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City Access infographic showing the 8 themes: Pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. On-street parking management (including Controlled Parking Zones). Better bus services. Traffic management. Smart technology. Travel planning. Workplace parking levy. Public space and air quality.
P R O J E C T  S U M M A R Y

City Access is a package of eight measures to tackle congestion within Cambridge by the creation of a transport system that meets the needs of our growing, vibrant city. It plans to achieve a reduction in peak-time traffic levels in Cambridge by 10-15% by 2031.

It aims to help more people get into, out of and around the city by sustainable means, offer better alternatives to travel by car and boost economic growth and quality of life.

The City Access package of eight measures are:

  • pedestrian and cycling infrastructure
  • public space and air quality
  • better bus services
  • travel planning
  • smart technology
  • traffic management
  • workplace parking levy
  • on-street parking management (including Controlled Parking Zones)

We will ease congestion and prioritise sustainable and active travel, making it easier for people to travel by bus, rail, cycle or on foot.

B E N E F I T S  O F  T H E  P R O J E C T

The benefits of the City Access package are:

  •         ease congestion within the city centre
  •         faster, cheaper and more reliable bus journeys
  •         safer, easier and more attractive walking and cycling journeys
  •         reduced pollution and cleaner air
  •         fewer stationary or slow moving vehicles
  •         further cycling and pedestrian infrastructure
  •         preservation and enhancement of Cambridge’s historic environment
  •         improve the quality and reliability of public transport
  •         encourage continued growth in cycling
Infographic showing peak traffic into and out of Cambridge in 2015: A.M. Peak Inbound Traffic = 42,149. A.M. Peak Outbound Traffic = 22,460. P.M. Peak Inbound Traffic = 27,405. P.M. Peak Outbound Traffic=41,159

Around 206,000 vehicles travel in and out of Cambridge every day, with 50,000 workers travelling in alone. Nearly 10.5 million rail passengers travel to/from Cambridge each year.

If we carry on as we are by 2031:

  • traffic in Cambridge will increase by over 30% in the morning peak
  • traffic in South Cambridgeshire will increase by almost 40% in the morning peak
  • the time spent in congestion will more than double

Following the tackling peak-time congestion engagement in 2016, the City Access team is working up the next steps and will start initial engagement with businesses on researching a Workplace Parking Levy for Cambridge. 

City Access Gallery

The City Access team are now working up the detail of the eight point plan

T H E  N E X T  S T E P S  F O R  E A C H  O F  T H E  E I G H T  P O I N T S  A R E :

1. Cycling provision 
The City Access team will continue to work with partners on improving cycling routes, facilities and parking.

2. Improved public space and air quality
In recognition of the strong public support for addressing air quality, we will research options for establishing a Clean Air Zone in Cambridge.

3.  Better bus services and expanded use of Park & Ride
By working closely with bus operators, we will review and improve the bus network, including pricing, Park & Ride sites and ticketing, to speed up bus journeys and make them more reliable.

4. Travel planning
We will work with Travel for Cambridgeshire in supporting employers to adopt sustainable policies and practices for commuter travelling.

5. Smart technology
Work will continue with Smart Cambridge to harness emerging technologies to find smart ways to tackle urban challenges, such as transport, air quality, energy and health care.

6. Traffic management
Options are currently being researched to tackle congestion within the city centre and improve sustainable transport.

7. A Workplace Parking Levy
We will work closely with employers to develop and co-design a practical and effective Workplace Parking Levy scheme that works for businesses and organisations.

8. On-street parking controls (including Controlled Parking Zones)
We are actively supporting partners, including the Cambridge City Joint Area Committee (CJAC) to manage on-street parking in city residential areas. 

G E T  I N V O L V E D

Residents, businesses and commuters are welcome to get involved with City Access.

Find out more on the get involved page.


The City Access programme has been allocated approximately £10m to reduce congestion within the city.

The budget will be reviewed as detailed measures are agreed.

City Access Consultations and Engagement

11 Jul 2016
10 Oct 2016

Tackling Peak-Time Congestion Engagement

11 Nov 2015
31 Dec 2015

Call for Evidence


Frequently asked questions

A. City Access is a package of eight measures to improve public transport, cycling and walking in central Cambridge and create capacity in the city centre road network.

We aim to make travel by bus, bike and foot quicker and more reliable in the city centre. 

We are currently considering implementation of a range of measures to improve connectivity and manage growing congestion.

Congestion charging is not ruled out as a future option, but our current focus is on finding alternative measures to manage traffic as a first step.

A. Plans to close certain roads at peak times within central Cambridge, known as Peak-Time Congestion Control Points (PCCPs) are no longer being progressed. An alternative range of measures to manage traffic is currently being worked up.

A. Car traffic in and around Cambridge would continue to grow, choking off access to the city and people’s ability to travel around it, making journey times much longer and less reliable.  Ultimately this could drive jobs away, as businesses can’t operate when there is that much uncertainty.  We’re expecting there to be 30% growth in journeys in 2031 compared to 2011 if we don’t do anything. With congestion already acting as a brake on the area’s fortunes, this could make it a less attractive place to live, work and do business.

A. Businesses are growing, the population is rapidly rising and there is ever increasing demand for housing, bringing about an increase in traffic on the city’s roads. The road network was never intended to cope with the numbers of vehicles we now see and this is leading to gridlock – people’s journey times are longer, buses can’t run on time, businesses lose money and it can be an unpleasant environment for people who cycle, walk, live and make a living in the city.

We want to support the opportunities and prosperity that continued growth will bring by making sure that Cambridge keeps moving and people can commute in and out quickly, easily and reliably.

The key to this is getting people out of their cars and on to buses, bikes and travelling by foot.  By doing so, we can reduce the impact of congestion and allow a lot more people to travel reliably around the area, whilst reducing the problems caused by congestion to those who need to drive.


pdf City Access Quick Guide

81.87 KB


pdf City Access Report to the Executive Board January 2017

2.06 MB


pdf City Access Short List Report

4.96 MB


pdf Residents Association Forum Meeting 170117

407.06 KB


xlsx Tackling Peak-Time Congestion Correspondence Received

912.86 KB


pdf Tackling Peak-Time Congestion Engagement Research Report

13.85 MB


xlsx Tackling Peak-Time Congestion Full Results

6.51 MB