Rural travel hubs in Cambridgeshire - what should they look like?

PUBLISHED: 06:26 08 September 2017

Guided Busway, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

Guided Busway, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

Residents have ‘brain-stormed’ ideas for a potential new network of rural travel hubs.

Rural travel hubs are being proposed to give residents in rural areas better access to public transport services within the district and to and from Cambridge.

The concept is part of a wider strategy by the Greater Cambridge Partnership to get more people out of cars and onto public transport, cycling and walking, to tackle congestion and air pollution as the area continues to grow.

The hubs could provide mini Park & Ride or park & cycle facilities at convenient village locations or be used as a base for council-led, on-demand community transport services.

An inaugural event held at South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) at Cambourne on Wednesday drew people including county, district and parish councillors to hear more about the proposed hubs and to brain-storm ideas.

South Cambridgeshire District Cllr Francis Burkitt, chair of the Greater Cambridge Partnership said: “I’ve been backing the concept for rural travel hubs from the outset, but I’ve always been keen that – if we proceed with them – they should be a grassroots and community-led idea, wanted and welcomed by local residents. I am full of gratitude and praise for all the project team working on this who have worked hard with Parish Councillors over the summer.”

Parish Councils have previously suggested six possible sites for investigation at Oakington, Swavesey, Foxton, Whittlesford, Shepreth and Meldreth.

Early ideas for how hubs could be used include for:

• Modest-sized car parks

• Space for turning circles for buses

• Cycle storage with potential for enclosed lockable boxes

• Covered waiting areas

The Executive Board, acting on the recommendation of the Joint Assembly, agreed in March this year to allocate £100,000 of funding to investigate the creation of a rural travel hub network in South Cambridgeshire, to improve local transport networks, improve connectivity, and provide more sustainable travel options between key residential and employment areas.

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