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Yet another transport consultation



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Sponsored feature | By Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID

Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID
Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson’s Combined Authority are holding another transport consultation. While I appreciate the need to update their 2020 local transport plan, has much really happened in that time that affects the region’s transport needs? I think not, what we are seeking is some delivery of the solutions.

The main impacts of the pandemic are we have lost millions of European workers, not helped by Brexit, and housing costs have soared. What, I hear you say, do housing costs have to do with transport? Well, everything.

People in the broad retail, hospitality and leisure (RHL) industries are being paid more than a year ago but this is being more than eroded by the forecast 10 per cent inflation. Hence these RHL workers who can’t afford to live in the city need an available, affordable, clean and green transport system that allows them to travel to and from work when their shifts start and end.

They also need a city that retains some free on-street free parking for them to use because any new buses will be a long time coming and, in the interim, they can’t afford to pay for car parking each day. If we do not have these options available, these workers will work somewhere else and the vibrancy that comes from our hospitality industry will be threatened since there will be no one to serve our coffee and cake, serve us in a shop, pull a pint over lunch, make cocktails, cook dinner, cut our hair, do our nails and so the list goes on.

Yes, some people will work from home on some days and some, mainly those who live closer to the city, will cycle and use active travel methods. Yes, we do wish to see cleaner air and less congestion, but electric vehicles only contribute to solving the former.

I would encourage all to take part in the consultation, but just remember these RHL workers broadly live out of town, they can’t work from home, it’s unlikely they are going to cycle, their needs now are what they were 10 years or more ago. We need a transport system that works for those who live and work here.

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