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Have a say on three routes for Cambourne to Cambridge busway

An entirely off-road route between Cambourne and the Madingley Mulch roundabout is among three proposals for the new busway to Cambridge put forward by Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP).

An eight-week public consultation ending on March 31 has been launched so residents can give their views on phase two of the plans, which cover the route to Madingley.

The GCP wants to introduce a segregated route to allow for public transport to bypass congestion. It is hoped this will encourage more people to travel by public transport than by car.

The consultation will examine two on-road routes, and one off-road option.

A busway linking Cambridge and Cambourne was first proposed in 2016. The GCP (then known as the City Deal) suggested a second busway would help ease the traffic which threatens the sustainable growth of the region.

Phase one of the plans was consulted on in 2017-18, and an off-road option, which would take the route through the West Fields near Coton, was selected as the most viable, to the disappointment of campaigners fearful of its impact. Phase one route assessment is due to continue in the coming months, taking account of feedback.

Lewis Herbert, chairman of the GCP’s executive board, believes the second phase of the project will be much less contentious, and it will be easier to avoid sensitive sites.

Peter Blake, GCP transport director, said: “I think the issue with the busway is people think it’ll be like the busway in Cambridge. It won’t look the same because technology has simply moved on. There will be far less concrete and far less visual impact.”

He added that electric vehicles would also cut down on noise and that, by lowering the track or screening it with trees, the visual impact of the route could also be ‘mitigated’ against.

Following a 2017 consultation, Scotland Farm, with access off Scotland Road, was selected as the preferred Park & Ride site over the waterworks location off Madingley Mulch. But the new consultation seeks views on both now that the proposed routes are known.

The busway is intended to link with the longer-term metro, which would see electric rubber-wheeled trams criss-crossing Cambridge in underground tunnels before heading out on above-ground tracks to nearby towns like Haverhill, Cambourne, Huntingdon, and Mildenhall.

A series of public events will be held to showcase the proposals, including at The Hub in Cambourne from 4pm to 7.30pm on February 26, at Dry Drayton village hall from 5-6.30pm on March 5, at Hardwick Primary School from 5-7.30pm, and at Caldecote Primary School from 5-7.30pm.

To have your say on the busway plans, fill in the paper questionnaire being put through doors or visit greatercambridge.org.uk/cambournetocambridge. You can contact the GCP by emailing consultations@greatercambridge.org.uk or calling 01223 699906.

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