Smarter Cambridge Transport

Author - Edward Leigh

Rules matter

We need clear, sensible and consistent rules to manage use of our public spaces.

The good, the bad and the ugly

The mayor’s recently-published Interim Transport Strategy Statement re-confirms his ambitions for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Sequencing is critical

Why increasing road capacity with more lanes just buys time ...and worse, the business case for the sustainable stuff evaporates

Why a £13m overspend in Ely matters

The Ely Southern Bypass is £21m over its original budget. We should be extremely wary of funding large infrastructure projects from council borrowing not covered by new income streams.

A service level agreement for bus travel

Less variability in journey times is not actually what most people who use buses complain about. Missing a connection because of delay is a big headache. It’s why people don’t like having to change buses.

Haverhill Rail: the Missing A1307 Option

A conservative extrapolation from the St Ives busway to the Haverhill railway provides a forecast of about 4.5m trips/year. So why isn’t reopening the railway still under consideration?

Start with the quick wins

Let's see action on interventions that can make a difference now, while the Combined Authority gets the longer term strategy right.

Lessons for Cambridge from Singapore

London does integrated transport pretty well. Arguably Singapore does it better. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough's mayor can learn from both.

A bridge over Foxton level crossing

There's a plan to re-route the A10 via a bridge or underpass and close the level crossing at Foxton. Unfortunately, as with Skanska's proposal for Whittlesford, the scope is too narrow.

Whittlesford station: the neglected gateway

Whittlesford has a neglected station with poor access. Upgraded to 'Parkway' status in 2007, it still lacks basic facilities like toilets or a bridge between the platforms suitable for people with limited mobility.

Let’s have a Big Data Dig

GCP indicate that they will publish the raw data from their recent traffic survey in 2018. Why is it taking so long to release?

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.

Lobby politicians, not officers

There is one feature of the local government system that’s simple: politicians set policy; officers advise and deliver. So who should people lobby?

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 taxpayers...

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

The Bus Services Bill allows the mayor here in Cambridgeshire to adopt London-style franchising of bus services. This is a golden opportunity for innovation.

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...

Ways in which we must follow Anne Hidalgo’s lead

Think of a mayor. Perhaps Boris Johnson springs to mind? A man whose pre-Brexit legacy was to start a cycling revolution in London: ‘Boris bikes’ and cycle superhighways. Maybe Rudy Giuliani? Famous for Zero Tolerance...

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...

Only Connect: a pretty good motto for public transport

Before Victoria Coren claimed ownership of “Only Connect,” it was E M Forster’s, extolling humans’ need to for connection. It’s also a pretty good motto for public transport: we spend a lot of time talking about cars...

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...