GCP to provide update on City Access programme

Published 05 February 2024

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An update on the GCP’s City Access programme which aims to cut congestion and improve people’s journeys and experiences in Cambridge has been set out in a new report.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership will this month update members of its Joint Assembly on its City Access programme. The paper outlines the work that has been carried out on City Access to date, which includes:

  • 32 new electric buses
  • free parking for people at the city’s Park & Ride sites
  • new secure cycle parking
  • residents parking schemes
  • providing the set-up costs for the civil parking enforcement scheme which began in South Cambridgeshire in January.

Following the GCP Executive Board’s decision to not proceed with the Making Connections proposals to reduce traffic levels and fund better buses through a Sustainable Travel Zone, the paper sets out how the GCP will work with partners across the region plans to support projected future growth beyond the current local plan period.

The findings from a public consultation held on potential changes to the road network hierarchy and the way roads are classified are also set out in the report.

The majority of respondents were in favour of motor vehicles being required to use main roads as much as possible to help reduce traffic levels, but the report recommends further consideration of the proposals to ensure that bus journey times and reliability are sufficiently considered and that the consultation responses can be taken into account.

Any updated proposals for the road network hierarchy will be fed into the Greater Cambridge Transport Strategy which is being developed by Cambridgeshire County Council in partnership with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, GCP, South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council.

Members will be updated on progress on the integrated parking strategy, the freight consolidation pilot, behaviour change pilots and asked to consider refreshed objectives for City Access.

Areas for further ‘quick wins’ and pilot schemes have also been identified, including:

  • Measures to make bus services run better, such as looking at bus priority, pinch points and smart signalling – with a focus on park & ride and busway routes;
  • Measures that encourage use of Park & Ride sites for those coming into the City from elsewhere to reduce the number of cars on the roads in the city
  • Measures that support economic vibrancy, in particular supporting high street retail;
  • Looking at behavioural incentives for mode shift;
  • Better traffic management including enforcement of existing restrictions especially where it supports bus journey speed and reliability.
  • Safety improvements for walking and cycling;
  • Minor upgrades that improve people’s everyday experience of walking and cycling, such as more benches, bike maintenance points on cycle routes or cycle parking.
  • Measures to reduce the impact of freight and deliveries especially at peak times and especially where it supports bus journey speed and reliability;
  • Working with communities on demonstrator projects to design alternative uses for public highway and footway space than parking (such as pocket parks, or greening)

Subject to the agreement of the board, specific proposals for the 'quick wins' will be brought to a future meeting.

Lynne Miles, Director of City Access, said:

“This paper provides an update on where we are with the City Access programme following the decision by our Executive Board to halt Making Connections.

“The City Access programme was always more than just Making Connections, and it has delivered a host of benefits to people’s daily lives, from making parking at the city’s P&R sites free and travelling on new electric buses to better cycle parking.

“No decisions are being recommended on any of the proposals outlined in this update – including the road network hierarchy, integrated parking strategy and ‘quick wins’. Following the discussion by our members, we will consider how the City Access programme moves forward to support growth and improve people’s daily lives.”

The Joint Assembly meeting will be held at 10.30am on 15 February at The Guildhall in Cambridge. The meeting will be streamed live on the GCP’s YouTube channel.

To view the papers to the Joint Assembly visit Cambridgeshire County Council’s website.