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Agenda item

City Deal Member Workshop Programme briefing paper

Minutes:

The Committee received a briefing note and presentation from the Head of Transport and Infrastructure Policy, regarding the City Deal Member Workshop Programme.

 

The presentation considered covered:

 

  i.  The background of the City Deal and an overview of the way forward.

  ii.  Considered how to address the barriers to further growth.

  iii.  Looked at the way transport networks needed to grow.

  iv.  Considered how sustainable transport solutions could be delivered.

  v.  Would be looking at both orbital and radial networks.

  vi.  Funding was guaranteed for the first five years and ongoing funding would dependant on being able to evidence the value of the initial spending round.

 vii.  Outlined the five year programme.

viii.  Work had been commissioned to identify where the most benefit from investment could be achieved.

  ix.  The City Deal Board would be agreeing the initial stages of the work as their first decision.

 

Councillor Kindersley questioned where the Action Plan addressed the issue of opportunistic developments coming forward while there was no agreed Local Plan. A large Science Park had been proposed by Jesus College to the south of the City.

 

The Planning Policy Manager stated that no judgement had been made on the Local Plan. However, the Local Plan was underpinned by a Transport Strategy, the City Deal and strong joint working arrangements which offered a strong position to defend.

 

Members made the following comments in response to the presentation:

  x.  Much of the focus appears to be on Cambridge but there is a need to understand the wider area.

  xi.  Improved access for the West of Cambridge was needed.

 xii.  Proposal present an incomplete picture and the on-going East West rail improvements were missing.

xiii.  Disappointment was expressed that the proposals appeared to lack a high level vision. In addition, it failed to reference other funding available for projects such as the Chisholm Bridge. There was a lack of clarity over what was most important.

xiv.  Questioned why Histon Road bus priority schemes were back on the table when they had been abandoned previously following public consultation.

 

In response to Members’ questions the Head of Transport and Infrastructure Policy, the Planning Policy Manager and Jeremy  Smithstated the following:

xv.  The Transport Strategy works with the Local Plan in proposing solutions to accommodate the future planned growth.

xvi.  The Transport Strategy included walking and cycling.

xvii.  A five business case approach was used to consider the options being put forward as the first phase City Deal programme.

xviii.  Further public consultations would follow.

xix.  The figures presented today are an estimate and would change.

xx.  Plans for the A428 would evolve following the Local Plan examination and consultation.

xxi.  Garden Cities had not been included in the plan and had no current government funding.

xxii.  Newmarket Road has been recognised as a key route and action was needed quickly.

xxiii.  The Chisholm Trial Cycle Bridge had been identified as a priority scheme and had been recommended for government funding.

xxiv.  The funding available was a rare opportunity to achieve high level goals and, if value for money was evidenced, more money should follow.

xxv.  More work was needed to gain a better understanding of the use of orbital routes.

xxvi.  An City Centre access and capacity study would inform the next stage.

xxvii.  The County Council’s long term transport strategy would be discussed at the first assemblymeeting.

xxviii.  Communication events were planned and both the Board and Assembly would be considering timeframes for future consultations.

xxix.  The A10 Royston cycle route improvements had been included because although not a predicted housing growth area, growth in employment opportunities was expected. Evidence would be presented to support this need.

xxx.  The proposals recognised the finite capacity of streets in Cambridge and acknowledge that tough decisions would need to be made if increased use of buses was going to be encouraged.

xxxi.  Figures quoted in the report for City Deal schemes would change and the list of schemes proposed would evolve as technical assessments were completed.

xxxii.  The three Local Authorities had established transport priorities and connectivity. Evidence was available to support future bids should opportunities arise.

 

Councillor Herbert confirmed that the comments from this committee would be feed back to the City Deal Board.

 

Councillor Hipkin requested that the constitution of the Assembly be collectively elected to allow independent Members to be represented.

 

Members questioned how the Board could agree priorities in January when Local Plans would not have been signed off. The Head of Planning responded and stated that the Local Plan examination was expected to be completed in April 2015. However, the report would take longer. A decision was needed in the interim as the City Deal time frames allowed for mitigation of both existing and predicted future growth. The Head of Transport and Infrastructure Policy undertook to circulate a paper outlining how the priorities under consideration had been arrived at.

 

Councillor Herbert suggested that this committee should meet again in December as it was unlikely that the Assembly would be in place at that point to scrutinise initial proposals going to the City Deal Board.

 

Councillor Kindersley expressed the view that the triumvirate Board would make what-ever decision is thought fit.

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