Melbourn county councillor and campaigner speaks out over Cambridgeshire transport plans

Susan van de Ven and Aidan Van de Weyer

Susan van de Ven and Aidan Van de Weyer - Credit: Archant

Melbourn county councillor and chair of the A10 cycle campaign has said a close eye must be kept on how things evolve while transport powers are transferred to the new Cambridgeshire and Peterborough combined authority.

The chair of the A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign has called for close scrutiny of how transport powers are transferred to the new Cambridgeshire and Peterborough combined authority.

Susan van de Ven, who is also county councillor for Bassingbourn, Meldreth and Whaddon, has spoken about the annual meeting of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, in which its vision for the future of transport in the county was set out.

Councillor van de Ven said: “Cambs local government is in extraordinary transition with the transport authority now transferred from Cambridgeshire County Council to the mayor and combined authority.

“Not surprisingly perhaps, practical work on specific projects is now in pause mode as the overall picture comes into focus.

“At the same time, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership, a separate remit and funding stream holding very promising potential for our neck of the woods, given that Royston falls into its remit – is now also under the wing of the mayor and combined authority.

“So, we must keep a very close watching brief on how things evolve, in order to provide the strongest possible collaborative support for projects needed in this area.”

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She highlighted the Melbourn-Royston walk/cycle link, including the bridge over the A505, as exactly the kind of project that can and should be delivered.

“There has already been a strong coming together of local support – Royston Town Council and AstraZeneca are just two examples. The combined authority is aware that the case for the Melbourn to Royston link is very well supported.

“I realise how slow, frustrating and bogged down in bureaucracy all this must seem to people who had hoped to see the bridge delivered by now - but we are getting closer and just have to stick with it.”

The board approved the interim transport strategy statement for Cambs, with six votes in favour and two votes against and a further report will come back to the July board meeting.

Some members – including district council leader Bridget Smith – said they saw the strategy statement as a “threat” to existing plans, raising fears the combined authority was trying to absorb other groups’ responsibilities.

The A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign meets next on June 18, 7pm for 7.30pm, at TTP in Melbourn Science Park. Email for more information.