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Cambridge Evening News October 09 2003


EXCLUSIVE report By James Slack Parliamentary correspondent

MINISTERS have been asked to call a halt to plans for the future of Cambridgeshire by holding a public inquiry:

City MP Anne Campbell has made a formal request for the Structure Plan to be "called in" by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Mrs Campbell, who was due to break the news to the county council today; said the plan's transport vision was flawed.

She is unhappy that proposals for workplace parking charges have been scrapped, arguing not enough will be done to prevent gridlock. The Labour MP is also concerned about the proposed route of the guided bus and the impact on the A14 of plans for 6,000 new houses at Oakington. If her request is accepted, the structure plan will be delayed by months while an independent inspector is called in.

Mrs Campbell said: "I am very concerned the plans for managing the transport infrastructure for the county are inadequate and are unsustainable. I am no longer convinced the proposals put forward will meet the identified needs and 1 am urging the government to call in the plan so a public inquiry can be held.

"I know many other key decision makers in the city share my concerns, as was shown clearly with Cambridge Futures' presentation on their plans for the city; "The original discussions married investment in public transport with demand management, which would help to control the growth of private car use, while at the same time giving people an efficient, viable alternative.

The county council has changed its view however. They have reneged on key elements of the plan, which make it viable."

After being forced to abandon plans for improved rail links to relieve pressure on the A14, Mrs Campbell backed the guided bus. But the plans have been altered because of difficulty getting them into the city centre.

Mrs Campbell said a public inquiry would not necessarily rule against a guided bus system but it would take a detailed look at whether it would provide adequate public transport along that important corridor.

PUBLISHED IN THE CAMBRIDGE EVENING NEWS 09/10/03 EDITION 39,411  © Cambridge Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved

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