Smarter Cambridge Transport

Petition to Greater Cambridge Partnership

The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) Executive Board provided no specific response on 1 July 2021 to the petition, and voted against the petition’s recommendations. We will continue to put pressure on GCP to deliver a City Access strategy and other measures that comply with the climate and public health crises, recognised by the constituent councils and the Combined Authority. Please continue signing the petition: the more signatures we have, the stronger our case.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) is at an advanced stage of planning to build three busways and five car parks at a cost of £419 million. That’s £1,370 per resident of Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire, or up to £180,000 per new bus user. Furthermore, the GCP still has no plan for where all the new buses will go in Cambridge city centre after leaving the busways.

We, the undersigned, call upon the Greater Cambridge Partnership to:

  1. Prioritise funding for walking, cycling, improved bus services and bus prioritisation on existing roads.
  2. Fund these projects by withdrawing funding from the current busway-and-car-park schemes.
  3. Re-appraise all projects against current government climate change targets.
  4. Follow the elected mayor and county council in putting people’s health at the heart of all projects.
  5. Support the mayor to give everyone in Greater Cambridge access to convenient and affordable bus services.
  6. Support the mayor to work with residents to develop a comprehensive, coherent and sustainable transport strategy.

See notes below for more detail on each point.

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Notes on the petition

1. Projects to prioritise

Many projects to support more walking, cycling, use of public transport and ride-sharing can and should be delivered quickly. They must help people reach employment sites, and also shops, friends and family, leisure facilities, heritage sites, parks and countryside.

  1. Safe, coherent and convenient walking and cycling infrastructure to create a dense network connecting all settlements in Greater Cambridge with local and city amenities, building on the Greenways programme. This will include new paths, cut-throughs, bridges and underpasses for walking, cycling and e-scootering.
  2. Travel hubs that connect people to rail and bus services without needing a car. This small bus and railway stations should be designed to provide a convenient, safe and comfortable environment for interchanging between walking, cycling, bus and rail services. Local communities should determine the appropriate quantity of car parking for private, shared and club cars. They should also be offered the opportunity to design in other amenities, such as a hub for local deliveries, co-working space, nursery, shop, café or space for mobile services and markets. Travel hubs can also give Cambridge residents car-free access to country walks and heritage sites.
  3. New or replacement bus shelters at major stops to improve user comfort. Consult with communities about relocating bus stops to improve access, user safety and service reliability.
  4. Actively managed bus lanes on the approaches to Cambridge and priority at traffic signals to give buses an effective and visible speed advantage over private transport.
  5. Appropriate parking controls throughout the city, to reduce on-street commuter parking, increase provision for delivery vehicles, and incentivise people to ride-share or use club cars instead of owning their own.
2. GCP busway-and-car-park schemes

GCP is currently proceeding with these schemes:

  1. Cambourne to Cambridge (busway and car park at Scotland Farm)
    Cost: £157 million
    Opens: 2024
    Additional daily users:
    872
    Cost per additional user:
    £180,000
  2. Cambridge South East Transport (busway and car park at A11–A1307 interchange)
    Cost: £132 million
    Opens: 2024
    Additional daily users:
    917
    Cost per additional user:
    £144,000
  3. Cambridge South West Travel Hub (car park at Hauxton)
    Cost: £42 million
    Opens: 2022
    Additional daily users:
    946
    Cost per additional user:
    £44,000
  4. Waterbeach to Cambridge (busway and car park at Waterbeach New Town)
    Cost: £52 million
    Opens: 2027
    Additional daily users:
    unknown
  5. Eastern Access (relocation of Newmarket Rd P&R car park)
    Cost: £36 million
    Opens: 2027
    Additional daily users:
    unknown

Total budgeted cost: £419 million

Population of Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire – recipients of the government’s £500 million City Deal: 305,620

Expenditure per resident (all ages): £1,370

Expenditure for a household of two adults and two children: £5,480

Current GCP transport map, which still has no agreed plan for the city centre – shown here with Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro tunnels, the future of which are in doubt:

Greater Cambridge Future Network 2030

3. Climate change

From the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate’s Initial Recommendations report:

“Greenhouse gas emissions in the Combined Authority region are high. In the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) area, emissions are approximately 25% higher per person than the UK average. At this level of emissions, we have only about 6 years remaining before we will have exhausted all of our ‘allowed’ share of emissions to 2050, if we are to play an equal part in delivering the UK’s critical Net Zero target.”

