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GCP’s vision for a world class public transport system outlined at conference

Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A world class public transport system and accelerating the construction of thousands of new homes and jobs in Greater Cambridge were part of the vision set out today by the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP).

The GCP set out how transport schemes will transform how people can get around the city quickly, easily and reliably at the GCP’s Annual Conference held today (12 December).

Dame Kate Barker, who chairs the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Commission, was the keynote speaker at the event and set out the challenges and opportunities Greater Cambridge faces if it is to continue to succeed.

Cllr Lewis Herbert, chair of the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s Executive Board, and James Palmer, Mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, also spoke at the conference that was attended by councillors, businesses and community representatives.

GCP’s Chief Executive Rachel Stopard set out the GCP’s plans for the coming years before unveiling a video to show how key transport schemes will link up in the future.

Greater Cambridge Partnership Chair Cllr Lewis Herbert said:

“Greater Cambridge is growing fast - both in terms of jobs and new housing - and it is an exciting time to live, work and study here.

“Working with partners, our job is to deliver the vital transport improvements needed to link up extra homes and jobs to exiting communities, improve quality of life for people and ensure Greater Cambridge continues to flourish despite national uncertainties.

“Today’s conference shows we understand the challenge, have a vision for what we can do and that we are now delivering real improvements, as well as responding to the needs of our communities and businesses.

“That is why we today outlined, alongside Mayor Palmer, our shared vision for a world class public transport system to help people get in and around the city to accelerate the delivery of 33,500 new homes and 44,000 new jobs in Greater Cambridge.

“Working together in partnership with the Mayor, residents, businesses and our institutions means we can seize the fantastic opportunity we have to ensure Greater Cambridge remains both a great place to live and a world-class destination for business and innovation.”

In the past 12 months, the Partnership completed its first schemes - one of five Cross City Cycling schemes - and began work on a £4.6m package of ‘quick wins’ across the proposed Greater Cambridge Greenways, a network of 12 high-quality walking and cycling routes connecting villages to the city.

The site at Ditton Meadows is currently being prepared for the start of construction on the Abbey Chesterton Bridge and phase one of the Chisholm Trail walking and cycling route that will link Cambridge Station and Cambridge North by 2022.

Work to improve bus, walking and cycling journeys along Histon Road and pilot Rural Travel Hubs to give people in villages better access to public transport will move forward in the New Year.

The GCP is also progressing its major public transport projects – the A1307/Cambridge South East Scheme and Cambourne to Cambridge – that will help people get into the city much more quickly using reliable services - which can eventually form part of the Mayor’s Cambridge Autonomous Metro (CAM) network.

The Partnership has also worked on housing and skills commitments – helping bring forward the construction of more than 300 affordable new homes. Next year the GCP will launch an apprenticeship service to help people get the right opportunities to kick-start their careers.

Next year the GCP will also discuss options with the public about how to help manage the pressure on Cambridge’s congested roads, including improved public transport services. These options include reallocating road space for public transport, cycling and walking infrastructure.

There are also potential financial measures to consider - such as workplace parking levies or a form of road charge -that could provide funding to invest in better public transport to encourage more people to switch to sustainable modes of transport.