Griff Rhys Jones calls for protection of West Fields as Cambourne-Cambridge busway is debated

PUBLISHED: 06:51 28 July 2018 | UPDATED: 20:12 28 July 2018

Griff Rhys-Jones President of the national charity Civic Voice with James Littlewood Chief Executive of Cambridge Past, Present & Future (right) seen here in Coton. Picture: Keith Heppell

Griff Rhys-Jones President of the national charity Civic Voice with James Littlewood Chief Executive of Cambridge Past, Present & Future (right) seen here in Coton. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

The omedian and actor was in the city for the Cambridge Comedy Festival, but took time as president of the charity Civic Voice to join the campaign to stop the proposed busway.

Griff Rhys Jones has made an appeal for “something better and more visionary” for Coton, as planners debate the introduction of a Cambourne-Cambridge busway.

The Cambridge University alumnus went to Madingley Hill with representatives of charity Cambridge Past, Present & Future.

The West Fields at Coton would be threatened if an off-road route was chosen for the busway,

Mr Rhys Jones said: “The Cambridge area is one of the fastest growing places in the UK, but the huge pressure for change should provide an opportunity to create great places and a great environment.

“For 90 years, the charity Cambridge Past, Present & Future has been working to protect the character and setting of the beautiful and historic city of Cambridge. One of its earliest actions was to purchase countryside around Madingley Hill to prevent urban sprawl and protect the countryside and village of Coton.

“Having visited the site I hope that decision-makers will work with the local community and avoid damage here. Let’s plan for our great, great grandchildren. Something better and more visionary is needed.

“Across the UK there is pressure for change in our countryside and urban areas and a need for new houses and infrastructure, but it is important that this is done in a way that makes places better. Local civic groups, like Cambridge Past, Present & Future, are working hard to try to ensure that happens. They are your voice. Try to support them in any way you can.”

Campaigners are trying to stop the Greater Cambridge Partnership from building an off-road route for a busway through the countryside.

The Coton Busway Action Group (CBAG) organised a petition against the scheme and appealed for an on-road route to the city to be used.

The Combined Authority will today (Wednesday) discuss the next steps for the Cambourne to Cambridge busway scheme, although the mayor, James Palmer, has publicly stated he is against the idea. The controlling Lib Dems at South Cambridgeshire District Council have also said they could not support an off-road route through green fields.

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