County council attacked over guided bus "fixation"

July 28, 2010 11:16 AM

Julian at WestminsterCambridgeshire County Council has been accused of being so fixated with the guided bus that other facilities lost out as a result.

The attack came from Cambridge MP Julian Huppert yesterday (Tuesday, July 27) as he led a Westminster Hall debate on the city's transport problems.

He claimed the county council pushed ahead with the guided bus system egged on by the Labour government. And that error was compounded by the failure to ensure that Cambridge residents would be able to use it.

"There are continuing limits on where it will stop to pick up passengers. In the meantime, other bus routes have been altered and stops removed from service to allow the guided bus to speed through when, if ever, it starts running," he said.

He labelled the project a "white elephant" and accused the Conservatives at Shire Hall of "broken promises".

Julian also addressed the controversial issue of the £1.4 billion widening of the A14.

"The proposed scheme, which the Government has put on hold, would wreak havoc on Cambridge," he said. "The calculations show that several key roads in Cambridge would have a huge increase in traffic.

"When I was a young, new county councillor, I argued that we should make safety improvements as soon as possible, develop a smaller scheme that would also deal with associated problems, such as the Huntingdon viaduct's end of life, and prevent Godmanchester from being a slip road for the A14. I made my suggestions at a council meeting, but they were dismissed by the ruling Conservatives, who said that a big scheme would be along soon."

Julian spoke out about the need for the new Chesterton railway station in Cambridge, claiming that "at a stroke" it would reduce congestion in the centre of the city.

And he talked about getting freight off the roads by developing the East-West rail link.

"Making transport better for all in the short term is one thing … but we should never lose sight of the fact that, by increasing access to public transport and creating sustainable communities, we are not only making transport better for all, we are also building a fairer society."

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