Smarter Cambridge Transport

Author - Edward Leigh

Fixing the Grafton Area

The Grafton Centre itself is undergoing a facelift, but the area needs more than that. These are some additional ideas we’ve submitted to the consultation.

Nodes before modes

Notice what’s missing in discussion about tunnels? Any mention of people. Forgive me repeating myself, but transport is about moving people (and goods) not vehicles.

A hard-headed look at buses

You probably know you can get a guided bus from Cambridge to Huntingdon? It takes 1hr 7mins. You can save yourself 14 minutes by catching the Whippet X3, which runs via Cambourne and Papworth – yes, via Cambourne. Take...

Cambourne needs a bus station

The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) is deeply mired in complexity and controversy over building a busway from Cambourne, an orbital link to Addenbrooke’s, and a new Park & Ride west of Cambridge. It has spent...

What are we trying to achieve for Milton Road?

Despite valiant efforts by the new team leading the Milton Road City Deal scheme, their ‘Final Concept’ still fails the 8-80 age test for cycling and provides much less green space than the community-backed ‘Do Optimum’...

Trumpington Park & Ride

The sudden and unexpected withdrawal of Grosvenor’s planning application for a sporting village and 520 houses south of Trumpington Meadows has created an opportunity. Some years ago the County Council negotiated a deal...

Reorganising buses is all the rage

Groningen, Oldenburg, Ghent, Hasselt, Bogotá and Algiers did it years ago. Houston and Seattle did it recently. Dublin is doing it now. Cambridge isn’t. But it should be. Houston, Texas radically simplified its bus...

Free is not always best

Recently local politicians have called for Cambridge’s Park & Ride car parks to be free again, and MPs have called for hospital car parks to be made free. ‘Free’ means somebody else is paying, in this case...

Do I have to take a taxi from the station?

If we want to make Cambridge railway station less car dependent, what more could we do to promote walking, cycling and bus travel? Many visitors arriving at the station take a taxi simply because other options are...

More space for living, less for parking

You may be aware that Murdoch House, on the corner of Cambridge’s Station Square, is set to be replaced, but did you know that more buildings are planned to go up on the car park? Initial designs (currently being...

A lesson from Plymouth

In the excellent Urban Transport Without The Hot Air by Steve Melia, there’s a study that has important implications for Cambridge and Cambourne. Ivybridge is a small town in Devon, just under 10 miles from Plymouth...

Time for a railway station at Fulbourn Hospital

One of the great frustrations with transport planning in the UK is that it is easier, quicker and often cheaper for a local authority to build a new road than it is for the same local authority, Network Rail and train...

Invest in rail, not dualling the A10

The argument for dualling the A10 from Ely is that it requires more capacity to cope with population growth; that slow commute times put fewer jobs within commuting distance and reduce economic productivity (though, for...

Neighbourhood parking: what it’s really about

The County Council highways committee voted last week to pass a new policy on neighbourhood parking – to be precise, they passed half a policy. New types of permit will be available, including for tradespeople, doctors...

Bus franchising: a golden opportunity

Where in England do buses work really well? According to the Department for Transport, the top four local authorities, ranked by annual passenger-journeys per head of population, are: 1. Greater London (264.3) 2...

What is ‘Inbound Flow Control’?

You will know that the City Deal has plans (“but no decisions have been made yet”) to build a busway from Cambourne to Cambridge, to add more bus lanes to Milton Road, and to build a bus lane on Histon Rd between King’s...

Should Park & Ride parking be free?

Cambridge’s MP and all three voting members of the City Deal Executive Board have called for the £1 parking charge at Park & Ride sites to be removed. The intention is good, but the policy is wrong. The seven...

Where is the vision?

A refrain running through many of the questions to the City Deal is, “Where is the vision?” When Smarter Cambridge Transport put this question to the board last week, the audience was treated to three slides with vision...

What is Tactical Urbanism?

Transport planning is like economics: many competing theories, a tendency to examine measurable things (like traffic) and ignore the actors (people), and limited success in making accurate predictions. Traditionally...

Some New Year’s Resolutions for 2017

Have you thought about New Year’s Resolutions? Well, here are a few suggestions: 1. Get fit and save money: no need to buy gym membership; just fit walking and maybe cycling into your daily routine. Maybe try not...

A Metro for Cambridge

There has been great interest in the light rail scheme proposed by Cambridge Connect. It’s obvious why: rail services are easy to understand, reliable, safe, comfortable and usually come with high quality stations...

A14 Girton Interchange – a critical link

In light of the A14 Improvement Scheme going ahead as planned, we have updated our proposal for the Girton Interchange. We hope that the National Infrastructure Commission, the Oxford–Cambridge Expressway project...

Cambourne to Cambridge busway

The City Deal is proposing spending a £142m on a new road for buses from Cambourne to Cambridge. That might seem like a good idea, especially if you live in Cambourne, Highfields Caldecote or Hardwick and commute into...

Response to Milton Rd and Histon Rd consultations

Next key date: 26 July. The Executive Board will be considering resolutions from the Milton Road Local Liaison Forum. (The Assembly meets on 19 July.) The Milton Rd ‘Do Optimum’ plans, which we fully endorse, are...

Localism and the strategic transport network

There is an urgent need for localism to include Highways England and the rail industry. The inability of local authorities to include strategic highways and railways in their short and medium term transport planning is...

Can we do better than bus lanes?

The County Council’s view ‘Bus priority’ has come to be used interchangeably with ‘bus lane’ or ‘busway’: the Cambridgeshire Long Term Transport Strategy (November 2014) refers to, “On-line or off-line bus priority...