Draft Bourn Airfield Supplementary Planning Document - June 2019
Representation ID: 167949
Respondent: Ms. Sheila Thomas
2.4 MOVEMENT, ACCESS & CONNECTIVITY
Direct access to A428 for the new village.
I am very pleased to see that sustainability, ecology, respect for the existing natural environment, and access to green spaces have been given prominence in the document. Whilst I applaud the aim to encourage the move towards net zero carbon lifestyles, I believe it will require significant incentives from central government to make this happen, and people will still be using their petrol-fuelled cars once the new homes are occupied. It will be too long before families no longer average two cars per house and/or switch to electric vehicles for all travel.
Also, the plans for the proposed new public transport links between Cambourne and Cambridge have a very long way to go before anything is settled, let alone constructed and ready for use, so it is no use relying on these for a long time. Even when thery are in use, past experience locally, including what happened when the bus route between Cambourne and Cambridge lost its initial subsidy, and when parking charges were added, then removed, at the Cambridge Park & Ride sites, indicates to me that only very cheap, if not free public transport will get enough private cars off the road to avoid serious problems with travel delays, polluted air and risks to cyclists and pedestrians om our minor roads.
I consider it essential that the inhabitants of the new village be given direct access to the A428 road as the best way of minimising these problems. My understanding is that plans were drawn up using traffic data gathered prior to the expansion of Cambourne and St Neots, both of which extensions have pushed more traffic onto the already over-loaded roads that run between St Neots and Cambridge, including the local sideroads. Much of the major employment opportunities in this area lie in an arc from north, through west and to the south of the city of Cambridge. In my own experience, commuting to Granta Park from Hardwick, a 25 minutes journey took longer and longer, as traffic got heavier at peak periods, so by the time I retired some three years ago, it was taking the best part of an hour, and I was using the minor local roads to skirt around the bottlenecks, whichb is exactly what other drivers do now, and will continue to do in future. Now, I have to plan appointments and activities such that I avoid having to be on the roads before 10am and during the evening peak period. This is inconvenient enough as it is, and the proposed plans will just make it worse.
Anyone who lives in Hardwick will tell you about the difficulties of getting out of the village to the north, to the junction between Cambridge Road and St Neots Road, which is the route taken by most drivers in and out. I have experienced so many dangerous moments as we have to play "horizontal leapfrog" to work our way along the road past the village shop, with parked cars scattered along the side of the road, and very little visibility to see what is coming. Additional drivers, pushed onto this road by a desire to avoid the hold-ups at the choke points (near Girton, where the A428 traffic is sqeezed into a single lane to join the A14, and on Madingley Road towards the M11 junction 13) can only make this worse.