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Mayor's response to XR planned protests in Cambridgeshire

14 February 2020

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Responding to Extinction Rebellion’s planned demonstrations, Mayor James Palmer said:

“While we support the right to peaceful protest, we hope planned demonstrations cause minimum disruption and do not endanger the safety of people across the area.  We agree it is vital Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have a comprehensive public transport system which is reliable, sustainable and accessible to all and that’s exactly what our Local Transport Plan will deliver.

“We are committed to eradicating carbon emissions across the area by 2050.  The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Transport Plan, which will be delivered by all local authorities in the area, will transform public transport across the entire region and play a major role in helping to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

“High-quality, fast and affordable public transport is essential to reducing reliance on cars and tackling congestion. The Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro is forecast to eradicate 25,000 daily private car trips across Cambridgeshire each year by connecting residential areas with major employment hubs. It will operate with high-quality, zero-emission ‘trackless metro’ vehicles, powered by electric batteries. 

“We are also undertaking major upgrades of our bus and rail network.  With new stations at Soham and Cambridge South, new rail links from March to Wisbech and faster, more frequent train services throughout the region.  We are considering a range of ideas for improving bus services include greater use of technology such as driverless shuttles, more use of alternative fuels including electric buses and ways to bring the network more under our control including franchising and enhanced partnerships with service providers.

“Alongside rail and bus enhancements, the Combined Authority is keen to promote ‘active’ transport modes such as the Healthy Streets initiative. Following advice from the Committee on Climate Change Net-Zero report (2019) that to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, 10% of car miles should be shifted to walking, cycling and public transport, we are prioritising investment in cycling and walking infrastructure, for example the Chisholm Trail in Cambridge.

“We understand that climate change, a global issue, requires interventions at a local scale. That is why we are setting up an Independent Commission on Climate Change to gather together the best evidence of how our local environment is changing and to help build a plan for the future.

“Everybody has a role to play in tackling this important issue.  Devolution has given us a unique opportunity to change how things have been done before and to get on and deliver major new transport projects that will make a real difference to our community.”