Cambridge Futures 2

What Transport for Cambridge?

Why is this study needed?

Cambridge is currently experiencing strong economic growth but the future prosperity of the area is at risk unless action is taken to improve the transport system. The regions inadequate infrastructure is leading to daily traffic congestion. There is also a shortage of office space and housing.

The Draft Structure Plan proposes the building of 42,000 new homes by 2016 and the creation of about 50,000 new jobs in the Cambridge Sub-region. This increase in population and economic activity would put an intolerable strain on the transport system. The resulting traffic congestion would harm the quality of life and economy. There is a danger that an increasing number of major companies will leave Cambridge unless something is done about transport. Transport was the main issue that emerged from the first phase of Cambridge Futures.

Why Cambridge Futures?

Cambridge Futures is an independent not-for-profit apolitical group consisting of academics, business leaders, government officers, politicians, and professionals, working together in a spirit of collaboration. It already has five years experience of such working together on its award-winning and innovative earlier Phase 1 of the  project.

Cambridge Futures is ideally positioned to undertake this study.


After the successful completion of the first Cambridge Futures study, and the subsequent Regional Planning Guidance, it is clear that there is a growing consensus on the way forward. It entails a combination of four of the options from Phase 1 of Cambridge Futures:

  • Densification

  • Green Swap

  • New Settlement, and

  • Transport Links to neighbouring market towns.

The Draft Structure Plan contains a mix of these options. The final blend awaits the outcome of consultations before the adoption of the Structure Plan.

Now is therefore the time to look at the most pressing problem: how to improve transport within the framework of the Structure Plan to give people sufficient mobility. The next step will be to look further into the future to forecast what effect each option would have on the longer-term development of the sub-region.


The future of the Cambridge sub-region depends on the key issue of transport. There cannot be any local resident who would not benefit directly from an improved transport infrastructure - whether in the time and frustration saved, in reduction of traffic congestion or by the enhancement of their environment (less noise, pollution and visual intrusion). This study will provide all citizens with the means to decide on which proposals to choose.

As with the first study, the analysis has been reported and presented at public exhibitions to give an opportunity for public comment. The exhibitions also include video animation so that the public can see how each alternative operates.

The results should inform planners and decision-makers, both locally and nationally, as well as the local population. The original Cambridge Futures study raised public awareness and stimulated wider debate. Its options became familiar and acceptable - the same should be true of this study.

See the results

You can see the results of the study in a number of formats:

You can see a Summary of the Study online this is based on the text and graphics used in the roving exhibition.

Printed Report download an order form for the report

Video download an order form for the video/DVD.




Cambridge Futures 2
- the Objective

Cambridge Futures 2 analyses the options for transport in the Cambridge sub-region for the next 15 years and beyond.

It has aimed to refine the range of possible options and forecast their effect on travel patterns and long-term changes in land use. Each option has been assessed in a consistent manner for public comparison of the implications.