Aidan Van de Weyer, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has called on Mayor James Palmer to cease expenditure on the so-called Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro until a realistic plan with broad support is adopted.
"Mayor Palmer is continuing to shovel public money down the tunnels that only exist in his imagination. It is now time to put an end to Palmer’s fake metro and come up with a workable and ambitious plan that meets our needs.
"Palmer spent more than £2 million on developing a business case for his initial idea for CAM, which involved sending bendy buses down large tunnels under Cambridge. All of this work has now been binned without a word of apology to the taxpayers who are funding this farce.
"He is now effectively starting from scratch again. But rather than actually talking to people who live here, Palmer has brought in the management consultants - and the costs have unsurprisingly skyrocketed. He is putting £8 million into a new delivery company just to get it started. And he is now wanting to appoint a chief exec and a board for the company, at a cost of half a million pounds a year!
"What is worse is that no one has any idea about where he is going to get the billions that the CAM will eventually cost. Despite my requests, we have still not been told when any of this will be built, or even when we will be told.
"The transport problems in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are acute. We need to deal with them now. Traffic jams are making the lives of commuters a misery and they are starting to hurt our economy. We must create green transport options that offer a genuine alternative to the car. But grandiose projects like CAM are just distracting us from finding realistic solutions for the immediate problems. We have the money and the support from the public to develop plans for excellent public transport that can actually get built quickly. I call on the Mayor to focus on that."