On the 8th of December 2016 the Greater Cambridge City Deal Milton Road Local Liaison Forum, comprising the area’s local councillors, and three residents’ association representatives, voted in favour of a plan which involves removing the existing bus lanes from Milton Road.
Managing Director of Stagecoach Andy Campbell was not impressed and suggested councillors were delusional. He asked to comment from the public seating and was invited to do so. He said:
“My understanding of the City Deal (and I think one councillor did in fact mention it, I’m glad I didn’t waste all those evenings going to those meetings) … that the idea for this is to reduce congestion and encourage people onto public transport, walking and cycling. So far you’ve taken out the bus priority which exists and you haven’t replaced it with anything that improves it, you’ve made it worse. You now want the bus operators to put more buses in to the park and ride sites and the busway and you now want to send the people who are using them a more convoluted way into the city, if you think that’s going to encourage people to use public transport then you are delusional”.
An anonymous apparent associate of Mr Campbell later interjected to add:
Trees do not reduce congestion
Those in favour of progressing the no bus lanes on Milton Road plan were: County Councillors Onasanya and Scutt, City Councillors Abbott, Bird, Sargeant, Tunnacliffe and Milton Parish Councillor Bradnam. They were supported by the Milton Road Residents’ Association, Hurst Park Avenue Residents’ Association and Old Chesterton Residents’ Association reps.
King’s Hedges’ councillors Smart, Gawthrope, and Price abstained.
There were no votes against.
The Do Optimum Proposal
The full details of the “do optimum” proposal which councillors supported were tabled three minutes before the meeting began. One of my local councillors, Kevin Price, told me that was the first he’d seen of them too.
Neither the proposal tabled at the meeting, nor the proposed resolutions were available to the public in advance of the meeting.
There is no harm in modelling the traffic on the road without the bus lanes to see how it would be predicted to perform. I would like to see the results of such analysis.
I suspect though that some bus lanes will be needed on the approaches to junctions.