Summary Report

4. The Public Transport Option

Key Elements of the Public Transport Option

  • Expansion of the guided bus network to serve Fulbourn, the proposed new housing developments in east Cambridge, and between east Cambridge and Chesterton
  • Tunnels for public transport vehicles that connect the north, south and east of the City (with underground interchanges at Drummer Street bus station and the railway station, and an underground station at Parkers Piece), providing the opportunity to extend the City centre pedestrian zone.

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Sustainability implications

The proposed public transport options would improve the economic prosperity of the area. The overall production costs are reduced by 3% making the Sub-region more competitive in comparison with the Base Case. The 6% reduction of costs in the City of Cambridge is of particular significance because this is the location of a substantial amount of employment engaged in exporting goods and services to outside the Sub-region.

The universities, high-tech and related services, retailers and public employers will all benefit. The overall savings in production costs for exporters the Sub-region are estimated at 90 million per year. This cost saving will make the area more competitive. From the social point of view, this option offers people more choice of where to live, work, and obtain services, as well as increasing accessibility for non-car users. It would not alter the socio-economic structure of the Sub-region, maintaining a similar distribution to the Base Case. It would, however, particularly benefit higher income groups that commute to the City. If the scheme includes the tunnel between the bus and railway stations it would enhance the environment by reducing local air pollution and freeing up road space in the City centre for pedestrians and cyclists.

Investment Costs Tunnel 270
  Interchanges 120
  Guideways 10.4
  Bridges 4
  Traffic Management 5
  Total Costs 409.4
Annual Benefits User: tolls -
  User: cost savings 1.4
  User: time savings 2.6
  User: convenience -1.6
  User Total Benefits 2.4
  Operator: revenues -
  Operator: costs -
  Operator Total Benefits -
  Government Benefits -0.1
  Total Benefits 2.3
Rate of return Social 0.6%
  Operator -


  • Car traffic reduces slightly
  • Public transport use increases
  • Walking and cycling reduces
  • Environmental improvement in the City centre but no overall change in carbon emissions
  • Cost of living and production costs reduce making the Sub-region more competitive
  • Investment cost is high due to tunnels but there is a modest transport economic benefits
Introducing the Study Base
Cycling/ Walking Public Transport Orbital Highway Congestion Charging Combined Option Options Compared