A bold vision put forward by residents to cut congestion, improve air quality and transform the way people travel around Greater Cambridge has been supported by the Greater Cambridge Partnership.
GCP responds to Citizens' Assembly recommendations
The GCP has this week published its response to the recommendations put forward by the Greater Cambridge Citizens’ Assembly – its call “to be brave and take action” aligning with the GCP’s vision to get more people out of their cars and onto first-class public transport and upgraded walking and cycling links.
The response also outlines how the GCP has taken into account the suggestions of the Assembly in the upcoming delivery of a raft of projects to make it easier and safer for people to cycle and walk during the recovery from Covid-19.
GCP Executive Board member Cllr Aidan Van de Weyer said: “Thank you to the members of the Citizens’ Assembly for giving up their time and for their careful consideration in drawing up their recommendations.
“I’m proud to see such a pioneering and innovative form of deliberative democracy being used to shape our plans. The Citizens’ Assembly is an excellent example of how local people can actively contribute to tackling the issues that affect them.
“We have heard the call to ‘be brave, be bold, and take action’ – our response sets out how we will draw on these recommendations to develop long-term plans to transform how people get around, as well as the ‘quick wins’ we’re putting in place to support people and businesses to adapt and recover to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Building on the response to the Citizens’ Assembly, a package of measures to cut congestion and improve public transport will form part of a ‘one year on’ report that will be put before the GCP’s Executive Board later this year.
The report will set out the progress made to date and outline the impacts of each intervention – including on traffic levels and journey times, public transport and active travel, the economy and health – while taking into account the impacts of Covid-19.
In supporting the shared long-term vision with the Citizens’ Assembly members, the GCP will seek to bring forward proposals that:
- Provide better public and active travel options – giving people a good alternative to travelling by car;
- Improve connectivity and enable better connections for people accessing employment in Greater Cambridge from across the travel to work area;
- Ensure that proposals help to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions, supporting our partners to achieve their ambitions for net zero carbon. This would include exploring how polluting vehicles could potentially be removed from the city centre over time;
- Make better use of space, particularly through creating more space for pedestrians and cyclists, which is more important than ever before due to support social distancing;
- Support businesses and residents to minimise the need for journeys, particularly during social distancing, and increase awareness of different options for travel.
The Citizens’ Assembly, the first of its kind in the UK to consider transport issues, heard evidence from experts over two weekends in autumn 2019 before casting votes on a series of potential measures to improve air quality and upgrade public transport services.
Assembly members were selected at random by a process called ‘sortition’, following invitations to 10,000 addresses across the travel to work area. It was run on behalf of the GCP by the charity Involve.
Image: Citzens' Assembly meeting before the pandemic
The Greater Cambridge Partnership is the local delivery body for a City Deal with central Government, bringing powers and investment, worth up to £1 billion over 15 years, to vital improvements in infrastructure, supporting and accelerating the creation of 44,000 new jobs, 33,500 new homes and 420 additional apprenticeships.