Cambourne to Cambridge route - case not proved

South Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats: The Mayor hasn’t made the case for the off-road Cambourne to Cambridge route

South Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats do not believe that evidence so far presented by the Mayor has made the case for the off-road option for the public transport route between Cambourne and Cambridge that he is advocating.

Liberal Democrat councillors will be using the opportunities presented by two important meetings this week, the Local Liaison Forum and the Joint Assembly of the Greater Cambridge Partnership, to question the assumptions made in the work done up to now and to argue for alternative options.

Cllr Ian Sollom, who represents Harston & Comberton Ward which includes Coton, said:

“The Mayor’s claims that CAM must go on the off-road route through Coton have simply not been proven. The 11-page Arup report has given us barely any detail. And we don’t see sufficient evidence elsewhere in the GCP papers that justifies the proposed route.

“So many of the questions that we and the local residents have been asking for four years are still unanswered. We have no information on the underlying assumptions about journey times, which is crucial to the argument that an off-road route is needed. The calculations of the wider economic benefits aren’t clear. And we still have no details of a credible plan for what happens at Grange Road.

“Cambourne to Cambridge is now being presented as a ‘CAM’ route, part of the Mayor’s ambitious plans for an underground system for Cambridge. The Mayor’s Combined Authority has now decided that any route needs to be compatible with CAM, meaning that it has to be a new off-road, segregated route that rubber-tyred vehicles can use.

“This is putting the cart before the horse. We aren’t going to see the outline business case for CAM until January. So at this stage, we know almost nothing about what CAM will look like, what technology it will use, how it will be financed, when it could be built and how realistic it is. Until we know what CAM really is and whether it will happen, it is absurd to be planning separate bits of it.

“There is an urgent need to improve the dire public transport services that people in Cambourne and along the A428 just can’t rely on to get them around. Let’s focus on making things better now.”

Cllr Philip Allen, who also represents Harston & Comberton Ward, said:

“I am committed to standing up for the local residents who will be impacted by this proposal. They have been treated badly over the life of the GCP and City Deal and their efforts to work on a better scheme haven’t been respected. 

“We are using our new roles within South Cambridgeshire District Council to make sure that the community is listened to and that questions are answered. The concerns and objections being expressed are well-founded and need addressing.”

The Local Liaison Forum (LLF) is meeting at Comberton Village College on 14th November from 6:30pm. The Joint Assembly is meeting on 15th November at 2pm at South Cambs Hall in Cambourne.

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