Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT

1.0

QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE

1.1

My name is David Anthony Tucker. I am a Chartered Engineer being a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and Institution of Highways and Transportation. I hold an Honours Degree in Civil Engineering and a Masters Degree in Highway and Traffic Engineering, both from the University of Birmingham.

1.2

I have over 30 years experience in the planning, design and construction of a wide variety of projects in both the public and private sector, specialising in highways, traffic and transportation planning and design, including traffic and environmental impact studies.

1.3

I am the principal of David Tucker Associates (DTA), a Transportation Planning Consultants that specialises in expert advice on transport related problems throughout a broad range of projects for both the public and private sector. In particular, my expertise lies in evolving transportation strategies, identifying solutions and negotiating agreements.

1.4

I have extensive local knowledge of the Cambridge area, having acted on a number of projects in the area. In particular, I have been involved in the promotion of proposals for development on the Mereham site and its surroundings for over 15 years. I have also actively participated in the examinations of both the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Structure Plan and the current East of England Plan.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT

2.0

SCOPE AND NATURE OF EVIDENCE

2.1

This evidence deals with all aspects of the transportation proposals associated with the Mereham development. In particular it covers the proposals for access to the site and the various measures proposed by the Appellants to provide for sustainable modes of travel to and from the new community. This evidence also deals with the proposals to improve the safety and operational capacity of the adjoining main road network, and to discourage additional traffic from unsuitable minor roads in the vicinity.

2.2

This evidence firstly describes the Mereham proposals in detail and sets out their overall benefits not only for new residents and workers in Mereham but also the wider community along the A10 corridor. It then examines the relationship of the Mereham proposals to national, regional and local, transport and sustainability policies and establishes that the proposals are fully in accordance with all relevant policy guidance.

2.3

In particular, the evidence establishes that the proposed public transport improvements along the A10 corridor, which are fully consistent with Cambridgeshire’s own policy objectives, will significantly improve public transport accessibility for all along the corridor, reducing the need for car based travel. The evidence also demonstrates that the proposed improvements to the A10, which are fully consistent with Cambridgeshire’s own policy objectives, will significantly improve both capacity and safety to the benefit of all users of the corridor.

2.4

The evidence then deals specifically with the transport related reasons for refusal of the Mereham planning applications and establishes that all the reasons are unfounded and, in many cases, have been drafted without a full understanding of the transport proposals, their compliance with national, regional and local policy to provide for housing in the sub-region in a sustainable way, or the overall benefits which will accrue to the community as a result of the proposals.

2.5

The evidence reports on the outcomes to date of the technical discussions that have

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been held between DTA, Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) and the Highways Agency (HAg). Discussions with those authorities are still ongoing at the time of preparing this proof of evidence. The outcome of these discussions will be reported to the Inquiry. 2.6 Finally, the evidence concludes that, with the proposed form and scale of the development and the proposed transport improvements, development of a new community at Mereham in meeting a part of Cambridgeshire’s housing needs will create a development which is highly sustainable in transport terms, whilst reducing the need to travel especially by the private car.

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3.0

BACKGROUND

3.1

I have personally been involved in new settlement proposals in the Wilburton area since the early 1990s. In 1999 DTA were appointed by Stannifer Ltd (now Multiplex Stannifer) to review the various previous proposals in the area and develop a strategy for a new community which was fully consistent with the emerging policy guidance on creating sustainable communities.

3.2

By 2000 a number of fundamental changes in relation to transport provision for both new and existing developments in the Cambridge area were emerging. Firstly, as a result of the Government White Paper ‘A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone’ (DTR 1998) (Core Doc. 57) and various associated guidance, CCC were developing their new Local Transport Plan (LTP) with the key objective of reducing the need to travel especially by the private car. The LTP actively promoted public transport, walking and cycling as an alternative to the private car and sought to maximise the operational efficiency of transport networks.

3.3

Pursuant to their policy objectives, the County were at that time actively reviewing the opportunities for the creation of a Bus Rapid Transit Network in the Cambridge area as a result of a scheme being promoted by RTI. The RTI scheme subsequently became Cambridgeshire Guided Bus (CGB). At the same time the government reviewed the trunk road network and identified that the status of the A10 should be changed with effect from 2001 from a trunk road to a local road, and become the responsibility of CCCC. These fundamental changes to transport policy and objectives were taken on board by DTA in reviewing the development of a new community in the Wilburton area.

3.4

In February 2000 DTA produced a preliminary Transport Assessment for a proposed development at Westmere (now known as Mereham). This assessment proposed a transport strategy, which sought to reduce the need to travel especially by private car by the provision of comprehensive facilities on site, good public transport, walking and cycling linkages and the development of a high quality public transport link between the development and local destinations, particularly Cambridge and Ely. The

