Cambridge South East Transport Phase 2
This page provides further background information on Phase 2 of the Cambridge South East Transport project. A more general overview and updates can be found on the main project page.
Please see the Phase 1 page for more details on road safety, active travel and bus improvements along the A1307.
Phase 2 of the scheme includes:
- a new public transport route between the A11 and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus via Sawston, Stapleford and Great Shelford,
- a new travel hub near the A11/A1307 junction with connections to Babraham, the Babraham Research Campus and Granta Park,
- a new active travel path for walkers, cyclists and horse riders along the new public transport route.
The route would be:
- entirely off-road
- only interacting with other traffic at junctions
- traffic lights controlled road junctions
- run on public transport lanes on Francis Crick Avenue at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus
- linking to the existing Busway, the proposed Cambridge South Station, Cambridge main station and Cambridge city centre.
A new shared-use active travel path for walkers, cyclists and horse riders would be built next to the new public transport route.
- The new public transport route would bypass congestion on roads.
- Provide more reliable journeys.
The scheme is estimated to cost £132.3 million.
Stops along the route
The image below shows the typical layout of a stop along the proposed public transport route. Stops would have:
- shelter and real-time passenger information
- drop-off facilities
- disabled parking
- cycle parking and cycle lockers
Locations of stops are proposed on:
- Babraham Road in Sawston,
- Haverhill Road in Stapleford,
- Hinton Way for Shelford and
- near the Busway bridge on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.
Stops would be as close to villages as possible. At the same time we are trying to limit the impact on the environment, for example by avoiding hedgerows.
Walking and cycling links from and to the stops will be upgraded. Integration with existing bus services will be improved as far as possible.
The image below shows a visualisation of the proposed stop on Hinton Way.
- The travel hub would be located between the A11 and Babraham with car access from the A1307.
- Cyclists and pedestrians would be able to access the site via improved active travel paths from Babraham and the Abingtons.
- The footbridge over the A11 would be improved to provide better access for cyclists, mobility impaired users and pushchairs.
- It would have a maximum of 1,250 car parking spaces, including 62 for blue badge and 62 with facilities for charging electric vehicles.
- Initially the site would have 188 cycle parking spaces with provision to expand to 314 spaces should demand for cycle parking be higher.
- There would also be a drop-off area, motorcycle and coach parking spaces.
- Shelters, waiting areas and drop-off/pick-up areas would be fitted with real-time public transport information.
- The travel hub would be as sustainable as possible and use renewable energy as much as possible.
The image below shows the proposed layout for the new travel hub site.
Environment, potential impact and enhancements
Landscape: The scheme would be designed to integrate into the existing landscape as much as possible. This would help minimise the impact on the Green Belt. An independent Green Belt Assessment has been carried out. It concludes that the proposals will cause minor to moderate harm to the Green Belt. The greatest impact would be from stops and the travel hub. The proposals are considered to meet the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework for development in the Green Belt.
Environment: The active travel path and stops increase opportunities for access to the countryside. As part of the scheme, improvements to habitats in the River Granta area near Stapleford are planned. Our landscape design aims to minimise the visual impact of the scheme and increase connectivity between existing habitats along the route.
Biodiversity: GCP is committed to ensuring the scheme delivers a minimum of 10% biodiversity net gain with a target of at least 20%. This would be achieved by substantially increasing the linear habitats such as by planting hedgerows along much of the route. There will also be a significant increase in the area of habitat available for biodiversity through planting of species rich grassland and woodland.
Nine Wells Nature Reserve: The scheme would protect the setting of the Nine Wells Nature Reserve. We would improve signposts and links with other shared-use paths. We are planning to buy a piece of land between the route and the reserve. Our aim is to return this piece of land to a more natural state that complements the habitat in the nature reserve.
River Granta County Wildlife Site: The proposed route involves two crossings of the River Granta. The river is a designated County Wildlife Site. The crossings would be sympathetically designed with full consideration for landscape and habitat. There will be no structures in the river itself. The new crossings would not increase flood risk in the area. Some minor flood compensation is included in the design. Measures to protect species, such as badgers, otters, water voles, kingfishers and bats, are included in the design.
Heritage: The proposals avoid direct effects on the important Wandlebury and Gog Magog Hills area. They are not going through any conservation areas. Landscaping will minimise the impact on the settings of the conservation areas in Babraham and Stapleford and on the setting of listed buildings within 500m of the route.
Noise: The design includes acoustic barriers in areas where noise from the scheme might impact on residents.
Air quality: The use of hybrid electric vehicles would ensure air quality in the city was not made worse and should contribute to improvements in air quality in the Air Quality Management Area over time.
Construction: The majority of construction would be off-road. There would be some disruption at junctions and side roads. All construction impacts would be assessed and minimised through robust management plans, which would be promoted locally.
The GCP is continuing to meet with local and environmental representatives to work on the details of any potential enhancements and to lessen impacts of the proposals where possible.
Environmental Impact Assessment consultation
As part of the scheme development a full Environmental Impact Assessment is being undertaken. In 2020 we asked for people's views on:
- the design of the proposals
- how we could best manage and mitigate possible impacts
- any changes to the scheme's design.
Feedback and findings from the consultation can be viewed in the 2021 document section below.
People's views have shaped the Environmental Impact Assessment for the scheme. The assessment is planned to be submitted to Secretary of State for Transport as part of the Transport and Works Act Order Application in 22.
Documents from the consultation can be downloaded in the document section below.
Outline Business Case
The project’s Outline Business Case makes the case for securing City Deal funding for the delivery of this project. It can be viewed in the document section below.
Public Consultation 2019
A public consultation on the details of the proposal was held in late 2019. Over half of respondents (56%) indicated they support the more detailed proposals presented for consultation. The detailed findings of the public consultation can be viewed in the document section below.
Early project stages
The Greater Cambridge Partnership initially considered improving congestion, journey times and air quality along the A1307 between Haverhill and Cambridge.
In 2015 we held a number of workshops with key stakeholders in the Cambridge to Haverhill area. The workshops looked at:
- transport problems
- ideas for potential improvement
- links between major employment sites (Granta Park, Babraham Research Campus and Cambridge Biomedical Campus).
As a result, a range of different options were put forward. These included re-opening the Haverhill to Cambridge railway line, a bypass for Linton and creating a dual carriageway along the A1307 route.
Initial technical work helped to determine and compare the benefits of different ideas and to develop concepts. The benefits and costs of these concepts were considered against their ability to meet the objectives of the Greater Cambridge Partnership programme.
The rail and road dualling concepts were found not to be affordable or deliverable within the scope of the Greater Cambridge Partnership.
An initial public consultation took place in the summer of 2016.
After further options development and engagement with local representatives, it was decided that three options would be carried forward which the Executive Board agreed to in late 2017. These three strategies were the focus of public consultation in 2018.
All three strategies included bus priority, junction improvements, walking and cycling measures and road safety improvements along the A1307 between Haverhill and Cambridge.