Could an underground transport system come to Cambridge to reduce congestion? Talks start

New mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough James Palmer (top left) with his cabinet. Top row Cllr

New mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough James Palmer (top left) with his cabinet. Top row Cllr Robin Howe and top right: Cllr John Holdich. Middle row: Cllr Steven Count and Cllr Peter Topping . Bottom row: Cllr Lewis Herbert and Cllr Charles Roberts with Cllr John Clark, bottom right. - Credit: Archant

An underground sprinter style “bus” could come to Cambridge to tackle the city’s traffic congestion.

The green light has been give for talks to start on overground and underground transport options for the Greater Cambridge area.

Ideas being looked at include light rail, monorail, bus rapid transit, an underground rapid transport sprinter vehicle (AVRT) and any others to be put forward by the chosen consultant.

Mayor James Palmer said: “Greater Cambridge is of huge economic significance to the UK, and it is vital that we improve accessibility and connectivity to boost growth and prosperity whilst addressing the congestion and delays which face local people on a daily basis.”

Councillor Lewis Herbert, vice chair of the Greater Cambridge Partnership Executive Board and leader of Cambridge City Council, said: “We are all committed to delivering rapid access public transport routes to and from Cambridge.

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“To accommodate growth it is vital current proposals, including plans for better bus journeys from Cambourne to Cambridge, continue to be developed.

“We will ensure current schemes are future-proofed so that they also work for new solutions as they emerge.”

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He added the team aim to “deliver world-class public transport across Cambridge, South Cambridgeshire and out to future growth centres across Cambridgeshire and into neighbouring counties too.

“This study will allow us to better understand what will really deliver benefit, and provide a sound evidence-base for what is the optimum mix of future solutions that are feasible, deliverable and, importantly, ‘fundable’ going forward.”

Chair of the partnership, Councillor Francis Burkitt for South Cambridgeshire District Council, added: “We will work together, including with Network Rail, Highways England and the National Infrastructure Commission, and with the fresh county wide transport leadership the Mayor is adding, to secure on national commitments to help us solve intransigent transport headaches.”

The £150,000 cost of the review will be shared 50/50 by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and the Greater Cambridge Partnership. Known as the Strategic Options Appraisal,

Cllr Charles Roberts, the Combined Authority portfolio holder for transport, said: “This is an incredibly important piece of work and one that must be done thoroughly; the future growth and prosperity of our region will rely on effective and efficient transport, whether this is rail or wheel, overground or underground.

“We are hopeful that the review will help us achieve the highest possible modal shift from car journeys.”

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