Developing Cambridgeshire's Rural Transport Network

This document outlines Transport 2000 Cambs & West Suffolk's vision for an integrated transport network for Cambridgeshire and surrounding areas. The original version was drafted in response to the Government's announcement of the Rural Transport Partnership Fund (henceforth the ``Fund'') which offers GBP 874,308 to develop rural public transport in Cambridgeshire, of which GBP 84,040 has been allocated to the new Peterborough Unitary Authority. Since then the new Local Transport Plan system has been announced which will bring new opportunities for finance to develop integrated networks.

Transport 2000 is the national environmental transport campaign which we represent in Cambridgeshire (including Peterborough). This document is targeted at Cambridgeshire County Council (henceforth ``the Council''). A separate version is being produced for Peterborough Unitary Council.

1. Introduction.

1.1. The recently published Transport White Paper (20 July 1998) looks forward to a future when people will be less dependent on cars to get around. It does this by opening the way for a combination of ``stick'' measures, such as road pricing and parking taxes, and ``carrot'' measures which will improve services for bus and train users and conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. Opinion polls suggest that motorists are willing to tolerate the ``stick'' as long as they get the ``carrot''.

In many rural areas, including many parts of Cambridgeshire, bus services are so run down that they do not form any kind of alternative to the car, let alone an attractive one. The Government took the first step in rectifying this in its March 1998 budget by announcing special support for rural buses.

1.2. It should be noted that rural buses are needed not only by those who actually live in villages, but also by townspeople visiting the countryside for leisure or other purposes, or travelling on rural buses to other towns, often on routes for which no alternative (such as a train) is available. We believe that all these categories of travel are important. Opening up facilities for people to make leisure trips by bus can play a role in reducing their dependence on cars.

Transport authorities need to secure a comprehensive public transport network before they will find it politically acceptable to try to apply the ``stick'' to motorists. We interpret ``comprehensive'' in accordance with the conditions in 3.6 below, which should provide tolerable facilities for the majority of journeys people need to make, and ensure that most people can lead a decent lifestyle without a car.

1.3. The amount of money allocated to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough was GBP 790,268 and GBP 84,040 respectively for the year 1998-9, with similar sums for the following two years. By comparison, here are the figures for the county and unitary councils in surrounding counties: Bedfordshire (not Luton) GBP 442,974, Essex (not Southend or Thurrock) GBP 1,050,249, Thurrock GBP 38,176, Hertfordshire GBP 443,714, Leicestershire (not Rutland) GBP 556,163, Rutland GBP 107,010, Lincolnshire GBP 1,194,385, Norfolk GBP 1,594,337, Northamptonshire GBP 696,765, Suffolk GBP 1,201,593. Luton and Southend are considered entirely urban and therefore not eligible for money from the Fund.

1.4. Our proposals are based on (our knowledge of) the public transport system and infrastructure as of 18 February 1999, as amended by changes planned for the area south of Newmarket in March 1999, and the plan to build new park & ride facilities at Babraham Road, Cambridge, in 1999. We plan to update our proposals to take account of other future developments. Other infrastructure proposals are mentioned in passing but do not form part of our recommendations concerning the Fund (see also 4.1 and 4.2). This includes the proposal for a multi-modal distribution depot at Alconbury, which has been rejected by Hunts District Council but is likely to go to appeal. The developers had proposed a ``Quality Bus'' network for the area around Huntingdon, but one which we believe could usefully be improved (see 6.1 of Appendix A); we hope that if the development takes another form such a network will still be provided.

2. How can the fund be used?

2.1. The money was allocated for the development of new rural bus services, including improvements to existing services. ``New'' means not in existence as of 1 May 1998; ``rural'' means that the services must either lie entirely outside communities of over 10,000 population (according to the 1991 census) or include a stretch of 3 miles or over lying entirely outside such communities within which at least one stop is made.

2.2. The definitions given in the official document are not entirely clear, but here is our interpretation:

2.2.1. The communities in Cambridgeshire (excluding Peterborough) with a population of over 10,000 in the 1991 census are the following cities and towns: Cambridge, Ely, Huntingdon, March, St Ives, St Neots, Whittlesey and Wisbech. However the population of Ely falls below the limit if residents of places like Prickwillow, outside the city itself but within the area covered by its local council, are excluded; so it is plausible that improvements to Ely city services would be eligible for money from the Fund.

2.2.2. We assume that the boundary of any town or city is that of its town or city council (which for Cambridge is also the district council). Ely, which is separated from some of the communities within the ambit of its city council (see 2.2.1), may be an exception, but this doesn't affect any of our proposals.

2.2.3. The document gives criteria under which improvements to existing services are eligible for money from the Fund. Our interpretation is that almost all improvements to services classed as ``rural'' are eligible for any extra costs required to finance the improvement. This includes increased frequencies, extension of routes, amalgamation of routes to provide new through facilities, retiming of services to improve connections and diversion of services to improve facilities for off-route villages.

2.3. We hope that if our interpretation is incorrect the Council will press for modifications to cover needed improvements that will be of benefit to people living in or visiting rural areas. This should include two categories which are not covered at present:

2.3.1. Minor improvements to train services which the operator is unwilling to introduce on a commercial basis, such as extra stops at Manea (weekdays off-peak, see 7.8) and Whittlesford (Sundays, see 14.2). Ferry services may also be included, though we have no relevant proposals for Cambridgeshire.

