GCP CSET public consultation: Environmental Impact Assess open to 14th December 2020

Cambridge South East Transport Environmental Impact Assessment

Good Morning

The new public transport route between the A11 at Babraham and Cambridge was approved in principle by the Greater Cambridge Partnership Executive Board in June 2020. As part of the scheme development process we will be conducting a full Environmental Impact Assessment.

We are pleased to announce that the consultation has opened today and we are now seeking your views on the design of the proposals and how we could best manage and mitigate possible impacts. It will run for the next eight weeks, closing on 14 December 2020.

Ordinarily we would meet in person at our public events. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing need for social distancing we won’t be holding face to face events.   In light of this, the consultation will be held online. All materials, videos, an interactive map, as well as a virtual consultation room, are available on our webpages:

www.greatercambridge.org.uk/CambridgeSET

However, we recognise that not everyone has internet access and we don’t want to exclude people from being able to respond, therefore, if you do not have access to the internet, you can register for a postal information pack by telephoning 01223 699906.

The GCP is also launching a separate consultation on our Waterbeach to Cambridge scheme today and you may have received two emails from us today. We felt it important to differentiate these two schemes and have therefore separated them in communication. We apologise if this has caused any inconvenience.

Greater Cambridge Partnership

MUGA Agreement

The Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) project has been underway for a few months now and the presentations on that can be found on the Parish Council’s website (https://staplefordparishcouncil.gov.uk/notice-category/sports/).

Funding of £80,000 has been put aside from the S106 money to ensure the project can purchase the required fencing, renew the all-weather surface, and provide lighting so that play can be extended into the evening. A planning permission application has also now been submitted detailing all this.

The Parish Council thought it was important to widen the use of this facility to include football, netball, and basketball, and ensure use by the long-established Stapleford Tennis Club so that this club could continue to flourish.

We are pleased to announce that an agreement has now been reached.  This agreement ensures that tennis will be playable on at least one court for 6 days a week either via membership of the Tennis Club or via a pay-to-pay (P2P) option. The agreement ensures an appropriate financial contribution so that the Parish Council can maintain the facility and accrue sufficient sums to ensure the longer-term replacement costs are reserved. It also ensures the Tennis Club can set aside specific times for coaching and club events which will be noted on their website when the facility is opened (https://clubspark.lta.org.uk/StaplefordTennisClub).

More specific details around the schedule of play and how to book a court for any sport will be made widely available following a successful outcome of the planning permission exercise.

 

Signed

 

Stapleford Parish Council & Stapleford Tennis Club

Cambridge Community Arts

Being creative is good for you, it will improve your mental wellbeing and your confidence. Cambridge Community Arts have year-long accredited creative courses in Visual, Digital & Performing Arts starting in September 2020.

CCA’s classes offer a non-judgemental, stimulating, and friendly environment. They are run by experienced professional artists in local community centres and have a maximum of ten people per class. Our one-year, part-time courses in partnership with Cambridge Regional College, allow you to explore your chosen art form in depth and gain an AIM Awards Level 2 Certificate in Skills for Working in the Creative & Design Industries.

Courses are open to adults 19+. Priority is given to people with health conditions. Reduced cost for those on low income or means-tested benefit.

Please visit their website or view their CCA Programme 20-21 and find more information about each course, fees and how to apply.

  Contact details: admin@camcommarts.org.uk   or  07763 280029

 

 

Cambridge South train station – announcement on preferred location

Region & Route:

Network Rail has identified the preferred location of the proposed new railway station for Cambridge South. The chosen location corresponds with Option 1 presented to the public earlier this year and follows a review of engineering and design information together with the results of public consultation.

The new station is proposed to be located adjacent to the Guided Busway and will provide a new transport choice to patients, visitors and employees when travelling to and from the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. The station will also provide direct access to a range of potential routes on the rail network for those in South Cambridgeshire and better connections across the southern fringe of the city.

During a six-week public consultation in January and February 2020, representatives of Network Rail arranged ten events around Cambridgeshire for the public to comment on the three location options between Addenbrooke’s Bridge and Nine Wells Bridge and the associated access arrangements for each location.