The “‘allowed’ share of emissions” refers to the maximum quantity of greenhouse gases the world can emit and still have a 50% chance of limiting average global temperature rises to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, and thereby hopefully preventing runaway changes to ecosystems. It’s not a target we and future generations can afford to miss. Since it is cumulative emissions that are driving climate change, the sooner we act to reduce emissions, the less dramatic and disruptive will be the actions required in future years.

The government has set three targets for reducing carbon emissions relative to 1990 levels:

The first two are much more ambitious than the 2050 target as they require acting now to ‘bend’ the emissions curve, rather than delaying serious action until the 2040s, when it will be too late.

Any 2030 scenario for road transport that is compliant with a 1.5°C carbon budget requires a large reduction in total vehicle-mileage relative to 2019, not small-percentage reductions relative to a business-as-usual growth scenario. That requires a paradigm shift in the uptake of walking and cycling, public transport and ride-sharing. It also requires faster change than can be delivered by building big infrastructure alone. None of the busways will open before 2024, and two schemes are not due to open before 2027. We need new transport options now, not in six years’ time.

Building busways to give buses priority is seen to be the politically least difficult way to give buses an advantage over private cars. But it wastes hundreds of millions of pounds and precious years to kick-start a transition that will render the infrastructure redundant.

Worse, the busways and car parks result in more carbon emissions – both in construction and operation – than if they were not built at all. People driving to Park & Rides to catch a bus do not reduce their carbon footprint by much, if at all. Walking or cycling to a local travel hub to catch a bus or train will reduce carbon emissions much more, especially if the quality of local transport provision enables more people not to own a car, and to use club or rental cars or vans only when needed.

4. Health

Motor vehicles pose the single greatest threat to people’s health and wellbeing:

  • Toxic air pollution from engine exhausts, tyres, brakes and road materials, contributes to between 28,000 and 36,000 premature deaths annually in the UK. These are prefigured by often debilitating diseases of the lung, heart and brain.
  • Motor vehicle collisions kill around 1,750 people and seriously injure around 26,000 people each year.
  • Insufficient physical activity, partly owing to over-reliance on driving everywhere, is contributing to one in six deaths and costing the UK an estimated £7.4 billion annually.

Lack of access to practical, safe and affordable transport options perpetuates social inequalities, depriving people of access to employment, social contact, sports, leisure and culture. Everybody needs access to good transport, not just residents of new developments.

Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and the new administration at Cambridgeshire County Council have both indicated they will put people’s health at the heart of their policies:

Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

The new mayor, Dr Nik Johnson, set out his priorities in the Cambridge Independent on 22 April 2021.

If elected, what would your priorities be for the next term?

I will be the mayor who develops a fully integrated, greener, countywide transport system.

I will be the mayor who provides free transport for 16-18 year olds, and subsidised travel for all under 25s.

I will be the mayor who actually delivers affordable and social housing with green, sustainable, carbon neutral developments.

I will be the mayor who helps build a county-wide water management group to prevent flooding and save precious water resources.

I will be the mayor who encourages people to lead healthier lifestyles.

I will be the mayor who encourages the arts.

Is the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro the answer to our transport challenge – and can it realistically be delivered?

In a word – no.

I believe in being honest and upfront with voters and therefore I have to say it straight out – no I will not support this project.

I want to start my term as mayor with a clean sheet and consider all transport options with a fresh eye.

I want to concentrate on making more immediate positive transport changes for the betterment of residents across Cambridgeshire.

In principle I’m not totally opposed to a rapid system project but this has all the hallmarks of being an expensive folly and a potential financial blackhole.

Cambridgeshire County Council

The Joint Administration Agreement includes the following priorities:

3. Health and care

We will adopt a ‘health in all policies’ approach, as advocated by the World Health Organisation. Mindful of the importance of clean air for public health, we will increase air quality monitoring across Cambridgeshire, including in villages as well as in towns, cities, and along major trunk roads.

