City access proposals to be looked at after thousands have their say

13 October 2016

City Deal members have thanked the thousands who responded to proposals to tackle peak time Cambridge congestion and say they will listen to their views in taking any plans forward.

The pledge follows the closing date for responses to the City Access eight point plan which aims to keep the city as well as the economy moving and support local businesses.

There were more than 9,000 responses from residents, businesses and organisations submitted to the proposals. An interim report is due to be discussed by the Greater Cambridge City Deal board by the end of this year with a fuller report in the New Year.

The integrated plan aims to reduce traffic and significantly speed up commuter journeys for people who choose to travel by public transport, bike or walk.

Currently, an average of 206,000 vehicles travel across the city boundary each day. Without action, it is anticipated that time wasted in traffic jams could double.

Councillor Lewis Herbert, Chair of the City Deal Board, said: “We want to thank everyone and the businesses who took part and made their views known. What is clear is that we all share a desire to reduce congestion and keep Cambridge from becoming gridlocked, to benefit our residents and the local economy.

“However, it’s also clear that many residents and businesses had serious concerns over some aspects of the proposals, and we will take them on board.

“So we will now review everyone’s comments, and then work on getting the future plans right. In particular, we get the message from Cambridge residents and local businesses responding who have raised significant issues with the Peak-time Congestion Control Points. So we’re going to undertake a full review of the Control Points plan and all the other wider measures to tackle congestion.”

Councillor Francis Burkitt, Vice Chair, added: “The City Deal will listen to and assess all the consultation responses, as we can only tackle congestion in partnership with the whole Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire community. We won’t rush the analysis, or rush to any conclusions, or make any hurried decisions, without fully considering all this new comment and evidence.

“As we all agree, doing nothing is not an option, as over 200,000 vehicles cross the city boundary every day, and there are many more journeys within the City itself.  However, we know that we need to come up with the right congestion package for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire, for our residents, for workers and travellers and for our local businesses.”

The proposed approach could bring about a step-change in city travel. It aims to build on existing work that has seen cycling rates across Greater Cambridge rocket, bring an uplift in bus use and more investment in Park & Rides.

Thousands of people, businesses and organisations had their say on the proposals which included:

  • 20 public exhibition events across Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire. This included a lunchtime event at Addenbrookes Hospital and an event at the Grand Arcade.
  • 34 lunchtime business briefings.

More than 9,000 leaflets were given out to Resident’s Associations & local councillors as well as being made available in more than 320 places across the Greater Cambridge area. Some 230,000 postcards were also distributed and posters asking people to have their say was put across the City Centre as well as at transport interchanges such as the train station and at Busway stops.

Business networks were also used to ask people to engage in the process as well as news releases, posts on Social Media, e-mails to Cambridgeshire schools, parent mail and a web chat.

The results will now be looked at and analysed. An interim report is due to be discussed by the Greater Cambridge City Deal board by the end of this year with a fuller report in the New Year. This will be discussed by the Joint Assembly and Executive Board. The Executive Board will then be asked to make a decision on whether the package should be progressed further.

For more information on the eight point plan visit http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/citydeal/