News and Updates
The Examination in Public starts again on 7th June with an examination of objectively assessed housing need. The 8th June sees a review of both Councils' 5-year housing land supply and the proposed Joint Housing Trajectory, and finally on 9 June 2016 there's further consideration of the Green Belt Review methodology.
The summer will be taken up with an examination Cambridge City’s Local Plan. Watch out for updates on the SCDC plan in the Autumn.
The area in and around Bourn has few employment opportunities. One of the biggest local employers, Papworth Hospital, will be moving in 2018 to its new site at the Addenbrooke's Hospital campus in Cambridge. There are no projected or expected new employers of any size entering the area and creating new jobs.
Over the past twenty years thousands of new homes have been built in the Bourn area (including Cambourne, Caldecote and Papworth). Indeed 37% of all new houses built in South Cambridgeshire in the last 10 years have been built in the Bourn Ward area. Given the lack of local employment, the majority of these residents commute to work by car, out of the area, typically into Cambridge, Royston, St Neots or to the A14 and M11.
Despite the assurances about transport from local planners and politicians intent on pushing forward with BAD, the county council's own data indicates just how bad, and deteriorating, the transport problems in the area are:
Last year there were over 206,300 motor vehicles entering and leaving Cambridge each 12 hour day (7am to 7pm). This represents an 8% increase over the past two years. Prior to 2014, the long-term trend over the previous 18 years had been relatively flat.
There were over 3.18 million Park and Ride journeys in 2015, representing a decrease of 10% compared with 2014. The councils pushing for BAD insist that much of the local traffic problem will be resolved by commuters taking to the bus network - yet on this evidence user numbers are dropping.
In terms of rural traffic, the highest growth since 2005 on trunk roads within the County has occurred on the A428 (23%) which is related to the development of Cambourne. Traffic density on Cambridgeshire’s rural trunk ‘A’ roads is over two and a half times the national average, and 39% above average on other rural ‘A’ roads. The density of HGV traffic on Cambridgeshire’s trunk ‘A’ roads is over three and a half times the national average, and on non-trunk main roads it is 80% above the national average.
On Barton Road, the number of motor vehicles has increased by 18% over the ten years to 2015. In Bourn over the ten years to 2015 vehicle numbers per 12 hour period have revealed a 23% increase in total vehicles and a 17% increase in HGVs on the A428 at Bourn Airfield.In one year to 2015 HGV numbers on the B1046 at Bourn have increased by 77%.
Adding cycle paths and bus lanes is clearly not going to make a dent in the problem. Local residents know too well from the increase in their own journey times into, out of and around Cambridge that the current situation is poor and getting worse. We have watched local planners, councillors and developers pitch scheme after scheme, ranging from the inadequate to the ridiculous, with which to address this problem. The point they all ignore is that this problem cannot be addressed by any means while at the same time significantly adding to traffic numbers. Building new houses miles away from the new employment centres, with a congestion hotspot in between them, has got to be wrong.
These houses will simply be in the wrong place and represent an unsustainable development.