Tackling Cambridge Congestion

Greater Cambridge City Deal Pusblished the following information regarding Cambridge Congestion:


From Monday July 11 to Monday October 10 2016, we are seeking people’s views on a planned package of measures to tackle peak-time congestion in Cambridge which will significantly improve public transport, cycling and walking journeys.
Your feedback will be used by the Greater Cambridge City Deal to help shape and improve the approach, which was approved in principle by the Executive Board in June.
Final recommendations are due to be considered in January 2017.

Have your say

We would like to know what you think about the plan, how you think this might affect you or motivate you to change your mode of transport when travelling in Cambridge.
While the combination of measures has been agreed, we are keen to hear any issues or concerns you may have about any particular elements.
This is a preliminary period of engagement and further consultation on specific elements of the package is planned in due course.

You can have your say in a number of different ways:

Why do we need to tackle congestion?

Cambridge continues to grow and with this growth comes an increased number of journeys. 
There has been a huge rise in motor vehicle journeys, filling city roads which were never intended for this volume of traffic. 
The net result is congestion and daily gridlock which threatens to choke both business and people’s quality of life - for residents as well as the many thousands of people who travel into and out of the city daily.
The City Deal is committed to tackling congestion - keeping people, employment and our economy moving - and to maintain Cambridge as a city for people not traffic.
As part of a wider transport programme to support a future transport network for housing and jobs growth in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire, the City Deal aims to make it easier to travel into, out of and around Cambridge by public transport, cycle or on foot and to reduce and maintain current peak-time traffic levels by 15% by 2031.
Read the answers City Deal Executive Board Chair Lewis Herbert gave in a recent Q & A about the transport 'crisis' in the City.

The plan

Following research and a Public Call for Evidence, the City Deal Board has approved an eight-point plan to tackle congestion in Cambridge.
The package of measures includes :

  • Better public transport and Park & Rides
    The package aims to improve reliability and speed up bus journey times.
    Traffic management measures will remove general traffic from key bus routes in the city, providing faster journeys. 
    This will complement on-going work to improve bus journeys on other routes to and from the city and lead to quick and seamless trips including to/from the Park & Rides. 
    The City Deal will further invest in Park & Ride and Park & Cycle infrastructure including new Park & Rides where there is a case to do so.
    City Deal also continues to support improved rail services.
  • Better cycling and walking
    Opportunities created by the package of measures will be used to continue to enhance cycling and pedestrian infrastructure in the city and work with existing plans and proposals to create a comprehensive cycle network in, out and around Cambridge, linked to towns and villages beyond.
  • Peak-time congestion control points
    Similar to the established and successful core scheme in the city centre, ‘virtual closures’ for general traffic at key points on the city’s road network would create a low-traffic zone during rush hour through which only buses, cyclists, local taxis and emergency vehicles could travel. 
    Drivers could still access streets in the zone but would need to find an alternative route or – as is the aim - switch to bus, cycle or walking for part of their journey. 
    The closures would be enforced through the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition and £60 penalty fines.
  • Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) 
    Based on a successful scheme in Nottingham, big employers with lots of parking space for employees would be charged an annual fee for each commuter parking space. 
    This will likely be those employers with more than ten parking spaces. This would also encourage people to switch to other modes as well as create an important new funding stream to invest in better local transport to ease commuter trips.
  • On-street parking controls
    The package supports an expansion of Residents’ Parking Zones in areas near large workplaces would further discourage commuter car journeys and work with WPL ensuring parking is not displaced to nearby streets, ensuring limited on-street parking is prioritised for residents.
  • Smart technology
    Use of technology and data to help people make smart travel choices including ‘digital way finding’, real-time traffic alerts and intelligent traffic signals prioritising bus and cycle trips.
    The City Deal has invested in Smart Cambridge to harness technology to improve people’s travel experience
  • Travel planning
    Expansion of the existing advice service Travel for Cambridgeshire to help businesses, schools and individuals adapt to changes and make optimum travel choices.
  • Public space and air quality
    Using opportunities to make improvements to public space - such as landscaping or new street furniture– to keep Cambridge a pleasant and attractive place to live, travel and do business. 
    The reduction in congestion and, in particular, car travel will improve air quality considerably.

Frequently asked questions about tackling Cambridge congestion.


Due to the combination of measures and complexity of some elements of the plan, the full set of proposals would need to be implemented over a number of years.
Peak-time congestion control points can be delivered relatively quickly and the recommendation is to introduce these on a trial basis, to allow for testing and real-time public consultation, from Autumn 2017. The WPL, for example, would take considerably longer and is not expected to be implemented for at least three years.


This is a preliminary period of engagement on the package of measures.
Further detailed consultation will be taken as follows:

  • Peak-time congestion control points (PCCPs) – It is recommended that public consultation is under-taken during a trial period, people can respond to their experience of them.
  • Workplace Parking Levy – Detailed consultation with employers is planned for 2017.  

Next steps

Between July 11 and October 10 2016, the City Deal will take time to talk and listen to residents, business, communities and organisations across Cambridge, South Cambridgeshire and beyond, to gain feedback on the plan from those who need to travel in, out and across the city.
At the same time, transport managers will undertake further research and technical work, and liaise with service operators, to further refine concepts contained within the package.
This work and evaluation of public feedback will be used to make recommendations due to be considered by the Joint Assembly and Executive Board in January 2017.