Almost 1000 people attended the events and over 960 comments were received (via post, online or in person) before 2nd March when the consultation closed. The vast majority, 94 per cent supported the need for the station to be built. Out of the three options presented, 55 per cent of those who submitted comments supported Option 1 (northern option).

As well as commenting on the location, Network Rail  was challenged by the public to protect places of significance such as Hobson’s Park and Nine Wells Nature Reserve to consider the impacts on the environment and businesses on the east side of the railway; to consider impacts on sustainable travel modes, including walking, cycling and public transport and enhance the connections for such modes. These concerns will continue to be considered during the next phases of development.

Network Rail will now proceed with further design development work, working closely with stakeholders and funders of the project including the Department for Transport, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, the Greater Cambridge Partnership and AstraZeneca Ltd.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “This is a significant step forward for the development of a new station serving Cambridge’s important biomedical campus and the southern fringe of the city. Selecting a preferred location will allow the development work to continue in more detail as we move towards a second round of public consultation later this year.”

“This project continues to show what we can do when we work closely with external partners to develop the railway to the benefit of local communities and businesses and I am excited to see this continue as we head into the next phase of development.”

James Palmer, Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, said: “This is a very welcome step forward.  Anything which brings this much-needed station closer is good news. This is the right place for commuters and we just need to see the pace kept up until the station is delivered and can start working for people.”

Cllr Aidan Van de Weyer, Chair of the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s Executive Board, said: “Cambridge South will help unlock the full potential of the Greater Cambridge economy, linking up with existing public transport and other planned schemes so thousands of people heading to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus will have a quick and sustainable alternative to the car that cuts road congestion and improves air quality.

“The Coronavirus will have a significant impact on our lives for some time but it is vital that we invest in better public transport, especially infrastructure such as this, that will help people get to work safely and quickly.”

Dr Andy Williams, Vice President Cambridge Programme & Strategy, AstraZeneca, said: “As the development of Cambridge South station continues to gather momentum, we are delighted that the preferred location for the station has now been confirmed. This latest progress represents a key step in the journey towards the future provision of easier ways for thousands of patients, visitors and employees to reach the Cambridge Biomedical Campus each day.”

“Not only will the station give people an alternative to the car, but we believe it will bring significant and sustainable benefits to the life science sector and the city. We will continue to work with Network Rail and other stakeholders to help deliver the station.”

For more information about the proposals for Cambridge South, please visit the project webpage at: www.networkrail.co.uk/cambridge-south-station/

Notes to Editors: A second round of public consultation on the preferred option is being planned for later in 2020 to seek feedback on the architectural form of the station, construction elements such as construction routes and diversions, preliminary environmental impacts and the operational scheme. Consultation and events will be adapted to address advice from Public Health England and the Government closer to the time. Dates for the launch of Round Two consultation will be announced later in the year.

A Transport and Works Act Order is anticipated to be submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport in 2021 to obtain the consent to build the station.

Subject to gaining consent, work could start on the station in 2023 with a funder target of station opening in 2025.

SPC Position Statement on Cambridge South East Transport

The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) undertook the first public consultation on their proposals for a new public transport route between the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC) and Granta Park in early 2018; a map of the proposed routes can be found here. This consultation presented options for one of the following:

  1. An off-road busway route;
  2. An inbound bus lane on the A1307 to the Babraham Park and Ride with a busway link into the Cambridge Biomedical Campus;
  3. An inbound bus lane on the A1307 all the way to Addenbrookes.

However:

  • The option of an alternative off-road busway route following the former railway line through the villages of Great Shelford and Stapleford was not included in the consultation. This option was screened out at an early stage on the basis that it was not feasible.
  • The report on the first consultation concluded that an almost equal number of respondents felt that the strategy would not encourage modal shift as supported the chosen route.

The GCP undertook a second public consultation on the proposals towards the end of 2019. However, this consultation was limited to the location of the Park and Ride near Granta Park and associated access-ways. As such, the GCP has not yet undertaken any public consultation on the option of an alternative off-road busway route following the former railway line through the villages of Great Shelford and Stapleford.

