Councillor 'astonished' after plans for £7.2m cycling highway connecting Cambridge and Royston put on hold
PUBLISHED: 09:25 30 January 2015 | UPDATED: 09:30 30 January 2015
A county councillor has spoken of her 'astonishment' after plans for a £7.2 million cycling 'super highway' connecting Royston and Cambridge were put on hold.
The new Greater Cambridge City Deal executive board met for the first time on Wednesday to decide which schemes will be delivered in the first five years of the City Deal.
One of these was a highway which would run separately to the A10, and provide links to Foxton, Meldreth and Shepreth railway stations, as well as the Melbourn science park – but it was not included in the list of schemes to be developed in the first five years.
Melbourn county councillor Susan van de Ven, who is a loyal member of the A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign, had given her full backing to the scheme.
She said: “The update on City Deal funding will help us to understand why, in the wake of Wednesday’s astonishing decision by the tiny group of executive decision-makers, all rural cycle schemes for South Cambridgeshire were thrown out – in spite of their strong evidence base for improving the wellbeing of our area in so many ways.
“South Cambridgeshire itself was represented by just a single elected representative, the leader of South Cambs District Council, who appears unconvinced that investing in the transformative safe cycling networks so ably scoped and developed by our professional transport strategists, is a good thing to do for road safety, traffic congestion and public health.
“The larger and more representative City Deal assembly had carefully considered the Royston-Cambridge cycle link scheme and voted to support it.
“It was fair to assume, in the spirit of the democratic system which governs our society, that the executive would respect the assembly’s recommendations.
“Instead its final decision was one of those kicks in the teeth that reminds us that our system has much room for improvement.
“While the decision is very disappointing, the strong case for transforming the A10 Corridor to one that encourages multi-modal sustainable transport remains and will become increasingly compelling as vehicle congestion thickens and gridlock becomes more frequent.
“We have a strong and growing group of campaigners committed to keep working for the transformation of the A10 corridor into one that is good for moving about not just by car – for everyone’s sake.
“The City Deal won’t be the last opportunity that comes along and we’ll need to make sure we are poised for the next.”