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Cambs busway: GCP defies Palmer


01 June 2020

The Cambridgshire and Peterborough Combined Authority this week hinted at possible legal proceedings against the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) after it decided to press ahead with the Cambourne to Cambridge busway in defiance of combined authority mayor James Palmer.  

In February Palmer requested the GCP cease work on the project, saying it did not accord with his aims for the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM), of which the route would be the first part (LTT 21 Feb). The GCP this week decided to proceed its the £160m project. 

The GCP comprises Cambridge City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and the University of Cambridge. 

Palmer said: “Despite the combined authority’s concerns that the Cambourne to Cambridge busway does not accord with the local transport plan or the wider vision of the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM) it supposedly is a part of, the GCP have decided to proceed regardless, which risks significant delays and wasted public expenditure in contentious legal proceedings.

“In these amended plans, it would appear the GCP has listened to the concerns of Cambridge residents, but anyone outside the city has been ignored, including me. 

“I believe that, as the directly elected leader of the transport authority, I should have some input into schemes that are purportedly a part of our local transport plan. 

“The GCP would rather disregard my views, and risk the scheme coming to a halt during the planning proceedings.”

Palmer said the GCP’s plan amounted to “a standalone busway that serves only their limited Local Plan, with no consideration of the needs of the rest of the county, the impact of East West Rail or the additional future growth called for by Government and set out in the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Independent Economic Review.”

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