2.3.2. Retention or restoration of services which were running on 1 May 1998, but without permanent underpinning. This refers primarily to routes for which East Cambridgeshire District Council gave a temporary grant following the cessation of county council support: it is surely unfair to penalise the District Council for its efforts to maintain continuity.

2.4. Fund money may be used to promote the services provided by the grant, and others with which they are reasonably associated. We believe this can be interpreted to cover most of the spending needed to promote the county's overall rural network. This would include restoration of the ``Travel Times'' newsletter showing changes in the network; production of a series of booklets advertising the range of journey opportunities and how best to make use of them; and improvement of conventional timetable publicity.

2.5. The Fund is to cover a period of three years, ending 2000-1. It seems that the Council is worried that cuts may have to be made to services financed by the Rural Transport Partnership Fund after the end of this period. We believe that this fear is misplaced, as the Government has announced a new system of Local Transport Plans for local authorities which will include provision for revenue as well as capital spending. And in the longer term the White Paper envisages giving councils new powers to raise revenue for local transport spending by means such as road pricing and a tax on workplace parking.

However, we believe that the Government should give a clear signal that the funding increase for rural buses will be expected to continue, and we hope that the Council will lobby the Government to that effect.

2.6. The Council was required to tell the Government by 1 October 1998 how much of the Rural Transport Fund it expects to be able to use. There should have been no problem finding worthwhile uses for its full allocation.

2.7. We also draw attention here to the Rural Transport Challenge Fund which will offer GBP 5 million per year for innovative projects for which local authorities will be able to bid. The Council's bid (not accepted for 1999) was a set of proposals for ``mini-interchanges'' on key corridors; we have developed these proposals into a scheme which we call the ``A14 Express'', for which see Appendix A.

3. Guidelines. The Government has also issued guidelines to local authorities for using the Fund (3.1-5). Our comments on 3.1-4 (we have no comment on 3.5 are given in paragraphs 3.6-9 respectively.

3.1. Develop explicit and specific criteria for use of the grant, such as minimum service provisions.

3.2. Develop integrated networks including connections, both bus/bus and bus/rail, to enhance journey opportunities.

3.3. Consult with community and other organisations about what improvements are needed.

3.4. Take account of the needs of people with impaired mobility, for example in specifying vehicle standards.

3.5. Monitor how the Fund has been used.

3.6. We suggest that the Council's first priority should be to restore recent service cuts (whether to commercial or supported services). This should not necessarily be done by simply reinstating contracts that had been discontinued; rather, the Council should look for alternative methods of service provision (including changes to existing services) to improve cost-effectiveness and the delivery of objective 3.2.

Otherwise, we propose the following minimum service standards:

3.6.1. Every community should have provision for journeys to work, school and shops. School and works buses serving rural communities should normally be available to the public at large.

3.6.2. Almost all villages should have a bus at least every 2 hours during the normal daytime period (and, if possible, hourly). This service should connect into the inter-urban network (rail and long distance bus). Furthermore, villages should be within reasonable walking or cycling distance by a safe route of evening and Sunday services. The last bus should be timed to connect with an incoming train, so that villagers can make long distance journeys. This criterion should apply to all villages except for ``remote areas'' where no development, other than for strictly local needs, is permitted.

3.6.3. The corridors leading to the main commuter villages should have direct buses every 15 minutes during the day, and half hourly in the evenings. This would enable any car parking space along the route to be used for park & ride purposes. We believe that this procedure is superior on both social and environmental counts to the present system of ``dedicated'' park & ride buses which tend to be both cheaper and of higher quality than conventional buses.

3.6.4. The inter-urban network should be improved to make cross-country travel easier.

3.6.5. Attention should be paid to the needs of people visiting the countryside. In particular, all the main places of interest should be served on Sundays.

3.7. We do not believe that the Council has properly delivered the objective of an integrated network. We suggest that journey opportunities can be enhanced not only by improving connections (for which see also 3.6.2) but also by amalgamating existing services to create longer routes, for which some ideas are given later. We attach high importance to connections as when many villages are unable to support a frequent service, it is all the more important that such buses as do exist connect properly.

3.8. We are also dissatisfied with the Council's preformance on consultation. We believe the Council should have given wide circulation to its own proposals, and also to those put forward by other groups (including ourselves), so that people had a chance to comment. We also suggest that the Council should (where appropriate, in conjunction with its neighbours) set up a permanent network of consultative groups covering specific areas: ideas for such a network are given later.

3.9. We support moves to make rural services more accessible to mobility impaired people, but suggest that it would be more cost-effective to do this by improving the vehicles used on existing rural routes (whether commercial or supported).

4. Our vision. This document aims to set out our vision for regenerating the network. Proposals which would require money from sources other than the Fund (under present conditions) are starred. This ignores the fact that the fund is limited, but we believe it would have been enough to finance all unstarred priority proposals (i.e. those meeting the objectives of the first paragraph of 3.6), and to make a start on our other proposals. Money, for both starred and unstarred proposals, could also come from private sponsorship of various kinds; through increases, or changes in allocation, in the Council's self-funded transport budget; from neighbouring counties (including their own Fund allocation); and from the new Local Transport Plan system.