5. Transport

We will focus on modal shift to encourage more residents out of their cars, along with infrastructure development, the encouragement of sustainable travel, and securing safe routes and connections for pedestrians and cyclists. We will consult communities openly and transparently on highways projects that affect them. We will seek to invest more in road, footway, and cycleway maintenance and routine gulley clearance, and end the freeze on residents’ parking schemes.

We will continue to work on ways in which we can limit HGVs rat-running through villages and urban communities. In partnership with local communities, we will make the option of 20MPH zones more widely available, and easier to obtain.

5. Improved bus services

Communities need practical and affordable alternatives to driving. Key to that is having access to frequent bus services with quick interchanges (bus–bus and bus–train) to all major destinations. The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, under the leadership of the mayor, Dr Nik Johnson, has powers under the Bus Services Act 2017 to:

  1. Commission new, extended and expanded bus services. GCP can fund these in the early years until fare revenues and other funding sources (see point 6) cover the operating costs.
  2. Re-plan bus routes to meet the needs of a wider range of people and avoid overwhelming city and town centres.
  3. Implement simpler and fairer bus and rail fares, in particular for multi-stage trips. Fares should be set to maximise patronage not profits.
  4. Simplify journey planning and ticketing across all transport modes: bus, rail and hire of cycles, e-scooters and cars.
6. Vision

The longer-term transport plan needs to be more than just a sum of individual transport schemes. It needs to give most residents new and attractive transport options, enabling a large proportion of the population not to own a car. The steps to achieve this are:

  1. Build a complete picture of the region’s transport needs, problems and opportunities.
  2. Co-create a coherent vision for a comprehensive transport network that is truly sustainable. This must respect both environmental limits and the needs of all residents.
  3. Agree ways to fund good public transport and infrastructure maintenance long-term.
  4. Develop incentives to encourage people to walk, cycle, use public transport or ride-share whenever possible.

This process should tap into the deep knowledge and understanding of residents, local groups, schools, businesses, bus and taxi drivers, care workers and many others. It will reveal what infrastructure is needed and where, and what types of transport provision are most appropriate where. Ideas for consideration may include (but are not limited to!) new railway lines connected to the national network (such as to Wisbech and Haverhill); light railway (tram) lines into and across Cambridge city; a transport hub at the Girton Interchange, including a coach and visitor transfer station; and freight consolidation and distribution hubs.

Community involvement should include elements of deliberative democracy. These use juries and assemblies, drawn randomly from the local population (like courtroom juries) to consider evidence and options, typically over a number of days. They debate ideas and trade-offs in a respectful environment, guided by trained facilitators, and agree recommendations that are voted on and published. If the process is commissioned by politicians, or run with their blessing, the recommendations can determine or strongly influence public policy. This House of Commons Research Briefing provides a good summary.

One of the most divisive problems we have to solve is how to design and introduce some form of taxation on private transport that is fair; will provide a reliable funding stream to support public transport for the long-term; and create strong incentives for people to choose modes of transport that are sustainable and healthy. Examples include Clean Air Zones, variable (“intelligent”) road user charging, and workplace parking levies. Deliberative democracy could be the best way to explore the complex trade-offs to produce a plan that is publicly (and hence, politically) acceptable.

Why this petition is important

Broad justification

GCP’s current strategy is to spend the vast majority of the £500 million of City Deal money on building busways and large car parks. It is based on meeting one objective above all others, to increase transport capacity to accommodate future growth in population and employment. It does not adequately address the other key priorities for the region and the country:

  • Reduce transport carbon emissions in line with a 1.5°C carbon budget.
  • Improve public health by reducing toxic air pollution from motor vehicles, and by increasing physical activity and social contact.
  • Widen access to employment, education, leisure and social opportunities, in particular for those who cannot afford a car or who are unable to drive.
  • Eliminate deaths on the roads.
  • Reduce road congestion.

Furthermore, GCP’s strategy has proven to be very high risk. Project costs keep escalating and delivery dates receding further each year. The Cambourne–Cambridge scheme was originally set to cost under £100 million and to open in 2020.

