Cambourne to Cambridge - Consideration of a Northern Route

Cambourne to Cambridge: Consideration of a Northern Route

The Cambourne to Cambridge scheme has been under development for six years. It has followed Government guidance from the Department for Transport for scheme development throughout.

In line with the guidance GCP has consulted at each stage of the work, considered and assessed a wide range of options and gradually refined the options down to a recommended preferred route.

A northern alignment has been considered at several stages throughout the lifecycle of the Cambourne to Cambridge project:

  • C2C consultation 2015
    GCP included options for a Northern Alignment in the first public consultation. In line with the process defined by Government, the initial Northern Alignment option was rejected at the Strategic Outline Business Case Stage. However, at the request of stakeholders GCP has considered further alternatives at a number of points in the project lifecycle.
  • C2C reviews by Jacobs and ARUP
    Subsequently Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) commissioned first ARUP, then Jacobs to consider alternatives. Both organisations have reported back to CPCA that a northern alignment would not be as beneficial as the recommended preferred route. The ARUP report was published at the time; the Jacobs work was shared with GCP officers but it has yet to be published.


Consultation in 2015

The first scheme consultation in 2015 considered northern, on-line and southern options.

C2C Northern Route consideration 2015

The Strategic Outline Business Case

Subsequently we considered northern, on-line and southern options in the development of the Strategic Outline Business Case.

The work followed DfT guidance and in that process the southern option was found to be the best performing. Option 4, considered at that stage was rejected because of the environmental impacts around the American Cemetery, and the fact that the main developments to be served by C2C lie to the south and could not be usefully served by a northern alignment.


C2C Northern Route Atkins options

Optioneering Process

The optioneering process which led to the Strategic Outline Business Case is summarised in Options Appraisal Report Part 1 of the Outline Business Case and also summarised in the 2019 Northern Route Technical Note.

The ARUP Report

 In 2018, ARUP undertook a review of work undertaken to date on behalf of CPCA, including consideration of a northern alignment,.  ARUP advised the CPCA that the GCP optioneering process undertaken was robust.

C2C Northern Route ARUP review

The ARUP review also considered a route along the A428 to Girton which it rejected on the following basis:

- the route would meet up with an already congested road and junction which  would require a significant upgrade;

- the route and journey times would be longer ; and

- the option would be more expensive.

Northern Route Technical Note

In the 2019 Northern Route Technical Note at the request of the Joint Assembly, we revisited and reviewed the northern alignment suggested by Smarter Cambridge Transport. However we found that it was not a better performing option.

The Northern Route Technical Note was shared with the Local Liaison Forum and with Heidi Allen, who was at the time MP for South Cambridgeshire. It was also published on the GCP website on 23 May 2019.

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