Alternative Cambourne to Cambridge busway route to be considered
Another route for the controversial Cambourne to Cambridge busway is to be explored, it has emerged, following fierce opposition to the plans.
The Greater Cambridge Partnership has withdrawn its latest proposals for the £160.5million busway from its executive board agenda this month to enable consideration of an alternative route proposed by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA).
The GCP board had been due to discuss the revised plans on June 25, but had come in from criticism from the Combined Authority mayor James Palmer over the route. As the strategic transport authority for the region, the Combined Authority expects to influence the busway plans so that it fits in with the mayor’s wider metro scheme.
The GCP’s latest plans, unveiled last month, switched the route the busway would use to join the road network in Cambridge to Rifle Range land instead of the Adams Road, which is heavily used by cyclists.
But the plans maintained the off-road route through the West Fields near Coton, which have prompted fury villagers and campaigners. Nor did they address the concerns of Hardwick villagers, who would look out on to eight lanes of traffic once the busway is built alongside the A428.
This afternoon, the GCP said: “The GCP has today withdrawn the report on the Cambourne to Cambridge Better public transport scheme from the agenda for the executive board meeting for June 25.
“The board is committed to developing a public transport route connecting residents in the west to their daily destinations in and around Cambridge. However, the detailed route proposals have faced opposition.
“The Combined Authority previously agreed the route in 2018 and signed it off again as part of its local transport plan in January. However, the board now understands that the strategic transport authority has indicated it has an alternative route alignment, and the board feels it must allow a short amount of time for that to be assessed before considering its current plans. GCP remains committed to work in partnership with the CPCA on infrastructure solutions for the area.
“The board acknowledges this is disappointing to all those residents and businesses who desperately need reliable and effective transport links between Cambourne and Cambridge, and regrets that the 2024 delivery timeline is now unlikely to be achieved.
“However, taking a decision to move to the next stage without considering the transport authority’s alternative proposal risks future challenge and wasting public money.
“A report will be brought back to the board in due course.”
Details of the Combined Authority’s proposals have not yet been released.