Our proposed alternative programme is aligned with all of the above objectives and will:

  • Be realised more quickly, as the interventions do not require the years it will take to make Transport and Works Act Orders, procure constructors in a heated market, and complete construction;
  • Result in much lower environmental and ecological damage, as the footprint of new construction is small;
  • Benefit many more people, because the available money will pay for more interventions across the whole of the Greater Cambridge region.
  • Be broadly supported, provided that the programme elements are co-created with local councillors and communities, with input from businesses, specialist organisations, transport operators and other stakeholders.
Transport capacity and congestion

There are two ways to increase transport capacity (in terms of people and tonnes per hour) and reduce congestion: either build more capacity or use existing infrastructure more efficiently.

A bus carrying 50 people at 30mph replaces 1km of car traffic. A bus service running every five minutes, carrying on average 50 people per bus, replaces 500 cars per hour. That increases the people-per-hour capacity by 60% (see calculation below). Put those buses onto a separate road – i.e. a busway –, the increase in road capacity is only 3 percentage points. It is the service frequency and patronage that determines the increase in capacity, not the infrastructure.

Furthermore, an absolute reduction in vehicles on the road, as required for decarbonisation, means less congestion. Less congestion means more reliable and cost-efficient bus services on existing roads without building busways.

Approximate calculation: typical road capacity of 800 cars/hour = 960 people/hour at an average peak-time occupancy of 1.2 people/vehicle; each bus takes the space of two cars, moving 50 people rather than 2.4 people; 12 buses/hour increases road capacity by 12 x (50 – 2.4) = 571.2 people/hour or 59.5%. Move the buses onto a separate road, road capacity is increased by 12 x 50 = 600 people/hour or 62.5%.

Social equity

While the focus of economic development tends to be on highly paid, high-productivity jobs, those are only possible with the support of the far greater number of people who provide health and personal care, child care, teaching, cleaning, administration services, retail checkout, stock management, deliveries, security and countless other roles that are relatively poorly paid.

The essence of current Local Plan policies is to house these people beyond the Cambridge green belt. They require access to reliable, frequent and affordable bus and rail services, and safe walking and cycling routes to local amenities, including travel hubs. Building busways is only a means to an end. For all the reasons outlined above, there are better and quicker ways to provide people with viable alternatives to driving.

Ecology and heritage

It is almost impossible to put a price on our natural and historic heritage, landscapes and ecology. Its loss can be irreplaceable or take decades to recover. There is a biodiversity crisis, with species being driven to extinction. The precautionary principle should apply: do no more harm than absolutely necessary.

The alternative to building busways and car parks is not to build nothing; it is to build just enough infrastructure to meet the objectives for sustainability, public health, population and jobs growth and social equity. Bus lanes on the edge of Cambridge, new footways and cycleways and small-scale travel hubs can do that with minimal impact.

At the same time, we need to be restoring and enhancing the ecology and heritage of all our green and blue spaces, as proposed in the Cambridge Nature Network.

Paying for public transport

The biggest challenge is, and always has been, how to fund an expansion of bus services. With public funding being reduced, GCP has taken the view that it must enable more services to be run at a profit by creating segregated infrastructure that will be attractive for operators and their customers to use. This is a perfectly rational strategy, but wasteful (for the reasons outlined above). With franchising, as promised by the new mayor, Dr Nik Johnson, and his predecessor, it is no longer necessary to pursue this strategy.

The Combined Authority and GCP can commission and fund new, extended and expanded bus services on existing roads this year. Enhanced Partnership agreements and franchising provide frameworks to integrate ticketing across different operators and co-ordinate bus and rail services. Private bus operators have no incentive to do either of these. Network-wide changes will be much more effective at drawing people out of cars and onto buses than single-route busways.

At a national level, road pricing will be needed to replace fuel taxes and generate a reliable revenue to subsidise bus services. It will also provide a fairer mechanism than fuel duty to incentivise people to choose alternatives to driving.

Smarter Cambridge Transport

59 comments

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  • We do need to get more people out of cars onto buses, trains and bicycles, but I don’t think the GCP park-and-busway proposals will do this, since they do nothing to encourage people not to just continue driving on the existing roads.

