The Present Situation
As a world-renowned University town and a prime
centre for research and technology, Cambridge enjoys a high standard of living and low
To sustain economic growth, larger firms need to be
attracted into the region. This is needed to fund ever more expensive research and to
create employment choice for high-profile, internationally sought-after managers, whilst
supporting training grounds for new managers and entrepreneurs.
Forecasts show that 33,000 new jobs will be created
in the Cambridge region within the next ten years. This will take the number of jobs in
the City and its fringe to 100,000 (from over 70,000 today).
Current levels of household growth are expected to
rise sharply in the area, because of increased population and smaller households. Some
growth will occur in areas where planning permission has been granted, but new areas need
to be developed.
The primary, quantifiable restraint on growth is
traffic congestion. This is identified as the most serious problem for residents.
Accidents, air pollution and delays are foremost concerns. Access roads, streets and
parking areas in the City are full to capacity. The trunk road system has also reached its
Demand for services such as water, etc., is
increasing due to the trend for higher consumption as incomes grow. As one of the driest
areas in the country, the trend towards higher water consumption is of great concern in
Presssure to build on any available land, including
flood plains, could cause serious problems in the region. Increasing urbanisation reduces
the drainage capacity of the land, entailing higher flood risks.
There is a growing perception of the desirability of
a sustainable approach to society. This is embodied in the United Nations Local Agenda 21
policies gradually being adopted by local authorities, which act as increasingly pervasive
restraints on growth.