Agenda and draft minutes

Greater Cambridge Partnership Joint Assembly - Wednesday, 27 February 2019 2.00 p.m.

Venue: Council Chamber, Guildhall, Cambridge

Contact: Democratic Services  03450 450 500 Email:

No. Item




There were no apologies for absence from Joint Assembly members.


Declarations of Interest


The following non-statutory disclosable  interests were declared:


·         Christopher Walkinshaw’s place of work was on the east side of Cambridge.

·         Heather Richards lived off Milton Road.

·         Helen Valentine lived on Queen Edith’s Way.

·         Councillors Noel Kavanagh and Dave Baigent were members of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign.



Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 160 KB

To authorise the Assembly to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 15 November 2018 as a correct record.

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The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record, subject to the following amendments:


·         Minute 6: Cambourne to Cambridge - Councillor Sollom referred to the list of points he raised set out at the top of page 4 and asked that this include reference to his question about strategic infrastructure projects, including East West Rail.  Although this was covered elsewhere in the minutes it had not been attributed to him.

·         Minute 7: City Access and Bus Service Improvements - Councillors Baigent and Massey referred to their comments about affordable public transport and a request for detailed not indicative costs of free bus travel and asked for this to be included in the minutes.

·         Minute 9: Quarterly Progress Report -reference to ‘C-CAV2’ towards the bottom of page 4 should be corrected to read ‘C-CAV4’.



Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 50 KB

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The Joint Assembly noted that seven public questions had been received.  Two questions related to the GCP Future Investment Strategy [item 7] and five questions related to Milton Road [item 11] and were considered alongside the relevant agenda item.







It was noted that no petitions had been received.


Budget Setting 2019/20 and Quarterly Progress Report pdf icon PDF 3 MB

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The Head of Strategy and Programme presented a report which updated which detailed the 2019/20 budget proposals and set out progress across the GCP programme. The report also outlined plans to explore the feasibility of investing in a rolling fund to support the development of a new substation.  With reference to the procurement exercise for GCP Apprenticeship services, referred to at paragraph 6 of the report, it was noted that the contract had been awarded to a joint bid from Form the Future and Cambridge Regional College.


In response to concerns raised by Councillor John Williams regarding progress on cross city cycling improvements, in particular his challenge to the suggestion that this work was almost complete, the Joint Assembly was informed that the amount of temporary work being done at any one time often gave the impression that schemes were far from completion when this was not the case. It was confirmed that the Green End Road scheme would be 98% completed by the following week, leaving a small amount of landscaping to be done. There had been a delay with building the floating bus stops at Fulbourn Road caused by land acquisition discussions; but these were now complete and work could proceed. The Fen Ditton scheme would be completed by the end of May 2019, hopefully sooner. It had been decided to complete the final phase of the Arbury Road scheme during the school summer holidays, to minimise disruption. Responding to a related question from Councillor Baigent about the potential impact of road closures at Arbury Road and Mill Road bridge, it was confirmed that discussions would take place to mitigate the impact of this.


Helen Valentine was concerned that plans to show advertising on  digital wayfinding devices at the station would interrupt the display of time critical travel information for those using public transport. Councillor Massey recalled her earlier comments about problems with the device at the station and asked whether new devices would be an improved version or the same as existing ones that didn’t work as well as they might.  The Chief Executive agreed to raise these matters with the team.


Helen Valentine also drew attention to reference to the planned reduction in percentage allocated from the New Homes Bonus. The Joint Assembly was informed that more work would be done to discuss match funding with each constituent local authority, over the next 12 months.


Referring to integrated ticketing opportunities, Councillor Sollom queried when something would be done about this rather than opportunities being reviewed; he suggested this should be pushed forward rapidly. He also pointed out that the electrification of transport was not mentioned in the report. In response to integrated ticketing opportunities, the Chief Executive echoed Councillor Sollom’s frustration and drew attention to complexities involved in achieving this. She undertook to speak to the team concerned and stress the need to find urgent solutions.


In response to queries raised by Councillor Wilson regarding the Cottenham to Oakington cycle path and the Rampton project, the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


GCP Future Investment Strategy pdf icon PDF 1 MB


Angela Chadwyck-Healey was invited to ask her public question. She asked a further question on behalf of Dr Colin Harris. The questions and a summary of the responses are provided at Appendix A of the minutes.


