• FAQs

FAQs

Below you will find answers to a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

If you cannot find the answer to your question, or require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the project team via the details provided.

What is CAM?

The vision is for an expansive metro-style network that seamlessly connects regional settlements, major city fringe employment sites and key satellite growth areas across the region with key railway stations and Cambridge city centre, helping to nurture and sustain long-term regional economic growth. CAM is currently expected to use a technologically advanced, sustainable, highly flexible trackless electric vehicle.

The CAM network will comprise both tunnelled and surface elements and will be delivered over the next decade:

  • The City Tunnel Section, which is the subject of this consultation, will include new underground tunnels and stations under the city of Cambridge, with planned major interchange hubs at the city centre and at Cambridge railway station;
  • Four regional routes will connect St Neots, Alconbury, Mildenhall and Haverhill with the city of Cambridge and, through the central tunnelled section, with each other.

An indicative map of how the CAM network would look is shown below.

Why do we need CAM?

To date, economic growth in the region has not been matched by basic infrastructure, particularly transport. To nurture and sustain this growth, new infrastructure is needed to support the delivery of new jobs and new homes.

CAM will connect key regional centres of employment with existing settlements and railway stations, new homes and planned growth, to create a platform for sustainable and inclusive growth across the region.

Introducing a rapid transit solution in the form of CAM will transform people’s day-to-day lives, by connecting communities and creating new jobs and widening access to opportunities across the region.

When will CAM be ready?

It is anticipated that the full CAM network will be delivered over the next decade, with sections of the network operating as the phases are completed.

How much will CAM cost?

The project is still at a very early stage of development. Further design work is needed, and decisions made before the estimated cost of the scheme can be refined.

Initial estimates from the Strategic Outline Business Case suggest the capital cost of delivery of the entire CAM network will be around £3-4bn in 2018 prices. These costs have been benchmarked against other comparable projects from elsewhere in the UK.

A large portion of this cost is to deliver the 12km of tunnelling under the City Centre, and two new underground stations in the City Centre and at Cambridge Rail Station, but also includes the cost of the regional routes. A process of value engineering will be undertaken through the next phase of work.

The Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) published in March 2019 suggests the operational costs associated with CAM are expected to be covered by revenues generated through CAM operations.

Who is paying for CAM?

The capital cost of delivery CAM will be paid for through a series of mechanisms, which may include local contributions and innovative approaches to funding. A mixture of funding mechanisms will be required to cover the capital and financing requirements for implementing the CAM, and to ensure public and business confidence in the delivery of the scheme.

The Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) published in March 2019 suggests the operational costs associated with CAM are expected to be covered by revenues generated through CAM operations.

Why is CAM not stopping in my town? Will you consider going through my town?

Only key destinations are shown on the network map, and not all stations are shown. The exact locations of CAM stations along the initial elements of the surface routes and the regional routes have not yet been decided and will be informed by future technical and engineering work, and will be subject to future consultation.

Outside the City Tunnel Section, stations will typically be located approximately 1-2 miles apart. This will ensure that services operate quickly and can compete with private car on journey times. Stations will be well-integrated into local transport networks, with good walking and cycling links to encourage active travel
and connections with existing transport links.

What are segregated routes? Will the entire CAM network be segregated?

Segregated routes are where CAM vehicles will run along different routes to road traffic, meaning services will be unaffected by traffic congestion.

Of the three elements, the City Tunnel Section will be entirely segregated. The initial elements of the surface routes will be segregated along the majority of the route, and in limited circumstances will run in a dedicated CAM-only lane on existing roads, with no interface with general traffic.

The majority of the regional routes will be unsegregated with CAM vehicles running on existing roads. However, segregated routes will be used on the regional routes:

  • In locations where congestion is currently experienced on the existing road network;
  • Where the existing road is unsuitable; and
  • Where the existing road does not serve the required destination.

This level of segregation across the CAM network will ensure that CAM services are reliable, and benefit from fast journey times.

What happens next and who decides if CAM gets built?

Following the end of the consultation, CPCA will review all feedback submitted and publish the findings as part of the planning process.

In addition, the Outline Business Case (OBC) will be prepared and submitted to the Department for Transport in mid-late 2020. This will then be followed in 2021 by the submission of a Transport Works Act Order (TWAO) to the Secretary of State for Transport, who will make the final decision on the application.

A TWAO is similar to a planning permission but designed for major infrastructure projects to make the process clearer, faster and fairer, because it allows all the associated consents and permissions required for a project to be considered at the same time.

We remain at an early stage in the development of CAM and there will be further public consultation ongoing in the future as we continue to refine our proposals to provide additional detail.

Will the regional routes be extended further to locations such as Peterborough?

Any potential extensions of the CAM network to locations beyond the planned termini of the regional routes to other locations within the region will be assessed as part of future work which will consider the demand and costs associated with any such potential extensions.

Is Cambridge a safe place to tunnel?

The majority of tunnelling will be within the Gault Clay under Cambridge. This is not dissimilar to London Clay, which is understood to be well-suited to tunnelling due to its consistent and cohesive nature.