The Greater Cambridge Partnership and the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority have pledged to work together to tackle the transport issues facing the area and implement the policies set out in the Combined Authority’s Local Transport Plan.
James Palmer, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough accepted the GCP Executive Board’s offer to join the Board as a non-voting member and attended the Board’s meeting yesterday (Oct 1). As leader of the Transport Authority, his attendance will ensure that the policy he is responsible for will be properly represented in future GCP projects.
Cllr Roger Hickford, chair of the Executive Board, said:
"I welcome the Mayor's comments. I invited the Mayor to join the Board in the spirit of future collaborative partnership working and the meeting was extremely positive.
"Working together on all levels is only for the greater good. We need to make urgent progress on critical issues facing Greater Cambridge on transport, housing and skills training to ensure we do all we can to make this area the best in the world.
"Getting on with tackling the traffic problems on the Cambourne to Cambridge route is one of them.
"We've always been ready to work with the Combined Authority and I hope that we can build on the spirit of today's collaborative meeting to make significant progress as quickly as possible."
Mayor Palmer said:
"This is an important first step in improving joint working relationships between GCP and the Combined Authority.
"It is important that our joint working are at this political level, as well as an officer level, so that we have a shared version for the delivery of the City Deal.
"By collaborating we can ensure our collective transport infrastructure investments work to become more than the sum of their parts. The CAM offers a clear example. The GCP's individual transport route schemes will offer greater more far reaching benefits to people and businesses across the county and beyond if they work seamlessly as part of a world class regional public transport network. That is why joint working and alignment is so important so that we ensure the future delivery of transport schemes which will improve connectivity across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough as a whole."
The Mayor said that an alternative proposal by the Combined Authority for the Cambourne to Cambridge public transport would be shared with the GCP ahead of it being put to the Combined Authority’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee on 4 November and then discussed at the next GCP Board meeting.
The Mayor said:
"Our officers are working closely, which is a positive step...We know this is a situation that needs to be sorted out very quickly, but we also need to take the public with us. We're very keen to find the right solution and help you deliver the scheme that you have worked towards.
"We all want to find the right solution... I hope we will now be able to see a way forward where there is common sense and collaboration. The reality is, all of us want to solve the horrific traffic problems around that area of Cambridge and to provide growth in the economy and business and solve the housing crisis we are suffering. I know we are all desperate for that solution. I hope we can find common ground and I'm sure that we can do that. I think that working alongside one another we will find the solutions come very easily."