The Head of Transport Strategy presented the report which set out an updated Future Investment Strategy to support preparations for the forthcoming first Gateway Review.


Councillor John Williams informed the Joint Assembly of the outcomes of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s public consultation on its Business Plan, which indicated there were serious concerns regarding transport in South Cambridgeshire; in particular the need for alternatives to the car for local trips within South Cambridgeshire. He suggested that the GCP focussed on the main commuter routes into the City, Biomedical Campus and Cambridge Business Park, and overlooked these shorter local trips between South Cambridgeshire villages. South Cambridgeshire District Council was keen to make growth more sustainable and to encourage businesses into villages, thereby enabling more sustainable commuter trips between villages. South Cambridgeshire needed the infrastructure to enable sustainable work journeys such as by foot and bicycle. Councillor Williams hoped that the GCP would take note of and support South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Business Plan.


Councillor Massey commented that while improving service provision and journey times on key routes, cost should not be forgotten. Public transport needed to be affordable for everyone and she was in favour of investigating the feasibility of free travel. She asked how far the GCP had progressed in discussions with local transport providers. The Joint Assembly was informed that officers were asking questions of the public regarding the appetite for reducing fares as part of ‘Choices for Better Journeys’.


Councillor Sollom queried the degree to which East/West rail was being aligned. He highlighted that development around the Cambridge/Oxford corridor was being consulted on. Assurance had been given that the GCP was aligning with East/West rail. He raised concern regarding the potential duplication of public transport, highlighting the Cambourne to Cambridge corridor. He queried the degree to which this corridor should be prioritised when there was still uncertainty around the Cambridge/Oxford transport corridor and East/West rail.


Regarding prioritisation of schemes, Jo Sainsbury commented that the achievability of timescales was missing. She wanted to see the risks around S106 funding included and the alternatives and impacts on other services if funding was not forthcoming.


Dr Wells suggested that affordability should be separated from other elements of deliverability. It should also be stipulated that if certain schemes were delivered, what other schemes were therefore unlikely to be delivered.


Christopher Walkinshaw was pleased to see that the GCP was looking forward to the end of the period and introduced the concept of a second gateway review. The Joint Assembly was informed that the criteria for this would be different to the first gateway review and would look at economic indicators and growth.


Councillor Topping queried whether an allocation of £25m to address energy capacity and infrastructure issues was sufficient and whether this matched other investment in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


A10 Foxton Level Crossing Bypass and Parking at Foxton Rail Station pdf icon PDF 1 MB


The Transport Director presented the report which set out the review of work undertaken on the Foxton Level Crossing and rail parking options in the vicinity of Foxton station. The Joint Assembly was informed that a bypass could be built; but if this was done this would be a bridge rather than an underpass. The Joint Assembly was also informed that there may be a pressing need for parking in the area, given the growth in rail passengers in the last decade.


Dr Andy Williams welcomed the report and highlighted the lack of feedback from local residents; he suggested public consultation was needed. Councillor Topping echoed this point, emphasising the significant impact this scheme would have on Foxton.  He informed the Joint Assembly that a discussion had taken place between the Chairman of Foxton Parish Council and GCP officers. Given the scale of economic development in South Cambridgeshire, anomalies such as the level crossing barrier at Foxton would have to be addressed. A coherent package of measures was needed.


Councillor Dave Baigent raised concern about removing the level crossing as the delay caused by the crossing restricted traffic entering Cambridge; he felt that removing this would encourage more cars to enter the city. He suggested a serious rethink of this scheme was needed.


Dr Wells echoed Councillor Baigent’s view. He pointed out that the entrance to the park and rail would be blocked by traffic queuing at the level crossing, therefore the options set out in the report were not independent. This was acknowledged by the Transport Director.


Councillor Kavanagh highlighted that cyclists and their needs along this route needed to be kept in mind. He pointed out that their numbers would increase and an investment in a bridge bypassing the level crossing would benefit them, particularly if it had a segregated cycle path. He also pointed out that the current level crossing may be impeding the progress of emergency vehicles.


Christopher Walkinshaw expressed support for the scheme, suggesting that Foxton was a significant opportunity to establish park and rail. He raised concern that level crossings could restrict the capacity of the rail line, which should not be overlooked. In response to this the Transport Director informed the Joint Assembly that he was not aware that this level crossing negatively impacted capacity of the railway. This may however change if East/West rail came to the area.


