Bus-only tunnels plan for Cambridge 'realistic'

Guided bus The guided busway was opened in 2011 to help to encourage the use of buses

Related Stories

Bus-only tunnels under Cambridge are a "realistic" possibility if funds are won from the government, according to Cambridgeshire county council's leader.

The multi-million pound scheme could help ease chronic congestion in the city by taking buses off key roads.

Council leader Nick Clarke said the ideas are in their very early stages.

The success of the plan would depend on the county and city council's bid to secure funding from the government's City Deal coffers.

The Conservative-controlled county council said that if they gain City Deal status it "could bring massive benefits to the local economy and help keep more of the money generated from future growth within the local area".

'Holding back economy'

The Cabinet Office says the City Deal scheme aims to set cities free from Whitehall control - giving them autonomy over certain budgets including investment in transport improvements.

Mr Clarke said that there were signs that traffic congestion in the centre of Cambridge was holding back the economy of the the county.

He told the BBC that bus-only tunnels could be one solution "if the government Deal in the right Deal" and enable funding for the scheme.

"If we are only to get small amount of money the scheme won't be possible. We know Cambridge is a very congested city. If we can free that up we can attract companies to come here," he said.

A 2008 study into possibility of a 2.48 miles (4km) network of bus only tunnels found that the geology of Cambridge made the tunnels possible and said the scheme would cost about £190m.

Professor Robert Mair, the head of civil engineering at Cambridge University who worked on the 2008 study, said: "I don't think it (the tunnel scheme) is pie in the sky. I think it is entirely feasible. Short-length tunnels in moderately sized cities in Europe are not uncommon."

In 2011 Cambridge opened a guided busway to help to encourage the use of buses and ease city congestion.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Cambridgeshire

Weather

Cambridge

18 °C 12 °C

Features

  • Peaky Blinders publicity shotBrum do

    Why is the Birmingham accent so difficult to mimic?


  • Oliver CromwellA brief history

    The 900 year story behind the creation of a UK parliament


  • Image of Ankor Wat using lidarJungle Atlantis

    How lasers have revealed an ancient city beneath the forest


  • TheatreBard taste? Watch

    Are trailer videos on social media spoiling theatre?


  • Agents with the US Secret Service, such as this one, are responsible for guarding the presidentHard at work

    White House break-in adds to Secret Service woes


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.