Satellite communities – like Cambourne – have been built outside Cambridge in order to provide much needed housing whilst still preserving the city’s compact character and protecting the Green Belt to the west of Newnham. To avoid gridlock on the city’s roads, residents of these towns and villages have to be provided with efficient public transport and safe cycle paths so they choose not to travel by car. The Greater Cambridge City Deal will help fund the infrastructure needed to achieve this.
During an extensive public consultation last autumn, Newnham residents were encouraged to give their views on how to reduce traffic congestion, and improve cycle and bus access to the city from the west. Newnham Labour listened throughout this process and is grateful to everyone who contributed their ideas to the debate, including the Cambridge Cycling Campaign, Smarter Cambridge Transport (formerly Better City Deal), and Cambridge Past, Present and Future.
A report on responses to the West Cambridge consultation is available at: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/info/2/transport/1/transport/5
Complex issues still need to be resolved and this will require careful negotiation between the Labour-led city council and the Tory leaders of both South Cambs Council and the County Council. These negotiations and more detailed work on the various options will take place over the summer and a full report with final recommendations is expected in September. There will then be further full public consultation on the details of this plan.
Labour welcomes recent discussions between City Deal officers and the university about the possibility of taking a bus route through the West Cambridge Site. If this proves viable, it would avoid crossing the West Fields and reduce the impact on Madingley Road, addressing many concerns expressed during the consultation. There is much work still to do, particularly regarding the best route for buses as they approach the city centre, but progress is clearly being made.