Councillor Sollom informed the Joint Assembly that local residents welcomed interventions to reduce traffic; however they were concerned about the potential removal of the level crossing which currently enabled them to exit their driveways and side streets when it was down, as it stopped the traffic. He suggested the GCP needed to think about how to make things easier for cyclists and queried what the impact of the proposals would be on East/West rail. The Transport Director informed the Joint Assembly that there would be significant implications on East/West rail, which would have to be reviewed. 


Helen Valentine expressed her support for both interventions,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Cambridge Biomedical Campus Transport Needs Review pdf icon PDF 1 MB


The Transport Director presented the emerging outputs and proposals from the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC) Transport Needs Review, highlighting that this made the case for Cambridge South Station and an associated package of proposals.


Councillor Wilson highlighted that the most convenient and only reliable way to get to CBC from the northern villages was by car as all public transport options that had been in place had been taken away. Cambridge South Station would be a good option for people from these villages, if they could get to the station without driving.


Councillor Massey suggested that Addenbrooke’s Hospital and CBC needed to invest more in this project. Basic measures such as walking and cycling routes on site were also needed, as well as better links to the park and ride and better signage. She suggested shuttle buses to park and ride would make a huge difference and patients and visitors needed to be encouraged to travel to the site by public transport rather than car. She welcomed a review of bus times to make sure they served those working on site. Councillor Massey was not in favour of reviewing hospital visiting times to avoid peak hours as these times were for the benefit of the patients and their visitors, many of which would only be able to visit outside of working hours. She suggested the avoidance of deliveries at peak times should be looked at.


Helen Valentine commented that Cambridge South Station was essential. However this was a number of years away and interventions were needed before this was in place. She suggested the report underplayed the importance of the role of cycling, particularly from the east and south east. There was little reference to the need to upgrade cycle routes from Queen Edith’s Way, Wolfston Way and Nightingale Avenue. The Transport Director provided assurance that this issue would be fed in to future discussions.


Christopher Walkinshaw welcomed the report and queried whether analysis had been carried out regarding where those travelling to CBC were coming from. He pointed out that most interventions were on site. The Transport Director clarified that this analysis had been done.


Dr Andy Williams assured the Joint Assembly that CBC partners took this very seriously and were investing where they could. He highlighted that the short term problems were very significant and local residents needed to be engaged with. The Transport Director informed the Joint Assembly that discussions with residents had been scheduled and that the GCP and CBC partners were already working together as a team. Local residents needed to be drawn into this. He clarified that Astra Zeneca would have no allocated car parking for staff on site and that on the whole CBC site there was only parking provision for 20-30% of staff. Analysis had been undertaken of where CBC staff were travelling from.


Dr John Wells also welcomed the report and suggested there were many interventions that could be put in place in the short term. He pointed out that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


The Chisholm Trail pdf icon PDF 2 MB


Mike Davies presented a report on progress on the delivery of Phase One of the Chisholm Trail scheme, and looked ahead to how Phase Two would be delivered to complete the scheme.


The Joint Assembly Chairperson pointed out that the scheme was more expensive than had originally been estimated.


Councillor Kavanagh queried whether there were any plans to make it easier for cyclists to access the southern part of the busway from Carter Bridge, as currently the front of the station was difficult for cyclists to navigate due to the taxi rank and the road configuration at the front of the station. In response to this the Assembly was informed that the project did not include any plans for the station frontage.


The Joint Assembly was informed that a bridge between the Ridgeons site and Mill Road depot was not in the current plan. This would be a significant structure and cost in the region of £15 million.


Concern was raised regarding the narrowness of the Ridgeons site to Mill Road depot cycleway. In response to this the Joint Assembly was informed that this was a 5 metre wide corridor with an open fence on one wide, so it should not feel too enclosed.




Milton Road: Bus, Cycling and Walking Improvements - Final Design pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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Councillor Jocelynne Scutt, Char of the Milton Road Local Liaison Forum (LLF) was invited to present feedback from the LLF meeting held on 18th February 2019. She explained that the LLF had agreed two resolutions, which were that:

1.    The LLF requested that a biodiversity strategy for Milton Road be presented to the GCP Joint Assembly and Executive Board, along with a detailed design.

2.    The LLF sought assurance that any subsequent substantial changes to the Milton Road scheme be presented to the LLF to review and scrutinise, before they were presented to the GCP Joint Assembly and Executive Board.


