Agenda and draft minutes

Greater Cambridge Partnership Joint Assembly - Thursday, 15 November 2018 2.00 p.m.

Venue: Council Chamber - South Cambs Hall. View directions

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No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Helen Valentine and Councillor John Williams.



Declarations of Interest


Councillors Baigent and Kavanagh each declared a non-pecuniary interest as members of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 226 KB

To authorise the Chairperson to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 20 September 2018 as a correct record.

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Apologies for absence were received from Helen Valentine and Councillor John Williams.



Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 190 KB

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10 public questions had been received. These related to agenda items 6 and 8 and would be taken at the relevant agenda items.





No petitions had been received.


Cambourne to Cambridge Better Public Transport Project pdf icon PDF 2 MB

The appendices to this report will follow.  

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The GCP Transport Director gave a short presentation setting the Cambourne to Cambridge proposals in the context of the wider City Access proposals.


Helen Bradbury, Chairman of the Cambourne to Cambridge Local Liaison Forum (LLF) summarised the outcomes of the LLF meeting which had taken place on 14th November 2018:

·         The LLF requested that the Joint Assembly allowed two weeks between the meeting papers being published and the Joint Assembly meeting taking place, to allow more time for input to be provided by the LLF.

·         The LLF noted that the GCP was taking forward a route and alignment that was most opposed in the public consultation and which the LLF had advised against.

·         The LLF supported the principle of tunnels but was concerned about their deliverability.

·         The LLF felt that the GCP’s preferred route did not serve commuters from Cambourne and Bourn and would only benefit a small proportion of people.

·         The preferred off-road route provided poor connectivity; it did not provide effective links to the Biomedical Campus or the Science Park. A northern route would provide better connectivity.

·         The LLF technical group expressed concern that the benefit cost ratio (BCR) was one tenth of what was normally expected of public transport schemes.

·         It was felt that journey times were not significantly better than on-road alternatives.

·         There was concern about Mott MacDonald’s environmental assessment which the LLF felt was based on a poor understanding of the importance of the wider landscape setting of the city and heritage implications within the city. The LLF asked for an independent assessment of each to be completed before the full EIA and HIA at Planning stage.

·         The LLF requested to see the full Arup report that had looked at and dismissed an alternative northern route.

·         The LLF requested that a panel of experts independent from the GCP, assess the economic, environmental and transport implications of the scheme.

·         The LLF had:

1.    Recommended that no decision be taken on a preferred route until greater clarity on the CAM was provided; the proposed network, connectivity and funding. It was felt that the off-road bus route due to its poor connectivity to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC), Science park and the city centre, its poor transport benefits and low BCR, did not stand up to scrutiny.

2.    Noted that there was only one route that was compliant with CAM. It asked that a northern off-road option be developed. It was felt that there could be major advantages to this; it could better connect with the Oxford Cambridge Expressway and developments at the Girton Interchange in the longer term, and could link with the Science Park, CBC and the North West Cambridge site.

3.    Recommended that, given the lengthy timescale involved in building an off-road scheme, an in-bound bus lane be designed on Madingley Road immediately. This would provide significant public transport benefit to the residents west of Cambridge.


Dr Marylin Treacy, Allan Treacy, James Littlewood, Roger Tomlinson, Alistair Burford and Dr Gabriel Fox were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


City Access and Bus Service Improvements - Update pdf icon PDF 5 MB

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The GCP Transport Director presented a report which updated the Joint Assembly on the City Access workstreams, with a focus on developing options for securing a step-change in public transport, reducing congestion and improving air quality in Greater Cambridge. The public transport offering needed to go far beyond what already existed, with significant improvements in journey time and reliability needed.


Councillor Wilson commented that the diagram of proposed routes excluded many villages; it was important that the residents of these villages knew that they would not be overlooked. As the local member for Cottenham, one of the largest villages in South Cambridgeshire, Councillor Wilson pointed out that the bus from Cottenham to Cambridge took one hour and as such, was not a viable option for people commuting to work. Furthermore she pointed out that neither the stations nor Addenbrooke’s could be reached from Cottenham without changing buses. The Oakington Rural Travel Hub would link to the guided busway however there was no bus service that linked Cottenham to Oakington and the busway. For people who would have to drive from Cottenham to the travel hub, only 41 parking spaces were proposed. Cottenham was a community of over 6000 residents, which would increase to 8000 with future development, and a good public transport solution was needed.


Councillor Massey commented that it was vital that the city access project also focussed on villages outside the city. She suggested the reintroduction of the bus and bike service may be an option for rural communities to access their rural travel hubs. Faster and affordable public transport was needed across the city and from the villages, which was cheaper for people to use than their cars. Extremely low public transport fares were needed. Councillor Massey and Baigent wanted to see something worked up on free bus transport. Councillor Massey pointed out that people living within the city had to change buses to get to the train stations and hospital, which was not acceptable. A better public transport system was needed now; she pointed out that Newmarket Road was at a standstill at peak hours and the weekends, and development in the area would make this situation worse.


