March Transport Study Virtual Consultation Room ‘a huge success and a hit with the public’, Combined Authority says
PUBLISHED: 06:00 14 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:23 14 July 2020
The March Transport Study Virtual Consultation Room, which went live from May 15 until June 28, has been a huge success according to a report put to members of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA).
Mehmet Ahmed, CPCA transport program manager, addressed members of the transport and infrastructure committee at their online meeting and said: “Through the virtual room we have had over 4,000 visits to the site and in terms of survey completions there has been 111 which is very positive indeed considering in a previous round of consultation we received a significantly smaller number than this.
“Certainly, the feedback from the public has been very positive and they consider the virtual experience something of a ‘hit’ and while further analysis of the survey is ongoing, in summary there are obvious schemes that have been favoured.
“The vision of Fenland District Council is set out within their Local Plan (2014) aims ‘…to maximise the potential of the area and deliver jobs, skills, improved housing and new infrastructure’, making Fenland ‘a better place to live, work and visit’.
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“Their Local Plan includes the delivery of 4,200 new homes in March as well 30 hectares of employment land to provide new jobs and a vital part of this was the 2011 March Area Transport Study (MATS) which provided the transport evidence base for the Local Plan assessing the impact of traffic growth as a result.
“The March Options Assessment Report (OAR) sets out the development and assessment of improvements identified within MATS detailing the technical work undertaken in relation to traffic modelling and makes recommendations for several schemes to be taken forward for development.
“The outbreak of Covid-19 in March 2020, meant that maintaining momentum would always prove a challenge, so we procured online consultation support in the form of a virtual consultation room in which the projects requiring opinions could be ‘displayed’ to members of the public
“With over 4,000 visits and positive feedback from nearly everyone who took part we think the virtual room has been a huge success and we are looking forward now to analysing the outcome of the data feedback that we have received to see which of these projects will receive funding to take it to the next stage.”
Within the January 2020 Medium-Term Financial Plan (MTFP) there is £4.6m available for the OBC and preliminary design stage (£3.2m in 20/21 and £1.5m in 21/22) subject to approval from the Combined Authority Board.
Members of the committee unanimously approved the drawdown of £1 millio for the production of the outline business case and preliminary designs.
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