City Access is central to the GCP’s sustainable travel programme, using city deal funding to tackle current and future transport problems by improving journeys by public transport, cycling and walking.

Greater Cambridge is growing, putting more pressure on what is already a very congested road network. City Access aims to reduce congestion and improve public transport in order to offer people better journeys, as well as reducing air pollution and carbon emissions from transport.

Cambridge’s historic city streets are popular destinations with limited capacity, and more jobs are being created at employment sites across the area. Without action Greater Cambridge’s already congested roads will become increasingly crowded, unpleasant and inaccessible as planned local growth increases demand on the network.

Making Connections

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Road network hierarchy

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Cycling Plus

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Addenbrooke's roundabout

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Parking Cambridge

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Queen Anne Terrace Cycle Parking

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Greater Cambridge Citizens' Assembly

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Choices for Better Journeys

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Our Big Conversation

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Resident Parking Schemes

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The vision

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The City Access programme seeks to improve sustainable transport to the city centre and key employment sites, and to reduce congestion by encouraging people away from cars. Supporting local partners’ net zero carbon ambitions and the government’s net zero by 2050 target, the project seeks to improve air quality and create a more people-focused, city-centre environment.

Experimental traffic management measures

ETRO - Carlyle Rd planters (2)

A series of experimental schemes implemented in August 2020 restricted traffic in various streets identified as having potential for reducing traffic and encouraging walking and cycling in the long term.

Encouraging cycling and walking

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Other quick win schemes aimed to encourage cycling and walking. This included looking at additional cycle parking at workplaces and in the city centre, as well as expanding access to ebikes and ecargo bikes. We provided match funding for an ecargo bike scheme to provide bikes for businesses and residents to try.

City centre delivery consolidation pilot

Making Connections update

A deliveries consolidation pilot is being developed. The pilot would involve goods being delivered to a consolidation centre on the edge of the city and secondary facility in the city centre for onward delivery by electric bike or other electric vehicle and assess the basis on which it could operate commercially in the longer term, either independent of or in partnership with local authorities. Work is ongoing to develop proposals working with business leaders including the Cambridge BID, Cambridge Ahead, and the University of Cambridge.

Integrated parking strategy

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Parking controls and park and ride/travel hub facilities are a key tool in reducing congestion and encouraging the uptake of sustainable transport options. Data will continue to be used to inform an integrated parking strategy, working together with the city and county councils.

Reducing air pollution and carbon emissions

Electric bus - 1

Air pollution from transport remains an issue and is likely to do so in future. In partnership with the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, Stagecoach East and the Department for Transport, we’ve funded thirty new electric buses.

Taking longer-term action

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It’s clear that as communities continue to recover after the pandemic and grow in line with the area’s local plan, sustainable transport options will continue to be vital to access work, study and other opportunities the city has to offer – whether using public transport, cycling or walking.

Through our sustainable travel programme, we’re already delivering multiple projects across Greater Cambridge to create a world-class future network for public transport and walking and cycling.

City Access public engagement

Making Connections - brochure

Public engagement has been fundamental to understanding Greater Cambridge’s transport challenges, travel behaviour and attitudes and continues to shape the project going forward.

  • Our Big Conversation engagement in late 2017 felt that traffic was a problem and that some form of public transport or cycling improvement could solve their transport problems.
  • Choices for Better Journeys public engagement asked for feedback on proposals for a future public transport network and ways to reduce congestion.
  • The Greater Cambridge Partnership Citizen’s Assembly saw 53 residents and commuters meet in the autumn of 2019 to discuss traffic jams, air quality and public transport. They then made recommendations to the Greater Cambridge Partnership. The most popular option was closing roads. The participants also recommended making people pay to use roads, for example clean air zones, a pollution charge and payment at peak times. Two independent organisations set up and ran the assembly and selected the participants at random.
  • Two extensive consultations on Making Connections took place. The first in 2021 considered principles and the second, in 2022, looked a set of measures.

Published 15 May 2024

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