The Cambridgeshire Sustainable Travel Alliance (CSTA) welcomes the publication of the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) report on the Making Connections consultation (including a new representative poll) and the detailed analytical work undertaken to produce the document.
The GCP report shows that there is very strong support (around 70%) for the transformation of bus services set out in the Making Connections proposals. The GCP’s vision for better buses is also popular with around half of those who oppose road charging as a means of funding public transport.
There is similar very strong backing for improvements to walking, cycling, accessibility and public spaces, with around three-quarters of respondents calling for more walking and cycling connections in the city.
We are unsurprised that only just over a third of consultation respondents support the Sustainable Travel Zone as a way of delivering improvements to public transport, walking and cycling, as this aligns with the results of a YouGov poll commissioned by the CSTA earlier this year. The Making Connections proposals will need to be developed further to be supported by a larger proportion of the public and the and the papers for the GCP Joint Assembly meeting on 8 June give an insight into the range of amendments needed to make the scheme a success.
We agree with the GCP that it is important for the information the report contains to be taken into consideration before decisions are taken on next steps, however we also highlight that there is far too much at stake for long delays before action is taken. The significant proportion of households who do not have access to a private motor vehicle are becoming increasingly isolated from job opportunities, education, healthcare and leisure and other needs because of the lack of sustainable alternatives.
We call on decision makers to digest this report as quickly as feasible, then press on with the vital and urgent job of reshaping our transport system so that everyone can get to where they want to be safely, easily, affordably and sustainably. The region urgently requires a sustainable source of funding which is under local democratic control (and not subject to possible withdrawal by central government) to fund improvements to buses, walking, wheeling and cycling over the longer-term, together with a plan for reducing traffic congestion to avoid the Greater Cambridge area grinding to a halt.
The CSTA will take the time required to reflect, analyse and review the GCP’s report in more detail before commenting further. We will publish a summary of the report on Tuesday 30 May, followed by commentaries on the findings from our member organisations.