Smarter Cambridge Transport

Station Square final phase: fiasco or redemption?

Brookgate are readying a planning application for two new buildings on the Cambridge station car park. One will contain a 210-space multi-storey car park, replacing the surface parking that will be built on. Part of the planning application will be a change to Station Square.

Taxis licensed to use the station rank will enter and exit from Station Rd via new lanes cut through the pedestrian area. All other traffic will continue to access the pick-up/drop-off area via Great Northern Rd.

The experience for people walking to and from the station will be significantly worse, with two new lanes of traffic to cross, as well as Tenison Rd. All crossings will be ‘courtesy’, i.e. vehicle priority. Station Rd will be more polluted, with taxis queuing down Station Rd (rather than in the station car park, as now). Brookgate want more people to walk on the south side of Station Rd, but plan to remove the zebra crossing at the corner, and do nothing about the slow 3-stage crossing at Hills Rd.

The cycle route between the busway and Devonshire Rd will still be unsatisfactory, with no clear route and multiple points of conflict. An alternative route exists, running along Mill Park and behind One Station Square, but it needs to be properly designed as a cycle route.

Greater Anglia has a franchise commitment to deliver 1,000 more cycle parking spaces at the station by the end of 2020, but has no plan for where these will be located.

There is also no plan to reinstate a bus turnaround at the station, the lack of which adds 4 minutes to what should be a 3-minute journey from the station to Addenbrooke’s via the Busway.

There is one last chance to make this space right. Murdoch House is due to be demolished to create additional open space. People need to lobby Brookgate to commission the best urban design team to reconfigure Station Square to be both a beautiful, relaxing space for people to wait, meet and mingle, and also an efficient transport interchange. Believe in better!

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This article was first published in the Cambridge Independent on 19 September 2018.

Edward Leigh

Edward Leigh is the leader of Smarter Cambridge Transport, chair and independent co-opted member of the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Panel, chair of the South Petersfield Residents Association, business owner, consultant, and occasional blogger about making the world and Cambridge a better place to live.

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