New routes for the Cambourne to Cambridge busway have been revealed
Two on-road and two off-road routes are now being considered.
The Greater Cambridge Partnership has reshuffled plans for potential busways that would run between Cambridge and Cambourne.
The proposals, which have been contested by residents who live to the west of Cambridge, now include an on-road option with a contra-flow busway in the middle of the road, and an off-road busway that would run to the north of Coton, through the University of Cambridge west campus and along the northern border of the West Fields.
The public could be asked for feedback on the schemes in November.
A GCP statement said: “The Cambourne to Cambridge scheme will provide faster, more frequent and reliable bus journeys to the city, along with new cycling and walking facilities. It will help deliver some 8,800 new homes and 15,000 new jobs along the route over the next 15 years.
“Without any action, congestion on the A428 could more than double - with peak-time queue lengths along the A1303 as far back as Madingley Mulch Roundabout from the M11 junction 13 for inbound traffic.”
The three route options for consultation are (as described in the report):
Option 3a – off-road: This would be a new and purpose-built public-transport only route (no general traffic permitted) linking villages to the south of the A428/A1303 route and entering the city via Grange Road. This is the option that the GCP decision makers selected as the one which would best meet the wider City Deal objectives last October subject to more detailed investigation and thorough comparison with ‘on road’ options set out below. A number of off-road route combinations are proposed. It provides the fastest journey times, at 19 minutes between Cambourne High Street and Grange Road, but is the most expensive option with scheme costs ranging from £71m to £94m from Bourn to Cambridge.
Option 1 – on-road: This would use the current road, following the A428 and A1303 into Cambridge as far as Lady Margaret Way. This option only provides east bound bus lanes but is a low-cost alternative option which must be explored according to national guidelines. This is the lowest cost option at £12.4m with journey times of 29 minutes between Cambourne High Street and Grange Road.
Option 6 – on-road: This is an alternative option put forward by the Local Liaison Forum. It includes a tidal bus lane – in which buses could travel in either direction depending on certain conditions - for the A1303 west of the M11. Currently this option does not have any new bus infrastructure to the east of High Cross. This option would cost around £17.7m with journey times of 27 minutes between Cambourne High Street and Grange Road
If the GCP board executive board decides to move forward with the scheme at a meeting on September 20 public consultation would take place during November and December.
The scheme forms part of wider plans by the Greater Cambridge Partnership to invest up to £500m in improved transport infrastructure to support economic growth in the city region.
Phase 1 currently has a budget of £59m to 2019 but the GCP says the route is being assessed as a whole to ‘ensure that the whole picture on its future potential is understood’. Two park and ride sites are also included in the plans.