Imagine your job was to choose a public transport route between Cambourne and Cambridge that delivers a better bus service than currently exists. Imagine you had three options to choose from:
- A cheap ‘do minimum’ option (£12.4M)
- An effective but affordable option (£17.7M)
- An expensive and environmentally-destructive option (£58M+++) that takes two minutes off the travel time but terminates in the wrong place.
Which one would you choose?
The final Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) consultation on the Cambourne to Cambridge busway closed at the end of January 2018. The GCP intended their Executive Board to make a decision in June/July 2018, but in May the Mayor of the new Combined Authority for Cambridge and Peterborough imposed a six month pause while proposals for a region-wide ‘Metro’ system were reviewed. The Mayor, James Palmer, had promised to oppose an off-road route through the Coton Corridor and the West Fields, as did the Liberal Democrats who gained control of South Cambridgeshire District Council in May 2018.
That pause ended in October when unfortunately the Mayor withdrew his previous objection and passed responsibility for implementing the project back to GCP, but in the context of a ‘Metro’ defined as an electric tram-like bus on a segregated tarmac track. GCP, as might have been expected, produced a report recommending their off-road route through the Coton Corridor. This is now referred to the GCP Executive Board in December 2018.
We draw your attention to the fact that Route B presented in the consultation documents is a bastardised version of the community-developed scheme formulated by the Local Liaison Forum. The perversity of this was confirmed at a “workshop” held by GCP with invited representatives of the Parish Councils west of Cambridge and local residents’ associations; plainly the County Transport Officers and their tame consultants are determined to ignore residents’ views. We have been given this leaflet which explains errors in the GCP’s consultation document.
The Coton Busway Action Group supports Route B and the Scotland Farm Park+Ride site. We strongly oppose Route C (the off-road busway once known as Option 3/3A) and the Waterworks Park+Ride site on Madingley Hill. If we had our way – and common sense applied – any busway would run along the A428 to an all-ways interchange and Park+Ride at Girton linking the A428, M11 and A14, and feed from there into a Cambridge Connect light rail metro into the City Centre and beyond.
The three options in the consultation document are explained in more detail here.
We are supportive of the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s vision for better bus journeys between Cambourne and Cambridge, but believe that the proposed Park+Ride on Madingley Hill and their favoured off-road busway route through the Green Belt will not fit with the overall transport network needed by the Greater Cambridge area.
Sign our petition to stop the off-road busway and demand better alternatives.
The GCP’s current plan is too expensive, too environmentally destructive, lacks accessibility and flexibility. There are better, more credible alternatives.