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assessment also identified that with the proposed public transport strategy and the detrunking of the A10 improvements to this corridor should be limited to minor local improvements. 3.5 This Transport Assessment was submitted to CCC in the Spring of 2000 and a series of meetings then took place between DTA, CCC and their consultants, Atkins. One of the purposes of these meetings was to agree the basic parameters for assessing the impact of the Westmere proposals. These parameters were agreed and have been carried forward into the Transport Assessment, which was prepared to accompany the current applications. 3.6 In August 2001 the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) published the Cambridge to Huntingdon Multi-Modal Study (CHUMMS) The main aim of the study had been ‘to recommend multi-modal transport plans, which

address the most urgent transport problems in the corridor between Cambridge and Huntingdon, looking in particular at opportunities for modal shift from the car.’
3.7 In 2002 DTA drafted representations to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Structure Plan Review and actively participated in the examination of potential locations for new community proposals in the Cambridge sub-region. An important element in those discussions was the findings of the CHUMMS Study, which had recommended that to improve the A14 corridor between Cambridge and Huntingdon, in addition to widening the A14, a Guided Bus system should be provided along the disused Cambridge to St Ives railway corridor with extensions to Trumpington, Addenbrooks, Godmanchester and Huntingdon. 3.8 The A14 Guided Bus scheme, which later became known as Cambridgeshire Guided Bus, was based on an original concept that had been promoted by Rapid Transport International (RTI) a company that specialised in the provision of guide bus schemes. The RTI scheme had been developed by Atkins, specifically by a group under Mr Colin Brader who now, through his consultancy ITP, has subsequently joined the DTA team to develop an extension to CGB into the A10 corridor. This is now part of the Mereham proposals.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT

3.9

Following the adoption of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Structure Plan DTA commenced detailed consideration of the Mereham proposals. A Transport Scoping Report was prepared and submitted to Cambridgeshire County. This was based upon the earlier work presented to the County Council in Spring 2000. This scoping report, and the detailed response to it received from the local highway authority in April 2005, are included in Appendix 1 of the submitted TA prepared by DTA. The authority’s comments on the Scoping Report were incorporated into the TA. The TA together with its Appendices and plans were submitted to the planning authorities on 06 October 2005 as part of the Mereham application.

3.10

To understand the position taken by the two highway authorities (Cambridgeshire County Council and the Highways Agency) in responding to the planning applications it is important to recognise the formal statutory areas of responsibility. Apart from the A14 trunk road, Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) is the local highway authority for the whole of the road network surrounding the Mereham settlement including the A10 and the roads within the City of Cambridge. connect to it, but not the junctions themselves. The Highways Agency (HAg) is only The Jane Coston Bridge over the A14 responsible for the A14 trunk road including the slip roads on and off the junctions that at Milton was built and is maintained by the HAg. The ramps up to it on either side of the A14 were also built by the HAg but are now maintained by CCC.

3.11

During the development of the Mereham TA in 2005 and prior to the submission of the Mereham planning applications in October 2005, DTA sought informal dialogue with the County Council to discuss Council’s views with regard to the content and preparation of the TA. However, this approach was declined, and the first meaningful discussions with both the County Council and HAg commenced at a meeting convened on 22 November 2005 at the offices of the County Council. Appendix DAT A. Minutes of that meeting are given in

3.12

The HAg’s first formal response to the Mereham application was given in a letter to SCDC dated 24 Nov 2005, which is included as Appendix DAT B. That letter sets out a number of objections to the proposals that had been prepared for the HAg by its call off consultants, Faber Maunsell (FM). These objections were not confined to the

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assessment of trunk road impacts but encompassed a wide range of issues covering the local road network as well. 3.13 CCC’s first formal response to Mereham was given at about the same time in a reply to ECDC regarding planning application 05/01116/OUM. This reply incorporated the comments made by FM and added a number of other objections to the proposals notably concerning the safety of wide single carriageways, the feasibility of the bus bridge proposals over the A14 and, the methodology used in the TA. This last point was an unexpected change to the position that CCC had taken earlier in the year at the time of agreeing the scoping report. 3.14 As was the case for the HAg, CCC also sought further information and assessment of the transport proposals. As already noted, a meeting with CCC and HAg was held late in November 2005 to pursue these issues. However before any substantial progress could be made in this respect, and without any dialogue inviting clarifications or further information from the applicants or DTA, SCDC resolved on 20 December 2005 to refuse planning permission for the A10 works. SCDC cited the same objections as had been made by CCC to ECDC as well as adding a number of other reasons for refusal. 3.15 ECDC also refused permission for the Mereham development on 04 January 2006 citing a similar number of transport related reasons for refusal to those that had been raised by CCC. DTA were notified of ECDC’s transport objections late in November 2005 but were given no opportunity to clarify or explain transport issues to officers of ECDC before they had written their report to the planning committee with recommendation to refuse the Mereham application. 3.16 Following the decision of the Appellants in late 2006 to appeal against these refusals of planning permission, DTA engaged in discussions with officers of both CCC and HAg together with its consultants FM to seek to resolve technical aspects of the TA and reach as much common ground on these matters as possible. Those discussions are still continuing at the time of submitting this evidence. 3.17 During this time DTA has submitted no less than 26 sets of information in response to requests for clarification or further information from both authorities. A summary of the

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT information provided together with the relevant documents are contained in Appendix DAT.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT

4.0

THE MEREHAM TRANSPORT STRATEGY

4.1

As described in Section 3 the current Mereham transport proposals are based on the principles of national, regional and local policy which seek to reduce the need travel, especially by the private car, make best possible use of existing infrastructure and mitigate any impacts through demand management, improvements to local public transport networks and provision of walking and cycling facilities.

4.2

The strategy is designed to provide a framework of sustainable land use development with co-ordinated transport systems and facilities. It has the aim of sustaining economic growth and social advance whilst ensuring the protection of both the global and local environment. In transport terms, protection of the environment involves the minimisation of transport related pollution, reducing car usage through the encouragement of alternative means of travel and ensuring that transport infrastructure is sympathetically designed in the context of its natural surroundings.

