Smarter Cambridge Transport

The Travel Hub Design Principles report produced by Mott MacDonald

Smarter Cambridge Transport has submitted the following question to the Greater Cambridge Partnership Executive Board meeting scheduled for 18 March 2021.


Agenda Item 7: Public Transport Improvements and City Access Strategy

Regarding the Travel Hub Design Principles report, produced by Mott MacDonald:

  1. How much did this report cost?
  2. Why was it commissioned when CoMoUK (referenced in the report) has already published detailed guidance on ‘mobility hub’ design, case studies and accreditation?
  3. What questions did it answer that GCP officers could not answer without it?
  4. What will change as a result of this report being written?

There are serious omissions, including in the following areas:

  • Net change to carbon emissions from construction and use of travel hubs.
  • Ecological impacts on greenfield sites, in particular from loss and disruption to natural habitats and water flows, and polluted rainwater run-off.
  • Safety needs and concerns of women and girls using travel hubs.
  • Needs of disabled people and their carers, e.g. ‘changing places’ toilets.
  • Design guidance for buildings and infrastructure in the greenbelt.
  • Data collection (e.g. site usage, car and cycle park occupancy rates).
  • Free WiFi provision, especially in locations where mobile phone coverage is poor.
  • Supplementary uses, e.g. for mobile library, health screening and other services; farmers’ and craft markets.

And, specifically in relation to large Park & Ride sites:

  • Abstraction of bus passengers from local to Park & Ride services.
  • Public health impacts of air pollution in villages from vehicles accessing Park & Rides.
  • Localised road congestion.

Using the term ‘travel hub’ to cover all permutations of facilities from a 2,000-space Park & Ride to a village bus station does not aid public understanding. By rebranding Park & Rides (which are well understood) as ‘travel hubs’, GCP is obscuring the scale and impact of the planned car parks at Hauxton (1,614 car parking spaces), Babraham (up to 2,000 spaces) and Scotland Farm (1,438 spaces) – all greenfield sites in the green belt.


See also Smarter Cambridge Transport’s vision for travel hubs.

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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