Welcome to the Zone of Contention.
Update September 2023.
Following a GCP Joint Assembly meeting, the group that scrutinises and advises the GCP Executive Board it is possible that the STZ scheme may have been culled. Why? Well, some of the detail is here, but when they refuse to perform their statutory duty to review it…
The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) proposes a Sustainable Travel Zone (STZ) encompassing the whole of Cambridge. The STZ proposes introducing road charging for the movement of vehicles into, out of, or within the area between 0700 – 1900, Monday to Friday. The boundary of the zone is given below. Yes, Addenbrookes hospital is inside the zone, and yes they have removed it from the map.
Why? The STZ is to raise funds for a massive infrastructure of 100’s buses covering the city and a much wider area. The aim is to move residents and visitors from cars to buses or cycles. So be that personal trips, business trips, shopping trips, trips to Addenbrookes Hospital, doctors, dentists, or just about anywhere. You move a vehicle; you pay a set charge for the privilege.
To be clear, the charges raised from the STZ are the only source of funding to subsidise a perpetually loss-making bus infrastructure feeding Cambridge within the Greater Cambridge area shown below.
The planned future network is as below, all funded by the STZ;
The full book of maps can be found on The GCP website, or click here.
The salesman’s brochure is glossy in layout, text, and icons. But, unfortunately, it is so polished it glosses over much of the detail and contains some impressive soundbites which don’t make much sense to the reality of what happens in and around Cambridge.
However, some detail and a few hundred pages of additional background information are available. Third parties commissioned by the GCP wrote these documents. We can determine what the glossy salesman’s brochure omits through these documents. Cambridge Council also publishes data which doesn’t seem to agree with what the GCP says.
Here at the Zone of Contention we rub a little harder at the glossy brochure and see what comes off. If you always believe everything the salesman tells you, this site isn’t for you. Leave now, you will get annoyed.
You must know about all this, surely? The GCP has run consultations for years, gently steering their ship steadily towards this proposal. You will remember the invitations to join the party, no?
The Musings on this site cover a range of topics in no particular order. Just areas where there would appear to be some confusion or a little more detail required. Some shockers too.
The councillors who will ultimately vote on this have a duty of care, to you, the public, to read all available data. Not just the salesman’s brochure. Let them know your views too. Remember, they do it all for you.
Ask the GCP questions about the content of the reports, plus how their brochure doesn’t necessarily present the same facts. Query them at public events. Ask your local councillor too.
Always be civil about it, they should be able to back up every claim they make. If they cannot, ask why, and keep asking until you get a reply. If you are told something verbally you’re not too sure about, get the name of who told you.
When you’re ready, please complete the GCP Survey on these proposals. It would be good to do this by digesting not the salesman’s view of the world, but all the available information. Ask the GCP questions that give feedback in areas where you feel answers are lacking in detail or factual content. Give the names of those you spoke to or replied to you.
Please fill it out yourself. Check with neighbours to ensure they complete it, and help those who cannot fill it in. Help those who cannot fill in it, such as elderly neighbours or friends without smart devices. Go through it with them to have their views recorded.
Feedback is all important. The consultations and surveys by the GCP have a history of poor responses, less than 1% of the population have replied or engaged with them. Complete one of the many petitions running too if you desire.
You may notice it is carefully worded, with only a single question (Q9) that presents the opportunity to support, or not, the creation of the STZ (the bit that charges every vehicular movement). So read the questions carefully.
What, no comments permitted, what are you afraid of?
Well, the Zone of Contention is seriously unhappy about spiders for one thing. As for the site itself, well this is a collection of musings and answers to common questions culled from various social media platforms. This isn’t the place to debate things, you can all do that to your heart’s content on the platform of your choice.
No need to ask, please feel free to share or link to the Zone.