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Plans for Cambridge Metro system move step closer

What the scheme could look like Photo: Office of the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

The prospect of Cambridge joining the likes of Nottingham, Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle and London by getting a city metro system has moved a step closer.

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Raveena Ghattaura

It comes after a feasibility study into creating a new public transport system for the city has found a "compelling case" for it to go forward.

The scheme would see self-driving buses, better cycling infrastructure and an undergo metro system linking different areas of the city.

An illustrative look at what the scheme might look like Credit: Office of the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

A detailed report into the Cambridge Autonomous Metro (CAM), which was commissioned by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, states the scheme would "unlock significant growth, offers high value for money and would provide the transformational change required to the area's under pressure transport network."

The possible network route Credit: Office of the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

The Strategic Outline Business Case states that up to 100,000 jobs and 60,000 new homes could result from the CAM. It also found that the:

"‘benefit-cost ratio’ would be considered as offering very high value for money by the Department for Transport’s assessment standards."

The scheme would include:

  • 12km of ‘twin bore’ tunnelling under Cambridge city and two underground stations, one at the city centre, and one at Cambridge Station.
  • The CAM would serve inner transport corridors in the Greater Cambridge area from the city to Cambourne, Granta Park, Waterbeach and Newmarket Road and Trumpington park and rides.
  • It would also serve the regional area, with corridors extending to St Neots, Alconbury, Mildenhall and Haverhill. The CAM would extend in total to 142km.
  • The CAM would operate as a ‘turn up and go’ service where users would arrive at terminals with the expectation of a service within minutes.
  • It would be possible to cross the city from East to west in 12 minutes and other key peak journey times could be halved.

"What we have is compelling case for moving forward with this scheme. It will offer world-class public transport that will reduce reliance on the private car. It will help to meet the ambitions we have to create jobs, deliver economic growth and unlock new housing. The CAM will be the scheme around which we can tackle the transport infrastructure challenges which threaten our future economic prosperity."

– Mayor James Palmer

You can find out more about the scheme in the video below

Other benefits of the plan include reducing dependence on cars, reducing congestion and emissions and accidents.

A report to the Combined Authority Board next week will recommend approving £1 million in funding to undertake the key next step of an Outline Business Case.

It is hoped some funding for the £4bn scheme would come from Central Government.

Construction could start as early as 2021 with the City Deal-funded schemes, with the core metro infrastructure anticipated to be built between 2023 and 2029.

WATCH BELOW: How a similar scheme in America operates

"Delivering the Metro will be a massive boost for Greater Cambridge and will see a high quality future public transport network linking existing communities in all directions with new homes and new jobs – one that navigates through and under our much-treasured but medieval city centre."

– Cllr Lewis Herbert