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Councils get together to try to sort out A1307 corridor

Monday, 3rd March 2014.

District and county councils have already started getting together to talk about improvements to the Cambridge-Haverhill transport corridor, including the long-term option of rail renewal.

In the wake of a meeting held in February in Haverhill by the Cambridge to Colchester Rail Renewal group, representatives of Cambridgeshire and Suffolk County Councils and St Edmundsbury Borough and South Cambridgeshire District Councils and other interested parties were brought together by Haverhill's MP Matthew Hancock a week ago to discuss progress.

The results of that meeting are being fed back to St Edmundsbury's overview and scrutiny committee meeting on Wednesday, and they include the Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire Transport Strategy, which is up for approval this week, and is the first major local authority document to include the railway as an option.

It was partly because of that document that the inspector examining Haverhill Vision 2031 indicated it would make sense to include the rail option in that document as well, the first time St Edmundsbury had been forced to recognise it.

The ovverview and scrutiny committee is just being asked to note the developments which have taken place so far about the A1307 transport corridor.

Cambridgeshire is pinning its hopes on City Deal, a potential Government initiative which would make larger funding available for projects affecting Cambridge.

Everyone is waiting for the Chancellor to pronounce on City Deal in the Budget on March 19, but the hope is that it might make some long-term projects achievable in the more medium term.

Cambridgeshire's transport strategy looks towards detailed further investigation of the A1307 transport corridor, particularly who uses it and when.

It acknowledges there is much planned growth for Haverhill and this side of Cambridge including up to 4,260 new homes in Haverhill (2009-2031); up to 1,900 new jobs on Haverhill Research Park; up to 3,200 new jobs at Granta Park; up to 1,000 new jobs on the Babraham Research Campus; up to 15,000 new jobs on Cambridge Biomedical Campus (Addenbrookes); and up to 430 new homes at Worts Causeway. Cambridge Airport is also increasing the number of destinations and therefore flights which also has an impact upon traffic generation.

In the light of all this certain workis to ber undertaken, outlined in the report.

It says the overarching approach is to create a high quality passenger transport corridor which offers a real alternative to using the private car for trips between Haverhill and Cambridge, and between the major employment clusters in Cambridge, Addenbrooke’s and the Biomedical Campus, the Babraham Research Campus and at Haverhill.

The aim is to intercept as many trips as possible along the corridor to minimise the additional vehicles on the main radials and entering the constrained network in Cambridge.

It goes on: "Bus will be the likely focus of this corridor. However, rail options will also be considered and this study and scheme definition work will be informed by a separate piece of work to be undertaken by a cross boundary partnership of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire authorities looking at whether there is a business case for the reinstatement of a rail link between Haverhill and Cambridge.

"Work will also look whether there are any small pinch-point works that can be undertaken in the short term to address congestion, and also any further small/medium-scale safety improvements on the A1307.

"We will also investigate whether there is a need for more substantial road capacity enhancements on the A1307 and A505 in the longer term.

"However, in the context of the strategy approach, the preference would be to provide a public transport option that was a viable and attractive alternative for many existing trips and many new trips resulting from growth."

Another major option under consideration is a giant bypass linking Babraham park and ride and the outskirts of Horseheath, aiming to free up the current A1307 just for buses.

Haverhill Online News

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