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Response to Cambs citizens’ assembly

Urban Transport

13 July 2020

The Greater Cambridge Partnership has formally responded to the transport citizens’ assembly held last year. The assembly considered the  question, ‘How do we reduce congestion, improve air quality, and provide better public transport in Greater Cambridge?’ Fifty-three citizens from Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire council areas participated in the event (LTT 22 Nov 19).

Members ranked ideas for restricting traffic. Closing roads to cars came top; followed by restrict or remove parking; a clean air zone; a pollution charge; a ‘flexible’ charge (e.g. road pricing); a workplace parking levy; increased parking charges; and no interventions.

The GCP’s response makes few commitments. “The GCP has heard the clear message from the assembly to ‘Be brave, be bold and take action’... Participants were clear that they wanted more to be done, and to be done quickly, including considering more difficult options to achieve bigger aims.”

It points out that some actions were agreed in February. 

“The call to be brave and bold will continue to be considered as the GCP develops packages of medium-longer term action and makes decisions about further investments.” 

The GCP “agrees with the principles that improvements in public transport need to come before measures to restrict or discourage particular travel choices; that measures need to be fair; and that any funding raised through charging needs to be ringfenced for transport in Greater Cambridge and the wider travel to work area”.

A report on possible packages of interventions (public transport, active travel, and demand management) had been due to be presented to the GCP’s executive board last month. The work has been delayed by Covid-19 and findings will be presented later this year. 

“The work will need to take into account the impacts of Covid-19 on the economy, business and transport... as well as the opportunity to encourage healthier and more sustainable travel as Greater Cambridge emerges from the current crisis,” says the GCP. 

It will “consider how any final package aligns with the views expressed by the Citizens’ Assembly”. The package will then be developed for consultation.

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