The Greater Cambridge transport strategy includes the city of Cambridge and the South Cambridgeshire district, home to about 280,000 people. Its economy has seen huge growth over the decades, creating jobs and wealth but also increasing traffic and congestion, including to the science and innovation parks surrounding the city.
The area surrounding the city has more than 100 rural villages and hamlets, and there has also been housing growth through new developments at Cambourne and Northstowe. More are planned.
In 2014, the Greater Cambridge area negotiated a City Deal with Central Government, delivering up to £500 million of grant funding to invest in projects to support future growth, particularly transport. The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) is responsible for ensuring the aims of the City Deal are met. To read more about the GCP, visit their website.
Key transport challenges
Transport infrastructure has not kept up with the population and jobs growth in Greater Cambridge. With further jobs and housing planned, a significant amount of extra transport capacity is needed. Without action, the number of car journeys may rise by up to 50% by 2031.
Action is needed to cut carbon in transport to reduce the impact on climate change. With transport congestion already in Greater Cambridge, further planned growth will only increase carbon emissions.
Many of the transport challenges in Greater Cambridge are down to a lack of good public transport which is reliable and regular. The private car is still seen as a better choice for many people travelling in and around the region.
More car journeys and more congestion has worsened air pollution. Nitrogen dioxide pollution in certain areas of Cambridge, like Drummer Streeet and Emmanuel Street, have exceeded legal limits. With further growth planned, pollution would get worse without action.
Long commutes and car use
With very high house prices in Greater Cambridge, many people are forced to live further away, in more affordable areas. This means longer journeys to work, too many of which are made by car.
How the draft LTCP aims to make transport in Greater Cambridge better
The proposed improvements to transport in Greater Cambridge are shown here:
Our approach to better transport in Greater Cambridge is summarised below. You can view the full strategy for Greater Cambridgeshire here.
Transforming transport capacity to 2030
The draft LTCP includes the GCP’s vision for better transport over the next decade as set out in its Future Network Map 2030. The transport projects include those being delivered by the GCP, as well as Government and other bodies. It sets out a plan how transport can be transformed and capacity increased to meet the needs of Greater Cambridge. This includes public transport, and cycling and walking investments aimed at reducing congestion, cutting car use, speeding up journeys and offering sustainable travel options.
Four new public transport corridors
The draft LTCP includes the four new public transport and cycling and walking corridors. They aim to increase transport capacity, reduce congestion and allow for planned growth in the region. They are planned to be built over the decade. They reach out to the north, south, east and west and can be seen on the above map. They are:
- Cambourne to Cambridge
- Cambridge Eastern Access
- Cambridge South East Transport
- Waterbeach to Cambridge
Within the draft LTCP there is a plan that aims to create a future bus network which is world class. It could mean a bus every ten minutes in Cambridge and from larger towns and villages – plus a new hourly service from rural areas – to improve access and increase opportunities for people
living and working in the Greater Cambridge area. It will better join up journeys with park and rides,
main employment sites and integrate with other transport like rail.
The draft LTCP proposes travel hubs outside the city and in some rural areas to allow people to swap to most sustainable transport. This includes buses and cycling and walking. Park and rides can be converted to travel hubs linking up buses and cycling and walking. It will reduce car journeys, freeing up road capacity and improving the environment.
More cycling and walking
To build on good levels of cycling and walking, including through a network of 12 ‘greenways’ which stretch well beyond the city. These greenways create a ‘backbone’ of cycling and walking infrastructure, giving people healthier options for travel, which also cut car use. In the city, the Chisholm Trail will connect the north of the city to Cambridge Station and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.
A new station at Cambridge South, serving the Biomedical Campus
Unless traffic in the city is managed, buses will still get caught in queues, making them less attractive. More car traffic also means people cycle and walk less. The draft LTCP includes a plan to look into how the road network can be prioritised for public transport, cycling and walking. As part of this, some type of charging for private cars will also be explored, although nothing has been decided. This could include vehicle charging zones in the city and a new strategy on parking charges. Money raised could then be put back into better public transport and cycling and walking options.