    Improving existing infrastructure and roads should be a far higher priority than cutting new routes through the green belt. Make existing buses and trains easier to use and more reliable first.

  • As I wrote on The Cambridge Town Owl, the results of the local elections last month provide the much-needed political cover and electoral mandate for the GCP Board to direct officers to change direction and strategy. This should be part of the job as it was for the civil service when I worked there and experienced the transition from Labour to the Coalition. One of my former colleagues found herself having to undo the policy work she had done for the previous administration. But that is what the electorate chose.

    Similar here: Before 2018, Liberal Democrat councillors were prominent in the protests & marches against the Cambourne-Cambridge busway. (I have the video interviews). Now that they are the largest party in the Joint Administration of the County Council, they have an obligation to direct that re-think. With the new Mayor Dr Nik Johnson also saying that he’s prepared to reappraise existing projects, and hear the case for a light rail based on existing technology, I think there is a case for at least:

    1. Directing officers to assess the case for changing direction/strategy vs carrying on as normal (so that The Board can make a decision either way – and so the public can see the case for themselves whichever way the Board chooses)
    2. To offer to part-fund the next stage of the Cambridge Connect Light Rail proposals subject to the backers of that bid being able to secure the backing of private sector support and/or other contributors, if not funding the first in depth technical studies themselves. Part of that can take into account the work for CAM Metro that the previous Mayor had commissioned.
  • I strongly support this petition. These P&Rs and busways through the greenbelt would be an environmental nightmare for Cambridge and it’s residents. Existing travel corridors should always be used where possible. They are also unlikely to achieve modal shift. The busways have very poor BCRs and the BCR of C2C will likely fall yet more when EWRail is factored in.

  • ….And get the A428 east-bound connected to the M11 to alleviate traffic on Madingley Road.

  • The £180k per new bus user is almost unbelievable. This cannot be good value and it isn’t – GCPs own metrics state as much.
    Even worse is the fact that this is before the CV-19 changes in working patterns are factored in.

    A major rethink is required…..

  • This proposal is not smart. It is designed to favour Thakeham developers and their payees. Please stand up and say no. I don’t live in a large south Cambs house, I live in a tiny flat that used to look out onto green fields. Now those fields are owned by foreign renters. And this transport system will play into that. ACT LOCAL.

  • In recent years environment and climate change concerns have rightly become of greater concern. Any scheme that threatens creature habitats must not be allowed to happen..the GCP is operating along a dangerous path…the Cambridge-Cambourne busway scheme if allowed will be a natural disaster…WAKE UP and THINK GCP!

  • No-one, including the GCP, appears to have thought properly about the extraordinary environmental damage that a combination of two new rail tracks from Shepreth Junction (assuming EWR takes a southern approach), plus the CSET off-road busway will do to the Green Belt south of the Biomedical Campus and most especially to Hobson’s Park and Nine Wells.

    What is CSET’s objective or objectives? Is anyone clear?

  • Central Government – Highways England need to become involved to design and construct a four ways junction at Girton, with a bus terminal, a rail link, with a local distribution shuttle system using existing roads to take passengers to their final destination.

  • The proposed busway through fields up to the new town at Waterbeach (I can’t remember the official name) seems particularly unnecessary when they are due to have a brand new railway station.

    In fact, if they want to better serve the Waterbeach commuters travelling into Cambridge, they could potentially retain the existing station as well, so “Waterbeach South” and “Waterbeach North”

    With a good bus interconnection at Cambridge North, the busway would be redundant.

  • The best and single solution to all of this remains the A428 east-bound connected to the M11 to alleviate traffic on Madingley Road.

    All of the valuable public money could then be pointed at one thing – tarmac that connects to other tarmc – and not consultants, or meetings, or green belt, or local politicians.

    A single simple connection that completes a major traffoc road junction. Great for the whole region.

    Thank you

  • I fully support this petition. The way the GCP have ignored local opposition to the destructive busway is shocking. When I heard the comment at their recent meeting to the effect of ‘we need to get on with it and use the funding otherwise we will lose it’ I was so angry. This is our taxpayers money they are rushing to spend on a tarmac busway through greenbelt. And they wont even pause to re-think after the biggest economic shock and change in travel patterns this nation has every endured. GCP – you need to STOP and RETHINK.

