A council leader has welcomed the news that nearly all threatened bus services have been saved, but feels more still needs to be done.

Councillor Lucy Nethsingha supported the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s (CAPCA) retendering process, which ensured 17 out of 18 services to be cut by Stagecoach would still run.

But the remaining route, service 39 between Chatteris and March, is yet to find an operator.

Cllr Nethsingha, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We had already written to all parents whose children’s journey to school was potentially affected to assure them that the county council is working to support them with this issue.

“[We are] offering options for those where we have a statutory responsibility to provide that transport.”

The rescued routes will run from October 30.

CAPCA confirmed the names of the bus operators that would be running the affected routes, after the authority approved new contracts for the services on October 19.

Cllr Nethsingha admitted CAPCA’s intervention does not completely solve the problem for those who rely service 39 or whose routes have been changed.

“Longer term, we will continue to support our colleagues in CAPCA, who have the responsibility for passenger transport across our area, looking into the options for bus franchising,” she added.

“Under this scheme, CAPCA has the ability to specify which routes run, and when, in a way which is not possible for us under the current deregulated system.”

The new contracts with bus operators will run until the end of March 2023, which is thought to cost CAPCA around £1.25 million.

Before the names of the bus operators were confirmed on October 25, reports emerged that a potential bus tax to support public transport in Cambridgeshire could be implemented.

The BBC reported that Dr Nik Johnson, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, discussed the idea with council leaders at a private meeting earlier in October.

A spokesperson for CAPCA said: “We cannot comment on any matters relating to leaders strategy meetings because they are held in private.

“Leaders strategy meetings include the opportunity for the Combined Authority Board, chaired by the mayor, to discuss and test a range of ideas which may or may not get developed further into concrete proposals.”

Additional reporting by Hannah Brown, local democracy reporter.