Lib Dems 'cautious' over 'worrying' station area development

February 23, 2006 12:45 PM

Leading Liberal Democrat City Councillors have issued a note of caution over Ashwell's ambitious plans for the station area development and call for a rethink on the overall scale of the project and its transport interchange provision.

Liberal Democrat Leader of the Council, Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith said:

"The Council welcomes the fact that a developer has finally come forward with proposals for the Station Area. If it is done well the site has the potential to bring huge public benefits in terms of transport and access to the city, as well as serving the developer's commercial interests.

"However, the public will have every right to criticise us if this unique opportunity is bungled. It is worrying that the scale of the proposed Ashwell development is so much larger than envisaged in the Station Area Development Framework. It does not respond adequately to the opportunity to provide a transport interchange and is in danger of being throttled by the traffic it generates.

"I call on Ashwells to have an urgent and serious rethink of these issues which risk bringing them into a head-on collision with the City Council's planners. I hope that the planners will deal robustly with

these proposals, within the existing local development policy framework."

Cllr Jenny Bailey, Executive City Councillor in charge of Planning and

Transport, added:

"I would like to see a development designed as a fully functional transport interchange between rail, bus, cycle and pedestrian use.

"Making the Station Area transport system work is essential for delivering our Growth Agenda and making Cambridge a sustainable city.

"I don't believe that the Ashwell proposal fulfils the transport needs of the City at all, and this proposal will seriously weaken our ability to deliver the excellent public transport our City desperately needs. It has the potential to generate gridlock around our primary transport hub during the rush hour, further undermining the weakest part of the Guided Bus system whose track terminates with the Station Development Area."

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