1. ITV Report

Calls for Chancellor to back 'Cambridge underground' proposals

Cambridge city centre Credit: ITV News Anglia

Politicians and campaigners in Cambridge are calling on the chancellor to lend his support to the city's underground scheme when he unveils his budget later this week.

The scheme, which would see a rail line connecting the north to the south of the city, is something that they say would ease congestion and contribute vast amounts to the economy.

"Cambridge is one of the world's leading economies, one of the world's leading Science based industries, on the of the world's leading universities - if we can't do it here in one of the wealthiest economies in the entire world - where can we do it?''.

– James Palmer, Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough

If the plans go ahead it would make Cambridge the fifth city in Britain to have a rail network that runs at least partly underground.

  • It's estimated it would take six years to build.
  • Would cost £2.8 billion
  • It would have a fourteen mile core line running from Northwest Cambridge to the south of the city - a section of it going underground.

"it's a short section of underground, it's only 3/4 kms within the city centre itself, we recognise that it's expensive to do an underground, so we want to minimise the length that's used for underground, keep the cost down. But at the same time we think that's the most practical solution for Cambridge where the space is restricted and we have a need to protect the inner-city heritage".

– Colin Harris, Cambridge Connect

"Cambridge I think is too small to really justify an expensive underground metro . It's the sort of system that starts to be justified when you get over a population of a million or so. A Cambridge sized city needs a metro of some kind, rail is the right way to do it. Some form of tram but relying partly onbatteries to take it through the sensitive parts of the city centre."

– Sim Harris, Rail News