4.3

This section explains the measures that are proposed to provide for convenient and safe access to and from the site. In particular it describes how these proposals allow for sustainable travel within the Mereham community as well as for travel further a field to Cambridge, Ely and beyond.

4.4

In accordance with national, regional and local transport policies, the transport strategy for Mereham New Settlement will: • Provide a modern new settlement that enables those who live and work there to travel within Mereham and to wider destinations in sustainable modes of public transport, walking and cycling as real and effective alternatives to car usage. • Provide safe, efficient and reliable access for Mereham traffic to and from the nearby strategic road network, whilst minimising impact on existing users and the surrounding areas. • Provide high quality public transport facilities as a meaningful alternative to the car, both to reduce dependency on the private car, and at the same time to

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT

minimise traffic flows and improve public transport accessibility for the area as a whole. • Incorporate within the development, and on transport routes affected by it, pedestrian and cycle facilities which are safe and convenient, and which either supplement or improve existing facilities within the local communities. • • 4.5 Promote the development of a travel plan, which complements and continues to support the overall transport strategy to reduce car dependency. Assist the highway authorities to address existing deficiencies on the A10 corridor.

The transport proposals described below have been developed to meet those objectives. These proposals, although provided for the Mereham development, have been designed to also provide wider public benefit for travel along the A10 corridor between Cambridge and Ely. The measures are all deliverable by the Appellant through legal agreements with the authorities that will ensure their design and implementation is fully funded by the Mereham development without recourse to public sector finance. Agreement in principle has been reached with a key local bus operator to provide the referred bus services, and all highway works are achievable within either highway land or land controlled by the Appellant. The proposals are: • • • • A primary access to the site on the A10, with a secondary access on the A1123. Comprehensive improvement of the A10 between the Milton junction of the A14 and the site access to provide improved safety and operational capacity. Improvements at the A10/A14 Milton Interchange to provide improved safety and operational capacity. A park and ride site to act as a rural interchange for travel by public transport to Cambridge and Ely by residents of Mereham as well as those in the surrounding settlements. • A high quality public transport service between the park and ride site and Cambridge and Ely. This service is designed to be compatible with, and effectively an extension of, the CGB proposal currently being implemented in the St Ives corridor. • An internal site public transport feeder service to the park and ride interchange.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT

A dedicated new bridge crossing over the A14 at Milton for buses cyclists and pedestrians to allow these road users to cross the A14 without having to use the existing A10/A14 junction. Cambridge by non-car modes. This will significantly improve accessibility to

• • •

Improvements to the existing cycle route along the A10 from Denny End Road Waterbeach to Milton. Funding to provide a new pedestrian/cycleway alongside the A10 between Stretham and Little Thetford. Funding to provide additional traffic calming and traffic management measures along the route of the B1049 Twenty Pence Road, the route of the A1123 between Stretham and Soham, and the main road through Milton.

• •

A Travel Plan with funding provision to monitor agreed targets to reduce dependency on car usage by encouraging and facilitating other modes of travel. A masterplan layout designed to encourage walking and cycling for local trips within Mereham.

4.6

Details of each element of these proposals are given later in this evidence. The next section describes the relevant national, regional and local policies demonstrating that the Mereham transport proposals have been developed to ensure full compatibility with the relevant policies.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT

5.0

POLICY CONTEXT

5.1

This section reviews the Mereham transport proposals in the context of existing local, regional and national policy guidance.

5.2

To mitigate the potential traffic impacts of the development it is essential that the proposals deliver sustainable development in transport terms that is fully consistent with the aims of national, regional and local spatial strategies. The proposals must also complement LPA aspirations to deliver other major development sites in the Cambridgeshire sub region, notably Northstowe and Waterbeach.

5.3

The full package of transport measures associated with the Mereham development is listed in the previous section of this evidence and described in more detail later. However, essentially the strategy is to provide a high quality public transport corridor along the A10 with associated improvements to the existing highway between Cambridge and Mereham. This, together with a park and ride site at Mereham and dedicated bus bridge over the A14 bypassing the A10/A14 Milton Interchange, will allow the provision of a high quality public transport link between Cambridge and Mereham. This link to the south of the A14 will connect in with the guided bus provision currently under construction between Cambridge and Huntington.

5.4

The proposals also include measures to improve the public transport and cycle links northwards from Mereham to Ely, as well as funding proposals to provide traffic calming and management measures to deter extraneous traffic from the B1049 (Twenty Pence Road) and the village centre of Milton.

5.5

The proposed A10 improvements will provide increased operation capacity along this route with significant enhancements to the safety of this road for all road users.

5.6

The integration of a high quality public transport provision into the development proposals together with improved safety and operational capacity along the A10 have been developed to be consistent with all the relevant policies.

