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18 June 2019, 12:47 | Updated: 18 June 2019, 12:55
It's part of a 15 week consultation
A series of consultation events have been announced across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough for members of the public to have their say on the future of the area's transport network to 2050.
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority's Local Transport Plan (LTP) will set out an ambitious, challenging and exciting strategy for a world-class, integrated transport network, which addresses current and anticipated future pressures on infrastructure, while also supporting housing and economic growth. It aims to bring forward a step-change in how people travel across the area.
The LTP will provide the strategic context for the Combined Authority's major projects like new rail stations at Soham and Cambridge South, a new rail link at Wisbech, reforming the bus network, a dualled A10 and A47, a third crossing over the River Great Ouse and the CAM Metro.
It will provide the vision and strategy to meet the infrastructure challenges set out in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Review (CPIER), which identified that the area's growing economy would tail off unless interventions were made to upgrade under-pressure transport infrastructure. It will also be a key pillar in meeting the Combined Authority's commitment to doubling the size of the area's economy over 25 years, and meeting the vision set out in the Mayor's Growth Ambition Statement.
The consultation begins on June 17, running for 15 weeks until September 27.
The public will be encouraged to have their say, ask questions, and provide feedback on the current draft Local Transport Plan. They will be asked what they think are the key priorities and the principles behind what a future transport network should look like.
For those not able to attend the events, engagement with the consultation is available online or by post.
Key principles guiding the formulation of the LTP include the delivery of transport infrastructure to sustainably support new homes and, crucially, for that infrastructure to be in place before significant new housing is built. Planning infrastructure so that key employment centres are reachable within a 30-minute journey time of where people live will help better link homes with jobs.
A more joined-up, fully integrated, 'multi-modal' transport network, where public transport is recognised as more reliable, more affordable, regular and convenient, will encourage a shift away from car use, facilitating a step-change in how people travel.
A first-class transport network will also foster inclusive growth, where more people are better connected to the opportunities of the growing Cambridgeshire and Peterborough economy. Spreading prosperity to more people is also one of the Combined Authority's key missions through its housing and skills agenda.
And the draft LTP also focuses on improving the environment, reducing air pollution by cutting emissions to as close to zero as possible, while also minimising the impact of transport on climate change. Healthier journeys and more active lifestyles through cycling and walking, will also be encouraged.
Mayor James Palmer said: "The Local Transport Plan should be bold, it should be ambitious, and it should challenge us.
"We can see right now the results of an historic underinvestment in the transport network, in terms of congestion, lack of housing delivery and the future threat to our continued economic growth.
"This consultation is an opportunity to have an exciting, powerful conversation about what people think our main priorities should be, and what the key challenges and opportunities around transport will be, both now and in the future.
"This is a first-of-its-kind document for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. There has been significant attention on our road, rail, bus reform and CAM Metro schemes, but it is important people see how these fit into a wider, joined-up strategy, and that they are not being planned in isolation.
"Transport touches everyone's lives from train, bus and car users, through to people who walk and cycle, so everyone has something to contribute. I would encourage as many people as possible to come along, find out more about what the LTP is trying to achieve, and give us your views."
Following the consultation and inclusion of comments, the Board will be asked to approve the first Cambridgeshire and Peterborough LTP later in 2019.