Busway Routes and Park+Ride Locations

The City Deal has now changed its name to the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP). On this page we present both the GCP’s preferred busway route and credible alternatives which we believe fit the criteria necessary to be one piece of the greater Cambridge-wide sustainable transport network.

CURRENT GCP PREFERRED ROUTE – OPTION 3/3A – UPDATED NOV 2017

At the Joint Assembly meeting on 19th July, the officers of the Greater Cambridge Partnership presented possible route alignments for the Cambourne to Cambridge bus route:

  • Option 1 – the cheap on-road option (called Route A in latest consultation)
  • Option 6 – the effective on-road option devised by the Local Liaison Forum (a version of this is presented as Route B in the consultation)
  • Option 3A – the expensive off-road option currently favoured by the GCP (called Route C in the consultation).

Option 3/3A, Option 1 and Option 6 were presented at the Joint Assembly meeting on 19th July. The map below shows the Tranche 1 alignments (Madingley Mulch roundabout to Cambridge). Cambourne to Madingley Mulch roundabout will happen in Tranche 2.

Update – September 2017 – the most southerly possibility for Option 3A shown on the map below has been removed from consideration. However, the other alignments for Option 3A are still being considered.

Enlarged map west of M11. Enlarged map east of M11

The GCP proposal is for a segregated (off-road) busway from Cambourne to Cambridge, via a new Park+Ride located on the hill top east of the “Madingley Mulch” roundabout (the Waterworks site). Option 3A is only predicted to save 4 minutes in journey time compared to the current Citi 4 service. The LLF advocate an alternative Park+Ride site at Scotland Farm which is on the north side of the Hardwick/Dry Drayton junction of the A428.

In the most recent reports, the officers state that the busway should be future-proofed to accommodate a rapid transit system. They are currently exploring the possibility of 120mph bullet buses! This would probably require the busway to be widened and a large safety wall to be built along the busway, further marring the countryside.

During the consultations in 2015 the off-road route was called Area 1 South, when it was rejected by 65% of respondents; it is now referred to by the GCP team as Route C or Option 3/3A.

Cost estimates for this route are well over £100M. The figure of £41.5M-£58.2M quoted in the latest consultation document is only the estimated construction cost and does not include land acquisition, ongoing maintenance or operational costs. In previous consultants’ reports this scheme had an estimated benefit to cost ratio of 0.2 (Government guidelines are that infrastructure schemes should achieve 2.0).

CREDIBLE ALTERNATIVES

The Coton Busway Action Group believe that a credible plan for High Quality Public Transport between Cambourne and Cambridge should meet the following criteria:

  • Good value for money
  • Environmentally sensitive
  • Sensitive to the existing communities along the corridor

Here are some credible possibilities:

Scotland Farm Park+Ride and on-road bus priority schemes (LLF Option 6)

The Local Liaison Forum are developing a proposal for an on-road bus solution from Cambourne to West Cambridge which would interface with a new Park+Ride at Scotland Farm (the area north-east of the Hardwick/Dry Drayton junction on the A428). This has been named Option 6. A discussion draft of this proposal was presented at the LLF’s meeting on 2nd February.

The summary report containing maps can be found here.

The full Options Assessment Report can be found here.

A video of the Option 6 presentation can be found here with the slides here. (Actually an entertaining watch!)

The May 2017 update on LLF progress can be found here.

Travel Hub at Cambourne and Girton Interchange

Smart Cambridge Transport favour the creation of Travel Hubs across Cambridgeshire. On the A428 corridor this would specifically mean the construction of a Travel Hub at Cambourne as well as a Park+Ride at an all-ways upgraded Girton Interchange. There would be High Quality Express bus stops at Highfields Caldecote and Hardwick which would have cycle parking, shelter for passengers and real-time information.