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Action needed now to avoid Cambridge Biomedical Campus gridlock'

By Ben Comber

Birds eye vision of AstraZeneca at Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Birds eye vision of AstraZeneca at Cambridge Biomedical Campus

Urgent action is needed south of Cambridge before the area is crippled by gridlock, according to a group of transport campaigners.

While the Greater Cambridge Partnership is working on plans to help ease traffic between Cambridge and villages to the south east of the city – including a new busway that could cost £145million – volunteer group Smarter Cambridge Transport (SCT) says the measures being taken are not enough.

It says that with no plans in the short-term, the south of the city is heading into years of gridlock and frustration while “grand schemes” are pursued by transport authorities.

Sam Davies, chair of the Queen Edith’s Community Forum and a member of SCT, said: “When I started looking at the options with SCT, I genuinely didn’t know which would be best for Queen Edith’s.

“I came to realise none of them will avert the traffic chaos coming later this year.

“There has been a systemic failure by politicians to grapple with the Biomedical Campus problem.

“The expansion of the Biomedical Campus has been encouraged, and at breakneck speed. You have to ask why they’re scurrying around for solutions at the last minute when this has been the Biomedical Campus ambition for 20 years.

“What we need are lots of unglamourous little fixes.”

A GCP spokesperson said: “To deal with growing transport demand from the campus in the short term, we are investing in increasing capacity at Trumpington Park & Ride and delivering additional bus services from the Papworth and Cambourne area. In addition, for shorter journeys, we are working to improve cycling and pedestrian links to the site. Almost two thirds of workers currently access the site by bus, walking or cycling and these planned improvements will deliver real benefits in the short term.

“In the longer term, we have just concluded the Cambridge South East Transport Study consultation. This will deliver faster, more reliable and sustainable public transport options for journeys between Cambridge and the area to the south east. We have also invested £1.7m for the delivery of a Cambridge South station, alongside the Combined Authority and national and local partners. This will create a step-change in transport to the Biomedical Campus.”

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