Proposals to transform bus network and improve journeys out to consultation

Proposals to transform bus network and improve journeys out to consultation

Published: Monday, November 08, 2021

Proposals that would transform the bus network to improve the daily journeys of thousands of people across Greater Cambridge have gone out to consultation today.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership has launched two public consultations. The first – Making Connections – is asking for people’s views on proposals to radically enhance bus and active travel journeys.

The second – Cambridge Eastern Access – offers more specific proposals for improving cycling and walking journeys along Newmarket Road.

The GCP’s plans for a future bus network outlined in Making Connections would deliver fast, frequent and reliable services to connect people with jobs, education and leisure opportunities.

It could mean cheaper bus services every few minutes in Cambridge, every ten minutes from larger towns and villages, and new hourly services for people living in rural areas, opening up opportunities for people.

Other proposals outlined in the Making Connections consultation include:

  • Services running from 5am until midnight, with frequent buses to key destinations across Greater Cambridge.
  • Express and direct services to the city centre, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge Science Park and West Cambridge, and links to local rail stations.
  • More frequent services between 7am and 7pm, with buses every few minutes in the city, every 10 minutes from towns and larger villages, and hourly in rural areas.
  • Small villages will have opportunities to ‘plug into’ the network through a regular connecting bus service, a demand responsive bus service, or access to a travel hub.
  • Cheaper fares, such as a flat rate for trips in the city, daily and weekly tickets for regular users, hopper tickets, and cheaper family fares.
  • More zero emission buses, building on the successful bid for 30 new electric buses coming to Cambridge next year.

Encouraging more people to take affordable and accessible public transport would help to cut congestion and improve air quality, leading to improved health and lower carbon emissions – alongside quieter streets for walking and cycling, and improved public spaces.

Residents are also asked to consider how best to reallocate road space to accommodate more buses and active travel routes, as well as options for raising an ongoing funding stream to pay for a first-class public transport network in the future.

People will be invited to give their views on a possible form of charging for driving within the city, with options including a flexible charge, a pollution charge or parking charges.

Cllr Elisa Meschini, chair of the Greater Cambridge Partnership Executive Board, said:

“We have a real challenge in Greater Cambridge to sustainably meet the needs of our area in a way that keeps people moving while cutting congestion and pollution. Our proposals for improving the way we travel will help to give people real choices in how they get around whilst freeing up road space and enabling people to make the shift to public transport, walking or cycling.

“I’m delighted that we are able to launch our consultations at a time when actions to reduce our collective effect on the climate are at the forefront of people’s minds.”

Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, said:

“Offering everyone in our county better choices for getting about is one of my foremost ambitions as Mayor. It’s very clear we have a growth challenge in the Greater Cambridge area, alongside the gigantic challenge of the climate emergency – so our growth, while necessary, must be sustainable.

“I welcome and support these proposals from the Greater Cambridge Partnership, which sit alongside the Combined Authority’s Local Transport and Connectivity Plan and our own work on bus reform, which we’re consulting on this autumn.”

The Cambridge Eastern Access consultation sets out potential upgrades to improve cycling and walking journeys along Newmarket Road. The options include the addition of new cycle lanes and bus lanes, new priority-controlled roundabouts and the potential relocation of the Newmarket Road Park & Ride.

The A1303 is a key route to the east of Cambridge which suffers from significant congestion with plans for development to the north of Cherry Hinton and the Marshall’s site being included in the first proposal of the Greater Cambridge Local Plan.

The GCP is holding a number of public events – in person and online – to outline the proposals and where people can ask questions and share their thoughts with project officers.

The in-person events will be held at Cambridge United’s Abbey Stadium in Newmarket Road. To help run the public events in a Covid-safe way, people are asked to register online for their chosen date and time: http://ow.ly/RNZy50GC9PI

Tuesday 9 November, 5-6.45pm and 7-8.45pm
Wednesday 1 December, 4-5.45pm and 6-7.45pm

A number of online events will also be held, starting with the East Area GCP Community Forum on Thursday 11 November at 6pm on Zoom. People need to register for that event here. 

To view the proposals and to have your say visit: www.greatercambridge.org.uk/cea-and-city-access-2021

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