The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) recently issued a ‘Call for Evidence’ on the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford ‘growth corridor’, requesting input from stakeholders. Cambridge Connect made a submission to highlight the need for effective integration between measures to improve connectivity along this corridor and measures within and near Cambridge itself, in particular to improve connectivity to key centres of science and technology within the University and to business and research hubs. We recognise the need to link local solutions into broader regional strategies, of which the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor is viewed as very important.
Cambridge Light Rail is designed to integrate with and support infrastructure developments proposed in the Oxford – Milton Keynes – Cambridge ‘growth corridor’. For the planned strategic linkages in this corridor to be fully effective, and to maximize the economic leverage and benefits, it is important that intra-city and local region transport connections function effectively to cope with the demand, and efficiently service key employment and business centres. In the absence of this integration, and planning as a system, the strategic corridor linkages run the risk of being severely constrained at their intended points of destination.
Cambridge Light Rail is designed to provide efficient public transport links for visitors that would integrate with the proposed Cambridge – Oxford Expressway (A428) at the Girton Interchange, and with the planned heavy rail link on its route into Cambridge. The following key features were highlighted to the NIC:
- The Isaac Newton Line: the ‘spine’ of the Cambridge Light Rail system would bring reliable, sustainable and safe transport to the historic city, with an underground component of ~3 km ensuring important heritage and environmental values are protected. Our submission highlighted the need for substantial investment to implement the Light Rail system, and that this investment would bring significant returns to the wider United Kingdom economy.
- Regional Extensions: the Cambridge Light Rail system would meet current demand and has a scalable capacity to meet future needs. A series of local and regional extensions are presented, highlighting the functionality and adaptability of this system.Extensions A, B and C along with the Regional Extensions were submitted to the NIC, demonstrating an holistic approach to tackling Cambridge’s transport needs with a long-term vision.
- Integration with national infrastructure planning: our submission addressed pertinent questions posed by the NIC, including how our proposals would help alleviate current development constraints, and how they would help stimulate a more integrated and powerful economy by improving connections.