MPs and councillors in Cambridgeshire have reacted to the decision to reject the Conservatives' £1.7 million proposal to halt "unfair" cuts to bus services.

The funding motion was presented at a Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) meeting on September 30 in response to Stagecoach's decision to axe 18 routes due to "post-pandemic travel patterns".

Councillors and MPs have since shared their reaction to the decision and on Stagecoach's actions.

Dr Nik Johnson - mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

“The county council’s strategy and resources committee was united in its condemnation of the decision by Stagecoach East to withdraw these services.

“The committee made its decision on September 30 not to support a proposal to provide extra funding, but the strength of feeling of the whole committee is both clear and welcome."

“The Combined Authority Board will be presented with the options on the affected services when we meet on October 19.

“My approach is always to work collaboratively across the region, including with the county council, and there is a huge amount of support and concern on the topic of buses."

North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara

“The decision by Stagecoach is a massive blow to the local community. It will have a huge impact on people’s ability to get around.

"I will be making urgent representations to Stagecoach asking them to review this decision as the buses are of vital service for the community.”

Commenting on CCC rejecting the Conservatives' proposal, Mr Vara said: “It is very disappointing that some councillors have chosen not to support this valuable local service.”

Cllr Stephen Ferguson - Chairman of CCC

"I share the concern expressed in the Conservative motion, especially with respect to St Neots residents for whom the 66 provides a vital link to the hospital.

“The Combined Authority is the local public transport authority for Cambridgeshire and is currently in the midst of a procurement process to replace Stagecoach’s abandoned bus services.

"We don’t yet know the cost of that procurement. This motion, although well-intentioned, was premature.

"The government should give the next phase of funding directly to the Combined Authority to support public transport, not to Stagecoach."

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly

"I share the concern of many of my constituents at the proposed changes to local bus services announced suddenly by Stagecoach.

"Delivering a high-quality bus network for the county is one of the cornerstones of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority devolution deal.

"Given the mayor’s direct responsibility for this devolved issue, I have also written to him to urgently seek answers."

Lucy Frazer - MP for South East Cambridgeshire

"Cuts to these services would have a devastating impact on the large numbers of my constituents who rely on public transport.

"On September 30, I met with the Stagecoach East Managing Director, Darren Roe, to convey to him the anger and worry felt by my constituents, and to ask Stagecoach to reconsider its decision.

"The £1.7 million of funding announced by the Combined Authority mayor is not enough to prevent all the service cuts proposed."

Cllr Anna Bailey - leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC)

"Residents are hugely concerned about the de-registering of their bus services by Stagecoach.

"The anxiety being felt by people wondering how on earth they are going to get to work, college, school, or to health care appointments after October 30 is terrible.

"The fact that the county council’s Conservatives’ plans to allocate £1.7m being rejected is disappointing.

“If the Greater Cambridge Partnership put money in, they could support some of these routes and buy us some time because this whole situation is not sustainable long-term.”

Cllr Lorna Dupre - Lib Dem leader on ECDC

"Residents are worried about how to get their children to school, and fearful for their own jobs if they have no means to get to work."

Cllr Dupre also believes the Conservatives' plans to allocate £1.7m to halt service cuts were too early to make.

"When the county council’s strategy and resources committee meets on October 20, we will know a lot more about how much money will be needed to help plug the gaps," she said.

"Stagecoach is planning to devastate the bus network in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, which is a lifeline for many residents."