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Mayor wrestles control of Cambridge to Cambourne busway scheme from Greater Cambridge Partnership

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has taken control of public transport improvements in the Cambourne to Cambridge area, it has been announced today (Monday, February 17).

Mayor James Palmer. Picture: Keith Heppell. (29452648)
Mayor James Palmer. Picture: Keith Heppell. (29452648)

Mayor James Palmer made the announcement in response to “significant concerns” raised by residents.

He has called for the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s Cambourne to Cambridge busway scheme as it stands to be “immediately halted”.

Mr Palmer has told the GCP that the scheme’s proposals do not fit with the Combined Authority’s aims for the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro.

The GCP says it is astonished by the mayor's announcement and says the Combined Authority has confirmed that their work is consistent with the CAM plans.

Mr Palmer said: “I hoped that by bringing the GCP in to help implement our transport strategy, including the delivery the CAM Metro, we would gain real input from residents of one of our region’s most congested transport corridors, and proposals for the future that would be supported by the businesses, commuters and workers of Cambridge.

“But it has become clear to me that GCP lack the vision, strategic thinking and the ability necessary to deliver any of the transport priorities for the Cambridge area. Local communities deserve better and this failed C2C consultation, which has ignored concerns raised by myself and so many residents, is the final straw.

“The combined authority will now take direct responsibility for delivery of additional public transport solutions for the Cambridge to Cambourne corridor, and I will be bringing forward proposals at the March meeting of the CA transport committee for implementation as soon as possible.”

A decision on the final route for the Cambourne to Cambridge busway scheme was due to be made at the GCP’s executive board on Wednesday (February 19).

A GCP spokesperson said: “We are astonished that the mayor has made this announcement without any attempt to discuss our proposals with us. We have worked with the Combined Authority on this scheme and the route to Granta Park – and at all points the Combined Authority has confirmed that our work has been consistent with the mayor’s plans for the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro.

“It is simply wrong to say our proposals have been developed without input from the Combined Authority. We paused this scheme in 2018 at the Mayor’s request when he wanted to ensure it aligned with his vision for a future metro - and his review concluded that our approach was robust. At no point have the Combined Authority raised any concerns about our proposals, which are an integral part of delivering the mayor’s wider CAM network.

“The recently agreed Combined Authority local transport plan confirmed that GCP is delivering phase one of the CAM, including out to Cambourne, Waterbeach, Granta Park, and to the east towards Newmarket – so this decision is completely at odds with recent CA Board decisions.

“Our GCP Board are demanding an urgent meeting with the mayor to discuss this in an effort to avoid further delay to improving public transport in Greater Cambridge.”

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