Combined Authority Board is recommended to green light public engagement on region’s transport future
The Combined Authority Board will next week be recommended to approve launching an initial public engagement on a refreshed plan for the region’s transport future.
Work is ongoing to revamp the Local Transport Plan, first adopted in 2020. The renamed Local Transport and Connectivity Plan (LTCP) will aim to meet a range of challenges including on public health, accelerating carbon reduction, protecting the environment, Covid-19, reducing inequality and support economic growth.
The word ‘Connectivity’ has been included in the title to recognise the increasing importance of digital infrastructure in, for example, home working and learning, accessing leisure and services, and seeing friends and family.
If approved, the initial ‘soft launch’ engagement would run for four weeks from November 1. It would ask the public to comment on a proposed updated transport vision and set of key transport objectives. The public would also be able to say what the main transport challenges and opportunities for improvement are for their part of the region. Input from the public and other stakeholders would feed into a formal public consultation in January.
At the same meeting, the Board will also be asked to decide whether to formally end the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM) programme. Mayor Dr Nik Johnson does not support the previously proposed multibillion-pound transport scheme, something he campaigned on in the run up to his election in May. Work on the CAM programme was suspended earlier this year pending a decision from the Combined Authority Board on its future and the future of the delivery company One CAM Limited. If the Board chooses to end the CAM programme, they will be recommended to place One CAM Limited into dormancy.
Further details of how to get involved in the public engagement will be announced if the Board approves the launch. Following the proposed LTCP engagement is a formal six-week consultation, currently planned for January. The LTCP is planned to be completed for Board approval in March 2022
Since the adoption of the current Local Transport Plan in January 2020, there have been many changes to the transport landscape, prompting the need to look again at the strategy. They include the recommendations of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate, new CO2 and electric vehicle targets published by Government, including its Decarbonising Transport document, and the changes in travel caused by Covid-19. The development work on the revamped LTCP will take these changes into consideration.
Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Dr Nik Johnson said:
“I’ve said from the outset that we need to reprioritise our transport strategy to better meet the needs of people, communities, the environment and the economy. I want to see a high-quality transport system which reflects my core values of Compassion, Cooperation and Community. And I want it to be greener, fairer, safer, more joined up and supportive of better health for everyone.
“Even in the short time since the last Local Transport Plan was put in place, there have been major developments around climate change, the environment and nature, the impact of Covid-19 and the OxCAM Arc. All of this and more will shape how we plan transport for the future.
“I want to hear from as many voices across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough as possible in the development of the revamped LTCP. I hope the Combined Authority Board agrees with me and will approve this early engagement exercise.”
Separately, work is taking place on a Bus Service Improvement Plan for the region, with the Mayor already highlighting the need to explore the potential of bus franchising and how it could make a transformational impact on connectivity for people and places.
Collaborative working will also form an important part of the new transport approach, especially with the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP). Part of the LTCP development will see a specific focus on supporting the GCP’s work to develop ways to improve journeys across the Cambridge city centre.