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Cambridgeshire plans £6M guided busway extension

Cambridgeshire County Council was today preparing to work up detailed plans to extend its guided busway to a new railway station at Cambridge Science Park.

The £30M station was granted planning permission late last month.

The council is to discuss the land acquisitions needed in a closed session of its Cabinet today.

Cabinet papers reveal that the local authority has set aside £13.4M for capital works on the busway in 2014/15.

Of this, £6M is a government grant awarded last month, specifically to fund the extension to the new station.

A further £7.4M will be spent on land acquisitions and other works.

The outlay is mitigated in part by the release of a £4M cash pot that the council had held as a contingency fund during its legal dispute with original busway contractor Bam Nuttall. This dispute was settled last year in the council’s favour.

Transforming public transport

The new station is intended to transform public transport to one of Cambridge’s main business areas, including the science park, innovation centre and business park.

The project will create a transport hub connecting rail and bus services, plus cycling and pedestrian facilities.

The station will be on the main line between Cambridge and Ely and is expected to be served by trains running to London King’s Cross, London Liverpool Street, Norwich and King’s Lynn. Trains may also be available to run to Stansted airport and Birmingham.

The busway will be extended by around 600m to take it to the new station from the nearest existing stop at Milton Road.

The council also has plans to extend the busway to Ramsey, Chatteris and Peterborough.

Early last year it won a £1.7M slice of the government’s Better Bus Area Fund to develop the plans. Aside from the legal dispute, the busway has been hugely successful. In the first year of operation 2.5M journeys were made - 750,000 more than forecast.

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