24,000 people responded to the consultation. Some of the headline results show:

  • The report found that 70% of respondents were in favour of the proposed transport network, which would see improvements to the bus network, cheaper fares, and longer operating times. The proposal also includes improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure as alternatives to driving;
  • Some 58 per cent of respondents opposed the plans for a Sustainable Travel Zone, with 49 per cent of respondents “strongly” opposed;
  • Support for the proposals is highest among young people; nearly two-thirds of respondents aged 16-24 said they supported the introduction of a sustainable travel zone (STZ);
  • Over a third (34 per cent) backed the current proposals, with 13 per cent saying they supported the zone and 21 per cent “strongly” supporting it;
  • Around half of those who oppose the STZ supported the proposal for better buses.