10 October 2023
Vara backs Parish Councils’ bus campaign

Shailesh Vara MP is backing a campaign to reinstate a regular bus service to a number of villages surrounding Peterborough. These include the villages of Wittering, Castor, Ailsworth and Wansford.

Mr Vara met with John Bradshaw, Chairman of Wittering Parish Council, and other representatives from the villages at a meeting at Wittering Parish Hall, and heard first-hand the difficulties faced by local residents.

The absence of a proper bus service is causing enormous difficulty, making it very challenging for people to get to work, take children to school, attend medical appointments, as well as shopping and socialising.

RAF Wittering, located nearby, is supporting the campaign as the absence of buses means that many of its one thousand personnel and their families struggle as they try to cope with the lack of reliable transportation.

The situation is so bad that people living in Wittering are having to walk over three miles alongside the A1 to Stamford or Peterborough to attend medical and dental appointments, while heavy lorries and cars rush past at seventy miles per hour and more.

Mr Bradshaw took Mr Vara to the A1 so he could personally see the extreme danger faced by residents.

Mr Vara has agreed to urgently take up the matter with Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald, Leader of Peterborough City Council and Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

Following the meeting, Mr Vara said:

“The current situation is unacceptable.

“Local people are becoming isolated in rural areas, and it is appalling that they are having to walk three miles alongside the A1 on a very narrow and dangerous pathway, to get to GP surgeries and dental practices while cars and lorries hurtle past at seventy miles per hour and more.

“Common sense needs to prevail here, and I very much hope that the necessary funds will be forthcoming.

“I will be working closely with Mr Bradshaw and the neighbouring Parish Councils to try to resolve this very important issue.”

John Bradshaw, Chairman of Wittering Parish Council, added:

“The residents of Wittering, Wansford, Ailsworth and Castor do NOT have a regular bus service. As a result people are walking alongside the A1, inches from fast moving traffic, to get to the doctor. This appalling and dangerous situation must be addressed urgently by the introduction of a regular bus service to these four villages.”

Photo: Shailesh Vara MP (second from left) and John Bradshaw (second from right) alongside the A1 with other attendees from the meeting.