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MP seeking views on Cambridge South East Transport busway

An MP has launched a survey calling for residents’ views on the controversial £132million Cambridge South East Transport (CSET) off-road busway.

Anthony Browne MP Picture: Keith Heppell
Anthony Browne MP Picture: Keith Heppell

South Cambridgeshire MP Anthony Browne is seeking opinions on the Greater Cambridge Partnership scheme ahead of a potential confirmatory vote by Cambridgeshire County Council. The new segregated route, along with a new travel hub near the A11, aims to give people to the south-east of Cambridge access to faster and more reliable public transport services to the city and key employment sites.

The MP said: “With three transport authorities in South Cambs, we have a recipe for disarray that produces a lot of noise. Now is the time for residents to be heard through the clamour. This could be the last chance to have your say before the project moves forward to a costly public inquiry. The GCP has asked some complex questions on this, but our community deserves to have at least one opportunity to give a clear view on this plan and the alternatives.”

He said the survey would help him ensure residents’ views are heard.

Mr Browne previously called for the plan to be “paused” to “reassess the suitability” of the scheme, as it had been due to form a part of the plans for the £2billion Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro, which was scrapped after Labour mayor Dr Nik Johnson was elected.

The GCP’s executive board agreed to submit a Transport and Works Act order to seek planning permission to construct the scheme in July last year. This was met with anger from villagers in Great Shelford, Sawston and Babraham. In a letter to the GCP, a cross-party group of elected representatives and campaigners wrote: “We are all agreed that the current proposal should not proceed.”

CSET transport route Picture: Greater Cambridge Partnership
CSET transport route Picture: Greater Cambridge Partnership

Many are now involved with the ‘Better Ways than Busway’ campaign group, formed by objectors to the scheme.

It is understood that the county council will consider a paper on the CSET project at its next full council meeting in early February.

This could result in confirmation that an application for the Transport and Works Order be submitted to the secretary of state.

The survey offers respondents a choice between the current off-road proposal and an alternative using a new bus lane section on the A1307, with an off-road section of busway between Hinton Way and Cambridge Biomedical Campus. It also asks for feedback on the GCP’s engagement process and the environmental impact of its proposals.

There could also be an option to reopen a rail link between Cambridge and Haverhill in the longer term, but if the GCP’s preferred busway scheme goes ahead, it is argued this would not be possible.

The GCP says it is currently preparing to submit a Transport and Works Act Order application to build a new busway as part of CSET.

The MP’s survey is at anthonybrowne.org/cset-survey, until January 31.

Read more:

Opposition builds to Greater Cambridge Partnership plan for a £132m busway in green belt

GCP votes to progress Cambourne to Cambridge busway and Cambridge South East Transport schemes despite opposition

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