Cambourne to Cambridge

Update December 2020

The GCP Executive Board discussed the Outline Business Case for the scheme at their meeting on 10 December, and agreed to note the preferred route and Scotland Farm travel hub location and agree to undertake an Independent Audit Review of the scheme, to report to the Board in July 2021.


The Cambourne to Cambridge Public Transport Route is a priority project for the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) and a first phase of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s plans for a Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM).

A new reliable, public transport route will ease congestion, create sustainable travel choices, connect communities and support growth.

A view of Kings Parade in Cambridge City Centre, taken by a drone. On the right hand side of the image, the sun shines across the gothic roof and spires of Kings College Chapel, casting shadows onto the green lawn and great tree in front of the college. On the left of the picture, the rooftops of Cambridge City Centre form a higgledy-piggledy jumble of shapes and colours


Parts of the current Cambourne to Cambridge road network, in particular the A1303/Madingley Road, suffer heavy traffic congestion at peak times. Without action, by 2031 car trips into the city are set to increase by up to 70%, with already lengthy journey times expected to double.

A new route, bypassing other road traffic, will provide a public transport alternative to avoid congestion and make quicker journeys, with provision for walking and cycling. 

The dedicated route will create reliable transport links, running regular, ‘turn up and go’ services operating to high service standards.

Peak Hours

My target is to get in and out of central Cambridge in the fastest possible manner during peak hours.

Driver and frequent A428 user


Traffic congestion is damaging to the environment, public health and local economy. The Cambourne to Cambridge route will create sustainable travel choices, be served by modern public transport vehicles, designed to limit emissions and pollution, with additional walking and cycling provision.  

A photograph of a queue of traffic.

There needs to be a transit system that just works - Cambourne to Cambridge car commuter


Local Plans for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire propose new housing in towns and villages to the west of the city. Between 2011 and 2031, there are a planned additional 8,000 new homes set for development in the Cambourne to Cambridge area and 44,000 new jobs to be created in or around the city.

A new transport link running regular, quality services will provide a vital connection for growing communities to access jobs, services and other opportunities

A three panel image, illustrating the potential impact of growth without transport improvements. First panel: more than 44,000 jobs to be created in or near Cambridge by 2031. Second panel: more than 8,000 homes planned in the Cambourne to Cambridge area alone by 2031, with a further 3,700 planned at St Neots. Third panel: Increasing journey times between Madingley Mulch roundabout and Cambridge, with no action, expected to go from 23 minutes to 45 minutes.


GCP’s sustainable corridor schemes are complemented by travel hubs to encourage park and ride journeys and end-to-end walking, cycling and horse riding to create a continuous link to the city from growing villages and towns and to create additional capacity for growing numbers of cyclists.

The schemes are intended to be served by modern, electric public transport vehicles to limit air pollution and noise and to be adaptable over time to developing transport technology in future vehicles.

There is a commitment to deliver a minimum of 10% biodiversity net gain for the scheme overall, with the objective of achieving 20% gain. Project officers continue to work with local communities to limit and mitigate environmental impacts, wherever possible. Wherever possible trees and shrubs will be retained and replanted and mitigation measures such as planting flower measures can be considered to enhance biodiversity.

Once the preferred scheme is agreed by the Executive Board, the project would progress to undertake a full Environmental Impact Assessment, Transport Assessment, and Road Safety Audit with further opportunities to engage in consultation.

A significant number of environmental surveys and assessments have been undertaken and are available on the Cambourne to Cambridge project background page, covering wildlife habitats along the route for animals including reptiles, bats, breeding and wintering birds, badgers, barn owls, reptiles, water voles and invertebrates and initial air quality assessments.


The Cambourne to Cambridge public transport route is a first phase of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s plans for a wider, regional metro network – the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM).

The route is made up of three key elements:

  • A public transport route between Cambourne and Cambridge, providing reliable and sustainable services bypassing general traffic congestion.
  • A new travel hub site off the A428/A1303.
  • New cycling and walking facilities.

More details of the route can be found on the Cambourne to Cambridge Proposed Route page.



June 2019 – Phase 2 consultation findings released.

Key findings

  • 48% respondents indicated an off-road option as their preferred choice for the link between Madingley Mulch roundabout and Bourn Airfield
  • 20% respondents indicated their support for an on-road option that would feature public transport priority lanes
  • 19% respondents indicated their support for an on-road option that would feature junction improvements

For the travel hub site options, 63% of respondents indicated they preferred the Scotland Farm site compared with 17% supporting the Waterworks site


Initial consultation during late 2015 proposed six route options and location of a new travel hub site in the vicinity of Madingley Mulch roundabout. 

Early 2016 – public consultation response published and made available online.

October 2016 - the GCP’s Executive Board agreed in principle to an off-road segregated route, given the wider economic benefits, and to undertake further work.

Following further planning and technical work, a late 2017/early 18 consultation proposed more detailed plans for three routes between the Madingley Mulch roundabout and Cambridge:

  • A - on-road bus lane option (inbound only)
  • B - on-road tidal bus lane route suggested by local stakeholders
  • C - off-road segregated route.

As well as two travel hub sites: Scotland Farm and The Waterworks.

May 2018public consultation response published and available online.

May 2018 – Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority requests a pause to work whilst a review considers alignment with the planned Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro.

October 2018 - a Combined Authority review has concluded that GCP’s work to recommend a preferred, off-road route is robust and identifies the optimal solution for the Cambourne to Cambridge corridor.  

December 2018 - GCP’s Executive Board reviews strategic and technical Phase 1 route assessment, incorporating responses from public consultation, presenting the off-road route as best delivering project objectives and aligning with future CAM proposals. Phase 1 route assessment will continue, taking into account feedback from stakeholders including residents, landowners and businesses. A single, end-to-end link will be presented to the GCP Executive Board as part of an Outline Business Case for decision in autumn 2019. Find out more about Phase 1 consultation, route planning and assessment

View the December 2018 Cambourne to Cambridge Better Public Transport Project in the Download section below.

February/March 2019 – Public consultation on Phase 2 proposals for the link west of Madingley Mulch roundabout to Bourn Airfield and on to Cambourne, and a new travel hub facility.


Early 2020 - Complete Cambourne to Cambridge route presented to GCP Executive Board for final decision and to apply for powers to build the scheme 

2020 - 2021/22 - Statutory consents process  & Final Business Case for the scheme presented to GCP Executive Board

2024 Scheme completion

Timescales are indicative and dependent on approvals.


How to get in touch

Public meetings and events:

Local Liaison Forums provide for regular dialogue between the project team and members of the local community during the course of any major transport project. The LLF is open to the public and all are welcome to attend. View event information for the Cambourne to Cambridge Local Liaison Forum.

GCP runs lots of community events to share updates and gather views, particularly during consultations. GCP Assembly and Executive Board meetings are also open to the public and for public questions. Find out about upcoming events.


Published on 11 Nov 2019

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