Huntingdonshire is the largest district in Cambridgeshire, with a population of 170,000 across an area of over 350 square miles. It is mainly rural, with a sparse population density of just four people per acre – compared to 75 in Cambridge. Employment and key services are mainly in the large towns of Huntingdon, St Neots and St Ives.
Huntingdonshire’s population has grown by about 20% over the past 20 years, partly due to housing cost in and around Cambridge. The Huntingdonshire Local Plan proposes at least 20,100 new homes and 14,400 additional jobs, in the period 2011-2036.
Key transport challenges
In a very rural area, many communities rely on cars to travel. About 80% of journeys to work are made by car. Congestion and traffic harm the environment in towns and villages and cause air pollution.
Cycling and walking
Outside of Huntingon, St Neots and St Ives, there is not enough paths and lanes to encourage people to take more active travel options.
Supporting new development
Future development, in particular at Alconbury Weald, is dependent on better transport infrastructure. For these developments are to be attractive places to live and work, they need to offer good public transport connectivity to Huntingdon, Cambridge and London and be well integrated with the road network, avoiding additional congestion.
A lack of good bus services to rural areas means the only realistic option for many is cars. Lack of buses also reduces access good jobs, education and services in the district and wider region.
Lack of long-distance public transport
Aside from the East Coast Rail Line and the successful Guided Busway, linking Cambridge to St Ives, there is a lack of good long-distance public transport from Huntingdonshire. This reduces options for jobs and education further afield, limiting opportunity.
How the draft LTCP aims to make transport in Huntingdonshire better
The proposed improvements to transport in Huntingdonshire are shown here:
Our approach to better transport in Huntingdonshire is summarised below. You can view the full strategy for Huntingdonshire here.
More frequent and reliable buses on the main routes, St Neots – Cambourne – Cambridge, and Alconbury – Huntingdon – St Ives – Cambridge. Alongside this is a set of ‘local’ routes linking larger market towns and some smaller villages. For those living in more rural villages, demand-responsive – Uber style services will connect people to key places.
Enhancements to the road network
Improvements to roads where there is congestion to improve journey times, reliability, safety and pollution. This includes developing options for the A141 corridor and improvements to congested roads in St Ives.
Cycling and walking
More paths and lanes to encourage more active journeys and reduce car use.
Seek to increase the accessibility of the rail network through a second station for St Neots on the proposed East-West Rail route.
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