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Have your say on plans for improved Greater Cambridge bus service paid for by congestion charge



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Proposals that could see buses every few minutes in the city centre have gone out for public consultation today (Monday, November 8).

Future bus network bus corridor map from the Greater Cambridge Partnership's Marking Connections consultation (52914229)
Future bus network bus corridor map from the Greater Cambridge Partnership's Marking Connections consultation (52914229)

Residents will also be asked to consider road charging measure options to fund the improved public transport network in the future, including a flexible charge, a pollution charge or parking charge.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership’s Making Connections consultation is asking for people’s views on proposals to radically enhance bus and active travel journeys.

A second consultation – Cambridge Eastern Access – has also been launched today and offers more specific proposals for improving cycling and walking journeys along Newmarket Road.

The GCP’s plans for a future bus network aim to deliver fast, frequent and reliable services to connect people with jobs, education and leisure opportunities.

Cambourne and St Neots bus corridor map from the Greater Cambridge Partnership's Making Connections constulation (52914210)
Cambourne and St Neots bus corridor map from the Greater Cambridge Partnership's Making Connections constulation (52914210)

This could mean cheaper bus services every few minutes in Cambridge, every ten minutes from larger towns and villages, and new hourly services for people living in rural areas, opening up opportunities for people.

Other proposals outlined in the Making Connections consultation include:

  • Services running from 5am until midnight, with frequent buses to key destinations across Greater Cambridge.
  • Express and direct services to the city centre, the Biomedical Campus, the Science Park and West Cambridge and links to local rail stations.
  • More frequent services between 7am and 7pm, with buses every few minutes in the city, every 10 minutes from towns and larger villages, and hourly in rural areas.
  • Small villages will have opportunities to ‘plug into’ the network through a regular connecting bus service, a demand responsive bus service, or access to a travel hub.
  • Cheaper fares, such as a flat rate for trips in the city, daily and weekly tickets for regular users, hopper tickets, and cheaper family fares.
  • More zero emission buses, building on the successful bid for 30 new electric buses coming to Cambridge next year.
Waterbeach, Ely and Cottenham bus corridor map from the Greater Cambridge Partnership's Marking Connections consultation (52914216)
Waterbeach, Ely and Cottenham bus corridor map from the Greater Cambridge Partnership's Marking Connections consultation (52914216)

Encouraging more people to take affordable and accessible public transport would help to cut congestion and improve air quality, leading to improved health and lower carbon emissions – alongside quieter streets for walking & cycling and improved public spaces to enjoy.

GCP chair Cllr Elisa Meschini said: “We have a real challenge in Greater Cambridge to sustainably meet the needs of our area in a way that keeps people moving while cutting congestion and pollution. Our proposals for improving the way we travel will help to give people real choices in how they get around whilst freeing up road space and enabling people to make the shift to public transport, walking or cycling.

“I’m delighted that we are able to launch our consultations at a time when actions to reduce our collective effect on the climate are at the forefront of people’s minds.”

Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Dr Nik Johnson said: “Offering everyone in our county better choices for getting about is one of my foremost ambitions as Mayor. It’s very clear we have a growth challenge in the Greater Cambridge area, alongside the gigantic challenge of the climate emergency – so our growth, while necessary, must be sustainable.

“I welcome and support these proposals from the Greater Cambridge Partnership, which sit alongside the Combined Authority’s Local Transport and Connectivity Plan and our own work on bus reform, which we’re consulting on this autumn.”

Fulbourn and Newmarket bus corridor map from the Greater Cambridge Partnership's Marking Connections consultation (52914214)
Fulbourn and Newmarket bus corridor map from the Greater Cambridge Partnership's Marking Connections consultation (52914214)

The Cambridge Eastern Access consultation sets out potential upgrades to improve cycling and walking journeys along Newmarket Road. The options include the addition of new cycle lanes and bus lanes, new priority-controlled roundabouts and the potential relocation of the Newmarket Road Park & Ride.

The A1303 is a key route to the east of Cambridge which suffers from significant congestion with plans for development to the north of Cherry Hinton and the Marshall’s site being included in the first proposal of the Greater Cambridge Local Plan.

The GCP is holding a number of public events – in person and online – to outline the proposals and where people can ask questions and share their thoughts with project officers.

The in-person events will be held at Cambridge United’s Abbey Stadium in Newmarket Road.

Haverhill bus corridor map from the Greater Cambridge Partnership's Marking Connections consultation (52914218)
Haverhill bus corridor map from the Greater Cambridge Partnership's Marking Connections consultation (52914218)

To help run the public events in a Covid-safe way, people are asked to register online for their chosen date.

Tuesday, November 9, 5-6.45pm and 7-8.45pm

Wednesday, December 1, 4-5.45pm and 6-7.45pm

A number of online events will also be held, starting with the East Area GCP Community Forum on Thursday, November 11 at 6pm on Zoom. Registration is here.

To view the proposals and have your say on Making Connections and Cambridge Eastern Access public consultation visit our website from noon on Monday, November 8.

The Making Connections consultation closes on December 20 while the Cambridge Eastern Access consultation closes on December 22.

Read more:

Would £1 bus fares or free travel for young people ease the Greater Cambridge transport challenge?

Buses proposed every 10 minutes in Cambridge – paid for by city congestion charge



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