Published: Thursday, January 4, 2018
Schemes to improve travel and access to public transport in four South Cambridgeshire villages are set to be considered – including development of the county’s first rural travel hubs.
The villages of Oakington, Sawston and Whittlesford have been recommended by independent consultants as priority sites for new rural travel hubs – bespoke transport interchanges to connect residents with public transport services and cycling/walking routes.
A separate study recommends expanding car parking capacity at Foxton Station, to provide improved access for commuters along the A10 to ‘park and train’ for the last part of their journey to Cambridge, and of further exploring building a bridge for the A10 over the railway line to by-pass the busy – and potentially dangerous – level crossing.
The reports have been commissioned by the Greater Cambridge Partnership as part of its work to develop a better, greener transport network and thereby to support the delivery of new homes and jobs.
They will be discussed at forthcoming public meetings of the Joint Assembly and Executive Board. The full report will be published on Monday.
Both reports recommend further, detailed work is undertaken, in consultation with communities, before any final decisions are made.
Cllr Francis Burkitt, Chair of the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s Executive Board, said: “I welcome these four initiatives which, if approved by the Board, will be key steps to fulfil our vision of growing and sharing prosperity and improving quality of life in our region, by addressing transport problems.
“They will help develop stronger communities by connecting villages with each other and with the City, along with providing access to employment, leisure and key services throughout the region.
“They will also help build resilience in our rural areas and remove reliance on the private car. South Cambridgeshire is projected to grow by 35%, to 80,000 households, by 2031 and it is unsustainable for people to be car-dependent going forward.”
Rural Travel Hubs
Rural Travel Hubs, funded by the Greater Cambridge Partnership, aim to reduce the levels of car journeys into Cambridge from the surrounding villages by providing good, sustainable transport options as an alternative, and also to provide connections between neighbouring villages and towns.
Oakington – The report discusses a possible hub near Station Road and adjacent to the Guided Busway route, and contemplates secure cycle parking and cycle lockers, 41 car parking spaces and a bus turnaround stop for the Citi 6 service alongside a drop off area.
Sawston - The report discusses a possible hub to the north of Sawston, close to the junction of the A1301 and Cambridge Road, which would connect residents to Great Shelford rail station, several bus routes (Citi 7, 7a, 132) and the National Cycle Network 11 path. It contemplates 50 car parking spaces, new sheltered bus stops, secure cycle parking with cycle lockers and a drop off facility.
Whittlesford - The report discusses a possible site to the south of Royston Road, around 650m to the west of Whittlesford railway station, which would connect residents with Whittlesford Railway Station, buses served by Citi 7 and 7a routes, and the National Cycle Network 11 path.
It contemplates an additional 208 car parking spaces with 12 disabled bay and secure cycle parking and lockers. The covering report recommends that a master planning exercise should be undertaken in 2018 by Cambridgeshire County Council to look into potential developments around Whittlesford Train Station, and that the Rural Travel Hub is then assessed after that research has been completed.
Foxton Railway Station
At Foxton, the Board is recommended to build on a previous (2013) study by Network Rail, which favoured building a road-bridge for the A10 over the railway line, slightly to the west of the existing level crossing. That study indicated that additional car parking could be included between the existing A10 and the new road-bridge, and the feasibility and appropriate scale of that will also be assessed.
The full reports on all four sites above will be published on Monday January 8 ahead of meetings of the GCP’s Joint Assembly on January 18 and Executive Board on 8 February, which will determine next steps. If the recommendations are approved, residents and stakeholders will be invited to shape the final projects later in the year.