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National Transport Policy
5.7 The publication of the White Paper ‘A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone’ (DETR, 1998) and of the 10 Year Plan (DETR, 2000) (Core Docs. 57 and 58) reflected a significant change in national transport policy. The primary emphasis shifted from the incremental expansion of the road network to meet forecast demand (i.e. a predict and provide strategy) towards one of focusing more on reducing the need to travel on roads, especially by commuters in private cars. 5.8 To achieve these aims the White Paper identified that better integration between land use and transport planning at national, regional and local levels would be required. Whereas previously, compliance with policy could be largely proven by demonstrating that operational performance of the adjacent road network would not be adversely affected, the White Paper recommended that a more balanced approach would be required. This is reflected in the Department for Transport’s objectives to: • • • • Sustain economic growth and improved productivity through reliable and efficient transport networks; Improve the environmental performance of transport Strengthen the safety and security of transport; and, Enhance access to jobs, services and social networks, including for the most disadvantaged. 5.9 These changes to national policy were one of the main reasons for abandoning the previous intentions to dual the A10. Such environmentally intrusive road building along this corridor could not be justified on sustainability grounds and could not be reconciled with policies that were then emerging to promote public transport usage. 5.10 To reflect the White Paper and associated advice the government updated national planning guidance principally through the publication of Planning Policy Guidance 13:

Transport (PPG13) in March 2001 (Core Doc 26)
5.11 The objectives of PPG13 guidance are to integrate planning and transport at the national, regional, strategic and local level to: promote more sustainable transport choices for both people and for moving freight; promote accessibility to jobs, shopping,

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT leisure facilities and services by public transport, walking and cycling, and reduce the need to travel, especially by car (PPG13 para 4). To achieve these objectives PPG13 promotes a number of initiatives including enhancements to public transport, demand management, promotion of walking and cycling initiatives and the design of new development so as to reduce the need to travel by car. 5.12 In parallel to PPG13 the Department of Environment produced Circular 4/2001 (Core Doc 60). This has subsequently been replaced by Circular 02/2007 (Core Doc 59) which, together with the Guidance on Transport Assessment published by the Department for Transport in 2007, has provided updated guidance on the appropriate transport strategies for new development to ensure that environmental sustainability is encouraged, the existing network is managed and residual impacts are mitigated. 5.13 Circular 2/2007 recognises that: “It is Government transport policy, wherever possible, to look for alternatives to building new roads, by reducing the impact of road users on each other and the environment, improving road performance through better network management and making smarter journey choice easier” (para 8) Whilst the Guidance on Transport Assessment seeks to reduce the need to travel, especially by car, through best possible use of existing transport infrastructure, demand management, and improvements to local public transport networks and walking and cycling facilities, it also recognises there may be a need for some minor physical improvements to existing roads.

Regional Transport Policy – Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Structure Plan 2003
5.14 The transport policies for the Cambridge sub-region were substantially updated to bring them into line with national policy in the 2003 Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Structure Plan. (Core Doc 85) This Plan included a number of transport related
policies relevant to the proposed Mereham community as follows. 5.15

Policy P8/1 “Sustainable Development - Links between Land Use and Transport” identified that: “Local Planning Authorities should include policies in their Local Plans to ensure that new development:

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i. ii. iii. iv. v.

is located in areas that are, or can be made, highly accessible to public transport, cycle and on foot; is designed to reduce the need to travel, particularly by car; provides opportunities for travel choice; provides for the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users; provides appropriate access from the highway network that does not compromise safety.

5.16

Policy P8/2 “Implementing Sustainable Transport for New Development”
stated that:

“New development will be required to make provision for integrated and improved transport infrastructure to increase the ability to move by cycle, public transport and on foot.” Furthermore “Travel Plans will be required to accompany new non-residential developments and expansion of existing non-residential developments as a means of reducing car dependency and promoting alternative modes of travel.”
5.17 The Mereham development with the proposed package of transport measures will meet all the criteria of both Policy P8/1 and P8/2. The development will be served by a high quality public transport system that will link it to Cambridge and Ely ensuring that the settlement will be highly accessible by public transport. Furthermore, the size, mix of uses and layout of the new settlement will reduce the need to travel, especially by commuters in private cars. 5.18

Policy P8/6 ”Improving Bus and Community Transport Services” states that: “Public transport services will be identified in bus strategies and developed across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Key elements will include:

a network of High Quality bus Public Transport services i. ii. within the urban areas of Cambridge and Peterborough, with priority over other motor traffic; a high frequency, direct services concentrated on main corridors between the cities and the market towns, with segregated lanes and/or bus priorities where required to avoid congestion;

good local services for market towns and feeder services linking rural areas to urban centres. Where necessary and possible, appropriate measures should be provided to ensure that such services have priority over other motor traffic;

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community transport to meet social needs.

New Development will be designed to maximise accessibility by bus and will be required to contribute towards these elements.”
5.19 Within Policy P8/06 high quality public transport is defined as one that provides at least a 10 minute bus frequency during the peak periods and a 20 minute frequency interpeak. It also provides high quality, low floor/easy access buses, air conditioning, prepaid/electronic ticketing, real-time information and branding to encourage patronage. 5.20 As described in Section 7 of this evidence the Mereham development will be served by a high quality public transport link between Cambridge and Ely fully in accordance with policy. 5.21

Policy P8/10 “Transport Investment Priorities” identified a number of schemes
to be brought forward over the Structure Plan period to meet strategic requirements and the needs of major developments. These included:

“Implementation of a range of transport schemes over the Structure Plan period to meet the strategic requirements and needs of major developments” including: Rapid Transit • a rapid transit network to serve key centres in the Cambridge SubRegion, initially between Cambridge and Huntingdon utilising the former St Ives railway line and between Trumpington and Cambridge city centre. Buses
• • • • •

Development of a comprehensive and high quality network of bus services across the Structure Plan Area comprising: a network of high quality bus services from Market Towns and Rural Centres into Cambridge and Peterborough and local services for intermediate areas; improved links between the Market Towns and their rural hinterlands; provision of improved travel information across the Structure Plan area including real time information; bus priorities on key radial routes into Cambridge, Peterborough and the Market Towns;

Cycling and Walking Measures to increase the capacity, usage and safety of pedestrian and cycle

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routes including:
• • • •

extension of the Core Traffic Scheme and pedestrianisation with appropriate facilities for cyclists in Cambridge; completion of ‘Sustrans’ long distance cycle network; completion of cycle networks within, around and into Cambridge, Peterborough, Market Towns and Rural Centres; cycle and footpath links between villages.

