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Published
Friday
22nd March 2019

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The Cambridgeshire Metro Is On Its​ Way!

David Gelling, Managing Director

 

Fantastic news! Cambridge’s new metro system is one step further forward into becoming a reality. The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s Strategic Outline Business Case report on the proposed metro has concluded that there is a ‘compelling case’ for the project to move to the next stage of development. It’s hard to think of a more powerful vote of confidence in the future of the Cambridgeshire region; one of the UK's most prolific economic powerhouses.

We at This Land are working hard to provide the new housing and neighbourhoods that incoming families need right now and into the future. Local employers want attractive, high-quality accommodation to draw the very best staff, but they also need better and more sustainable transport connectivity – without placing a vast number of additional cars onto our already congested roads.

The Cambridge Autonomous Metro should be a win-win for everyone, delivering a world-class, sustainable metro system to serve the UK’s fastest growing city economy. 24 stations are envisaged, with lines running out from the city centre to the growth areas of Alconbury, St Neots, Mildenhall, Haverhill and the new town at Waterbeach. The central Cambridge stretch – connecting the station to the city centre – will be built underground to minimise any traffic impact. 

 Crucially, this is one major infrastructure project that appears to have an excellent case vis a vis its financial robustness and projected economic impact. The report, produced by Steer, with input from Arup, finds that the Metro would support up to 100,000 jobs and 60,000 new homes, with the overall economic benefits outweighing costs by between two and four-fold – figures that put other big UK infrastructure projects, such as Crossrail 1 and 2, well into the shade. Not just a great concept, then, but a deliverable one.

The next step is to prepare an operational business case for the metro, necessary to secure central Government support and unlock the funding streams. The Combined Authority’s board needs to support the work of the Major’s team and take the decision to press ahead at its next meeting on 27 March. That goes for the County Council and District Councils as well. This is a truly fantastic opportunity for our region - let’s all get behind Mayor James Palmer's agenda and make it happen!