Hands off Christ's Pieces!

March 31, 2009 10:42 AM
Tim Bick

Cllr Tim Bick

A city centre councillor has criticised remarks of local Stagecoach boss Andy Campbell about future facilities for buses. "His dreams of a building a big transport interchange on Christ's Pieces - or anywhere else in the very centre of the city - are simply not on," says Tim Bick, Liberal Democrat councillor for Market Ward.

"I'd certainly make common cause with Andy Campbell in wanting a solution to congestion which gives priority for public transport in the city centre. I understand that this may mean more buses," he said. "But to accommodate this, Cambridge needs a bit more imaginative thinking than just a bigger and better bus station, destroying in the process our major city centre green public open space.

"If public transport operators win priority out of the current Congestion Charge debate or from any other demand management solution, Cambridge will represent a huge business opportunity for them. The City should

insist the bus companies develop plans that properly fit the unique character of Cambridge.

"I doubt that there is any single location in the very heart of the city that could accommodate a bus station big enough, without destroying the special green, historic and residential environment which draws so many people here in the first place. Even if there was such a location, there wouldn't be the street capacity for the buses to get to it.

"We need the County Council, as our transport authority, to think creatively about mini-hubs around the City Centre, dispersed like the current car parks, from which people already prove ready to walk, rather than in a single place right in the middle of the historic centre. Smaller, lighter shuttles maybe needed for those who find a slightly extended walk difficult."

"All parties to Cambridge's transport planning need to beware of killing the goose which lays the golden egg."

Cllr Sian Reid, Executive City Councillor for Climate Change and Growth reinforced Cllr Bick's case: "Christ's Pieces is owned by the City Council and its use for buses remains out of the question. We need the County Council to recognise this and work on approaches more sympathetic to the city."

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