This article was published in 2015, in Newsletter 123.
The consultation phase for the Greater City Deal’s first major infrastructure project of the Greater Cambridge City Deal has now passed. The controversially titled ‘Better Bus Journeys’ was concerned with the A428 Corridor from Madingley Road to Cambourne. The public was asked to consider three options for Tranche 1 which is timetabled to be completed by 2020.
The key concern
Cambridge Cycling Campaign responded in detail to all of the presented options. The key concern was that the Cambourne to Cambridge corridor currently lacks a continuous surfaced off-road cycle route, putting it behind many other areas of South Cambridgeshire on safe cycling routes for all. A recently-published report shows the increase in active travel and reduction in car use for those near the northern Busway route, demonstrating the adage: ‘Build it and they will come!’ (http://www.ijbnpa.org/content/pdf/s12966-015-0239-8.pdf)
This is a vital cycling link, not only for Cambourne, but for all the villages on this corridor, which could be connected to each other, as well as to Cambridge. A safe walking and cycling route would allow more people to walk or cycle to local schools and shops. Community groups would be able to meet without needing to drive. Children would be able to visit friends safely without being reliant on parents for lifts. A safe cycling route along this corridor would enhance the community as well as improving links to the city.
Within the city
We objected to the addition of a bus lane in the limited space of Madingley Road as it rules out much-needed improvements for walking and cycling. The North West Cambridge site will add 3,000 new houses and 2,000 postgrad dwellings, and the West Cambridge site intensification will increase the amount of commuting in the area. The existing walking and cycling conditions are poor shared-use facilities, disliked by pedestrians and people on bikes alike. Just as Cambourne lags behind South Cambs, Madingley Road is behind other parts of the city in not having a high-quality segregated cycle route to the city centre. This is especially important for links to the north and east of the city, which are not served by the Coton Path.
We also drew attention to the problems of the connections to the Coton Path. The Coton Path itself is an exemplary facility, but the connections to Coton and the city centre have many problems. The city centre end of the route via Garrett Hostel Lane is increasingly busy, and with more new journeys to come this route will not be able to cope.