4.1. While we believe that money from the Fund would not be enough to finance all our unstarred proposals, we have set out our vision in full as we believe one needs to go beyond what can be implemented immediately to stimulate a debate into what is really needed to provide a realistic alternative to the car. Expected Council powers to tax parking and/or road use should provide ample funds to support an integrated county-wide bus network.

4.2. For major infrastructure investment we would give priority to rail projects: reopen the St Ives line (through to Huntingdon), Wisbech branch, and Newmarket curve, and open new stations in the Cambridge area. We emphasise that such projects must be coordinated into a rolling programme to maximise the benefits to the area. Some of our proposals are dependent on smaller infrastucture investment; where appropriate we mention what is needed.

4.3. We believe that all our proposals are marketable, that is, they offer a prospect of attracting significant extra patronage, either from country-dwellers or townspeople. We believe it would be wrong to use the money for services which had no prospect of attracting patronage -- and that the Council has made this mistake in the past in its use of its Development Fund for bus services.

5. Information, marketing and ticketing. Until June 1997 the Council published a monthly newsletter called ``Travel Times'', giving information on all service changes within the county. When the Council announced it was planning to discontinue Travel Times, it promised to improve other means of diesseminating information, but this promise has not been kept. We now list our proposals for information, ticketing and marketing, which, we believe, could significantly increase usage.

5.1. Restart Travel Times. At a minimum, copies should be posted at every bus station within or just outside the county, also at relevant local notice boards; available for copying at local libraries and other information points; and sent to local councillors, district and parish council contacts, and people who provide information on a local basis (Transport Information Persons).

5.2. Publish timetables. Over the last year the Council has fallen behind schedule in producing area booklets. This should be rectified. In addition, the Council could procure a county-wide booklet, perhaps joint with Bedfordshire (and also covering the Unitary Councils for Peterborough and Luton). This would be contracted out to Southern Vectis, and would be a companion to the similar booklet they are planning to cover Norfolk and Suffolk (which will be sold at a cover price subsidised by these counties). Together with existing timetables in Essex and Hertfordshire (where, however, the latter also seems to have fallen behind schedule), this would complete coverage of the Eastern Region of England.

5.3. Where to go and how to get there. The Council should arrange for the publication of booklets with this title for the Cambridge area and other towns within the county. This would provide details of how to get to a variety of towns and other places of interest throughout the region. Information on bargain fares would also be included. The Cambridge booklet would be useful to both local residents and visiting tourists.

5.4. Sunday Rovers. The Council should also publish a leaflet listing places of interest (throughout the region) accessible from Cambridge, and other relevant towns, by the Sunday Rover network, which covers nine counties in the Eastern Region and nearby. A coordinated set of proposals affecting four of these counties is given in Appendix B.

5.5. (*) Ticket interavailability. The Council should arrange and advertise interavailability of return tickets between operators, both commercial and supported. Also, through ticketing should be available and advertised whenever connections (either bus/bus or bus/rail) are arranged. Operators producing their own timetable leaflets should be asked to include journeys provided by other operators.

5.6. (*) Concessionary passes. The plans in the Government's White Paper on transport will guarantee pensioners a minimum 50% discount on all fares for a maximum annual charge of GBP 5 (which is better on both counts than present provision). However, we believe that in recognition of the role of East Cambridgeshire District Council in maintaining interim support for some services, the County Council should not only resume support for these services immediately but put in money to enable the District to restore concessionary bus passes for all pensioners.

Furthermore, the Council should negotiate with operators to lift the ``maximum discount'' system so as to give passholders a 50% discount for longer distance routes. And it should try to negotiate reciprocity agreements with neighbouring local authorities.

5.7. School and works buses. Local authorities are required by law to provide free transport for most pupils who live beyond a certain distance of the nearest suitable school. These services, and the corresponding positioning workings linking them with bus depots or other service workings, can easily be made available to the public at large, thus opening up access to/from almost every village. In many cases such services are already available to the public -- which prompts one to ask why this is often not the case, especially for the smaller villages whose alternative services are limited.

The same applies to works buses. Many works buses have disappeared in recent years, one factor being that people who use them are taxed on the benefit deemed to be conferred on them thereby, whereas people who drive to work aren't. (The proposals in the White Paper will, we hope, rectify this anomaly.) It would seem a reasonable use of the Rural Transport Fund to reinstate such services, making them available to everyone. Buses could link groups of villages with groups of destinations. The latter could include industrial estates, educational establishments and hospitals. For some proposals in the Cambridge area see 10.8. Apart from this, we have not attempted to put forward specific proposals.

6. Consultation and procurement of services. There are several ways of procuring the improvements proposed in this document. These include new tenders, changes to existing tenders, ``de minimis'' agreements to modify commercial services, Quality Partnership agreements with operators (in conjunction with new marketing initiatives with train operators, tourist attractions etc.), and commercial sponsorship, including agreements with developers.

6.1. We believe the Council should introduce a programme of consultation with all interested parties, not only to conform with the Fund guidelines, but as the basis of its public transport strategy. Only changes to meet urgent needs (which means, to begin with, our priority programme; but afterwards, replacement of withdrawn commercial services or adjustments to maintain connections) should be able by-pass the consultation programme. We hope that operators will give sufficient notice of changes to their own services to allow at least limited consultation within the time available -- but even if not, there should be subsequent consultation which may lead to further changes.

6.2. When the Council seeks tenders, it should ask operators to specify what ``add-ons'' can be provided at marginal cost by using positioning workings. Similarly it should be on the look-out for opportunities to extend the public network by using school or works buses and associated positioning workings.