Councillor Scutt made the following additional points:

·         The LLF was concerned about biodiversity and its incorporation into all of the GCP schemes.

·         The LLF and Milton Road residents were appreciative of being involved throughout the development of the Milton Road scheme and, while they were happy with it, the following concerns remained:

o   Concerns regarding parts of the footpath that were dual use. The LLF had been assured that there had been a safety audit and acknowledged that the dual use section had been shortened.

o   Concern regarding floating bus stops. Assurance had been provided that there would be a slight raising of the cycleway and textured surfaces would be installed on the approach to floating bus stops, so that cyclists were aware they were approaching a floating bus stop.

o   Concern regarding parking at the Mitchams Corner shops, which was still needed.

o   They wanted to retain the potential for trees that was already built into the scheme.

o   Concerns about the Gilbert Road intersection and where cyclists turned left into Milton Road where there was the potential for collisions with pedestrians waiting to cross the road.

o   Concern regarding the bus lanes and their length, though it was acknowledged that the scheme had to conform to the principles on which the funding had been granted.

·         Councillor Scutt highlighted the following positive outcomes:

o   That good discussions were taking place between shop owners and GCP officers.

o   That Woodhead Drive would be an avenue of trees; it was hoped this would help with the current problem with coach parking.

o   That Milton Road would have an avenue of trees.

·         Councillor Scutt highlighted that residents wanted bus stops where there were bus lanes, so that the bus lanes were of benefit to the residents of the area through which they passed. Residents wanted buses to stop more regularly along Milton Road; this should be discussed with the bus operators.

·         Residents were determined that public art was needed along Milton Road and asked that the Joint Assembly emphasise this to the Executive Board and for an indicative budget for this to be set.

·         There needed to be a mitigation for residents parking being removed from Milton Road. This was a concern to Milton Road residents and residents of surrounding areas, which may be impacted by the removal of this parking. Councillor Scutt requested that a meeting or workshop be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


Rural Travel Hubs pdf icon PDF 213 KB


A statement from Oakington Parish Council regarding rural travel hubs had been circulated to Joint Assembly members before the meeting.


Councillor Wilson was invited to speak as the local Member for the Cottenham Ward:

·         She wanted to understand which residents this scheme was intended to serve; she suggested that the scheme would only serve Oakington which was already close to the guided busway.

·         The scheme offered no extra transport for the residents of any of the other villages, such as Cottenham and Rampton, to reach the rural travel hub. Therefore this was not a hub as it did not have any spokes. Public transport from these and other villages further north was needed in order for this to be a travel hub. The only way to access the hub without a car was to cycle.

·         She informed the Joint Assembly that the rural travel hubs consultation had set village against village. She highlighted that comments from Cottenham residents had not been included in the report.


Councillor Topping pointed out that passenger journeys at Whittlesford Station had increased by 100,000 in five years; it was essential that there was master planning of the station and that the local community was involved in this.


The Transport Director presented a  report which provided an update on progress and emerging issues regarding rural travel hubs. Joint Assembly members were informed that some difficult decisions would need to be taken and public consultation was needed.


In response to a query regarding the extension of bus services, the Joint Assembly was informed that Stagecoach had agreed to extend the Citi 7 bus service from Sawston to Whittlesford. Councillor Wotherspoon pointed out that in agreeing to serve the Oakington travel hub, Stagecoach would no longer serve Oakington high street.


Andy Williams expressed his concern regarding rural travel hubs, which he suggested were a distraction and were not what the GCP should be doing; the GCP should be focussing on more ambitious schemes that could achieve a step change. Dr Williams suggested places such as Cambourne needed a travel hub and where situated in villages such as this, they would make a difference.


Christopher Walkinshaw suggested that in order for rural travel hubs to have any credibility, they needed to be a way for people to interchange with public transport to get into the city.


Councillor Bick expressed concern that investment would be made in travel hubs that may not be in the right locations for the public transport network. He suggested that the extended network needed to be in a settled state, before the location of hubs was decided.


The Transport Director acknowledged the views expressed. 


The Chairperson summarised the Joint Assembly’s discussion, concluding that there was not much enthusiasm for the proposal.


Date of Next Meeting

To note that the next meeting will be held on Thursday 6 June at 2pm in the Council Chamber at South Cambs Hall in Cambourne.


The Joint Assembly noted that the next meeting would take place on Thursday 6th June at 2pm in the Council Chamber at South Cambridgeshire Hall, in Cambourne.