Published: Friday, February 9, 2018
Council leaders have urged local people to step forward to help design two new transport hubs that could cut the number of people driving into Cambridge and improve connections between villages.
Sawston and Oakington will be the first two villages to benefit the county’s first pilot Rural Travel Hubs after the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s Executive Board agreed to progress the project yesterday (Thursday 8 February).
The Board is urging people in Sawston and Oakington and nearby commuters now to have their say on how the hubs should be designed and developed to meet their needs.
Rural Travel Hubs are bespoke rural transport interchanges to connect residents in South Cambridgeshire with public transport and cycling or walking routes. They aim to reduce the levels of private car journeys into Cambridge from the surrounding villages and provide connections between neighbouring villages and towns.
Starting from late spring/early summer, the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s project team will ask for detailed feedback on the ideas for Rural Travel Hubs in Oakington and Sawston.
The community’s views on the location and features of a Rural Travel Hub, including CCTV, toilets, lighting, surfacing, covered or lockable cycle parking, passenger waiting shelters, real-time information and public transport links will be fed into a full business case for each site.
The project team will also addressing issues around protecting the local environment, design, access and conservation.
Furthermore, the GCP Executive Board agreed to fund 200 additional cycle parking spaces at Whittlesford Station, and to commission a transport masterplan for the station and its surrounding area, which could include a Rural Travel Hub for the village – looking at the area holistically and determining the most effective transport interventions to solve any issues.
Councillor Francis Burkitt, Chair of the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s Executive Board, said: “We’re delighted that by working with our partners we’re progressing the first wave of Rural Travels Hubs in our region, which will provide a viable alternative to travelling by car in rural areas.”
Councillor Peter Topping, Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Our officers have been working hard on this initiative with the Greater Cambridge Partnership and we are really pleased with the level of engagement and ideas that have already come from our parish councils. Our rural communities can and should be better connected, and we know they have great ideas we need to continue to tap into. We now want to use these ideas to help make sure the proposed Rural Travel Hubs are a success. This is your chance to give your views on everything from CCTV to toilets.”
It is expected that the findings of the community engagement and the developed business cases for the Sawston and Oakington Rural Travel Hubs and Whittlesford Master Transport Plan will be reported back to the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s Executive Board towards the end of this year.
Several GCP schemes are looking at new infrastructure in rural areas, providing links to public transport and cycling/walking routes. This includes the potential of a Rural Travel Hub in Linton as part of the Cambridge South East Study and a Rail Travel Hub in Foxton as part of alternatives to Foxton Level Crossing.
Any community organisations or members wanting to get involved with the project can contact the project team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01223 699906.