GCP CSET: The Busway

Return to Transport Issues page

Table of Contents

Summary
Background
Useful Links
Consultation
Great Shelford Parish Council – Current Position

Summary

Cambridge South East Transport, a project managed by the Greater Cambridge Partnership. Its objectives are to reduce congestion, notably on the A1307 Babraham Road, and to provide sustainable travel options on the south-eastern approaches to Cambridge.

Image source: https://cset.consultationonline.co.uk/

Background

CSET stands for Cambridge South East Transport, a project managed by the Greater Cambridge Partnership. Its objectives are to reduce congestion, notably on the A1307 Babraham Road, and to provide sustainable travel options on the south-eastern approaches to Cambridge.

The project has two phases:

Phase One covers various traffic management schemes along the A1307 itself and its junctions, including the junction of Granhams’ Road with the A1307, where work has already started.

Phase Two envisages a new travel hub – essentially a Park and Ride site – in the area of the A11 / A1307 junction, i.e. the Fourwentways or Granta Park area, with a new public transport route from there to the Biomedical Campus, which includes Addenbrooke’s Hospital. This route could form part of the Cambridge Autonomous Metro if that comes to fruition, but initially would resemble the Guided Busway. Busway vehicles would be able to continue to central Cambridge and beyond using the existing busway from the Biomedical Campus to Cambridge station.

The busway is planned to cross Haverhill Road (in Stapleford) and Hinton Way, in both cases roughly at the point where the housing ends, and continue across Granhams Road, finally running alongside the railway to the projected Cambridge South station. We refer to this as the “cross-fields” route. There would be a path for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders alongside the busway, and stops at the Haverhill Road and Hinton Way crossing points. A frequency of eight buses per hour is anticipated. No parking is envisaged at the Haverhill Road stop, and only limited disabled parking at Hinton Way.

An update

The “cross fields” route – on which preliminary work in the form of archaeological surveys has already started – will intrude on the views from Great Shelford across to the Gogs, and the location of its stop on Hinton Way makes it unlikely that many residents will use it. However, it would not involve any disruption to buildings or gardens and would provide an off-road path for non-motorised users all the way from the Biomedical Campus to Fourwentways.

Great Shelford and Stapleford Parish Councils jointly engaged a transport consultancy (i-Transport) to examine an alternative route using the trackbed of the former Haverhill railway from Fourwentways to its junction with the Liverpool Street line south of Great Shelford and then running alongside the railway track past Shelford station and northwards to the new Cambridge South station.  This could be accompanied by a rebuilding of Shelford station as a bus/rail interchange with improved access for persons of reduced mobility and a footbridge over the level crossing.

The i-Transport report in two sections was made publicly available on Great Shelford Parish Council’s website in April 2021.

Independent CSET (Cambridge South East Transport) report & documents are now available – Great Shelford Parish Council

This “old railway” route would provide a more convenient stop for residents, possibly accompanied by the modernisation of Shelford railway station, but its construction would be more disruptive, the space alongside the railway south of Shelford station might no longer be available for the Sawston Greenway (covered in another section), and it would require the demolition of one property in Chaston Road and pass close to the frontages of several others. This route also implies a wide corridor where the busway would cross Hinton Way immediately adjacent to the railway level crossing. It could be argued that wherever the busway crosses Hinton Way the total waiting time for vehicle traffic, ie at the busway crossing and the railway level crossing, would be the same. However, in the worst case scenario, where the closure of one crossing immediately precedes or succeeds the closure of the other, there will be at least some vehicle flow between the two crossings if they are separated. There would also more pedestrians needing to cross the busway were it located adjacent to the station.

It is already clear that residents have differing views on the two routes.

In the Greater Partnership’s consultation on CSET, an alternative to the “across the fields” route was offered in the form of bus lanes on the A1307. However, in later documentation evaluating options for the outline business case, the possibility was raised of “a segregated public transport route following the alignment of the existing A1307”. This would minimise the impact of the project on Great Shelford residents.

https://www.greatercambridge.org.uk/transport/transport-projects/cambridgesoutheast/cambridge-south-east-transport-background
CSET overview of both phases of the project.

https://www.cambridgeppf.org/south-east-cambridge-busway?fbclid=IwAR0UIMlh-gdAj9kTRLavFLtZzc82v0yjvcwFA3DESscAypbk4Z-IVJP5ivI
Cambridge Past Present and Future objections to the “cross fields” route

https://staplefordparishcouncil.gov.uk/…/cset-busway…/.
A summary of GSPC and SPC position

https://greatshelfordparishcouncil.gov.uk/2021/03/25/independent-cset-cambridge-south-east-transport-report-documents-are-now-available/
Independent CSET Reports and documents

Consultation

The transport consultancy report has been completed and made public.

Great Shelford Parish Council have requested that GCP consult publicly and consider fully a range of options including use of the old railway line and the A1307, as well as their current proposal.

The Parish Council will continue to inform residents, and intends to consult with them on the possible routes.

Great Shelford Parish Council – Current Position

Great Shelford and Stapleford Parish Councils have contested the preferred route promoted by GCP, primarily relating to lack of consultation, the need to explore less environmentally damaging options and issues to do with connectivity, access and value for local people.

The two Parish Councils jointly engaged a transport consultancy (i-Transport) to examine an alternative route using the trackbed of the former Haverhill railway from Fourwentways to its junction with the Liverpool Street line south of Great Shelford and then running alongside the railway track past Shelford station and northwards to the new Cambridge South station.  This could be accompanied by a rebuilding of Shelford station as a bus/rail interchange with improved access for persons of reduced mobility and a footbridge over the level crossing.

The i-Transport report in two sections was made publicly available on Great Shelford Parish Council website https://greatshelfordparishcouncil.gov.uk/ in April 2021.

The i-Transport report identified there are viable alternatives to the current GCP preferred route.

Great Shelford Parish Council have requested that GCP now consult publicly and consider fully a range of options including use of the old railway line and the A1307, as well as their current proposal and to demonstrate clearly that they have fulfilled their legal obligation to consult fully on all potential options.

Great Shelford Parish Council preference currently, would be for an on-road solution running alongside the A1307, which we believe would meet objectives with minimal disruption to the environment.

Great Shelford Parish Council recognises the need for improved infrastructure to reduce congestion, notably on the A1307 Babraham Road and to provide sustainable travel options on the south-eastern approaches to Cambridge but does note the cumulative impact of the many infrastructure projects in our locality. Visual considerations and wildlife protection should be considered when a final route is agreed.