Well, they made sure the visuals were blurred, but Atkins, the tame consultants used by Greater Cambridge Partnership, turned up at the Local Liaison Forum in Comberton on Monday 17th to show that their route alignments for the proposed concrete guided busway now run immediately behind the houses and school of Coton village, through the Coton Orchard and into the edge of the West Cambridge University site, south of the Footpath, and then across the West Fields to Grange Road.
This is environmental vandalism on a grand scale, through the Green Belt, across National Trust covenanted fields. And still no answer as to why Grange Road is the chosen destination or how the buses will “speed” into the City Centre?
The Greater Cambridge Partnership officers didn’t do themselves any favours with their blinkered approach, still recommending Park+Ride sites around Madingley Mulch despite overwhelming advice that the Scotland Farm site is bigger and better, and accessible from all directions, and scores better environmentally.
And they plough on with their planned environmental destruction regardless of Mayor James Palmer of the new Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority having commissioned major feasibility studies on light rail and underground in the context of a transport vision for wider Cambridgeshire, recognising for example that Girton Interchange could be the key to unlock some of the problems.
Bizarrely, the Atkins speaker said he was working on a “rebuttal” of the criticism by the LLF’ technical group’ after Coton’s Gabriel Fox demonstrated the bias in the officers and consultants scoring of off-road versus on-road options. Quite why the officers and consultants feel they need to twist the facts to get their schemes through is not clear.
Next chance to show we are opposed to the busway and want better alternatives is the Joint Assembly meeting on Wednesday 19th July in Cambourne at the South Cambs District Council offices starting at 1pm. While local government in Cambridgeshire is looking increasingly stupid and anti-democratic, we need to show the public want better value for money than misguided schemes. We seem to have Mayor James Palmer and our MP Heidi Allen on our side, but that may not be enough.