6.3. Consultations should cover councils and councillors at all levels, bus and train operators, schools and workplaces, tourist attractions, developers and other commercial interests, community groups, and, most important of all, public transport users.

6.4. We suggest covering the County by a network of consultation areas, some of which would extend into neighbouring counties. Here is a possible network, roughly in decreasing order of priority, for each of which we then list our priority proposals and ideas for further development. Existing services are referred to by operator (if mainly commercial) or by supporting local authority (if not Cambs CC). Villages near boundary roads may be included even if they are the wrong side of the road.

6.4.1. Ely and the Black Fen. The part of the County bounded by the B1102, A14, B1049, A1123, A142, A141 and A47, plus Norfolk between the A47 and A10.

6.4.2. A14 corridor. Bounded by the A1, A605, A45, A6 and A428 (all exclusive).

6.4.3. Ramsey area. Bounded by the A1, A605 and A141.

6.4.4. Cambridge area. Cambridge city and surrounding villages.

6.4.5. Cambridge South-West. Bounded by the A10, A505, A1 and A428.

6.4.6. Cambridge West. The A428 corridor plus villages between the A428 and A14.

6.4.7. Cambridge South. Bounded by Cambridge, Baldock, Stevenage, Hertford and Harlow.

6.4.8. Cambridge East. Bounded by Cambridge, Saffron Walden, Haverhill, Bury, Mildenhall and Newmarket.

6.4.9. Northern Fens. Bounded by Spalding, Peterborough, Kings Lynn and the coast.

6.4.10. Cambridge North. Bounded by the A14, B1049 and Great Ouse.

7. Ely and the Black Fen. Here are our priority proposals.

7.1. (*) East Cambridgeshire supported services. The County Council should resume support of 125 (Welney-Ely), 128 (Wardy Hill-Ely) and 213 (Ely-Bury), plus journeys on route 116 (Soham-Ely), now supported by East Cambridgeshire. For service 125 in particular positioning workings should be added to provide access to Welney Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. (See also 7.8.)

7.2. Ely Postbus. The Council should investigate the feasibility of a postbus to replace all or part of routes 117 (Upware and Wicken), 125 (Pymore), former 127 (Little Ouse and Soham Fen), 128 (Wardy Hill) and 129 (Blackhorse Drove). It may be worthwhile to link some of these routes together. Meanwhile it should restore the 127 and add positioning workings on the 117 to provide access to Wicken Fen.

7.3. Sawtry-Downham Market. (See also 9.1.) This would run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from Sawtry, Ramsey and Benwick to March, Christchurch, Welney and Downham Market, connecting at the last for Kings Lynn. Replaces (within this area) the facility from Christchurch on the former Enterprise Chatteris-Kings Lynn service, and the 65 (Wisbech-Downham Market, replacing a former community bus service).

7.4. Downham Market postbus. A possible circular route from Downham Market via Barroway Drove, Nordelph, Christchurch, Welney, Ten Mile Bank and Denver Sluice. This could provide an alternative replacement for some of the lost facilities listed in 7.3 and 7.8, plus other existing routes within Norfolk.

7.5. Sunday buses. See Appendix B (Sections 3 and 4) for our proposals.

7.6. Twenty Pence Bridge and Horningsea. Extend Cambus 108 (Ely-Aldreth) to Cambridge with some journeys replacing the Rampton and Histon area variations on Cambus 104/105. This would also replace Cambs CC 110 (Histon-Ely) and restore a facility over Twenty Pence Bridge, hopefully more useful than that formerly provided by Cambs CC 84. We would like to see this route eventually upgraded to 2 hourly. To replace what's left of Cambus 196 (Cambridge-Waterbeach via Horningsea), we recommend the extension of 157 (from St Ives, or Peterborough under proposal 7.10, to Cottenham) as a 2 hourly service to Waterbeach Rail station (with train connections) and Cambridge.

7.7. Outwell area. The new Norfolk CC 2 hourly service between Wisbech and Downham Market would cease to serve Upwell. Cambs/Norfolk 360 (Wisbech-Christchurch), which serves Upwell, would be upgraded to 2 hourly and connect at Outwell for Downham Market. This proposal may not be compatible with 7.8 below.

7.8. (*) Manea Interchange. The Council should procure stops at Manea by two off-peak trains (Anglia or Central) in each direction at around the same time. (Note: this could form part of a tourism package, possibly in conjunction with a new station at Black Bank to offer ``cycle ferry'' facilities across the Ouse Washes.) It should then extend two round trips on Cambs/Norfolk 360 (Wisbech-Christchurch) via Welney to Manea to connect into and out of these trains (and, on market days, the commercial bus to March town centre), including access to the station from outlying parts of Manea village. Replaces the former community bus between Welney and March or Peterborough, plus Cambs CC routes 361 (Welney-March, lost), 359 (Manea-March, withdrawn and reinstated) and 125 (Welney-Ely, see 7.1).

7.9. Burwell. Retime existing Cambus services 111, 116 and 122 to provide an hourly three-way interchange at Burwell linking services from Cambridge, Newmarket and Soham. The 111, 122 and X11 should connect at the Newmarket Road Park & Ride site with Cambus 5A to/from Addenbrookes.

