Significant new action to boost sustainable transport in Greater Cambridge

Significant new action to boost sustainable transport in Greater Cambridge

Published: Friday, March 19, 2021
side panel of a new Electric Bus, showing the words 100% Electric, 0% Emissions

Significant new action to boost sustainable transport and back a green recovery from Covid-19 has been approved by the Greater Cambridge Partnership Executive Board.

Investments to boost public transport and expand active travel routes to encourage more cycling and walking across Greater Cambridge have been given the green light.

The Executive Board yesterday (18/3/21) backed a range of comprehensive measures to help get more people out of their cars - including an improved bus network and plans to support operators to introduce a wider fleet of zero emission buses by 2025.

The GCP’s strategy for better public transport has been supported by the Government’s announcement of its ‘Bus Back Better’ strategy, including plans to increase bus usage across the nation by bringing in cleaner buses and more services. The strategy features an electric bus funded by the GCP on the front cover.

Cllr Neil Gough, Vice Chair of the GCP’s Executive Board, said:

“Tackling congestion and poor air quality is more important now than ever – the pandemic has demonstrated the benefits of lower traffic levels for our health, environment and our community.

“While we have seen huge changes to the way we travel in the last few months, there is a risk that traffic levels return to their previous unsustainable levels or even go higher. It is clear that, whatever the future holds, we must continue to encourage people to move to sustainable travel.

“The package approved by the Executive Board has close ties to the government’s new strategy, helping to lead a fast-paced green recovery from the pandemic to encourage more people to walk, cycle or take public transport.”

The package of investments will focus on:

  • New sustainable travel infrastructure – including a £20m investment to extend the active travel network, an expansion of the Babraham Park & Ride and a freight pilot scheme.
  •  An enhanced network of public transport services – with a package designed with the Combined Authority and operators to lengthen operating hours and increase bus frequencies, as well as ambitious plans for a zero emission bus fleet in the central area by 2025.
  • Working to reduce demand for car trips and create space for sustainable transport – including the development of a new ‘road hierarchy’ to prioritise sustainable modes of transport and the development of a new parking strategy and civil parking enforcement.

The measures also include a 12 month trial of new smart traffic signal controls at some of the busiest junctions in Cambridge to help cut congestion and improve air quality. Installation of the cameras began last week. 

The full list of interventions and investments can be found in the Executive Board report

The GCP’s public transport improvements and City Access strategy sits at the heart of the City Deal, aiming to address some of the major pressures on the local economy by reducing congestion and pollution, and by providing people with better, more sustainable travel options to the car.

The recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly, which was held in 2019, have informed this green recovery - in particular the proposals to provide better public transport and active travel options, with more space for people and sustainable transport to improve air quality.

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