Summary

Dragon has been digging and has some awkward questions

My question for the City Deal Assembly is as follows:

“Please can I table the following Q for item 8 at http://scambs.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=1073&MId=6848&Ver=4 (three campuses)

Just over a year ago, you published this press release at http://www.gccitydeal.co.uk/citydeal/news/article/35/public_consultation_proposed_to_tackle_congestion_between_cambridge_and_haverhill on the options available for dealing with congestion south-east out of Cambridge towards Haverhill. Much of the traffic coming into Cambridge comes down Cherry Hinton Road – where I live down. I am now on medication because of the impact of the worsening air quality due to the extended traffic jams down that road.
I note the City Deal Board rejected Rail Haverhill’s proposals in Feb 2016. I would like to challenge that decision based on very strong assumptions given to the consultants in carrying out their assessment as described in the draft rail viability technical note Jan 2016.
(It’s appendix B of “REPORT NO 70012014-003 A1307 HAVERHILL TO CAMBRIDGE CORRIDOR DRAFT CONCEPTS REPORT”)
The authors state:
“A Cambridge-Haverhill railway line could also ultimately form part of a more strategic rail link from Cambridge to Colchester, via Haverhill and Sudbury, including the existing Sudbury to Marks Tey branch. However, this strategic option is beyond the scope of this technical note and the current study.”
This strategic option is central to the business case for Haverhill, for it links by rail the two campuses of Anglia Ruskin University (Chelmsford & Cambridge via Colchester)
Who made the decision to restrict this strategic option for Rail Haverhill to be between just the town and Cambridge Station?
I call on you to ask The Board to
A) Run a brief crowd-sourcing exercise to invite people to suggest what refreshed assumptions should be applied to a reappraisal of the rail option
B) Commission the consultants to re-appraise the Rail Haverhill option subject to the following assumptions:
1) That the Rail Haverhill proposals will be as part of the national rail network linking Colchester-Sudbury-Haverhill-Cambridge-Wisbech
and then…
2) That Rail Haverhill will be part of the Connect Cambridge Light Rail proposals”
My question for the city deal board is as follows:
“The City Deal Board announced an award of £50,000 of funding for research into the Cambridge Bullet Bus (reported at http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/city-deal-invests-futuristic-120-12124803). I have not been able to find any explanation into this project online – the complete opposite of the case for Rail Haverhill and for Cambridge Connect Light Rail.
Please can the City Deal Board:
1) release a formal document explaining at least the basics of what the bullet bus project actually is, and the considerations made before approving the release of £50,000 of funding for research for this project (which seemed to come out of the blue)
2) please comment on whether they will be willing to fund the necessary technical and financial feasibility studies for Rail Haverhill and the Cambridge Connect proposals in tranche 2 as part of the research budgets. I find it astonishing that such proposals were swept aside in tranche 1 given the levels of growing public support for both projects which have had extended publicity on the work already done, compared to the bullet bus project
3) please comment on how you will ensure the public – and in particular the academic community & experts in & around Cambridge will be able to scrutinise the assessments you make on the cost/benefits of proposals put forward given the disquiet of your conclusions originally for the rail haverhill project.”
The problem is that all of the detailed papers are not listed or uploaded to the City Deal website – note the few papers listed at http://www.gccitydeal.co.uk/citydeal/downloads/download/1/documents
Recall that Cambridge City Council also has a similar issue with this ***very juicy store*** of planning documents (https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/public/ldf/coredocs/https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/public/ldf/coredocs/)  that haven’t been properly listed and publicised. Because if you click on that link and go to ‘RD_STRAT’ (https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/public/ldf/coredocs/RD-STRAT/) you’ll find, if you are an historian that document no. 430 part 1 and no 430 part 2 are none other than scans of the 67 year old Holford-Wright Report of 1950 that shaped the post-war Cambridge that we know today – prior to the building work post-millennium.

Original source – A dragon’s best friend

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