The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) is urgently seeking your OK to spend £9 million on a 500-space car park (expandable to 950 spaces) near Foxton railway station. It is one of two car parks planned for just this stretch of the A10, the other being a 2,150-space car park at Hauxton. These are part of the GCP’s programme to build over 7,000 car parking spaces, mainly in the Green Belt.
Most of the new cycle parking at Foxton will be in the car park, about 200m from the platforms, rather than next to the station, where it would make cycling that bit more convenient. There is no provision for Swiss-style ‘pulsed’ bus services to and from surrounding villages, synchronised to train arrivals and departures. In fact, there is nothing that distinguishes this misleadingly labelled “travel hub” from any Park & Ride built since the 1990s, apart from the inclusion of solar panels and batteries (an extra £3.7 million).
Getting from the car park to the station will involve crossing the A10 at an ‘uncontrolled’ crossing (i.e. wait for a gap in the traffic and run if you can). Access to the Cambridge-bound platform will be improved by the addition of a new footbridge, but that’s an extra £3 million.
There are better ways to improve access to Cambridge by public transport, but the GCP has neither the vision nor the will to explore alternatives.
Our councillors seem not to believe it is necessary to radically reduce people’s dependency on a car for daily life. Perhaps because of that, they do not believe it is even possible. The best they hope for is to coax – or price – some people out of their cars to complete the last few miles of their journey into Cambridge by bus or train.
More car parks won’t save the planet. Nor will they reduce the deaths, injuries and toxic air pollution on main roads through villages. Nor will they improve access to jobs or the social life of young, poor and disabled people. Ask our children: is this a legacy they want us to leave them?
Wherever you live, write to your councillors to ask them to withdraw support for the GCP Greater Car Park programme.
This article was first published in the Cambridge Independent on 15 September 2021. See our full response to the Foxton Travel Hub consultation.