Scenario 5:
Growth along Transport Links

The Policy

  • To preserve the City of Cambridge and its surrounding area as much as it is today.

  • New residential development only allowed within walking distance of public transport to reduce environmental impact of private car travel.

  • Additional buildings for employment  within the City and South Cambridgeshire only permitted on ‘brownfield’ sites near potential railway stations.

  • Some new development allowed in market towns of Ely, Huntingdon, St Ives, St Neots.

  • Replacement or renewal of buildings allowed within the City and South Cambridgeshire (e.g., conversion of houses into flats, or warehousing into offices, etc).

  • Requires improved public transport system e.g. re-opening of St Ives line and new stations elsewhere.

The policy involves increases of households along transport routes which are balanced in all districts.

Employment continues to grow in the City due to existing permissions for development, substitution of extensive space users (i.e., warehousing and manufacturing) by intensive space users (e.g., high-tech business, private and public services) and development in brownfield sites near potential railway stations. Other areas show lower increases, particularly East Cambridgeshire.

The Results

  • Dwelling costs in the City increase somewhat due to restricted supply.

  • Dwelling costs in other districts increase more evenly, with greatest in South Cambridgeshire and least in Huntingdonshire.

  • Population distribution by socio-economic group is reasonably balanced in all districts, although there are fewer residents from lower socio-economic group in the City itself.

  • Production costs increase within the City and less so elsewhere.

  • Increased public transport reduces private car commuting although congestion remains high.

Transport implications

  • Increased rail travel reduces car use.

  • The majority of trips would still be by car, maintaining congestion but improving average speeds on certain roads.

  • Average distance of car trips increases by only 13%

  • Traffic delays increase by a smaller percentage than in the other options, except Option 6: Virtual Highway.

  • Emissions and pollution also increase by a smaller percentage than in any other option, except Option 6: Virtual Highway.

The cost of living within the City would rise due to increased house prices and rentals, costs of goods, services and transport. Lower increases elsewhere.

The cost of production in all areas would rise steadily and fairly evenly, following increased household and labour costs, floorspace rentals and congestion.



  • Economic efficiency would be moderate, and unlikely to improve the competitiveness of the region.

  • Export-oriented firms such as those in the high-tech sector would find it relatively demanding to compete with the rest of the world, facing a 25% increase in production costs between 2001 and 2016.


  • Social equity would not be improved in the City of Cambridge because of restricted housing and rising household costs for all income groups.

  • Changes in South Cambridgeshire, East Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire would be more balanced.


  • Good protection of the environment in the City and the countryside generally.

  • More intense utilisation of land in the transport corridors might slightly raise emissions and pollution locally, despite rail use, but protects green land elsewhere.



Chesterton Sidings before

The pictures above and below show areas where new development could take place. These areas, such as Chesterton Sidings (left), are either under-utilised or derelict. Siting new stations there could provide access to new employment areas and, in the case of Chesterton Sidings, to housing close by.

Chesterton Sidings after


To Option 6 analysis