  • The proposed busway is environmentally unsound for 2 stand alone reasons.
    1) It is encouraging more internal combustion engine traffic on the roads leading to Cambridge

    2) It is being unnecessarily built across the green belt highly valued by local inhabitants of Shelford, Stapleford and Sawston.

  • To run a busway through existing green belt when road access already exists to link the biomedical campus and the Babraham Institute is sacrilege. It will be no asset to the villages it passes through and ruins, is incredibly expensive, will lead to infilling of the land between the busway and the current village boundary, at a time when the need is diminished by home working. PLEASE do not let this happen.

  • No doubt users of the busway will be parking their cars all around our village.
    Crazy scheme that doesn’t really benefit villagers and needs to be stopped if at all possible

  • There is much that can be done to make the current bus and rail services more joined up.

    For example, creating a bus turning facility and a bus service to Whittlesford Park Way railway station, which has been long overdue, benefitting Linton, Abington, Sawston, Pampisford, Babraham and other local villages without current easy access to the regular rail services to London and Cambridge.

  • The prioritiy of the plan should be to create a transport infrastructure that has at its heart the reduction of carbon emissions and the improvement of people’s health (more car parks would not help). With this in mind, we should aspire to having a world-class cycling infrastructure: more and safer (segregated) cycle paths, especially connecting surrounding villages to Cambridge, more and safer cycle paths connecting to public transport (bus and train stations), and more bus lanes.

  • It’s heart warming to finally have someone who recognises the needs of today’s community.
    Transparency in communication is so important
    You have my full support Nik Johnson

  • Too early to judge the new mayor. Worry he may be a compliant puppet happy to continue the blundering visionless transport status quo. All political whilst the public (and their purse) carry on being mugged.

  • Coldhams Lane would be a far better route for buses. The people living there want more buses and the ability to cycle. So replace the cars and HGVs with buses and bikes, and make the Retail Park and Beehive Centre a public transport hub rather than a car park.

  • FREE ALL-DAY parking in our residential streets in and around the city has to be restricted in order to reduce traffic congestion, particularly at peak commuter times.

  • Thank you for putting this together. Perhaps my main concern is the lack of a (credible) plan for moving people around within Cambridge. Busway bureaucrats on council seem to love infrastructure plans with budgets from elsewhere, regardless of whether they contribute to solving Cambridge’s congestions problems – terrible governance and politics, where spending money in itself is a claim for victory. Bus companies obviously love the idea of busways, purely bread and butter. Until there is a credible plan for transport within Cambridge city, there must be a moratorium on experimenting with ways to get to Cambridge.

    • Yes, please see Sam Davies blog – https://sam4qe.com/cset-an-eye-wateringly-expensive-shambles-your-councillor-week-5/ – and in particular “We asked questions about the justification for this change [in the number of proposed parking spaces]. The explanation was that because the GCP’s ‘City Access’ project (a suite of measures to keep cars out of the city centre which might include physical road closures or some form of road tariff) has made so little progress, the CSET scheme can’t assume it will absorb large numbers of vehicles, as in all likelihood they’ll still be ploughing on into the city!”

  • The current situation reveals that much of the data employed in earlier projects has failed to take adequate account of the revision of priorities regarding work and outdoor activities made necessary by COVID 19

  • We do not need more car parks in the city, we need fewer cars, more pedestrianised areas and compulsory park and ride for non residents.

  • The project managers need to take their clipboard on an excursion to Grange Road and figure out how the buses will make it from there into the centre of town. Should we expect a flyover over Kings College?

    Using Madingley Road would be far cheaper, have far less environmental impact, would lead buses to appropriate interchanges and would be less likely to kill students using the West Cambridge science park can cut-through.

  • Preservation of our green belt should be prioritised. If there is a way to improve transport links by using existing routes, that possibility should be explored and exhausted before allowing our green spaces to be ruined. In this day and age, the environmental impacts of development plans should not be sidelined.

  • The CSET busway needs to be stopped for all the reasons identified – hideously expensive, destruction of greenbelt, marginal benefit.

