Last week we looked at Whittlesford, which is in line to be ‘masterplanned’ with a view to turning the railway station into an accessible and functional travel hub. Also on Greater Cambridge Partnership’s (GCP) shortlist for a travel hub is Foxton.
The King’s Cross railway line crosses the A10 at Foxton. When Thameslink services start later this year, there will be six trains an hour in each direction. That means the barriers will be down for up to 30 minutes in an hour. About 16,000 vehicles travel on the A10 every day, so effectively halving the road capacity creates queues. Big queues.
A plan was drawn up in 2013 to re-route the A10 via a bridge or underpass and close the level crossing. That dropped down the priority list, but is now being pushed forward by GCP as part of a project to create a travel hub at Foxton. Unfortunately, as with Skanska’s proposal for Whittlesford, the scope is too narrow. The focus is on providing car parking. But there’s a whole lot more to consider.
Let’s be sure that Foxton is the right place for another ‘parkway’ station. There’s a case for making it Meldreth, where it would intercept people sooner, and reduce the pressure on Royston station.
More thought needs to go into providing safe, direct cycle routes between Foxton station and Newton, Fowlmere, Thriplow, and maybe even IWM Duxford.
We must pay attention to the impact on Harston, which straddles the A10: residents are concerned that, without the level crossing at Foxton restraining traffic growth, their village will be overwhelmed. Understandably there are calls for a bypass.
We must consider the transport impact of the 220 new homes being built on the site of the cement works in Barrington.
We cannot ignore the fact that a new section of the planned Oxford-Cambridge railway line is likely to connect somewhere near Foxton.
As with Whittlesford, there are complex, interrelated problems to solve, multiple solutions to consider, affecting many communities. It needs more than just a ‘transport solution’; it needs masterplanning by a multi-disciplinary team.
This article was first published in the Cambridge Independent on 31 January 2018.