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Phase 1 route

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 Park & Ride site off the A428/A1303.
  • New cycling and walking facilities.

The route is divided into two sections serving the new Park & Ride site:

Phase 1 - from the Madingley Mulch roundabout to Cambridge - a key area of congestion.

Phase 2 – linking the route west of Madingley Mulch roundabout, via a new Park & Ride site.

From the proposed housing development at Bourn Airfield, the route continues into Cambourne using existing roads.

A map showing the broad limits of the different phases of the Cambourne to Cambridge route; phase 1 from madingley Mulch roundabout to Cambridge city centre, phase 2 from Cambourne to Madingley Mulch roundabout

Phase 1 route assessment

Three options proposed for Phase 1, Madingley Mulch roundabout to central Cambridge, were developed further in response to public consultation. As a result, an optimised, on-road option including both inbound and outbound public transport priority, and an off-road option were assessed to compare benefits and impacts. More detailed information is available in the report and appendices to the Executive Board.

The route selection is driven by a wide assessment of societal, economic and environmental benefits, in addition to transport, considering input from stakeholders through research, consultation and feedback.

Full 2017 consultation results were published on our website in spring 2018. Results showed that 40% of respondents preferred a tidal, on-road public transport lane (B), 33% of respondents preferred the off-road route (C) and 18% preferred the on-road, inbound only route (A). Although not the top-scoring option from 2017 consultation, the off-road route is assessed as top-performing in support of future growth - a primary objective. More analysis and assessment information is available in the report and appendices to the Executive Board.

In October 2018, after a six-month pause to work, an independent report commissioned by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority confirmed the off-road Phase 1 route as aligned with future plans for a wider, regional metro network – the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM) – operating vehicles that can run both over and underground. More information is available in the report and appendices to the Executive Board.

A diagram showing the Phase I route assessment as described in the adjacent paragraph

Phase 1 route alignment

The GCP proposed alignment runs between the A428/A1303 Madingley Mulch roundabout and Grange Road, via West Cambridge and the former Rifle Range Track, bringing public transport, on a dedicated track, to the closest possible point within central Cambridge, at Grange Road.

Public transport services then continue to the city centre via the established street network, based on passenger demand. Routes serving the railway station, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Cambridge Science Park have been assumed following feedback from public consultation. Work with transport operators will continue as planning progresses.

A map showing the recommended route alignment for phase 1 of the project, running off-road, south of the A1303, to the north of Coton

Options for the off-road, Phase 1 route, shown during the 2017/18 public consultation, were assessed, evaluating transport and planning issues and environmental impacts, to create a recommended route alignment.

Section Reasons for this route choice
Madingley Mulch to Coton

Lower cost and less disruptive to build.
Safer - public transport and non-motorised users are separated from general traffic.
Public transport, including a future CAM, will run more quickly through the section.
Opportunities for habitat creation and enhancements in arable fields.

Coton Village

Better alignment for a CAM stop to serve Coton.
Less visible from Coton Village and Red Meadow Hill and can be encompassed into the field edge with landscaping mitigation.
Opportunity for community space and habitat creation adjacent to the village.
Public transport vehicles will be no nearer to houses than existing buses on Cambridge Road.
Less impact on landowners, on the orchard and on the juicing business site.
Invites less expansion of urban infill.

West Cambridge and Grange Field

Good accessibility to the West Cambridge development.
Reduces the impact of the route on sensitive laboratory equipment.
Minimises ecological and Green Belt impact with opportunity for habitat creation in arable fields.

Former Rifle Range Track

Allows for segregated rapid transit infrastructure, providing a quick and reliable route.
Provides additional cycling and walking capacity to support West Cambridge.
Minimises impact on West Cambridge conservation area.
Avoids ecologically sensitive area between West Cambridge and Wilberforce Road.
Habitat creation opportunity around Bin Brook area in arable land.
Least impact on residents and most benefits to cyclists, passengers and pedestrians.

Have your say

Our project team continues to welcome views and contributions from stakeholders throughout development of plans for Phase 1 of the route.

Following consultation on plans for Phase 2, west from Madingley Mulch roundabout to Cambourne, a single end-to-end route option will be presented as part of an Outline Business Case for GCP Executive Board decision, in autumn 2019.