    The Cambridge South rail-station opens up vastly more (rail) capacity from Whittlesford and the south than the CSET would ever provide.

    We need an all-ways junction at Girton to allow A428 east-bound traffic to join the M11 to alleviate traffic on Madingley Road.

    With an all-ways junction solving the traffic on the A428, the case for the west Cambridge busway evaporates.

  • Bus ways ruin unspoilt countryside for minimal gain. Cambridgeshire’s very own HS2 unwanted, unneeded

  • I think this would be such a shame to have buses coming across the beautiful fields & the affect it will have on the locals living along side it.

  • The priority should not be to get more people INTO Cambridge but to allow people to move more quickly WITHIN Cambridge. This means more frequent buses, more bus routes (around/across the city as well as into the city), and cheaper bus fares (why not experiment with making buses entirely free, as has been tried elsewhere?).

    Cycling is important too, of course, but many people are physically unable to cycle, or too scared to do so. Buses (electric, not diesel) are obviously the best solution.

    It is crazy to deface the countryside with yet another concrete busway which does not link up with other forms of public transport, and will even not be properly integrated with the new Cambridge South railway station when that is eventually built.

  • We are supposed to be protecting the environment and the greenbelt but GCP seem to be hell bent on damaging them.

  • Far better to use just a fraction of the capital sum to improve existing bus routes and frequency. This would also lead to the hoped-for decrease in car use.

  • No more bus ways! No more concrete! No more projects that are millions of pounds over the estimate.
    Time to think and act differently!
    COVID has happened.
    We are in a Climate Emergency !
    We are in a new world.
    THINK differently
    ACT differently
    No more concrete poured over the precious countryside.

  • This is what is required:

    1) A proper network of NL standard long-distance greenways connecting our towns. Current GCP plans do not continue the planned greenways into Cambridge so that they interconnect.

    2) Proper grade separation of Greenways so journeys are safe and faster. This will need underpasses in suitable locations. In Cambridgeshire this is already done for: fish, toads, cows, and horses. Why not for humans?

    3) Free half-size lightweight electric busses in our towns. See Biarritz/Bayonne for good examples of this.

  • I beg the GCP to see sense on this. Don’t rip up beautiful green belt for an expensive white elephant scheme when there are so many better ways to spend money to improve transport and the environment. This plan is staggeringly irresponsible.

  • It will take me nearly 15 minutes to walk to the proposed bur stop which is too far to encourage me to use it. This applies to many more residents.

  • Completely unnecessary and again… Absolute waste of tax payers hard earned money.

  • 1 Guided busses are absurd because any disabled guided vehicle cannot be passed by following vehicles.
    2 Electric vehicles should be encouraged by the provision of publicly accessible charge points.

  • In my view, the proposal is completely outdated, why ruin a vital green belt so close to Gt Shelford and Stapleford.
    Do we really need this very expensive Busway, far better to improve the existing Roads and Public services
    It won’t help those people who live in Shelford and Stapleford, only create more delays on local roads.

  • The Value For Money criteria which is (or should be) part of any analysis of public expenditure does not seem to be met. The cost per assessed additional bus user is astonishingly high. What cost savings will offset this and justify the schemes?

    Has the change to working patterns brought about by the pandemic been taken into account?

    Greener, cheaper options must exist. Rather than building infrastructure to bring more commuters into already overcrowded locations, why not encourage the establishment of businesses outside of the main centres of work, thereby obviating the need for the current proposals.

    Existing park and rides seem to stop working at 7pm. By extending the operating times, it might be possible to encourage more drivers to use existing facilities.

  • The existing roads can accommodate far more buses, particularly as the intention of park and ride schemes is to reduce car traffic. At present the measured average speed along the rural sections of the A1307 during rush hours exceeds 50 mph, so there is no actual or likely impediment to bus travel in the area of the proposed busway. Congestion in both directions is centered on the Addenbrookes and Long Road junctions: the proposed busway will not address the actual problem.

  • The roads need to be safer for the benefit of all. That means more max 20 zones and a reduction in the 60 mph speed limit on country roads. More enforcement as a significant minority do not care less about these issues. Somehow we must get away from our love affair with the car but can’t really see this happening.