Errors / Omissions in Officer’s reports

Repeated representations over an extended period have been made to the GCP by Great Shelford and Stapleford Parish Councils expressing concerns about the lack of public consultation on the option of an alternative off-road route following the former railway line. These representations were summarised in the LLF report presented to the Joint Assembly on 03 June 2020: ‘the major part of the discussion was about the alternative railway alignment route…there had been no opportunity for any public consultation… challenged a number of the statements and argued that calculations were open to interpretation’.

Despite our representations, GCP officers reported to the Joint Assembly on 03 June 2020 that there were no outstanding consultation issues. This is factually incorrect, and may have unduly influenced the Joint Assembly in reaching their recommendations. We consider full public consultation to be of critical importance to the process, and because key aspects of the scheme have never been included for public consultation, we consider the Joint Assembly recommendations that relate to the route have not been made with full and proper access to the facts.

The alternative former railway route

Further to questions being raised by the public about the alternative route via the former railway line, the GCP commissioned consultants Mott MacDonald to make a more detailed assessment of the former railway route than had previously been undertaken at screening stage. Mott Macdonald issued the report ‘CSET Phase 2 Shelford Railway Alignment: Design Development & Feasibility Assessment’ in May 2020, two years after the first consultation. This report appeared only days before the LLF meeting of 03 June 2020, allowing little time for detailed examination.

The Mott Macdonald report concluded that the former railway alignment option is technically feasible, although this option would incur additional costs and potential loss of several additional structures along the route.  In addition, the report based its conclusions on an option that designated a short section of Chaston Road as road space to be shared with local traffic, preventing the route from being fully segregated and therefore influencing the final scores attributed in their analysis.

Moreover, the report made no analysis of:

  • The value of lost landscape and amenity, and how these costs compare against the identified additional construction costs;
  • Economic benefits to the villages of Great Shelford and Stapleford, including additional employment benefits, by connecting the villages more directly into the public transport network;
  • Amenity benefits to local residents through more effective connections to local and regional community assets, services and employment sites along the former railway alignment route, including the important health care facilities at Addenbrookes;
  • Full segregation for the short section of Chaston Road that was designated for shared road use, although this was identified as feasible.

Accuracy in statistical reporting

  • The analysis of data put forward in the Mott MacDonald report depends on the underlying assumptions made and their interpretation. There are small differences in the demand estimates well within a margin of error.
  • The chosen route score is 50% more in terms of transport benefits but with a different assessment based on CAM compliance the rankings are likely to change materially.

Environmental impacts

  • Whilst the Macdonald Report (May 2020) gives a detailed assessment of the railway route, the environmental impact report for the chosen route has yet to be commissioned.
  • The busway is a 14 metre wide strip of tarmacadam skirting the Magog downland. The impact will result in the loss of unique chalk downland landscape, irreparable damage to the open countryside and loss of biodiversity. Most significantly, there will be harm to important views and the landscape setting of Cambridge.
  • The statement in support reads: ‘We would ensure it is integrated into the existing landscape as much as possible’; this is an inadequate response, and there is an acknowledgement that the planned busway stops will make a significant intrusion on the landscape.
  • It is recognised that open countryside is important to mental health as this location is key to accessibility for the general public.

Loss of greenbelt

  • The proposed route will destroy greenbelt which is designated to protect the rural setting and landscapes of the villages in South Cambridgeshire.
  • Despite assurances to the contrary the proposed busway will inevitably redefine the curtilage of these villages with potentially irresistible pressure from speculative housing developers to develop the enclosed fields in a new Local Plan.

Induced congestion

  • The scheme adds two new road crossings for the busway with resultant traffic congestion and extra pollution in the village. The proposed stations will attract intrusive and antisocial commuter parking on unsuitable country roads.

 Integrated transport plan

  • The scheme as currently conceived does not provide a transformational multi-modal transport system for the region.
  • The scheme fails to integrate with the opportunity for a grade-separated junction as envisaged by East West Rail and in the wider context to take into account a rapid transport link to Haverhill.
  • The scheme is designed for buses to run on from Cambridge Biomedical Campus into the city centre on the existing busway. Any introduction of trams at a future date would require construction of the CAM tunnels.

