The Combined Authority’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee has been updated on progress with the developing plan to deliver a better transport future for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
The Local Transport and Connectivity Plan (LTCP), when completed, will be the region’s statutory transport plan, and will set a vision, priorities and strategy to guide future investments into infrastructure including roads, rail, buses, and cycling and walking projects.
The Committee was updated with the feedback from last year’s consultation on the draft LTCP and were advised that updated Government guidance on Local Transport Plans nationally, of which the LTCP is one, is still pending. This guidance will be essential in ensuring that the final LTCP will meet the requirements set out by the Government’s Department for Transport.
The LTCP consultation ran from May to August 2022 and included in-person events across the region. The consultation could be completed online or via post. As well as members of the public, stakeholders across the region were engaged with including those from the education and health sector, businesses and other community groups. The draft LTCP was also developed in close collaboration with the county, district and city councils.
The document includes ‘Connectivity’ in the title to reflect the importance of the internet on transport, including how home working has impacted on people’s journeys. The draft strategy broadly set out a vision for transport to support a more prosperous, fairer, more accessible, better connected, less polluting and lower carbon transport network, which also delivered better public health. The draft LTCP aims to make public transport, and cycling and walking infrastructure better, reaching more people and making it a more attractive alternative to the car. The strategy aims to cut the miles driven on roads in the region by 15%.
Highlights from the consultation feedback include:
• 65% either strongly agreed or agreed with the proposed LTCP vision.
• When asked about the proposed LTCP goals, 51% strongly agreed with climate, followed by 50% for the environment, and 49% who strongly agreed that improved health outcomes should be a key goal.
• When asked about the proposed LTCP objectives, 54% strongly agreed that this should include improvements to air quality. This was followed by 53% who strongly agreed with climate change, followed by 52% who strongly agreed with improved accessibility.
• When asked about whether there were any further comments on the LTCP’s vision, goals, and objectives, more ambitious net zero targets were the prevailing comment.
• 66% either strongly agreed or agreed with the proposal to cut the number of miles driven on roads by 15%. The prevailing comment was that this target should look to be more ambitious.
The consultation feedback has been accompanied by a ‘You Said, We Did’ document outlining how the responses will be considered in the production of a final LTCP.
With the Government guidance on Local Transport Plans still awaited and the forthcoming local elections, the current aim is to put a final LTCP document to the Combined Authority Board for approval in June.
The Committee approved the use of £278,571 already set aside for the LTCP programme to undertake the next stages of its development.
Deputy Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Cllr Anna Smith, said: “Transport is such an important issue for our region. Too many people, especially in our rural areas, still face no option but to use the car because public transport doesn’t serve them well enough yet.
“We must make sure the LTCP meets the guidance which is to be set down by Government so that we can deliver on our transport ambitions for the whole region. While we await fresh guidance, we will continue to work with them to make sure the LTCP is being developed in the right way. The Combined Authority is also using the very detailed feedback received in the consultation to make the final plan better.”