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Transport projects and consultations

Western Orbital

The Western Orbital is a bus priority scheme. It would link the north and south of Cambridge via a bus route on, or near the M11. It would provide a much needed route between major housing and employment sites, such as Trumpington Meadows, Addenbrooke’s Biomedical Campus, and the West & North Cambridge sites. This scheme will create a great sustainable alternative to travelling through Cambridge city centre.

Update

The Western Orbital papers were presented to the Executive Board on 08 December 2016. The decisions made by the executive Board can be found here. You can download and view the Western Orbital papers below:

The Local Liaison Forum for Western Orbital and Cambourne to Cambridge scheme issued a statement to the Joint Assembly on 1 December 2016. You can read this statement along with all the questions and answers here (PDF, 315.34KB)

Project Progress

The Western Orbital Paper (pdf, 613 KB) , the contractor's Western Orbital Technical Options Report (pdf, 1.5 MB), Western Orbital Study Report Appendix (pdf, 7.6MB) and the M11 Junction Update (pdf, 73 KB) were made available in Winter 2015. The Brief (pdf, 418 KB) given to the contractors is also available. Please note that Phase 1 is included in the Cambourne to Cambridge brief. Briefings with presentations (PDF, 1MB) for interested parties were held in early February 2016.

A joint Local Liaison Forum has been created for this project and Cambourne to Cambridge. The public are welcome to attend all Local Liaison Forum sessions. You can find out more on the Local Liaison Fora pages.

Consultation

The consultation on the concept of a Western Orbital bus link on or near the M11 closed on Monday 21 March 2016. Thank you for sending us your views via the questionnaire, online survey, email, phone and social media.

The Proposals

We are considering a new bus link between Junctions 11 and 13 of the M11. This could be On the M11, Off the M11 to the East or Off the M11 to the West.

Any of these bus links can be combined with any of the various Park & Ride and cycling improvements suggested in Options A, B, C and D.

western orbital map

Existing Uni 4 journeys are timetabled to take 32 minutes between Junction 13/Madingley Road and Addenbrooke’s Hospital. In comparison, journeys along and On M11 bus link would take approximately 18/19 minutes and on an Off M11 bus link to either the East or West approximately 15/16 minutes.

current journey time

On M11 bus link

  • Bus link along existing M11. Buses interact with general traffic. Priority for buses at existing junctions
  • Two general traffic lanes would remain in each direction
  • Changes to the M11 require Highways England permission
  • No cycling link between Junctions 11 and 13
  • £9m estimated cost

on m11

Off M11 bus link

  • Journeys take approximately 15/16 minutes on link either to east or west
  • Uncongested bus link with no interaction with general traffic
  • Close to M11 but motorway remains largely unaffected
  • Cycleway alongside bus link between Junctions 11 and 13
  • £30m estimated cost

off m11 westoff m11 east

 Western Orbital A-D Options (PDF, 1mb)

Option A

A new Park & Ride to the west of the M11Junction 11 (Trumpington) and north of the A10,linking buses and cycles to the Busway. The approximate cost is £3.5m. Benefits of this option include:

  • More Park & Ride spaces at Trumpington
  • Improved access to Park & Ride facilities at Trumpington especially for northbound M11 traffic and from the A10

Option B

This option includes the bus and cycle improvements suggested in Option A as well as a Park & Cycle site at Junction 12 and cycling improvements on Barton Road. No bus improvements are put forward for Barton Road as forecasts suggest it would be faster and easier to continue on the bus to Trumpington. The approximate cost is £7.5m. Benefits of this option include:

  • Benefits outlined in Option A
  • Better provision for cyclists along Barton Road encouraging more people to cycle for the last part of their journey in order to help reduce congestion
  • Park & Cycle east of M11 would be shorter distance to cycle to some areas of the city centre than from Trumpington Park & Ride site
  • Barton Road cycle improvements would connect to any ‘orbital’ cycle link, which would provide a direct off-road route to housing and employment areas

Option C

This option includes the bus and cycle improvements in Option A as well as a Park & Ride (including cycling facilities) at Junction 12. Buses travelling along or close to the M11 would stop at this new Park & Ride site. There are no bus or cycle improvements on Barton Road. The approximate cost is £6.5m. Benefits of this option include:

  • Benefits outlined in Option A
  • Providing a Park & Ride option for those travelling along the A603/B1046, which gives people the option to travel by bus along a less congested route into the city centre and between housing and employment sites
  • Providing a Park & Ride option for southbound M11 motor traffic, which cannot access the existing Madingley Rise Park & Ride

Option D

This option includes bus and cycle improvements in Option A and Option C as well as cycle improvements on Barton Road. No bus improvements are suggested for Barton Road. The approximate cost is £7.5m.Benefits of this option include:

  • Benefits outlined in Options A and C
  • Barton Road cycle improvements would connect to any ‘orbital’ cycle link, which would provide a direct off-road route to housing and employment areas

Park & Ride

The existing Cambridgeshire County Council owned Trumpington Park & Ride site is approaching capacity. Additional spaces will be needed at or near this site in the near future. A location for an additional Park & Ride site at Junction 11 (Trumpington) has already been identified next to the M11 and the A10.

A location for any Park & Ride or Park & Cycle at Junction 12 (Barton) on either side of the road would need to be established.

The existing Park & Ride on Madingley Road is on land leased from the University of Cambridge. This lease will expire in 20 years. A new Park & Ride is possible at Madingley Mulch roundabout for A428 traffic, which may reduce the need for Madingley Road Park & Ride.

Environment

Any bus link near the M11 and new Park & Ride sites would impact the local environment.

A number of environmental constraints have been identified and are mapped in the below draft documents:

An Ordnance Survey map has been used as the base map over which environmental constraints have been identified and placed. Information relating to Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Local Plan designations has not been mapped and is available on their websites. If you require additional information about the maps please consider attending a consultation exhibition to talk to a Project Officer or contact the City Deal Team.

We welcome your input in identifying other environmental issues.

Funding

The Greater Cambridge City Deal has been allocated £100m from Central Government to improve transport in and around the city by 2020. If transport improvements are achieved then there may be £200m of further funding for 2020 to 2025.

The Western Orbital is currently in the very early stages of development. This conceptual stage work is currently funded as part of an allocation of £9m to develop projects ready for any second tranche of monies. The Western Orbital currently has an estimated budget of £21m excluding developer contributions. Depending on the initial ideas taken forward, the amount of funding for this project may change.

Other City Deal Projects

Any ‘Western Orbital’ link would:

  • Connect with any new bus link from Cambourne to Cambridge, which was consulted on for the first time in Autumn 2015
  • Take into account the Cambridge Access Study, a scheme which considers traffic in and around the city centre
  • Link via the Busway to the Chisholm Trail, a proposed cycleway to link the north and south of the city along the railway line

Contact us

If you have any questions, thoughts or ideas, please get in contact with us: