The ‘Greater Cambridge Partnership’ (GCP)* has been assessing the various transport gateways to Cambridge (below) and is now looking at what it calls the ‘south east’ area, which means the A1307 Babraham Road approach leading into Hills Road.
This is important strategically, as not only is it the route for traffic from Linton, Haverhill and parts of north Essex, but it takes in the entrance to the growing Biomedical Campus (Addenbrookes roundabout), and links the city to the Babraham Research Campus and Granta Park employment centres. What gets decided could have a major impact on our quality of life here in Queen Edith’s, as it will involve infrastructure building for several years. It will change the way people travel to and through our area, and may carve out areas that could be targeted for new development.
The main aim of the scheme is to build a new Park & Ride (either near the A1307 junction with the A11 or on the A505) and provide better public transport links from it to the Biomedical Campus and then on into the city. The new Park & Ride is two or three times further out from the city than the existing Babraham Road Park & Ride:
Three ‘strategies’ have been developed by the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) with some input from a ‘Local Liaison Forum’ last year. All of them involve creating the new Park & Ride and linking it by public transport to the Biomedical Campus through a priority system.
The first strategy is a fully segregated off-road bus route across Green Belt land (‘Mass Rapid Transit’, according to the GCP) from the new Park & Ride, skirting the north of Sawston and Great Shelford, entering the Biomedical Campus at its westernmost tip. The new Park & Ride would be the eastern end. This would have minimal impact on Queen Edith’s area, but implications for Nine Wells Nature Reserve.
The second strategy is a fully segregated off-road bus route just from the Babraham Road Park & Ride across Green Belt land, entering the Biomedical Campus halfway along its southern edge. There’ll be an inbound-only bus lane alongside the A1307 from the Babraham Research Campus to the Babraham Road Park & Ride.
The third strategy is a 6m-wide inbound-only bus lane alongside the A1307 all the way from the Babraham Research Campus to the Addenbrooke’s Hospital roundabout.
The GCP will make a decision this summer on which strategy to pursue. These are the options on the table – now we need to have our say on which we prefer.
Public feedback is being invited now, in a consultation process which ends on 3 April. It should be noted that of the public being consulted, those who live out in the countryside considerably outnumber those of us in Queen Edith’s. As we are at the focal point of the whole scheme, it’s important that as many of us as possible here get involved in the discussions.
There are also a number of smaller projects being recommended, including widening Granham’s Road junction to provide an outbound right-turn lane; additional covered cycle parking at Babraham Road Park & Ride; a cycle and pedestrian ‘Greenway’ path from the Biomedical Campus to Linton, separated from the Road; safety improvements at the Gog Farm Shop junction; and an underpass at Wandlebury for pedestrians, cyclists and horse-riders.
How to find out more
- (now passed) The Queen Edith’s Community Forum organised a public meeting on Thursday 8 March, from 7pm – 9pm, in the Wilkinson Room at St John The Evangelist Church, Hills Road. The whole scheme was discussed by a panel including Andrew Munro, Project Manager from the Greater Cambridge Partnership; Sam Davies, Chair of the Queen Edith’s Community Forum; Edward Leigh, Chair of Smarter Cambridge Transport; and local wildlife enthusiast John Meed.
- The GCP has a public exhibition the following Thursday, 15 March, from 4pm – 7pm, again in the Wilkinson Room at St John The Evangelist Church, Hills Road. Drop in at any time for a chance to chat informally with the officers involved, in person.
- Here’s a link to the full consultation brochure issued by the GCP.
- To read everything the GCP has published about the plans online, go to queen–ediths.info/gcp, which will send you to the information area on the GCP’s website. There are dozens of documents available.
How to have your say
The easiest way to put forward your opinions is through the GCP’s online survey, which is easy to complete. You can just tick a few boxes, or if you wish, it has plenty of space to write comments. You can also have your say by email, or by letter to Greater Cambridge Partnership, SH1317, Shire Hall, Cambridge CB3 0AP.
*The GCP is the public body in charge of the potential billion-pound ‘City Deal’ government funding to support the development of infrastructure, housing and skills in the south of Cambridgeshire.