The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) is proposing to improve journeys into south east Cambridge from the A11 and A1307, using funds from central government.

The main focus of this project is to encourage commuters to use a new Park & Ride close to the A11 and then use the bus for their journey into Cambridge. The project aims to reduce travel times and cut peak-hour traffic congestion on the A1307 into Cambridge.

Their preferred option is to build a new off-road bus route from Babraham to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. A new Park & Ride site would be built between Babraham village and the A11. From the Biomedical Campus, the buses would join the existing guided busway route to Cambridge Rail Station and then from the station the buses would travel on roads to the Drummer Street bus station.

This scheme would run through the Green Belt and would be very damaging to the landscape and views and so we are campaigning for less-damaging alternatives.

This video shows some of the landscape that would be impacted:

This scheme is a busway, however the GCP hopes that in future it could form part of a Cambridge Autonomous Metro (CAM) system, being proposed by the Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough.

The route alignment is shown below, with the preferred P&R site being B.

Possible design of Park & Ride site

The busway would be tarmac and look like a road. Two new bridges would be needed to cross the River Granta twice. New bus stops will also be built in the countryside, introducing urban features such as traffic lights, signs, lighting and disabled/drop-off parking (see image below). 

The impact of this scheme will be especially damaging where it runs along the lower slopes of the Gog Magog Hills, between Nine-Wells Nature Reserve and the east of Stapleford village. It will be visible from Magog Downs, a popular countryside attraction which people visit for the wonderful views.

As well as the impact of this new road through the countryside, it will sever farmland on the edge of villages, which will put this land at much greater risk of future housing development, which will degrade the Green Belt countryside further.

There is a less-damaging alternative. The latest GCP reports show that using the old Cambridge-Haverhill railway line could be used as an alternative route. There would be difficulties to overcome and it would be more expensive but this route would save damage to the countryside and better serve the communities of Stapleford and Great Shelford. So far, the public and stakeholders have not had the opportunity to give their views on this option. Yes, it could be £30m more expensive, but what price is our countryside and landscape for future generations? And who decides what value it has?

We are asking for the GCP to prioritise the less-damaging alternative and do all they can to make that happen.

Update June 2020

In June 2020 GCP Officers are recommending that the scheme be taken forward to the next stage (which would be to finalise the detailed alignment of the route as well as carrying out further surveys, such as an Environmental Impact Assessment). If the scheme continues to progress then eventually there will be a planning/transport application considered by a government inspector. The GCP Board (local politicians) will make a decision on 25 June 2020, on whether to press ahead with this scheme. You can let them know your views by emailing them:

Cllr Aiden Van de Weyer, Deputy Leader of South Cambs Council [email protected]

Cllr Roger Hickford, Deputy Leader of Cambs County Council [email protected]

Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council [email protected]

Details of the scheme being proposed by the Greater Cambridge Partnership can be found on their website.

Local campaigners are also asking people to complete a short survey to find out what you know about this scheme and your views on which option you would like. We hope to be able to show this to the GCP to encourage them to re-think. Click here to complete the survey.