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 CITY DEAL PREFERRED ROUTE – OPTION 3/3A – UPDATED JULY 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
  • Option 6 – the effective on-road option devised by the Local Liaison Forum
  • Option 3A – the expensive off-road option currently favoured by the GCP.

Option 3/3A, Option 1 and Option 6 at the Joint Assembly meeting on 19th July. 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 City Deal 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 (actually at Crome Lea Farm). Option 3A is only predicted to save 4 minutes in journey time compared to the current Citi 4 service.

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.

The Crome Lea (Madingley Hill) Park+Ride will be visible from over 7 miles away particularly when lit at night.  The City Deal team have gone back and identified further Park+Ride sites for consideration with a view to selecting a preferred option in September 2017.

During the consultations in 2015 this route option was called Area 1 South, when it was rejected by 65% of respondents; it is now referred to by the City Deal team as Option 3/3A.

Cost estimates for this route are £207.8M at 2010 prices. The £94M mentioned in the September press release is simply the capital cost of the first tranche. It has 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.