  • This money would be much better invested in improving the current transport links we have, for example by making buses smaller and more frequent so that people do not have to wait for half an hour or more waiting for a connection.

    The connectivity between different public transport methods needs vastly improving. Let’s look at why are so many people have to drive or take taxis to the trains stations, for example? Why do so many people drive past the Park & Ride to go into the centre of Cambridge and use a car park?

    Safer, protected cycle routes where pedestrians and cyclists are not obliged to share the same space or forced to stop to give way to motor vehicles would make a vast difference to the uptake in environmentally transportation methods.

    It is madness – idiotic even – to spend vast amounts of money on tarmac and motorised transport when we are at crisis point in terms of the environment. Please think again.

  • We need joined up thinking with the Highways authority, especially now that the tunnels plan under Cambridge has been abolished. We need to ensure that cycling is safe and easy for the commuter villages within easy reach of Cambridge. Planning needs to include the new rail lines and stations which are already in the pipeline. Congestion charging needs to be part of the package.

  • Should we spend not some of the money subsidising the purchase of electric bicycles so people can commute for longer distances in a energy-efficient way door to door?

  • Government needs to do more to direct growth towards the areas where the social benefits will be greatest and the social costs lowest. This would be a ‘levelling up’ agenda.

  • The busways seem to be full of empty busses whenever I cycle along the busway ‘path’.

  • Once this busway is built across the West fields, irreversibly damaging the local landscape and its biodiversity, it gives the green light to fill in the land between Coton and Cambridge with houses. Developers have needed this busway for years as one of the key factors stopping them has been lack of public transport through this area. So the busway will not only bulldoze through countryside and villages (not even stopping in most of them) ruining them for ever but it will also enable massive development on the west fringe of Cambridge. Cambridge residents have had enough – our roads, schools, medical centres and city centre cannot take anymore people or traffic and it is now well known that our region is running out of water. So my message to the GCP is NO THANK YOU!!!

  • Please protect the green belt at all costs and be sensible about future needs.

  • Expressways are basically concrete embedded pollution, more Roadways breed more Cars and gas-guzzling Coaches and Cambridge can’t cope. Riverlands can’t bear the weight. The outcome = gridlock, illegal levels of pollution into human nostrils, multi-storey carbon-intense concrete parking nightmares which should go Back to the drawing Board as not fit for purpose post-Covid (I mean Park Street), and local dereliction as in the approach to Grantchester Meadows. Imagine all these surfaces for metal box storage Re-Wilded to “Double Nature” whilst doubling street-space for Humans in a Cycle City without private cars plonked on the tarmac, stationary most of the time. This is the Transformation our medieval, wheel-like city needs for Survive-Ability with the smartest and lightest of Carbon Footprints. Neither Cambridge, Paradise nor Skater’s Meadow nor any special watery place can survive the onslaught of unstoppable on-line “Visitor Destination Brand” unscathed. We need swift, firm change of expectations to transition back to Biodiverse Bliss, with Everyone understanding and convinced we are changing for the better, and eager to play their part. As we work from home, commuting trips are out, so Back to the Drawing Board ye Planners – your financial figures and planning visions must be out of date – please check. We have all had more time for realisations and time to think how best to restore our scarred earth during healing walks and talks. Critical workers must live centrally now. Commuters stay out of town as work digitally = radical change of plan for starters. Shopping has changed, Tourism has changed, the Climate has changed, the narrative is changing for the Tide is Turning, just in time. MORATORIUM please on concrete-pouring and plastering over our fertile river lands – there may be no NEED whatsoever for such man-made desecration. Just Developers’ GREED with local Humans and local species bearing the cost of being sacrificed on the altar of “Financialisation” = Wrong Way, No Way.

  • Brexit & the Climate Change threat surely demands that we grow more of our own food, as locally to need as possible. It is important that good agricultural land is preserved to do its job.

    The Covid Lockdown has emphasised the importance of green open spaces; once these are despoiled they are probably gone for ever

  • Urgent need to reduce number of vehicles on Cambridge roads, from both climate and resident health perspective. Request project stopped and reappraised against climate change targets and impact on air pollution.