'Greenprint' for City Transport in Cambridge Released

13 January 2015

Radical plans to roll back traffic congestion and reduce air pollution in Cambridge will be announced by the Green Party this week.

Following the unprecedented levels of traffic in the city over the Christmas period, the Green Party parliamentary candidate, Rupert Read, believes traffic management in Cambridge will be a top election issue in May. He said:

“Other Parties - and the City Deal proposals - speak earnestly about their desire to rein in Cambridge’s traffic, but it is no good willing the ends if you do not will the means. Only radical green solutions will actually work.”

Natalie Bennett, Green Party Leader, added:

"We have found in London, where Green Party elected representatives played a key role in reducing congestion levels over the last 15 years, that we need to combine provision of good, reliable public transport with ensuring that the cost of car use to our society and environment is at least partially transferred to the car user.

"Air pollution, congestion and loss of amenity in our streets are the costs of car use borne by all of us, and need to be reflected in the cost of motoring.

"This also means that the congestion is reduced for those who genuinely need to use cars and lorries on our roads."

At a news conference alongside Natalie Bennett in Cambridge on Friday (Jan 16th), Dr Read will introduce a detailed report tying in with national Green Party policies, which could be a model for the rest of the country. Some of the main points are:

  • Reducing the need to travel. Support high speed broadband to encourage home working and video conferencing to cut the need for meetings. Prioritise planning policies which promote opportunities to shop and work in more self-sufficient local communities.
  • Re-regulation of the buses. Modelled on the excellent London buses which, unlike the rest of the country, are run for the public good under what are known as ‘Quality Bus Contracts’. We propose bringing in contracts for Cambridge.
  • A smartcard for Cambridge. Cambridgeshire needs its own ‘oyster-card’-style system for easy “joined-up” travel. We propose calling it the ‘CambCard’.
  • Congestion-charging for Cambridge. We need more radical disincentives for drivers entering the city centre and so a London style congestion charge needs to be seriously investigated.
  • Taking the railways back into public ownership. A headline policy for the Green Party, now drawing widespread support. Caroline Lucas MP is seeking to make it law; as Green MP for Cambridge Rupert Read, already the Party’s national transport spokesperson, would work with her to make this happen. This will also enable rail fares to be reduced: the Green Party has pledged that rail fares would come down by 10%, under a Green Government.
  • An expanded rail network. A top priority for us is re-opening the old line to Oxford.
  • Expansion of Cambridges cycling network, both on-road and separated from road-traffic. We strongly back ‘Making Space for Cycling’ (www.makingspaceforcycling.org), which sets out how our streets could be designed to continental best practice, and believe the key roads in Cambridge need to be upgraded to these standards. Cambridge already has the highest level of cycling in Britain: we want it to become the best in Europe.
  • Investment in pedestrian safety and access, including the roll-out of 20mph limits across all residential streets and city-centre areas of Cambridge.


The Greens believe these measures ought to be paid for by cancelling the government’s high speed rail vanity project HS2, heavily scaling back road-building, ending subsidies to air-travel and fossil fuel use and by properly financing local government again. The congestion charge itself would be a source of income.



12:00, Friday January 16th, Chetwynd Room, Kings College, Cambridge, CB2 1ST.

13:00, Natalie Bennett and Rupert Read will be available for photos and interviews in the street when they leave the venue by bicycle.




Rupert Read: 07946 459066



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