The Greater Cambridge Partnership is proposing to improve journeys between Cambourne and Cambridge using funds from central government.

The main focus of this project is to improve bus journeys in order to encourage more people from Cambourne and those arriving from the west of the City to use the bus rather than their car and thus to reduce traffic congestion.

Their preferred option is to construct a large new park and ride on top of Madingley Hill, which at night would be visible for much of south Cambridgeshire, and to drive an off-road bus route across the side of the hill close to Coton village, through orchards and over the M11 before potentially disecting the West Fields.

Madingley Hill is one of the few high points in Cambridge and has locally significant landscape value as well as a Site of Special Scientific Interest woodland. Indeed, the founders of our charity purchased land in this area to prevent it being damaged by urban sprawl and to protect the views of Cambridge. We still own land which the bus route would cross and which is covenanted by the National Trust.

Today we are continuing our founders’ efforts by opposing this proposal and pressing the GCP to locate the park and ride at the alternative location north of Hardwick and to put an eastbound only bus lane alongside the A1303. Or alternatively, to think long-term and create a new metro system with a transport interchange at the Girton roundabout (click here to see our proposals for this).

As well as causing damage to the landscape there other concerns about the proposed Cambourne-Cambridge Busway:

  • A third of the traffic congestion on the A1303 is caused by vehicles wishing to reach the M11 from the A428, due to the absence of an access road at the Girton Interchange. This junction is scheduled to be made "4-ways" as part of the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway - and this will reduce congestion on A1303 by 30%.
  • Bus transport is not the long-term solution to Cambridge congestion due to the scale of growth and the inability of medieval Cambridge city centre to absorb the number of buses required. A more radical solution is required, such as a metro and underground.
  • The proposed busway would only cut a couple of minutes of journey time into central Cambridge which is unlikely to result in significant modal shift to public transport and therefore the damage and costs of this scheme are not justified.

Our trustees, volunteers and staff are working hard on this alongside the local community, protest groups and the National Trust.