The Zone was musing over the recording of the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) West Area Community Forum webinar from 7 November. You can find it on YouTube by clicking here.

Rather than transcribe what was said, we shall borrow the YouTube transcript. Some punctuation has been added. The zone had to run it back a few times check if some form of auditory cleaning was required.

During this, Peter Blake from the GCP provided insight not in the salesman’s brochure, or the Straregic Outline Case (SOC). It gives an insight into the mindset of the GCP toward the residents of Cambridge. In addition how this “whole door-to-door experience” will operate etc.

Early on Peter describes that the STZ is funding not just Cambridge buses. Oh no. The bus network is there to “encourage” drivers from out as far as St Neots, Royston, March, and Saffron Waldon not to drive to the Park and Ride and get the bus into the STZ. The “Wider Agenda” it seems is to get those commuters to use the bus.

Furter on another part of this Wider Agenda came to light…

I think the point I was trying to make is that we need to use the park and ride in a very different way. So we we don’t just want to encourage people to drive there and and then get on a bus. We want to use them as as fully um operational integrated hubs, and what that means is people could drive there get the bus. Drive there get on their bike cycle there because going back to the previous question we’ve got good cycle connections coming in so so that that serves the movement in. But actually can also residents within the city have access to use those uh Park and rides um over overnight um or during charging out so so they could leave their cars there and they could Avail themselves of their bike to cycle out to the park and ride and then drive from there so we need to look at these things in a in a very different way to support uh the The Wider agenda.

Peter Blake, GCP, West Area Community Forum webinar from 7 November

You may need to read that a couple of times. But yes, dear resident, as a benefit of the STZ can leave your car at the Park and Ride site to avoid the charge. When you need to use it, you can avail yourself of your bike to cycle out and gain access to your car. This is part of this “Wider Agenda”. So if you need to take the pre-school to a grandparent outside the city, then commute to work, all you need to do avail youself of you bicycle (with all the require child related items, work items etc.) and head out to the travel hub. Lock up your bicycle, grab the car and off you go. Simples. Oh, don’t forget to tell your insurance compnay you vehicle is left in a public car park overnight, they may want to tweak your premium.

What an amazing idea. It explains why the current Park and Ride sites, sorry, travel hubs, need expanding by 10,000 spaces. Those current 6,653 spaces are not enough, we need to expand them 250%. That is a lot of parking, secure cycle storage. Presumably covered waiting areas, and security offices for the partols warm up in as they prevent all the cycles disappearing.

So Park and Ride sites are now travel hubs. This does make sense, as many of the hourly bus services from the Greater Cambridge area will require you to change at a travel hub. Perhaps to get onto a new orbital bus to another travel hub, to change again to an hourly service to do your desintation. All part of the door-to-door experience, don’t forget to bring a book to read on the way.

Furter on Peter continues this theme, for those residents who are caught in the STZ but near to a travel hub.

um you know alternatives for people on the on on the boundary so can we use our park and rides for example so people can park there and get and get the bus to their home location uh as a different way of doing it we need to explore what possibilities that that we’ve got um but in principle if you drive during the um charging hours then you will be charged thank you

Peter Blake, GCP, West Area Community Forum webinar from 7 November

Related to a question raised that a resident doesn’t have a choice but to pay the charge to leave Cambridge, although a visitor or commuter to Cambridge does. After all, they can stop at a travel hub and bus in.

just a couple of things to to mention the the charge um that that we’re proposing under these these these this consultation would be then a choice people would would be given a choice as to whether to use a private vehicle or to you use a pound bus fare anywhere in in in in in the city um or to use uh walking and cycling if they felt able to…

…we are looking at fairness

Peter Blake, GCP, West Area Community Forum webinar from 7 November

Oh, you have a choice. The choice is to use a private vehicle and pay, or if you felt able to, to walk or cycle. Presumably to get to the travel hub where you have parked your car. That will be a great relief to the person who raised the question. The Zone wonders when the GCP will look at fairness from view of the real world. Not their rose tinted view of a utopia many, many, people simply do not endorse.

To sum up, Park and Ride sites are now Travel Hubs. The Zone muses on what else is in this “Wider Agenga” just starting to break cover.

Hang onto your free will and life choices people, while the GCP let you.