Update July 2021
The GCP Executive Board agreed in December 2020 to undertake an independent audit review of the C2C scheme. The results of the audit were discussed by the GCP Executive Board at its meeting on 1 July 2021. At that meeting the Executive Board approved the Outline Business Case and asked the project team to go ahead with the next stage of the application process: to undertake a full Environmental Impact Assessment.
CAMBOURNE TO CAMBRIDGE
BETTER PUBLIC TRANSPORT PROJECT
The Cambourne to Cambridge (C2C) Better Public Transport Project is one of four corridor schemes that form a key part of the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s (GCP) sustainable transport programme. Through the City Deal, the GCP is delivering a comprehensive programme of sustainable transport projects, working with local authority partners to create a world-class transport network that can meet the needs of the area now and into the future. In May 2020, a Government ‘Gateway review’ hailed the ‘significant success and progress’ the GCP has made since 2015 on ambitious plans ranging from city cycleways to better public transport routes to transform travel for thousands of people
A new reliable, public transport route will ease congestion, create sustainable travel choices, connect communities and support growth.
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.
My target is to get in and out of central Cambridge in the fastest possible manner during peak hours.
Driver and frequent A428 user
SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL CHOICES
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.
There needs to be a transit system that works - Cambourne to Cambridge car commuter
Local Plans for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 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
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.
PLANNING THE ROUTE
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.
July 2021 - Independent Audit
The independent audit review was led by Phil Swann and was published in May 2021. Mr Swann is a director of Shared Intelligence and was previously a director of the Tavistock Institute and Director of Strategy and Communications at the Local Government Association. It is the second independent audit to acknowledge a robust appraisal process following one undertaken by Arup for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) in 2018. The audit states that the project has 'included extensive consultations with stakeholders and affected parties. The preferred option has taken these views into account and proposed mitigation measures where negative impacts are identified.'
The audit notes that C2C complements East-West Rail Oxford to Cambridge rail link and flags new opportunities to reflect the current Mayor’s priorities and the Government’s Bus Back Better strategy. It also recognises that housing developments in Cambourne West and Bourn Airfield require the C2C project to be opened by 2025 to provide reliable public transport services, otherwise that planned growth will be put at risk.
The conclusion of the audit is that there is no reason why the Executive Board of the GCP should not proceed to the next stage in the development of the C2C scheme.
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 2018 – public 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 C2C Project Update December 2018 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.
June 2019 – Phase 2 consultation findings released.
- 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.
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 agreed to undertake an Independent Audit Review of the scheme, to report to the Board in July 2021.
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) looks in more detail at the scheme design and the potential impacts of the scheme on the environment and local communities, considering features to mitigate the scheme’s impact. The GCP Executive Board agreed at its meeting in December 2020 that work could start to undertake seasonal surveys whilst the Independent Audit Review was underway. Next steps will identify any further necessary surveys and engage stakeholders in detailed designs in a draft EIA to inform a public consultation. Following consultation any further scheme amendments can be made to reflect mitigation of impacts and a final EIA produced. The EIA forms part of the submission of a Transport and Works Act Order application to the Department for Transport, expected in 2022.
FIND OUT MORE AND GET INVOLVED
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.