Mayor James Palmer has said findings which show the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s current Cambourne to Cambridge (C2C) busway scheme does not align with plans for the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM) is more evidence of the need for a joined-up approach.
Earlier in June, Mayor Palmer called for a ‘One CAM’ approach to delivering the metro network, bringing the project’s strands together in one place. Proposals for the setting up of a promoter company to drive the project forward, harnessing the energy, talent and expertise needed to deliver CAM, were presented to the CAM Partnership Board in June.
Meanwhile the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority commissioned a review measuring the C2C scheme against the strategy and objectives of the CAM, as set out in the Local Transport Plan: CAM Sub Strategy. The C2C route will form a first phase of the CAM.
The review found that amendments were needed to the existing C2C proposals to properly align with CAM. They included committing to electric/zero emission vehicles, connecting to the future East West Rail station at Cambourne – via examining a segregated route around Cambourne – and minimising potential environmental impacts, particularly around Coton and Westfields.
The findings and recommendations of the review will be reported to the Mayoral Combined Authority’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee at its July 8 meeting. The committee will be recommended to approve the release of the CPCA report to GCP for their review and consideration.
Mayor James Palmer said:
“This issue of the C2C scheme not being CAM-compliant in its current form is exactly why we cannot rely on a fragmented approach to delivering what will be a pioneering, world class public transport network.
“CAM will work as one system when it is complete and so our approach to its delivery should be no different. We need to move past old thinking on piecemeal, sticking plaster upgrades to infrastructure and deliver a transport network that truly reflects the wider ambitions of our economy and its people.
“Taking a One CAM approach will help us move past current issues and move forward with real purpose and commitment. For C2C to be a success it must form part of a much wider public transport network, supporting sustainable jobs and homes and helping to spread prosperity to more people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. What makes CAM exciting is that it will offer so much more than the sum of its parts.”
As an extension of work already being done on the regional CAM network routes to St Neots, Alconbury, Mildenhall and Haverhill, the Mayoral Combined Authority has already begun a high-level review of the current preferred C2C route alignment against possible alternatives.
Mayor James Palmer welcomed the GCP’s decision, announced earlier this month, to allow time to work with the Mayoral Combined Authority on reviewing the C2C proposals.
On August 5, the Combined Authority Board is due to hear a report on the setting up of a promoter company tasked with driving forward the One CAM approach to delivering the metro system.