Villagers express concern over GCP’s Eastern Access plans for route into Cambridge
Travel options for commuters from eastern villages into Cambridge could get significantly worse, residents say.
The A to B1102 campaign group represents those using the B1102 road from Quy through to Bottisham, Swaffham Bulbeck and Prior, Burwell and Fordham.
They are worried that Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) plans to make car access to Newmarket Road more difficult will mean travelling in from eastern necklace villages will take even longer if public transport options are not upgraded before the changes happen.
Jonathan Cook, who chairs the campaign group, said: “As we understand from the Cambridge Eastern Access brochure, the traffic priorities for Newmarket Road will make it harder to travel to Cambridge by car.
“If those changes are made before any attractive alternatives begin to be put in place that’s going to cause further congestion backing up into our villages.”
Currently, there is only one bus an hour into Cambridge along the B1102, which could not accommodate all of the peak-hour motorists.
“As soon as there’s any kind of problem on the A1303 Newmarket Road, the traffic backs up to Quy.
“Unless changes are done in the right order, our communities wll suffer,” says Mr Cook.
“We’re not certain the city’s roads could accommodate all the extra buses needed if traffic does not immediately reduce.”
Mr Cook added: “We need to know before any decisions are made how many people commute into Cambridge from the eastern villages and what their destinations are.
“Otherwise how can the GCP plan for the correct public transport solutions to get cars off the road?
“This could be done by a survey of people’s home postcodes and destination postcodes or ANPR cameras on the roads.”
The GCP is consulting on reprioritising road space on Newmarket Road to benefit walking, cycling and buses by including more bus and cycle lanes, which will also include changes to the Newmarket Road and Barnwell Road roundabouts.
The GCP said it had “a vision to create an integrated transport network that transforms how thousands of people travel”.
It says: “The Cambridge Eastern Access project forms a key part of that transport network and aims to significantly enhance bus and active travel journeys along Newmarket Road.
“It links into our bold plans to dramatically improve the bus network across Greater Cambridge with more frequent, cheaper and more direct services to encourage more people to travel by bus to cut congestion and improve air quality.
“The Cambridge Eastern Access proposals and Making Connections – which outlines the proposals to transform the bus network – are now out to public consultation and we encourage people to share their views which will be considered by our Joint Assembly and executive board next year.”
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.
Comment on the Newmarket Road proposals at greatercambridge.org.uk/NewmarketRd2021 by December 22.