Park and Ride Interchanges Improvements that will increase the efficient operation of the whole transport system:
• • • • •

Park and ride sites for Cambridge, Peterborough, Market Towns and other locations; rural transport interchanges close to or between Cambridge, Peterborough and the Market Towns; new and improved high quality interchange facilities in Cambridge City Centre, Peterborough, Market Towns and other locations; new high quality bus/rail interchanges at Cambridge and Peterborough rail stations; Interchanges on the Cambridge to Huntingdon rapid transit system.

Local Roads Localised and strategic improvements to reduce environmental impact, improve safety and efficiency and maintain economic prosperity including A10 route improvements including replacement of Foxton level crossing by a bridge.”
5.22 The Mereham development has been designed to be fully consistent with Policy P8/10 objectives to provide and prioritise high quality public transport, links between outlying market towns, rural centres, and Cambridge. 5.23 The development is also consistent with the objectives of this policy to improve the safety and operation of the A10 as well as provide enhancement to cycling and walking provision within this corridor. 5.24 The general policies in the Structure Plan have been carried forward into the Cambridge sub-regional policies, in particular Policy P9/9 – Cambridge Sub-Region

Transport Strategy. (page 120) (Core Doc 85) This policy identified that the Transport
Strategy for the Cambridge Sub-Region is based upon: •

“The provision of a network of high quality public transport services along key transport corridors connecting Cambridge with the Market

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• •

• • • •

Towns, other centres and major development sites; the first phase will be a rapid transit system between Cambridge, St. Ives and Huntingdon and between the city centre and Trumpington; Other improvements to public transport services along key routes into the City, Market Towns and Rural Centres; Recognition of the need to accommodate some orbital movement around Cambridge avoiding the city centre and connecting major development sites, employment locations and park and ride sites; priority will be given to public transport along such routes; Demand management measures in Cambridge City to discourage car use, reduce congestion and give priority to the efficient running of the rapid transit system and other public transport services; The development of more widespread facilities to encourage walking and cycling; Localised highway improvement schemes required to provide access to development; Infrastructure improvements to achieve safer travel and improved mobility for the disabled.”

5.25

Policy P9/9 also identified the need for “improvements on A10 corridor between

Cambridge and Ely, including development of a high quality public transport link”. Regional Transport Policy – East of England Plan
5.26 In 2005 the Regional Assembly proceeded with the examination of the East of England Plan (RSS). (Core Doc 82) This included Core Policy T1 “Regional Transport Strategy

Objectives and Outcomes” which seeks to implement government policy by managing
travel behaviour and the demand for transport and encouraging efficient use of existing infrastructure. 5.27 As regards the Cambridge sub-region, the RSS identified (para 13.11) that the strategy for the sub-region and the Structure Plan is carried forward largely unchanged into the East of England Plan. In respect of transport infrastructure, Policy CSR4 and para 13.16 notes that “successful implementation of the development strategy for

the Cambridge sub-region relies on integration of development with new and upgraded transport infrastructure. Central to this is the provision of high quality public transport, in particular, Cambridgeshire Guided Bus, and improvements to the strategic road network.”
“there Para 13.16 goes on to state

should be a strong emphasis on public transport, demand

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management and traffic restraint.”

In other words the RSS foresees the

continuation of transport policy as set out in the Structure Plan. 5.28 The Mereham transport proposals accord fully with these policies through the provision of a high quality bus service to Ely and Cambridge as well as cycle links to neighbouring settlements.

Local Transport Policies
5.29 Local Transport Policies are developed by Local Transport Authorities in consultation with the public and other stakeholders. The resulting Local Transport Plans (LTPs) set out a five-year strategy to deliver against national, regional and local transport priorities. 5.30 The first Cambridgeshire LTP covered the period from 2001 to 2005. The current LTP (LTP2) (Core Doc 87) covers the period up to 2011. CCC set six objectives for their second LTP period, the first of which reflect national priorities whilst the last two reflect local ones. These are: • • • • • • 5.31 To create a transport system that is accessible to all To protect and enhance the built and natural environment To develop integrated transport and to promote public transport, walking, cycling and other sustainable forms of transport To make travel safer To provide a transport system that supports the economy and the growing population of the County. To maintain and operate efficient transport networks

CCC has identified in the LTP indicators and targets that allow their performance towards meeting their objectives to be monitored. It is clear from the trajectory analysis within the LTP that CCC expect that new development based on sustainable national and regional transport policies will play a significant role in the successful delivery of their traffic reduction objectives.

