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Stronger project assessment will help make sure Cambridgeshire and Peterborough transport projects measure up


Stronger project assessment will help make sure Cambridgeshire and Peterborough transport projects measure up

A new measure of the potential benefits of transport improvements across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is being developed.

All new transport projects must be assessed and tested against a consistent set of key criteria to ensure they will offer value for money and provide the kinds of benefits needed in the region. Called a transport model, it is used to make sure projects have a sound case for investment by local authorities and Government.

Currently Peterborough and Cambridgeshire have separate transport models and the data used within those models to judge transport projects is now several years old. The new model, funded by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, will create one model for the whole of the region and will use the latest transport data.

The new model will give consistency across the whole region in judging how much benefit a transport scheme will bring. Using a single model will be simpler, quicker and more cost effective.

The new model is needed to ensure that when the business cases for investment in transport projects are produced, they meet with the Department for Transport’s and Treasury’s guidance, which will be vital in bringing more transport infrastructure spending to the region.

Updating the model will be critical to the Combined Authority and transport partners in the region like Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council and The Greater Cambridge Partnership, to successfully develop and deliver vital upgrades to transport infrastructure.

Deputy Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Councillor Lewis Herbert, said:

“To continue to attract much needed transport investment from Government into our region, we need to be able to build sound, robust cases for funding. An up-to-date and fit for purpose transport model will help us to do just that.

“The new model and data will take into consideration new developments like the changes to how people travel brought by Covid-19 and the increasing focus on reducing transport’s carbon footprint to net zero.

“A new model will also be important to deliver on the ambitions and projects which will be contained in the Combined Authority’s emerging Local Transport and Connectivity Plan – the transport strategy for the region.”

At its July meeting, The Combined Authority Board agreed to move forward with the development of a new transport model. Cambridgeshire County Council were approved as the authority who will be leading its development. Initial work will be to finalise the business case to build the new model, as well as collecting new transport data to feed into it.

Cllr Alex Beckett, Chair of the Council’s Highways and Transport Committee said:

“The County Council is pleased to be working with the Combined Authority, Peterborough City Council, the Greater Cambridge Partnership and our Districts to develop the new transport model. It will give us a significantly enhanced capability to assess the implications of proposed infrastructure and development proposals, especially in areas that are not covered in detail by our current model suites.”

The new model is planned to be ready by the end of 2024.