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That’s bonkers! Spoof newsreader takes the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s busway to task



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A spoof animated newsreader is ‘translating’ the words of the Greater Cambridge Partnership in the latest effort from campaigners against the Cambourne to Cambridge busway scheme.

Bonkers Busway (58463317)
Bonkers Busway (58463317)

Bonkers Busway Cambs News was launched less than two weeks ago and has already gained an audience of more than 2,000 people across the social media platforms Twitter and Instagram. Its videos can also be seen on YouTube.

It aims to bring answers to the questions posed by the communities impacted by the C2C busway plans.

The account was set up by members of the community in Coton who felt their voices were not being heard.

“We’re the Google Translate of the GCP,” newsreader Sam tells the Cambridge Independent, with those behind the project seeking to remain anonymous.

He continues: “All the people with an educated opinion now have an avenue to share their view in layman’s terms and then maybe it will spark their interest to read some of these [GCP] reports and try to understand it.

Bonkers Busway (58463367)
Bonkers Busway (58463367)

“It’s a light-hearted way to present something pretty important because we’ve come to appreciate that that’s the only way it gets heard.

“People are bombarded with so much information that they can’t really take in any more.”

Sam explains that for some the information that comes from the GCP may as well be in a different language.

The team behind Bonkers Busway aim to do just that by creating short animated ‘reports’ of no longer than two minutes.

They aim to call out the “bonkers” facts and figures behind the scheme to help the community hold decision-makers to account, as well as directing people to trusted sources where they can find further information.

Bonkers Busway (58463314)
Bonkers Busway (58463314)

In one report, they show a conversation between two characters at a bus stop.

One asks: “So what’s bonkers about the busway? Isn’t better public transport a good thing?”

His companion replies: “A better bus system, yes, that would be good. But they want to build a new road that goes off-route, cutting down mature trees in the orchard, woodland, and destroying acres of biodiverse habitats.

“And there’s no guarantee the new road will be any more economically viable to run buses on.”

The man asks: “A new road for buses? How much is that going to cost?”

Bonkers Busway (58463362)
Bonkers Busway (58463362)

And he is told: “Estimates are over £160million, then there’s maintenance costs on top of that.”

The man asks: “Why don’t the council save the expense and just improve the road that’s here – add more buses and stops?”

The videos, which feature narration as well as subtitles, also feature footage of the orchard and landscape that the busway would head through when it goes off-road at Coton.

The GCP is currently carrying out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the scheme before applying for permission to start construction next year.

A public consultation as part of the EIA closed on Monday (July 11), with the Bonkers Busway account set up shortly after.

The busway aims to significantly improve bus and active travel journeys between Cambridge and Cambourne via the new Bourn Airfield development, a new travel hub at Scotland Farm, Hardwick, and West Cambridge campus.

Bonkers Busway (58463372)
Bonkers Busway (58463372)

The scheme has been subject to three public consultations and an independent audit of the proposed off-road public transport route.

The GCP has made a commitment to deliver a minimum of 10 per

cent biodiversity net gain for the scheme.

Visit greatercambridge.org.uk/c2c-eia for more information.



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