The final report on the UK’s first citizens’ assembly dedicated to tackling transport issues has now been published.

wide shot of the citizens' assembly during discussions

The Greater Cambridge Citizens’ Assembly heard evidence from experts in transport, economics and environmental issues over two weekends in the autumn before casting votes on a series of potential measures to improve air quality and upgrade public transport services.

Involve, the charity which facilitated the citizens’ assembly, has today published a report outlining the recommendations, votes and key messages put forward by assembly members (PDF, 2MB). The GCP’s Executive Board will consider the findings outlined in the report in early 2020.

The 53 members of the Assembly were asked to set out what they wanted to see from future transport in Greater Cambridge, which was:

  • Affordable, fast and reliable public transport
  • Environmental and zero carbon transport
  • Restrict the city centre to only clean and electric vehicles
  • Be people centred – prioritising pedestrians and cyclist
  • Be managed as one coordinated system (e.g. Transport for Cambridge)
  • Enable interconnection (e.g. north/south/east/west/urban/rural)

Of the measures they considered, members voted most strongly in favour of road closures, followed by a series of road charging options – including a pollution charge, a flexible charge based on peak time travel and a clean air zone.

Assembly members also prioritised supporting measures to enhance the transport network and improve air quality.

These included;

  • A franchised bus service 
  • Planting more trees and hedges to absorb carbon
  • Encouraging the use of electric bikes
  • Improved routing of bus services with low emission electric vehicles
  • Explore the viability of long-distance buses using the Park & Ride
  • Optimise traffic signals
  • Establish a heavy-duty depot outside of Cambridge, with last mile delivery through electric van/ pedal power

The key messages developed by the assembly to the GCP’s Executive Board included:

  • Be brave, be bold and take action
  • Improvements in public transport need to come first
  • Funding raised through charging needs to be ring-fenced for transport in Greater Cambridge and the wider area
  • Better integration and co-ordination of transport across Greater Cambridge
  • Fairness is a key principle

The Assembly members were selected at random by a process called ‘sortition’, following invitations to 10,000 addresses across the travel to work area.

The presentations and expert panel discussions from the Citizens’ Assembly were live streamed on the GCP’s Facebook page and are available on the GCP’s YouTube page.

Visit the Consult Cambs website to view the Citizens’ Assembly presentation slides and for further information and frequently asked questions about the process.

You can see the original press release on the GCP website.