Consultation guide: GCP Waterbeach to Cambridge 2023

Waterbeach brochure

Name of consultation: GCP Waterbeach to Cambridge 2023
(shortlink: tinyurl.com/Waterbeach23)

From: The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP)
Time to complete:
15-20 minutes (plus time to read the associated information)
Format: Online survey OR email comments to consultations@greatercambridge.org.uk.

Deadline: midday on Friday 24 March

The GCP is consulting on plans for an off-road busway route from Waterbeach to Cambridge with a walking and cycling path alongside and a new Park & Ride site near Waterbeach new town.

The following guide responses are based on having attended a briefing with GCP on the Waterbeach Busway project, having reviewed the brochure, the FAQ, the Central and Western route option plans and the cross sections, considering whether they are compliant with LTN 1/20, the government guidance on inclusive cycle infrastructure design. Camcycle’s interest in this project is firstly to ensure cycling infrastructure is adequately considered in the scheme and also more broadly that the scheme achieves as far as possible significant modal shift away from car traffic which benefits cyclists on local roads.

Consultation guide

Busway questions

Q1. How far do you support / oppose the western route option for the Waterbeach to Cambridge busway?*

We suggest that you select OPPOSE.

Q2. How far do you support / oppose the revised central route option for the Waterbeach to Cambridge busway?

We suggest that you select SUPPORT.

Q3. How far do you support / oppose the proposals for the active travel infrastructure proposed alongside the busway?

We suggest that you select SUPPORT.

Q4. What facilities should be provided at the busway bus stops?

We suggest that you select all of the options listed apart from car parking.

In other, we suggest that you add:

  • Toilets, if refreshments will be on offer
  • There should be short-stay cycle parking, which should be mainly comprised of Sheffield stands with a crossbar under an open shelter. There should be some provision for non-standard cycles, with low and long Sheffield stands with a cross bar, and anchor points.

Q5. Do you have any comments on the proposals for active travel provision alongside the busway?

This is Camcycle’s response. We suggest that you use this to shape your own.

We are going to comment on the Central route only, as we deem that route to be the best  for active travel, being the most direct, and better connected with existing settlements along the route. It is also the less isolated route, of the two options.

Design standard: LTN 1/20 is a minimum standard, yet it is not mentioned in the scheme proposal. This needs to be committed and reviewed during scheme detailing.

Junctions: the side road junction at the Milton Park & Ride, should be made into a cycle and walking priority junction as part of this project. The same approach should apply at the side road junctions of the Business Park and Recycling Centre.

The junction with Butt Lane (sheet 2 – Cross Section 004) should be a single-stage signalised junction, for LTN 1/20 compliance, due to the amount of vehicle traffic and speeds on this road.

Access to the Park and Ride sites from Waterbeach: there should have a suitable LTN 1/20 compliant link to the Park & Ride, which is easily accessible to the residents of the new town. These could probably be the same for all three site options.

Surfacing: we assume asphalt surfacing will be used, which is acceptable. There is no need for coloured indication.

Width: 3m width is specified. This aligns with the LTN 1/20 class medium peak flow level (>300-1000 cph, two-way) and with 2.5m width at constraints, exceeding the 2-way minimum width specification of 2.5m. All of which appears acceptable on the face of it for the expected demands of the Waterbeach to Cambridge route. We would like to see detailed design calculations indicating how these specifications were arrived at.

Drainage: The 3m cycleway will be at the base of a 5m-wide track. This means that rainwater will collect on the lower part of the 5m track. It would be better to drain the track in the opposite direction, across the footway. Walkers don’t generate and suffer from their own rain spray, cyclists do.

Maintenance: The tracks need to be maintained as a principal town-to-town active travel route along with the rest of the network. Bush planting and cutting must avoid, by design, depositing sharp thorns on the track which puncture bike tyres. Cold weather coverage: snow clearance and brine treatment must be done in freezing temperatures to ensure the route remains active in most weathers.

Management of flood risk: the track must be built at a height sufficient to avoid flooding in the expected sea level rise and freak event scenarios.

Lighting: Solar studs are proposed. Sufficient lighting must be provided, in particular at junctions there should be enough lighting, but for the rest of the route solar lighting should be enough. In addition the whole Butt Lane route towards Impington should be upgraded with this treatment. In the plans it looks like the improvements stop before Green Gates Farm.

Cycle parking: Bike parking needs to be provided at all bus stops along the route, this deisgn needs to be confirmed during detailing.

Q6. Do you have any further comments on the busway routes and active travel infrastructure proposals?

Signalised crossing points: we assume there will be request buttons at the signalised crossings at Landbeach Road and at all crossings on Butt Lane. It would be better if they could be accompanied with automatic sensors based on pedestrians and/or cyclists stepping on the crossing.

Q7. Do you have any comments on the proposed locations for bus stops?

Bus stops appear to be logically located to serve Landbeach. Access via Milton Park & Ride is logical but does nothing to improve the distance travelled for Milton residents to use services running via the Milton Park & Ride.

Park & Ride questions

Camcycle has no opinion on questions 8, 9 and 12 – please share your own views.

Q10. Do you support the access option for site B?

We suggest that you select NO.

Q11. Specifically for Site C, how far do you support each of the access arrangement proposals

We suggest that you answer STRONGLY OPPOSE for both proposals.

Q13. What facilities should be provided at the Park & Ride?

We suggest that you select ALL of the options listed.

Q14. Do you have any further comments on the Park & Ride options?

The £90m to be spent on this scheme could build an awful lot of segregated cycle lanes and modal filters which would do so much more for active travel modal shift than this proposal, which, as well as chewing up a wide swathe of green space for the busway routes, potentially joins up two rural villages with a massive car park.

Equalities impact

Q15. Please comment if you feel any of the proposals would either positively or negatively affect or impact on any such person/s or group/s.

The proposal provides bus stops at reasonable distances from centres of population along the route, except for Milton where it will have no impact on services for people with limited mobility because the Park & Ride bus stop is too far from the population centre of Milton (1km).

Q16. We welcome your views. If you have any other comments on the proposals, including any suggestions for inclusion on the design please add them in the space below.

We would welcome an upgrade to the A10 pedestrian bridge to a safe standard with adequate approach grades, railing height and width improvement, which would help inclusive access from Milton to the busway and other active travel schemes. This is currently perilous for cycling and wheeled access, it’s recommended to walk across pushing a cycle.

Complete the GCP Waterbeach to Cambridge 2023 on the GCP’s consultation website by midday on Friday 24 March.