7.10. Huntingdon link. Link Viscount 355 (Ely-Sutton) with the Earith-St Ives section of Cambus 157 to provide a through 2 hourly service making a 4-way connection with Viscount X55/X56 (Cambridge-March and beyond) at Sutton. The section of Cambus 157 between Cottenham (or Cambridge, see 7.6) and Somersham would extend to Warboys, thence taking over Cambs CC 330/331 towards Ramsey and Peterborough. Cambs CC 332 (Huntingdon-Chatteris) would increase to 2 hourly to ensure a minimum level of service between Huntingdon and Warboys; and proposal 9.5 would maintain a through link between Ramsey and Huntingdon. The 332 and 355 could run through to Alconbury via Huntingdon, and upgraded to hourly, as part of the Alconbury Quality Bus Network (see 1.4).

Here are some ideas for further developments.

7.11. Cottenham and Haddenham. These would be served by a half hourly circular from Cambridge to Cottenham and Waterbeach; an hourly service from Cambridge to Impington, Cottenham, Wilburton, Stretham, Ely (station/Tesco's and city centre), Ely Hospital or Little Downham, Littleport; plus the proposals of 7.6 and 7.10. These would be interworked with an Ely City network to give hourly services to the Hospital and Cambridge Road. This would replace inter alia Cambs CC 125 and Cambus 104, 105 and 109. Viscount X55/56 would serve all stops between Waterbeach (Slap-up) and Stretham roundabout. (Note: changes may be needed when the new Research Park near Denney Abbey opens. How about a ``busway'' linking the Park to Cottenham, to be used by the Cottenham/Waterbeach circular?)

7.12. Mildenhall area. We propose an hourly extension of Eastern Counties/Suffolk CC 355/356 (Bury-Mildenhall) to Ely centre and rail station, alternately via West Row, Isleham and Soham (connecting with Cambus 122, see 7.9), and via Beck Row and Prickwillow.

8. A14 corridor. Here are our priority proposals.

8.1. Restore in altered form Cambridge Coach Services 71 and Keystone Coaches' ``Stagecoach 400'' network. See Appendix C for our full proposals.

8.2. Sawtry school interchange. Buses serving Sawtry Village College to be open to the public with connectional facilities to surrounding towns, including Viscount 351 to Huntingdon and Peterborough and the Downham Market and St Ives services (see 9.1).

8.3. Sunday Spine Route. See Appendix B, Section 3, route 477.

Here are some ideas for further developments.

8.4. ``A14 Express''. See Appendix A.

8.5. Kimbolton area. Divert Cambs/Beds 152 (Bedford-St Neots via Kimbolton) via a stop on the A6 corridor connecting to/from Rushden and beyond. Extend Beds CC 153 (Bedford-Pertenhall) to Kimbolton.

9. Ramsey area. Here are our priority proposals.

9.1. Wood Walton/Abbots Ripton area. This should be served 6 days a week, though some villages may not be served every day. On Mondays and Thursdays we propose a bus from Abbots Ripton to Old Hurst (conn. Viscount 330/331 from Warboys and to Huntingdon) and St Ives, either starting at Ramsey and obtained by diverting journeys on Cambs CC 427 (Ramsey-St Ives), or starting at Sawtry and connecting with the school interchange (see 8.2). This replaces Cambs CC 431 and (withdrawn but reinstated) 435. On other days we propose a bus from Sawtry school interchange to Downham Market (see 7.3) via Wood Walton, Upwood (conn. Cambs CC 330 to Peterborough), Ramsey, Benwick and March, replacing Cambs CC 415 (Wood Walton-Ramsey section) and 354 (Benwick-March).

9.2. Holme and Conington. To be served by diverting some journeys on Viscount 351 (Huntingdon-Peterborough via Sawtry), thus replacing and improving on the existing facility for these villages on Cambs CC 415. Ideally all journeys should go via Holme, with Stilton and Folksworth served by a half hourly extension of Viscount's Peterborough city service currently terminating at Yaxley.

9.3. Benwick-Peterborough. Divert selected journeys on Cambs CC 331 via Benwick between Ramsey Forty Foot and Whittlesey, replacing Cambs CC 415 (formerly 344) between Benwick and Peterborough.

9.4. Evening and Sunday buses. Improved evening buses between Peterborough and Huntingdon, via either Sawtry or Ramsey and Warboys, connecting with Cambs CC 553-555 to/from Cambridge. Also the last bus from Peterborough to Yaxley should continue to Ramsey (and be out-stationed there). For Sunday buses see Appendix B, Section 3, route 150/153.

Here are some ideas for further developments.

9.5. (*) Ramsey Rail Link. If either a proposed major housing development west of Ramsey or the Alconbury proposals (see 1.4) go ahead, we seek a new station at Abbots Ripton, to be served by an hourly bus (which could form part of the Alconbury Quality Bus Network) from Ramsey to Huntingdon via Upwood, the Raveleys, Wennington and the Alconbury airfield site.

10. Cambridge area. We have one priority proposal.

10.1. Evening rail connections. The last buses to all destinations should be timed to connect with incoming trains. At Cambridge station these would be either the 23.07 arrival from Liverpool St and 23.10 from Birmingham, or the 23.17 from Kings Lynn, 23.20 from Ipswich, 23.25 from Kings Cross and 23.26 from Norwich. For Cambs CC 553-555 and 151 to Huntingdon, connections with trains (and local buses, see 9.4) could also be made there, including one from the 22.30 arrival from Peterborough to the recently withdrawn 22.30 to Cambridge (see also 11.2). For the Cambridge-Haverhill route see 14.6.