5.32

The Mereham proposals are consistent with these LTP objectives. The layout of the

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT development is designed to provide residents with convenient footpaths and cycle paths and to provide a road network that allows for the circulation of public transport within the settlement. This will give safe and convenient access by all modes of travel to the facilities and village centre within Mereham as well to the park and ride site located alongside the A10. 5.33 Users of the park and ride site will then be able to travel by high quality public transport to Cambridge and Ely. This will be of benefit to those who live in the villages and settlements around Mereham as well as Mereham residents themselves. 5.34 The improvements proposed to the A10 are designed to improve highway safety along this route, as well as providing enhanced capacity and will therefore also be of wide public benefit. Public Transport Policies 5.35 The Cambridgeshire Bus Strategy contained within the Local Transport Plan, 2006 – 2011 (LTP2, Core Doc 87) sets out the following vision for public transport within the county:

“To provide an efficient and affordable bus service that makes a major contribution to the County’s sustainable transport objectives in terms of transfer of journeys from the car, promoting economic development and providing access to all communities.”
5.36 CCC also acknowledge in this document that the existing Cambridgeshire Park and Ride (P and R) scheme has been shown to be one of the most effective means of encouraging car drivers to use public transport. Moreover, CCC considers that a similar scheme on the A10 serving both Ely and Cambridge could equally be as successful. The Ely Market Towns Strategy states in relation to P and R for Ely: “In principle, a scheme on the A10 serving Ely and Cambridge could be just as successful [as the City based park and ride]. This is, however, an area that needs further examination within the context of the Local Transport Plan and the Cambridge sub-regional transport strategy.” 5.37 The Cambridge Bus Strategy (Appendix 6 of LTP2) states, the County Council will be seeking to develop rural interchanges and that these could involve provision for car as well as cycle, parking and catering for those linking with services by car or feeder bus.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT 5.38 It goes on to say:

“Business cases will be developed for rural areas with a view to developing a number of solutions, including; examining non conventional forms of public transport such as minibuses, taxis and demand responsive buses combined with rural interchanges to connect the more rural areas with key bus corridors.”
5.39 The Mereham proposals are clearly consistent with the public transport policy aspirations, providing both high quality public transport and park and ride facilities within the A10 corridor. The proposals will contribute to the successful delivery of LTP2 bringing benefit in pursuit of Council targets within the short to medium term.

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6.0

BASE LINE CONDITIONS

6.1

This section provides a brief description of the base line conditions as they affect the Mereham proposals. Fuller details are provided in the Transport Assessment and the Statement of Agreed Facts.

Road Network
6.2 The surrounding road network is shown on Figure 1.1 of the submitted Transport Assessment 6.3 Mereham lies to the west of and immediately alongside the A10 Cambridge Road about 12.5km north of its junction with the A14 trunk road on the northern outskirts of Cambridge. The A10, a former trunk road, which now forms part of the County Council’s regional road network provides for traffic movements between the A14(T) Ely and King’s Lynn. Its route from the A14 at Milton southwards continues as the A1309 as a main radial road into the centre of Cambridge. Both King’s Lynn and Cambridge are classed as Urban Regional Interchange Centres for transport, as set out within the Draft RSS for the East of England (Core Doc 82). 6.4 Throughout its length the A10 is a two lane single carriageway road that passes through a mix of open countryside, rural settlements, and commercial developments. The alignment is generally straight and level and is mainly flanked by grass verges. Apart from the stretch between Waterbeach and Milton, and isolated sections elsewhere, there are no footways or cycle paths along this road. The route is generally subject to the national speed limit of 60 mph for single carriageways. 6.5 To the north of Mereham the site fronts in part onto the A1123, which provides for east/west traffic movements and connections to the local villages of Wilburton, Haddenham, Stretham and Soham. The A10 and the A1123 join at Stretham roundabout directly to the northeast of the site. 6.6 To the west of the site is the B1049, which provides for local north/south traffic movements between the local settlements of Wilburton, Cottenham and Histon.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT 6.7 The site lies around 12.5 km to the north of the A14 which forms part of the national ‘core’ strategic trunk road network within England as defined in the 1998 Government white paper ‘A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone’. (Core Document 57) The A14(T) connects Cambridgeshire with Ipswich and Felixstowe in the East and Northamptonshire and the M6 and M1 in the West. A significant degree of traffic congestion occurs on some sections of the A14 corridor, particularly near Cambridge. 6.8 The A10 connects with the A14 at a grade-separated junction at Milton on the northern outskirts of Cambridge. In May 2004 the Highways Agency completed the construction of a cycleway/footway bridge, known as the Jane Coston Bridge, over the A14 at Milton to the east of the A14/A10 junction. This bridge provides a dedicated pedestrian and cyclist route between Milton and Cambridge.

Cycling and Walking Network
6.9 Figures 8.32 and 8.31 respectively of the Design and Access Statement (Core Doc 8) show the existing public rights of way and the existing and proposed cycle routes in the vicinity of the site. 6.10 There are currently limited pedestrian and cycling facilities linking the site to the existing developments and communities along the A10. Principally there is a narrow footway/cycleway on the eastern side of the A10 between Waterbeach and the northern junction at Milton. This forms part of the National Cycle Network from Cambridge City Centre northwards across the Jane Coston Bridge to Waterbeach. Apart from this facility, on the A10 there are only a few short stretches of footway linking isolated frontage development. 6.11 There is an existing shared cycleway/footway between Wilburton and Stretham on the northern side of the A1123. There are also a number of existing connections to/from the site and within the site to existing public footpaths, bridleways and byways, which all link to the existing communities of Wilburton, Stretham, Haddenham and those further a field.

