Opinion | By Cllr Anna Smith, chief of Cambridge Metropolis Council, Cllr Bridget Smith, chief of South Cambridgeshire District Council, and Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, chief of Cambridgeshire County Council
This week sees the shut of the 10-week session on Making Connections, the programme of enhancements to public transport being proposed by the Better Cambridge Partnership alongside a sustainable journey zone for Cambridge.
The session has seen a rare diploma of public response, with many 1000’s finishing the session.
We’re grateful to all those that have taken the time to make their views recognized by means of the session. The formal session paperwork are detailed, and it’s a signal of the extent of curiosity in these proposals that so many individuals and organisations have taken the time to reply in depth.
The data we are going to acquire from the wealthy knowledge in these responses will likely be invaluable in serving to us to grasp what the important thing priorities and issues are for individuals who reside and work in Cambridgeshire, and people who journey into the county for work or different causes.
Along with the 1000’s who’ve accomplished the session on-line, many a whole lot have attended on-line or in-person conferences or emailed councillors individually. We’re grateful to councillors and to the officers of the Better Cambridge Partnership who’ve been out in our communities day after day, listening to residents’ views throughout the entire of Cambridgeshire and past. The talk has generally been heated, and the conferences generally difficult for councillors or employees. For choices like these it’s important that native residents, who care passionately about our space, are in a position to meaningfully contribute their ideas and concepts, and we need to thank the overwhelming majority who’ve engaged on this debate, with mutual respect for the views of others.
The proposals within the session have been developed over a few years by the Better Cambridge Partnership, a physique which incorporates representatives from Cambridge Metropolis Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, and Cambridgeshire County Council, and likewise from enterprise, schooling and different teams. The proposals had been considerably formed by the work of the Residents’ Meeting in 2019, and we need to acknowledge the years of labor which have gone into the steadiness of concepts within the scheme.
A scheme like this was at all times going to end in vital debate, however we felt that, given the size of the challenges we face, that it was proper to have that debate. There are not any straightforward solutions to the site visitors and air pollution points confronted in Cambridge metropolis or to the determined want for higher public transport throughout our area, and our resolution to carry this session is a mirrored image of that. Analysing the session responses over the approaching months will take time. There are literally thousands of written responses, and we owe it to all those that took the time to reply intimately to analyse these responses alongside the headline figures.
Regardless of the choices made on account of this session, we all know a lot of the way in which we reside, work and transfer will change within the coming many years. The crucial to answer the local weather disaster is matched by the necessity to recognise that automobile possession is changing into more and more costly for increasingly more individuals. As we make that transition to a decrease carbon transport system, we should additionally make sure that we aren’t placing too nice a burden on those that aren’t simply in a position to change to the bus or bike. We all know we’ve got an ageing inhabitants throughout Cambridgeshire, and that there will likely be many different teams of people who find themselves not simply in a position to change the way in which they journey because of incapacity or sickness, caring duties or the kind of work they do. And we have to guarantee that these persons are not neglected of pocket, particularly if they’re on low incomes. We perceive the should be very cautious in no matter adjustments are made, now and sooner or later, to make sure a ‘simply transition’, the place these in most want aren’t left behind.
We’ll look fastidiously at what the general public have advised us, and we are going to set out our responses to the session as soon as we all know what’s contained within the 1000’s of replies we’ve got obtained. Thanks to all who’ve engaged positively with this course of. As we’ve got mentioned all alongside, we’re listening, and we’re grateful for the time given to serving to to make our metropolis and our county a fairer and greener place for the long run.
Because the session attracts to its shut, we want all those that are celebrating it a Pleased Christmas, and hope that each one of you’ll be able to discover a while for a relaxation and a pause. We look ahead to spending time understanding all your considerate suggestions within the new 12 months.
Reply at consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/making-connections-2022 by noon on Friday.