Our further proposals for this area are based on the concept of a Park & Ride Network. A recent report by the Council for the Protection of Rural England has cast doubt on the efficacy of Park & Ride, as it is now practised, as a way of relieving the traffic problems of towns such as Cambridge. In line with the ideas of the report we suggest that buses from park & ride sites should be fully integrated with the local bus network, thereby giving conventional bus users direct benefits from the patronage generated by park & ride, including cheaper fares. Furthermore, park & ride sites should be ``many and small'' to reduce environmental impact and encourage people to park closer to their home; and the expansion of park & ride facilities should be accompanied by an equivalent reduction in in-town parking.

Here are our proposals for a high frequency bus network based on the existing network of park & ride sites (with the planned Babraham Rd site substituting for the existing Clifton Rd site). Services would no longer run non-stop between city centre stops and the relevant car parks; however stops on these sections would be kept to the minimum needed to serve City residents and provide access to destinations in the City.

10.2. Daytime services. Three routes would replace the existing Cambus park & ride network, also their routes 5A (part), 22, 44, 102, 103, 112, 113 and part of Cambs CC 115: a circular route at least every 15 minutes from Madingley Rd P&R to the City Centre, Grafton Centre, Newmarket Rd P&R, Fulbourn Tesco's, Cherry Hinton (Robin Hood), Addenbrookes, Trumpington, Grantchester (or direct to the M11/A603 roundabout, where in either case a small park & ride car park could be established) and return to Madingley Rd via the M11; at least every 15 minutes from Cowley Rd P&R to the Grafton Centre, City Centre, Station Road Corner (diverting via the station mornings southbound and late afternoons northbound), Addenbrookes and Babraham Rd P&R, continuing to the Duxford area, Saffron Walden or Haverhill; and at least every 20 minutes from the City Centre to the Rail Station, Mill Rd, Sainsbury's, Newmarket Rd P&R, Teversham and Fulbourn returning direct via the Cherry Hinton Rd. By replacing a section of 115 the last proposal would make it unnecessary for buses to enter the City via Parker St, which would facilitate the environmental improvements needed on that street.

10.3. Evening services. Here buses would incorporate the local City network currently operated by Cambus (with some Cambs CC support). Each of the following loops would run at least hourly giving each site (except Madingley Rd) a half hourly or better service; and loops would be linked to provide through facilities between north and south of the city centre. City-Newmarket Rd corridor-Teversham-Fulbourn-Cherry Hinton-Addenbrookes-Rail Stn-City; City-Newmarket Rd corridor-Fen Ditton-Milton-Cowley Rd-Arbury-City; City-Arbury-Cowley Rd-Chesterton-City (*); City-Rail Stn-Mill Rd-Cherry Hinton loop; plus a service from the City to the Rail Station, Addenbrookes, Babraham Rd and Shelford continuing to villages further south or returning to Cambridge via Trumpington direct, or via Little Shelford, Hauxton, Harston, Foxton (rail link), Barrington, Haslingfield, Harlton, Comberton and Barton. (Similar improvements could also apply to the Sunday network.)

10.4. Associated changes. To complement the changes proposed in 10.2 the following new routes would replace existing Cambus/Cambs CC 31, 115 and part of 46; hourly from Cambridge to Brooklands Avenue, Trumpington, the Shelfords, Hauxton village and back via Trumpington (Foster Rd); and hourly from Cambridge as above to the Shelfords then Newton, Fowlmere and Thriplow, the Imperial War Museum, and back to Cambridge as described in 10.5; furthermore alternate journeys on route 44 (not serving Haverhill) would extend to Newmarket. Some journeys may also serve Addenbrookes, perhaps via Worts Causeway under the traffic management scheme proposed for the Babraham Rd park & ride site.

10.5. Further developments, south. Future park & ride sites could include Trumpington M11 interchange, Foxton station (to reduce traffic through Harston), Four Went Ways (to be signposted off the M11), and Duxford M11 interchange. The last would, in conjunction with Whittlesford station, become a major interchange for the whole area, being served by almost all trains on this line, by coaches on the M11, A11 and A505 corridors, and by local buses serving villages on all sides and running through to Royston (via Chrishall), Saffron Walden and Haverhill, and possibly beyond.

10.6. Further developments, north. Future park & ride sites could include Bourn Airfield (see 12.5), Bar Hill and Fenstanton. The first two could be served by a guided busway which would remove the need to widen the A428 and A14. The last two would be accompanied by the upgrading of existing bus services (Cambus 155/156, Whippet 1A/5, Huntingdon & District 553-555, United Counties X51) to provide regular independent 15 minute daytime services from Bar Hill and Fenstanton to Cambridge. In the evenings westbound buses should run half hourly, serving both sites, from Cambridge to St Ives and/or Huntingdon and connecting with trains and Peterborough buses (see 9.4) at Huntingdon.

10.7. (*) Sunday buses. Early morning journey linking Cambridge's outlying areas with the main ``day trip'' services to coastal and other destinations. (See Appendix B, Section 3.)

10.8. Peak hour services. Direct links from groups of villages in the area surrounding Cambridge to the Northern Fringe (Cambridge Regional College, Science Park, etc.) or to the Southern Fringe (Long Road 6th Form College, Addenbrookes, and private schools in the area).

