A plan to create a second guided busway in Cambridgeshire has been scrapped.
Plans were afoot by the Greater Cambridge Partnership to create the county’s second multi-million pound guided busway as part of transport improvements along the A428 Cambourne to Cambridge corridor. However, the guided busway has been altogether dropped in favour of an enhanced metro scheme around Cambridge. An electrically powered, rubber tyred and “environmentally sound” vehicle will serve this section instead.
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Board made the decision based on recommendations in a report by consultant Arup, which reviewed the A428 development route plan. It was appointed to provide the role of ‘critical and technical friend’ to support the development of the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM) project – a much wider and ambitious metro scheme that had been struggling to gather pace.
The existing Cambridgeshire Guided Busway was built at great expense and has been mired in controversy since before its handover in 2011. New concerns were raised as recently as last summer about design and construction flaws on the route.
The report reviewed the A428 development route and identify the best solution for the transport corridor. The route will now form the first phase of what was described by Cambridge mayor James Palmer as an “accelerated” programme to deliver the CAM.
Cambridge Metro Plan
Palmer said constructive discussions with the partnership over recent months had led to the revised scheme. “Our plans are now aligned and from now on our focus will be on coordinating our efforts, resources and talents to ensure that a CAM system is delivered as soon as practically possible.”
The business case outline for CAM, by consultant Steer, is scheduled to be presented to the Combined Authority Board at its January meeting. This is expected to give broader details on the extent and reach of the metro as well as costs and sources of funding.