Initial statement on the revised Making Connections proposals
The Cambridgeshire Sustainable Travel Alliance (CSTA) is pleased that the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) has continued to refine the Making Connections proposals and is glad that a revised package of measures has now been announced. We welcome the fact that the GCP has listened to the concerns raised in the public consultation and responded to them by adapting the Sustainable Travel Zone scheme. As an Alliance with member organisations representing different sustainable transport modes, we are also encouraged by the fact that the revised package will continue to provide some funding for walking, wheeling and cycling, alongside the larger amount envisaged for improved bus services.
The refined Making Connections proposals represent a great first step towards a more sustainable transport system for Cambridgeshire. In the consultation survey, the public made it clear they would like politicians to deliver better sustainable transport options. This scheme has the potential to kick-start a travel transformation in our region, setting us on a course toward a better future – one in which we can all use sustainable transport to get to where we want to go safely, easily and affordably.
Councillors should have confidence that the adapted Making Connections proposals will not only keep our city moving by reducing congestion, but also provide money that is so urgently needed to deliver better sustainable transport options. Years of work have brought us to the revised package of measures announced today and there can be no more delays. We are counting on our Councillors to take the necessary steps so that the funding and unique opportunity presented by Making Connections do not slip away.
More will still need to be done, however, to make transport in Cambridgeshire truly world-class. We note that the revised package of measures generates less money for sustainable transport than the consultation proposal, so it will be important to seek supplementary funding sources to fill this gap. Similarly, to make the most of the possibilities offered by the Sustainable Travel Zone, there is more work to be done to develop and put in place additional schemes to encourage people to switch from driving to sustainable forms of transport.
We also consider it will be vital to put in place a system to monitor, review and refine the Sustainable Travel Zone on a regular basis to ensure that it achieves its aims, not only in terms of reducing congestion, but also in terms of supporting sustainable transport. The scheme must support a five star bus service and excellent facilities for walking, wheeling and cycling for the long term. We owe this, in particular, to the large numbers of young people in Cambridgeshire who expressed their support for the Sustainable Travel Zone proposals in the consultation survey.