11. Cambridge South-West. Here are our priority proposals.

11.1. Village links. New 2 hourly 119 should run from Cambridge as existing 31 (and forming a combined hourly service) to Addenbrookes and Hauxton Turn, then Harston, Haslingfield, Eversden, Kingston and back to Cambridge as 118. Divert Cambus 146 (Cambridge-Royston) via Barton to pick up the present route at Haslingfield.

11.2. Evening buses. We propose a bus from Cambridge at about 18.10 direct to Kneesworth (conn. X46 to the Mordens), returning via various villages to Cambridge, with a corresponding evening return journey provided by the positioning working taking the former 23.35 arrival on Myall's 151 back to its Bassingbourn depot. Between these two would be a pair of circular journeys from Cambridge via Foxton, Shepreth (rail link), Barrington, Haslingfield, Harlton, Comberton and Barton. Replaces former Cambs CC 120 and 146.

11.3. Royston market buses. Retime Cambs CC 16 (Orwell-Royston) so its outward journey interworks with the return journey of Cambs CC 15. During school term these services might extend to/from Comberton Village College interworking with school buses. These services could form part of an inclusive day out facility from London via Royston station to Wimpole Hall, from which passengers would return by the afternoon ``school'' working of Whippet 175 which would extend to Royston before returning to Cambridge.

11.4. Gamlingay-Cambridge. More Whippet 175/177 journeys (Cambridge-Croydon/Biggleswade) could run beyond Croydon in a loop via Hatley, Gamlingay (tickets interavailable with Cambus 118), Potton, Biggleswade, Wrestlingworth and Tadlow (6 days a week). Replaces lost Cambs CC journeys on route 118.

11.5. Sunday buses to Wimpole. See Appendix B, Section 2, routes 177 and 178.

For some further developments see 10.3, 12.4 and 12.5.


11.6. Links to East Bedfordshire. At present there are very few facilities between Cambridge and the area covering Gamlingay, Potton, Sandy and Biggleswade. Such facilities could be provided by linking routes from Cambridge (Cambus X46 and 118) with routes from Bedford and Biggleswade (United Counties 173, 178 and 188). (Note: 12.4 and 12.5 could also provide such a facility.)

12. Cambridge West. Here are our priority proposals.

12.1. Whippet 8. This Cambs CC service, which runs between Cambridge and Papworth via villages between the A428 and A14, should be revised to include layovers at the western end which could accommodate market day services running each day to one of St Ives, Huntingdon or St Neots, replacing Cambs CC/Whippet routes 9, 3 (``village'' journeys) and 414 respectively.

12.2. United Counties X3/X5. Advance the first journey to/from Cambridge by about 10 minutes to provide westbound connection to the 08.50 Bedford-Northampton (see also 8.1). Fill gaps in the service to St Neots town centre by diverting some X5 journeys. Retime evening journeys from Bedford when necessary to improve connections from Northampton. For Sunday proposals see Appendix B, Section 2, route X5.

12.3. St Neots area. Evening journeys on Cambs CC/Huntingdon & District X3 and 566 should run via St Neots station connecting with trains. 566 journeys not serving St Neots should connect with trains at Huntingdon.

Here are some ideas for further development.

12.4. Papworth area. Replace Whippet 1 (Cambridge-St Ives via Papworth) and 3 (Papworth-Huntingdon) by an hourly service from Cambridge via Papworth alternately to St Ives and Huntingdon, plus extra connecting journeys from Papworth to St Ives. The latter might run through from Biggleswade and Gamlingay replacing part 188 and connecting with the X3/X5 at Caxton Gibbet.

12.5. (*) Cambourne. We believe that when Cambourne is developed (not within the lifetime of the Fund) the proposals of 12.4 should be enhanced to give a bus every 15 minutes from Cambridge to a park & ride site at Bourn Airfield (see 10.6) and Cambourne, continuing to Bedford (United Counties X3), St Ives (Whippet 1), Biggleswade (United Counties 188) and Huntingdon or Alconbury (see 1.4, Whippet 3).

13. Cambridge South. Here are our priority proposals.

13.1. Cambus 31. Upgrade to 2 hourly.

13.2. Granta Valley. Retime existing Cambus 102a, 103 and 112 (linking Cambridge and Sawston with Saffron Walden, Duxford and Whittlesford) to provide connections between Whittlesford and Saffron Walden, and at Saffron Walden with the new Essex CC Village Link 5 to/from Thaxted and Stansted Airport. These routes should also serve Addenbrookes by a ``route swap'' with Cambus 4 (Arbury-Sawston).

For some further developments see 10.2, 10.3 and 10.5. Also:

13.3. A10 corridor. Extend Herts CC 331 (Hertford-Royston) to Cambridge, possibly via Wimpole and Comberton. We would like to see an hourly service, with buses running alternately via Dane End and Puckeridge (replacing part of Herts CC 384), and alternately via Barkway and Reed.

14. Cambridge East. Here are our priority proposals.

14.1. Kirtling. Divert selected journeys on new Suffolk CC routes 225/226 (Newmarket-Haverhill) via Kirtling and/or Upend, replacing new service 47 and lost but reinstated service 167.

14.2. (*) Sunday WAGN trains. The Council should procure stops at Whittlesford connecting with existing Cambs CC 102/103 serving local villages and the Imperial War Museum. It may also be possible to provide evening connections to Haverhill by this route.

