Project Methodology

Technical details of the study

The same Cambridge Futures 4-step method is proposed as used in the previous study:

  • Identify the options

  • Use a computer simulation model to predict likely outcomes

  • Assess each alternative or combination of alternatives

  • Produce a public information package, involving a final report, an exhibition and a video.

The Options

In theory there are three types of policy levers that can be used to change the transport system in the medium to long term: investment, regulation and pricing. These options will be systematically assessed, individually or in combination, and would then be presented in distinct packages.


This would involve investing in increased road and public transport capacity. The scale and type of funding for these options will be identified. The investment options include:

  • Investment to reduce the need to travel

  • Public transport, such as extending the park and ride system, guided bus, trams, light rail transit, underground metro system, automated personal transport system, hopper mini-buses, rail network expansion and improvements.

  • Highways, orbital route and increases in capacity

  • Cycling

  • Pedestrianisation


This would entail regulation of road use at different times of the day using enforcement measures to restrict vehicles. The regulation options include:

  • Parking restrictions

  • High occupancy vehicle lanes


This would involve taxation and/or subsidy on the use of transport facilities. The pricing options include:

  • Parking charges

  • Workplace parking levy

  • Road pricing


Each option or combination of options can be simulated by a computer model. The results, which reflect behavioural and life-style choices, will provide a comparative basis for estimating the following:

Economic Efficiency

A cost benefit analysis to forecast the benefits to the users of the transport system, the benefits to the operators and to the government, both local and national. The overall annual benefits would be compared with the capital cost of implementing each alternative. This comparison would give the rate of return from the investment (social and private).

Social Equity

The costs and benefits calculated by socio-economic group allow assessment of their distribution amongst, for example, professionals, managers, and manual workers.

The benefits can also be estimated by area and assigned to zones within the Sub-Region (e.g. Cambridge City, South Cambridgeshire District, etc).

Environmental Impacts

It is possible to estimate emissions and energy use by each option, as well as noise, visual intrusion, neighbourhood severance, green-field uptake, etc.



The project will take about 18 months to complete:



Develop the options


Computer simulation






Public consultation