East Anglia Cambridge City Deal


Cambridge is currently assessing how to invest the initial City Deal funding of £100m which is available for improving transport infrastructure. The city suffers from severe congestion with public transport journeys in the peak often taking half an hour longer than the equivalent off-peak journey. A number of schemes are being assessed; mainly bus priority, park and ride and cycle projects. However the contribution from the region's expanding rail network has been largely ignored.

Response to the Call for Evidence

Railfuture East Anglia responded to the City Deal Cambridge Access Study's call for evidence, a series of public meetings and a process where individuals and organisations could submit ideas for the study to explore. The Study will recommend transformative improvements and interventions to considerably improve access, capacity, and movement to and within the city.

The following documents cover the Railfuture response.

Railfuture's spoken evidence was presented on 30th November 2015:

Presentation slides:

Written response about Rail for Cambridge:

Written response about a future light rail line for Cambridge:

Rail for the Cambridge City Deal

The Railfuture East Anglia document "Cambridge Metro: High quality rail based infrastructure for the Cambridge City Deal" (which can be downloaded from www.railfuture.org.uk/east/docs/Railfuture-East-Anglia-2015-02-22-Rail-for-the-Cambridge-City-Deal.pdf) remedies this by describing how the rail network tied in with improved car, cycle and pedestrian access to stations could bring significantly number of additional passengers into Cambridge, in turn freeing up roads for buses and other users. Other areas of the country are proposing frequent local rail services as part of their urban public transport service, including Bristol http://www.railfuture.org.uk/MetroWest and Devon.

This has been followed up by "Cambridge Metro: Delivering an urban rail scheme for the Cambridge City Deal" which describes how this network can be delivered

Analysis of census commuting data

Railfuture East Anglia has also analysed the Cambridge commuting data from the 2011 Census, presenting its findings in the “Commuting to Cambridge: Census data backs the case for rail” which can be downloaded here:

The census data shows:
  • there is a strong correlation between the proportion of people choosing commute to Cambridge by train and the frequency of the rail service
  • Newmarket in particular would greatly benefit from additional peak period trains, followed by March and Royston
  • the frequent service between Downham Market, Littleport, Ely and Cambridge shows what can be achieved, although this is suffering overcrowding due to its success
  • Haverhill is larger than Ely and a similar distance from Cambridge but has significantly fewer people commuting by public transport. A reopened railway could be expected to carry significant numbers of rail passengers
These enhancements form part of Railfuture East Anglia’s submission to the Cambridge City Deal. It demonstrates how Rail can contribute to the objective of easing congestion in Cambridge and linking people to jobs.

Slide sets

Railfuture East Anglia have produced a slide set promoting enhancements to the rail network to support commuting into Cambridge and the Cambridge City Deal aspirations. The slides are mostly self-explanatory and essentially summarise the important points from our various City Deal documents. Some of the slides look forward 15 or more years (e.g. light rail) so beyond Cambridge's immediate transport needs, but it is important that today’s developments are done with an eye to the long term future.

Download the slide set shown at "Be the Change Cambridge" bethechangecambridge.org.uk RailfutureEastAnglia_City_Deal_Presentation.pdf

"The Case for Cambridge"

The Case for Cambridge launched by 11 of the city's leading organisations has focussed on a funding deal it feels can help Cambridge keep pace with its rampant economic growth.

They ask for "Development of a Cambridge regional transport plan with the key infrastructure agencies – Highways England and Network Rail – that reflects local priorities" with the following specific rail projects:
- Build a new railway station at the Addenbrooke's Biomedical Campus
- Link more affordable housing to jobs via better train services beyond Greater Cambridge, including to north Cambridgeshire and into Norfolk and West Suffolk, and feeder towns such as Ely, Thetford, Haverhill, Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds
- Connectivity from Cambridge to London Liverpool Street should be improved
These reflect many of Railfuture's aspirations for Cambridge.

The full document can be downloaded here:
"The Case for Cambridge" (pdf)

Cambridge Connect


Cambridge Connect is calling for light rail to be given serious consideration as part of a multi-modal transport network for Cambridge including heavy rail, buses and cycle. Railfuture East Anglia have contributed to the proposals with Cambridge Connect's option A and option B lines from Girton, via West Cambridge then under the city centre to the main railway station continuing to the Newmarket Road area, broadly following the route of the line identified as a longer term aspiration of Railfuture East Anglia's "Cambridge Metro" proposal. Cambridge Connect takes the concept further with a series of phased extensions. The Cambridge Connect website includes detailed information about light rail and indicative costs of the proposals.
The light rail options and detailed here:

Smarter Cambridge Transport


Smarter Cambridge Transport is designing and campaigning for a coherent transport infrastructure for Cambridge and south Cambridgeshire includes a number of rail schemes.

"Enhance access to rail services. Build a Cambridge South station to serve Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the new Biomedical Campus. Build a new station to serve Fulbourn, Cherry Hinton and Teversham. Build a new station at Soham. Replace Waterbeach station with a larger station to the north, serving Waterbeach New Town and village. Create an eastern entrance to Cambridge Central and North stations."

Railfuture East Anglia have directly contributed to Smarter Cambridge Transport's rail proposals www.smartertransport.uk/rail/

Cambridge Past, Present and Future

Cambridge Past, Present and Future support rail in their transport strategy:


Letter to Alstom about the idea of a Light Rail line across Cambridge:

More information

The Cambridge City Deal website is here:

The Greater Cambridge City Deal process is described here: