£9m cash 'victory' will cut congestion and boost economy

An extra £9 million of Government cash has been won to reduce congestion and help grow the economy in Cambridgeshire.

Today, Cambridgeshire County Council has been awarded £5m from the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

This will boost the local economy and, given the national importance of Cambridgeshire, will help support the UK’s overall economic recovery.

The Government grant unlocks further funding of £4.2 million to be spent on transport improvements, including links to the proposed new Cambridge Science Park Station and improvements at Ely Station.

Funding will also hasten the delivery of a new cycle parking facility at Cambridge Station, which the county council will be working closely with the city council and developers Brookgate to deliver.

The bid will fund a programme of measures aimed at improving journeys within two of the most important transport corridors in Cambridgeshire. Together these measures will provide more choices for those using the two stations, and reduce traffic and congestion.

The first area covers an east-west corridor starting at the Enterprise Zone at Alconbury, through Huntingdon, St Ives, the Science Park area (where the new Cambridge Science Park Station will be located) and ending at Cambridge. The second north-south corridor starts at Ely, runs through the Science Park area and again ends at Cambridge. 

Both of these routes contain major employment sites and new housing developments which will experience significant growth in the coming years. Both have good existing public transport links, either rail or guided bus, which will be significantly enhanced by this funding. Improving links in these areas will help people travel between home and work, and for other purposes by foot, bicycle, bus and train.

Improvements will range from infrastructure schemes such as new or improved cycle routes, and cycle parking, through to better public transport systems and enhanced signage and maps.  

Support will be offered to employers in the corridors to develop their own workplace travel plans to help employees travel to work more sustainably. This could include providing showers and lockers at workplaces or personalised travel planning advice to employees.

Households in the areas will also be offered help in finding out more about their travel options for getting to work, school or other important journeys.

The programme will also improve the availability and quality of travel information, such as upgrades to the Real Time Passenger Information system which provides live bus journey information for passengers. 

Improvements to travel information will benefit travellers across the whole county, not just in the corridor area.

Funding will be spent between 2012 and 2015.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates, Cabinet Member for Growth and Planning, said: “This is great news for Cambridgeshire and is part of our drive to invest in measures to improve our infrastructure to show that Cambridgeshire is open for business.”

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