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Public Transport Network
6.12 The bus routes in the vicinity of the site run along the A10, B1049 and A1123. The key routes destinations and frequencies of these services are included within Appendix DAT D. Broadly there are two routes along the A10 providing a half hourly weekday service between Ely and Cambridge, with other hourly or two hourly services running along the A1123 and the B1049. Some of these services follow tortuous routes around the villages in this part of Cambridgeshire, and therefore do not provide particularly convenient or speedy journeys for most passengers. 6.13 The Mereham proposals offer great opportunities to provide improved bus services and public transport connections in its locality between local villages, Cambridge and Ely. Furthermore, in this area where bus services generally require local authority subsidies the additional patronage that the new community will be a significant benefit to maintain their viability for the future. Further details of the proposals and strategy for improved public transport services for the development are set out in Section 7.1 to 7.9 of this evidence.

Rail services
6.14 The nearest rail facilities to Mereham are at Ely (8.2 kms) and Waterbeach (10.7 kms), on the line from Cambridge to Ely. Details of existing rail services on this line are given in Appendix DAT E. 6.15 In summary this shows that there are very good rail connections to the surrounding key towns and cities in the east of England from Ely Station, to the north of Mereham. Services from Cambridge Station provide frequent connections to London, Norwich, Birmingham, and Peterborough. Cambridge town centre. 6.16 Waterbeach Station is a small station located on the south eastern outskirts of Waterbeach. Services stopping at Waterbeach are limited. Cambridge station is located to the southeast of

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Committed Transport Infrastructure CHUMMS
6.17 In 2000 the Cambridge Huntingdon Multi-Modal Study (CHUMMS) was carried out to investigate options for improving the A14 Cambridge/Huntingdon corridor. A number of alternatives were identified with the preferred option being to both improve the A14 and to create a high quality public transport link between Cambridge, St Ives and Huntingdon. In December 2001 the Secretary of State accepted the recommendations and asked the Highways Agency to prepare the A14 improvement scheme, which was subsequently known as A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton, and Cambridgeshire County Council to prepare the Cambridge/St Ives/Huntingdon Public Transport Scheme which subsequently became known as Cambridgeshire Guided Busway (CGB).

Cambridgeshire Guided Busway
6.18 As described above, the concept of CGB was established through the CHUMMS Study. As a consequence of the Secretary of State’s acceptance of the recommendations of that study Cambridgeshire commenced preliminary design work on CGB, finally completing the design and statutory procedures towards the end of 2006, allowing construction to commence early in 2007. The scheme is scheduled to open in 2009. 6.19 The scheme basically consists of a Guided Busway between Huntingdon, St Ives and north Cambridge, utilising for the major part the disused Cambridge to St Ives railway corridor. On entering north Cambridge along this line, the route joins Milton Road (the former A10) at a junction about 900m south of the A14/A10 Milton interchange to travel along the highway southwards to the city centre and railway station. There is then a further section of Guided Busway between the railway station, Addenbrookes Hospital and Trumpington. The Busway will use conventional vehicles with additional equipment for side guidance through the Guided Busway sections. For the on-road sections the buses will run in normal highway operational mode.

A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton
6.20 The HAg plans to improve the A14 between Ellington, to the west of Huntingdon, and

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT Fen Ditton, to the north-east of Cambridge, as part of the Agency’s ongoing programme of improvements on the A14. The scheme, which is the largest nonmotorway scheme in the HAg’s programme, is included in the 2006 Targeted Programme of Improvements (TPI) for trunk roads and motorways at a cost of £490m. Present intentions with regard to the funding and programming of this major project will depend on the outcome of the government’s 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review, which has yet to be published. Once the implications of this overarching longterm review of public expenditure are known the priority commitments and programme of the HAg’s strategic road programme will need to be reassessed. No date is currently being given for publication of this work. 6.21 The Preferred Route Announcement (PRA) for the Fen Drayton to Fen Ditton section of this scheme was released in March 2007. However the western section from Ellington to Fen Drayton was delayed as a consequence of a legal challenge by local residents who sought formal consultations on a route other than the one described in the original public consultation leaflets. The outcome was a further Public Consultation on additional options for the route between Ellington and Fen Drayton, which took place between 1st December 2006 and 9th March 2007. It is understood that the Secretary of State will make a second preferred route announcement covering the section of the scheme between Ellington and Fen Drayton in summer 2007. At the time of writing this evidence in mid August 2007 the announcement is still awaited. 6.22 The provisional programme for the A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton improvements is that when the second Preferred Route Announcement has been made the HAg will appoint a contractor who will design the work for both sections in preliminary detail sufficient for the HAg to publish draft highways and compulsory purchase orders in 2008. The intention then is that a Public Inquiry, if required, will be held in 2009 to allow construction to start in 2010 and be completed by 2015. 6.23 The HAg acknowledge that actual progress will depend on the response to the further public consultation, the number and nature of objections to the proposals and whether a Public Inquiry is required. Realistically, given the size of this scheme and the fact that it has already been subject to challenge at the consultation stage, a Public Inquiry

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT is more likely than not. 6.24 Furthermore, forecasting the delivery of major transport projects of this nature has always proven to be inherently risky and subject to great uncertainties due both to the long planning horizon, and the need to secure public sector funding commitment. It is widely accepted that forecasts for trunk road projects tend consistently to underestimate costs and delivery times. 6.25 The present intention to complete the A14 works by 2015 must therefore be regarded as an optimistic and speculative forecast.

