Mayor calls for metro extension to include Alconbury Weald

An artists impression of what the new metro would look like

An artists impression of what the new metro would look like - Credit: Archant

The mayor of Cambridgeshire, James Palmer, is hoping his plan to extend the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM) to Alconbury Weald will be backed today (Wednesday).

An artists impression of the new Cambridge Metro System

An artists impression of the new Cambridge Metro System - Credit: Archant

Currently the only public transport connection for the development is an hourly bus service but, in an effort to tackle the situation, Mr Palmer will recommend that the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority board approve extending the route to Alconbury Weald at its meeting today.

If backed, the extension would form part of the route that will also connect Cambridge with St Ives and Huntingdon.

It is planned the CAM will be delivered between 2023-29 and is expected to cost £4billion.

Mr Palmer said: "What is critical is that we have a public transport solution for Alconbury that can be delivered affordably and within a reasonable time frame.

"For this development to reach the potential we all want to see, which mixes well-planned homes and jobs, it needs a public transport solution. The CAM is far and away the most viable and deliverable option we have, and the good news is we aim to begin work on this crucial route, well ahead of the rest of the Metro, which kicks off in 2023.

"Extending the CAM to include Alconbury Weald, linking Huntingdon and St Ives, will provide a rapid public transport option for residents travelling into Cambridge city centre and across Cambridgeshire. The added benefit of this approach is that it could be delivered by local partners, without the need for reliance on national bodies. We will also continue the discussions with Government and partners on a new station, but the CAM gives us the ability to quickly put in place the public transport infrastructure we know is so urgently needed."

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Tim Leathes, development director at Urban and Civic, said: "We are delighted to be working with the mayor to extend the CAM to Alconbury Weald. New and sustainable public transport connections can only further reinforce the speed of housing and job creation at Alconbury."

The combined authority is also reviewing options for reform of the bus network, including the possibility of including franchising, via the mayor's powers under the Bus Services Act 2017.