 Economic context

  • The scheme fails to link the commercial heart of Great Shelford and neither links Sawston and the several campus developments along the A1301 and A1307 such as Huawei, Babraham and Genome. It misses the opportunity for significant economic benefit and sustainability to our villages.
  • The stations are uphill a kilometre out of the village. Given the literally handful of houses in proximity, the claim that significant populations will make use of the route appear difficult to justify unless many houses are built, which appears to be the implication from the projections.
  • Furthermore with buses full of commuters generated by over 2,000 cars at the Park and Ride it is doubtful there will be the capacity at peak times to carry them.

 

 

GCPs Proposed Busway

Did you know that a Busway is planned to cross our beautiful countryside with construction to start in just 2 YEAR’S time?

A 14 metre wide swathe will be cut across the fields adjoining the Magog downland damaging the unique landscape and destroying the greenbelt with buses running each way every eight minutes.

ACT NOW to support the alternative route along the old Cambridge-Haverhill railway line. Email your objection to: cllr.vandeweyer@scambs.gov.ukroger.hickford@cambridgeshire.gov.uk; and lewis.herbert@cambridge.gov.uk today.

DO Not Wait – on the 25th of June the scheme moves to the next stage.

Find out more at https://www.cambridgeppf.org/south-east-cambridge-busway

Planning Application for the A1307 junction at Gog Magog

A planning application has been submitted for the construction of a new staggered junction, footway / cycleway; an at grade unsignalised crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists at the A1307 / Haverhill Road / Gog Farm shop junction; a new right turn filter lane and upgraded crossing point for pedestrians and cyclists at the Gog Farm Shop entrance, including associated engineering and landscape works.

Comments on this planning application should be submitted by 8 July 2020. Copies of all the application documentation can be viewed online at http://planning.cambridgeshire.gov.uk by entering the relevant application reference number (CCC/20/033/FUL) and registering to submit your comments online. Alternatively, you can send an email to planningdc@cambridgeshire.gov.uk or comments can be sent in writing.

If your comment is not received by 8 July 2020 the assumption will be that you do not wish to make any comments on this application.

COVID-19 Update from Cambridgeshire County Council

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough communities urged to support NHS Test and Trace – From today people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are being urged to support a new NHS Test and Trace programme which will aim to track every single case of coronavirus in our communities to stop the infection spreading.

In a briefing last night, Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, urged everyone to support the programme, which aims to gradually replace the national lockdown with individual isolation for those who have been in contact with the virus and local action where it is necessary to respond to a flare up of coronavirus cases.

As we move out of the national lockdown, we are asking those who have been in contact with anyone who might have the virus to isolate themselves.

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council will also be able to take robust action where a number of people have or are suspected of having caught the virus.

From now on, everyone is being asked to follow this three-step plan: 

Step 1 – If you have one or more of the symptoms of coronavirus – a fever, a new continuous cough or a loss of taste or smell – you and the people you live with must immediately self-isolate.

 Step 2 – You then must book a test on the NHS Coronavirus website and if you don’t have internet access dial 119. Do not leave home for any other reason. If you test positive, you will then be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service within 24 hours.

 Step 3 – If you do test positive, NHS Test and Trace will help you establish who you have been in contact with and might have infected. This could be members of your own household already isolating or someone you have been within 2 metres of for more than 15 minutes. You will also be given clinical advice and support for dealing with the virus. NHS Test and Trace will then contact those contacts anonymously. If you are one of those contacts, you will be advised to isolate for 14 days, even if you don’t have symptoms or feel perfectly well. If you developed symptoms, you would be required to get a test.

Councillor Steve Count, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “The Government has made it very clear that if you get symptoms you must isolate immediately and get a test. If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, instructing you to isolate, you must do so.

“If the lockdown measures are to be lifted further we all need to follow these instructions to slow the spread of the virus even further, keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, along with protecting the NHS and all key workers.

“The more people who correctly use Test and Trace, the greater impact it will have on the spread of the virus and the quicker we will be able to return to seeing the people we love and doing the things we all enjoy.

“We know that people who are required to self-isolate might need help and support if they don’t have friends, family or neighbours to call upon, and we will make sure that support is available through the network of local hubs.”

A network of COVID-19 hubs is working across the county to help people who need support at this time and don’t have family, friends or neighbours they can ask for help.

People who need help whilst isolating should visit www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk or call 0345 045 5219.

test and trace