14.3. Kentford. Until the completion of work to remove the weight restriction at Kentford Bridge preventing the X11 from serving the village, we seek a minibus shuttle from Kennett station, connecting with trains and the 200, to Kentford, Herringswell, Moulton and Gazeley.

14.4. Biss Bros 38 (Linton-London). Restore the through facility for Cambridge on Sunday mornings (and possible other times), with buses diverted via Sawston. This would provide the Saffron Walden connection referred to in Appendix B, Section 1, route 103.

For some further developments see 10.4. Also:

14.5 Inter-urban links. Amalgamate Essex CC Village Link 5, between Saffron Walden and Bps Stortford via Thaxted and Stansted Airport, with Cambus 102, or extend it by another route to Cambridge. There would be connections at the airport from Braintree, Colchester, Chelmsford and Southend. Extend Cambs CC/Cambus 44, 113 or 136 (see 14.6) beyond Haverhill to Ipswich replacing Beeston 236 and Beeston/Eastern Counties 90 group. This should include evening buses linking existing provision at either end. For Sunday service see Appendix B, Section 1, route 113.

14.6. Linton area. On the recently improved service between Cambridge and Haverhill alternate journeys should run via the Camps (route 136). Furthermore there should be an hourly connection with a new route from Linton, via Hadstock and Little Walden or Bartlow and Ashdon, to Saffron Walden and Audley End connecting with trains. This should include an evening service interworking with Essex CC Village Link 5. This would replace existing Essex CC/Hedingham 29 (Linton-Saffron Walden) and 59 (Haverhill-Audley End). This network should also run on Sundays (see Appendix B, Section 1, routes 113 and 504).

14.7. A11/A14 corridors. Extend Suffolk CC 200 (Thetford-Newmarket) to Cambridge via Bottisham, connecting with Ipswich-Peterborough trains at Kennett, and providing a joint hourly service west of Newmarket with X11. (The Freckenham and Beck Row diversions could be omitted, see 7.12). We would also like to see a supplementary service between Lakenheath station and Newmarket via Chippenham and Snailwell, connecting to/from Thetford and Cambridge, and replacing Neals 125. Cambridge Coach Services 74 (Cambridge-Lowestoft) should serve Bottisham (main road). Cambus X11 (Cambridge-Bury) could link with Suffolk and Norfolk CC services to Diss and Yarmouth.

15. Northern Fens. We have one priority proposal.

15.1. Evening and Sunday buses serving Wisbech. To replace lost Cambs CC 337, we seek extra journeys serving Wisbech in the evenings, including, possibly, an extension of the last city bus on the Parnwell route to Wisbech, and stops off Eastern Counties X94 main route. Diversions off the A47 could cover Eye, Wisbech St Mary, March/Coldham, Sutton Bridge (connecting to/from Spalding), and villages around Terrington. Buses should be timed to connect with trains at Kings Lynn, March and Peterborough. For Sunday service see Appendix B, Section 3, route X56.

Some ideas for further development:

15.2. A17 corridor. Existing buses north of Wisbech, to Parson Drove and the Suttons and Holbeaches, should be consolidated into an hourly Spalding service including connections with Fowler's existing (hourly) Kings Lynn-Spalding service. The latter should connect with Central Trains to/from Lincoln.

16. Cambridge North. Here are our priority proposals.

16.1. Fen Drayton. The proposals in Appendix C would provide a limited service, but our preferred option is a 2 hourly diversion of Whippet 1A/5 via Boxworth End and Fen Drayton, with through ticketing with Cambus 156 for journeys between Over or Swavesey and St Ives. Passengers between Fen Drayton and Cambridge would have an hourly service including the option of changing at Fenstanton. Restores facility formerly provided by Cambus 155. Another alternative is a ``railway bus'' between St Ives and Cambridge via Fenstanton, Fen Drayton, Swavesey, Longstanton, Oakington and Histon, also serving Cambridge Regional College and the Science Park if required, which would stimulate regular patronage on the railway corridor and thus improve the viability of the proposed St Ives line reopening.

Here are some ideas for further developments:

16.2. Willingham-Cambridge. Link Cambus 155 and 156 to form a circular route via Longstanton and Over. As now Cambus 157 (see 7.10) from St Ives (or Peterborough, see 7.10) would connect with this and run to Cottenham (and Cambridge, see 7.6).

17. Conclusion. While this is only a preliminary assessment, we believe it marks the direction we need to go towards a Cambridgeshire less dependent on the car. Our first goals are described in 3.6, combined with innovations like shop delivery systems designed to eliminate obstacles to public transport usage.

When these goals had been achieved, most people would find public transport a realistic option to replace the majority of their current car mileage, though it would have to be priced more competitively than is usually the case at present. It would then become politically feasible to persuade people out of their cars by raising taxes to cover the full social and environmental costs of motoring (estimates for the current deficit ranging from GBP 25-70 bn). We believe that Cambridgeshire could lead the way in showing how a largely rural area could satisfy people's twin needs of access to facilities and an environment not dominated by motor vehicles, without using up an undue share of the earth's resources and carrying capacity for pollution.

We would be glad to receive any constructive comments on our ideas, including the appendices.

Simon Norton, Coordinator, Transport 2000 Cambs & W Suffolk, 18 February 1999

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