I am publishing this blog piece because the GCP Making Connections consultation is causing a lot of debate and I am spending increasing amounts of time fielding general attacks on the GCP (Greater Cambridge Partnership). So I asked them what they have done since they signed the city deal and their response is below.
Before the response this is a link to the GCP’s Making Connections consultation on transformational bus proposals and a city access charge for those who may have missed this.
In the words of a GCP officer;
Our staff are working through the busiest and most challenging consultation exercise we have delivered to date, organising and running more than 75 events (mix of face to face and online) over the ten week consultation period – a figure which is growing all the time. Many of these events are in the evenings and at weekends, as I am sure most of your activities are, so ensuring we can get appropriate cover has meant the team are going over and above expectations. We do also have some consultancy support which has proved very valuable.
In terms of the broader context of the City Deal, the £500m commitment from Government can only be fully realised if the area delivers on specific commitments around growth and infrastructure. Under the terms of the Deal with Government, funding cannot be reallocated across other locally delivered services. It’s also worth saying that we carry out meaningful engagement and consultations (statutory and non-statutory) with communities multiple times across the lifetime of the development of our schemes. On the major schemes this can often span a period of several years.
The GCP has delivered the following across the Greater Cambridge area (split by workstream):
GCPs interventions have
- created 850 new apprenticeships (from 2019 – to date)
From April 2021 to date:
- provided 284 adults with careers information support
- recruited 83 Early Careers ambassadors
- provided 168 employers with funds for training initiatives
- run 764 careers guidance activities
- helped 84 primary schools access careers advice
- provided 50 students with mentoring.
- Headline – Unlocking 33,00 homes and 44,000 jobs by delivering enabling infrastructure to unlock the Local Plan
- (In development) Relocation of Waterbeach Railway Station – Directly unlocking 4,500 homes. Work underway on next steps of approval with Network Rail.
- The GCPs interventions through work with the Planning Services are forecast to help deliver 569 affordable homes in rural exception sites.
- The GCP has invested, through the New Meaning Foundation, in a programme to deliver a sustainable training programme to young people who can then deliver ‘modern methods of construction’ modular units
Economy and Environment
- (In development) The GCP is investing in work to deliver new grid substations at Cambridge East and Trumpington to help unlock thousands of new homes and ensure sustainable up take of electric vehicles
- The GCP has funded the Centre for Business Research to provide up to date insight on the impacts of COVID-19. This data would otherwise not exist and will therefore strengthen recovery strategy activities for the local area. This work will continue in light of the challenging economic circumstances the UK now faces.
The Smart work is focused around a number of topics including:
- Completed Autonomous vehicle trials
- Smarter signalling
- Improved travel and information for journeys to support the development of travel hubs
- Future Transport initiatives
- Embedding smart solutions into new and existing communities
The GCP has delivered the following projects:
- Chisholm Trail Phase 1
- Histon Road
- Cross City Cycling schemes:
- Arbury Road
- Cambridge North Railway Station and Science Park
- Ditton Lane & Links to East Cambridge
- Hills Road & Cambridge Biomedical Campus
- Fulbourn/Cherry Hinton Eastern Access
- Cycling Quick Wins:
- Yarrow Road, Cherry Hinton
- Stapleford to Sawston Phase 1
- Willingham to the Busway
- Rampton to the Busway
- Girton/ Oakington to the Busway
- Comberton to Barton
- Wadloes Path, Fen Ditton
- Cambridge South East Transport Phase 1
- Scheme 1- Granhams Road Junction Right hand turn
- Scheme 2- Cycle Storage at Babraham Park and Ride
- Scheme 6- Signalised Active Travel Crossing at Babraham Research Campus Roundabout
- Scheme 7- Babraham High Street Junction and Eastbound Bus Lane at the A11
- Scheme 9- Signalised Hidersham Crossroads with Toucan/ Pegasus Crossing
- Scheme 10- Linton Eastbound Bus Lane and Safety Improvements at Dalehead Foods
- Scheme 11- Linton Village College Junction Signal upgrade
- Scheme 12: Traffic Lights at Linton High Street Junction
- Scheme 17- Horseheath to Linton Safety Improvements
- Scheme 18- Wandlebury Crossings including improved active travel crossings.
- City Access Programme – Experimental Traffic Management Measures for COVID 19 which were subsequently made permanent on Carlyle Road, Luard Road, Newton Area, Nightingale Avenue and Silver Street
In addition the following projects are in development:
- City Access Programme:
- Making Connections proposals – following consultation results analysis (consultation closes on 23 December) next public decision point is June 2023;
- Residents Parking schemes
- Road Network Hierarchy review
- Cambourne to Cambridge scheme – Due to submit a Transport and Works Act Order in 2023
- Cambridge South East Transport Strategy Phase 2 scheme – Due to submit a Transport and Works Act Order in 2023
- Waterbeach to Cambridge – Due to consult on options in early 2023
- Cambridge Eastern Access – Due to consult on next steps in 2023
- Cambridge South West Travel Hub- Planning permission has been secured, detailed design during 2023
- Foxton Travel Hub – Due to submit planning application in late 2022/ early 2023
- Milton Road – Under construction
- Chisholm Trail Phase 2- First elements consulted on in Summer 2022, next steps are to assess and then update the designs for construction.
- Remaining Cambridge South East Transport Strategy Phase 1 schemes – Under construction/planned in 2023. Including Babraham Park and Ride extension that began on site Oct 2022 and the Linton Greenway that is under construction.
- Additional Greater Cambridge Greenways – 11 major new schemes linking into the city. Due to begin construction in 2023.
- Madingley Road- Consultation in 2023.
- Whittlesford Station Masterplan- Work underway to update the Transport Needs Assessment for the area.