Friday, 27 April 2012

Better Bus Area Fund (BBAF) Statement


As part of a request from Liberal Democrat County Councillor Sarah Whitebread a statement will be released to the West Central Area Committee shortly detailing the plans for spending the 1.7m allocated to the Cambridge City for bus improvements in Cambridge City.

The original statement is available here (via Google Docs).

The text is below;

"Written Statement for the West Central Area Committee meeting on 26.04.12 regarding the Better Bus Area Fund (BBAF)


Cambridgeshire County Council has been asked to prepare a statement for the West Central Area Committee for 26th April regarding the Better Bus Area Fund (or BBAF), providing some background information on the bid and our plans to consult on aspects of the programme once this is finalised.


The County Council has secured £1.7m funding from Government to invest in improving the reliability of bus services, particularly through Cambridge city centre. The overarching aim of the bid is to improve accessibility, bus journey times and reliability on key bus routes.


One of the proposals included in the bid is the possible removal of motorised traffic, except buses and emergency service vehicles, from St Andrews Street between Emmanuel Street and Hobson Street, during the day time. This would be accompanied by the proposed removal of the taxi rank on St Andrews Street, at least during the day time. If this proposal is taken forward, the current taxi rank in Drummer Street would become the primary taxi facility for the historic city centre.


Buses using the route currently experience delays associated with over ranking by taxis, deliveries to premises and unauthorised vehicles using the street. There are also conflicts between buses, cycles and pedestrians which need to be addressed. Our intention is to enhance the environment and safety in this area and improve accessibility, especially for bus services. In doing this we will consider all access requirements by all users including those with mobility impairments.


To help us in achieving this, we will be consulting widely with all sectors of the city centre community before designing any detailed proposals. We are keen to hear from all those who live in and use the area and we will shortly be publicising details of when and how the consultation will be undertaken and details will be made available on our website at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk.


We look forward to engaging further with the West Central Committee as part of this process.


Yours sincerely




Dearbhla Lawson
Head of Transport Infrastructure Policy & Funding
Cambridgeshire County Council


Background Information
Background:

  • The bid was prepared in partnership with South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambridge City Council, Stagecoach East and Whippet Coaches Ltd and is for a total of £1.724m of Department for Transport (DfT) funding. The total programme cost is £5.192m.
  • The overarching aim of the bid is to improve accessibility, bus journey times and reliability on key bus routes in Cambridge.
  • The programme will be implemented during 2012/13 and 2013/14.
  • The full bid document is available here.

The BBAF programme area:

  • The bid focuses on the core area of Cambridge City Centre and on four of the inner radial routes that are heavily used by buses (Hills Road, Milton Road, Histon Road and Mill Road). It also focuses on outer radial routes from the Trumpington Park & Ride Site and the villages of Sawston, Cambourne and Linton.

Benefits of the programme:

  • The programme will improve journey times and reliability, and result in increased bus patronage (an estimated 508,000 more passenger journeys over the two years of the bid). It will improve access to employment, reduce carbon emissions (by reducing bus mileage in the bid area) and improve air quality in the core area (due to older vehicles being replaced with cleaner, newer vehicles).
  • The programme will also result in wider economic benefits by reducing congestion and helping to enable planned growth to occur and that people can access employment and other key destinations.

Consultation:

  • Cambridgeshire County Council is planning to consult on a number of the measures which are included in the BBAF programme. As we were only advised of the success of the bid in late March, detailed work on a programme including project plans/ options has yet to take place.
  • County Council officers are currently working up a draft programme which will clarify how the various BBAF programme elements are proposed to be taken forward in the next two years. This will include consideration of how and when detailed scheme designs and proposals will be consulted upon. Our aim is to have a programme completed by June for publication and to share it with Members of the West Central Area Committee."