Councillor Kavanagh reiterated previous comments regarding the need for cycling improvements and felt this point had not been made strongly enough in the report. He suggested the GCP should build on the alternative modes of transport people were already using, such as cycling. More people would cycle if they felt it was safer to do so, therefore segregation of cyclists from other road users should be a top priority. A network of segregated cycle routes and safe junctions for cyclists was needed across the city, expanding what had already been achieved on Hills Road and Huntingdon Road. 


Christopher Walkinshaw welcomed the report, in particular the emphasis it put on capacity issues. He suggested that reference to the number of people coming from outside the area and capacity issues on orbital routes, was missing from the report.


Andy  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Histon Road: Bus, Cycling and Walking Improvements - Final Design pdf icon PDF 792 KB

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The GCP Transport Director presented the report which set out the final design for Histon Road. He explained that following the public consultation, changes had been made to the scheme to ensure that all aspects of it conformed with regulations, were considered safe and provided a good balance of functionality for all road users. The Joint Assembly was informed that given the contentious issues that remained regarding the Histon Road/Gilbert Road/Warwick Road junction, a further Histon Road LLF meeting would be held on 26 November 2018.


Public questions from Anna Williams, the Windsor Road Residents’ Association and Lilian Rundblad were invited. The questions and a summary of the responses are provided at Appendix A of the minutes.


The Joint Assembly acknowledged written representations received from Nick Flynn, Roxanne de Beaux and Daniel Thomas, which had been circulated to members before the meeting.


Councillor Massey expressed concern at the number of public representations that had been received by Joint Assembly members, which expressed a feeling of betrayal by the GCP. She highlighted the need for cyclists to feel safe and pointed out that Hills Road had demonstrated that segregated cycle routes worked as an increase in cyclists had been seen here.


Councillor Wilson was pleased that the GCP was going back to the LLF to discuss the changes to the proposals. She was concerned that local people had taken a lot of time contributing to the public consultation and did not feel included in the subsequent changes to the scheme. The safety of cyclists was a concern and if they did not feel safe in a shared environment with pedestrians, they would cycle on the road which led to conflict between cyclists and drivers.


Members expressed concern at the changes to the proposals, which it was felt disadvantaged cyclists. It was pointed out that if cyclists did not feel safe and were discouraged from cycling, congestion would get worse. Members were disappointed that following the changes, the scheme would deliver little change for cyclists and pedestrians. Members felt that segregation at the Gilbert Road junction was needed.

Heather Richards pointed out that in order to achieve mode-shift to cycling, Histon Road needed to be looked at as a whole as a cyclist’s entire journey needed to be safe in order to achieve mode-shift from bicycles to cars.


Some members considered that doing nothing about the junction at Kings Hedges Road, was a major safety concern for cyclists and pedestrians. There was significant concern that there had been a complete failure in the public consultation process regarding this project.


Councillor Topping commented that in comparison, the A1307 public consultation had gone exceptionally well.


Some members felt that this issue should come back to the Joint Assembly following the LLF meeting, before proposals went to the Executive Board. A vote was taken on this with six members voting in favour of this. As the majority of members did not consider this necessary, it was agreed that the proposals would go straight to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Quarterly Progress Report pdf icon PDF 867 KB

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The Head of Strategy and Programme presented a report which updated the Joint Assembly on progress across the GCP programme. In addition to the routine budget and performance monitoring information, the report contained an overview of cycling projects and an update on the recent skills procurement exercise. In relation to the latter, Members were informed that tender returns for the provision of a skills service had not been of sufficient quality to award a contract. The GCP hoped to go back out to market in the new year and would in the meantime work with procurement experts to try and improve the quality of future bids. The GCP would also work with companies who may be interested in bidding, to help them understand the procurement process. 


Referring to the Smart Places progress report, it was noted that phase 2 status was shown as ‘green’ although detailed actions had yet to be agreed. It was suggested that this be reviewed at the next Working Group. The same report referred to a bid for ‘C-CAV4’, the next round of funding for development of autonomous vehicles. It was noted that if successful, this would potentially extend the scope outside the city into surrounding villages, including the potential development of autonomous vehicle hubs. Consideration would need to be given to how to engage these communities in a wider debate on this.


Date of Next Meeting

To note that the next meeting will take place at 2pm on Wednesday 27 February 2019.


It was noted that the next meeting would take place at 2pm on Wednesday 27 February 2018, at the Guildhall in Cambridge.