Butt Lane Park and Ride
6.26 In 2006 Cambridgeshire County Council put forward proposals for the relocation of the existing Cowley Road Park and Ride site, which is south of the A10/A14 interchange, to a site north of the interchange. This proposal was primarily initiated for two reasons. Firstly to address existing access difficulties and, secondly, to release the existing site for development. A number of alternative sites were assessed and it was finally decided to pursue a site east of the Milton Bypass at its junction with Butt Lane. The site would be for 750 – 1000 spaces and it is proposed to start construction later this year with opening in 2008. 6.27 The development of the A14 Bus Bridge as part of the Mereham scheme would significantly improve bus access to the new Park and Ride site. transport proposals. This has been recognised by the local operator in our discussions regarding the Mereham public

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7.0

DELIVERING THE MEREHAM PROPOSALS – OFF-SITE TRANSPORT IMPROVEMENTS

Public Transport

7.1

The public transport strategy is an important element of the overall strategy for the Mereham New Community. The strategy seeks to offer a premier public transport system accessible to the vast majority of residents that can readily become the transport mode of choice. The strategy is founded on sound operational principles with a concentration upon early implementation, to establish a culture of public transport use, and long term sustainability.

7.2

The strategy will have a significant effect upon the A10 corridor enhancing accessibility to Ely, Cambridge and the surrounding Fenland villages. Specifically the strategy will: • • • • • enhance service frequency; reduce bus journey times; improve bus journey time reliability; improve the quality of service offered to both existing and new residents; increase bus usage across the corridor in general.

7.3

The strategy is fully consistent with Cambridgeshire’s Local Transport Plan and Bus Strategy facilitating both development and the achievement of policy aims associated with improving accessibility to Ely and Cambridge along the A10 corridor. The principle components of the strategy are: • • A public transport interchange (park and ride site) within the development and adjacent to the A10 with bus services to both Cambridge and Ely. A new High Quality Public Transport Route (HQPT) between Ely and Cambridge City Centre consistent with the definition of high quality public transport as defined in Structure Plan Policy P8/06 providing a 10 minute bus frequency during the peak periods and a 20 minute frequency inter-peak, low floor/easy access buses,

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT air conditioning, pre-paid/electronic ticketing, real-time information and branding to encourage patronage. • Improved facilities for public transport on A10 including a bridge over A14 at Milton providing public transport priority through the potentially congested A10/A14 interchange. • • 7.4 A bus distributor system within the development. Full integration of A10 services with Cambridgeshire Guided Bus.

DTA together with specialist public transport consultants ITP have assessed the likely patronage and commercial viability of the new public transport provision. The assessment has used a number of economic and transport modelling techniques to determine this. Details of the modelling have been provided to CCC and the HAg. The assessment shows that once Mereham is fully developed the bus patronage drawn from the new development will be some 2,100 trips per day. This level of bus patronage will be supported by a transfer of some 2,000 existing bus trips through replacement of the existing Ely-Cambridge service with the HQPTS.

7.5

The parameters used by DTA with ITP in their assessments have been based on experience and judgement of comparable development elsewhere in the UK. Furthermore it is proposed to support the achievement of these targets through the car journey reduction targets set for the Travel Plan. If therefore future monitoring shows that bus usage has not become sufficiently attractive to achieve the mode share targets the developer will be required to pay a sliding tariff of penalty payments to be used to fund further public transport initiatives.

7.6

On robust conservative assumptions the assessment of the viability of the new bus services indicates that the services to be provided as part of the Mereham proposals will generate a positive return. This assessment is based on a model which uses assumptions verified by several bus operators as part of ITP’s work on other studies in the UK. In this particular case the inputs and output to the modelling work have been discussed with Stagecoach Cambridgeshire as part of initial soundings with potential operators willing to operate the bus strategy of Mereham. These discussions have led to a Memorandum of Understanding between the Appellant and Stagecoach

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT Cambridgeshire. This is attached at Appendix DAT F. 7.7 The economic analysis assumes that the new service will form part of an existing locally based operation and as such does not require additional office staff and depot. It does however take full account of maintenance (consumables and staff) fuel, inspectors and drivers. The clear conclusion from this work is that public transport proposals of the Mereham proposals are fully commercially viable. 7.8 Clearly the services will require revenue support through the early stages of development when housing numbers will be low but commitments to provide this support are included as part of the developer’s obligations. 7.9 On this basis and particularly with the support of the targets set in the Travel Plan there can be full confidence that the proposed high quality public transport provision for Mereham will be provided from the commencement of development both enhancing accessibility by non car modes within the A10 corridor and ensuring that a strong public transport awareness is developed within the new community. This is acknowledged in a letter from Stagecoach Cambridgeshire (Appendix DAT G) which confirms their support and commercial willingness to become involved in the delivery of these proposals. A14 Bus Bridge 7.10 A key element of the public transport strategy is the provision of a bus bridge over the A14 at Milton. The A14 bridge proposals, which was submitted as part of the Mereham planning application, forms part of the improved public transport provision serving the site. This proposal will also produce benefits to a significantly wider group of people who travel along the A10 between Cambridge and Ely. 7.11 The bridge provides the route for buses to travel to and from Cambridge without the necessity to negotiate the busy roundabout at the A10/A14 Milton Interchange. The bridge will be built on line of the existing Jane Coston footbridge, which will therefore need to be removed to allow the new bridge to be erected. 7.12 Proposals for such a bridge were first considered in an unpublished report by the consultants Atkins, commissioned by Cambridgeshire County Council, in 1999 entitled

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’Feasibility Study For The A14 Milton Cycle Crossing’. This work, which was intended
primarily to investigate the feasibility of a bridge or subway for pedestrians and cyclists, also investigated the viability of incorporating a bus way on the dedicated crossing. 7.13 Although the Atkins Study considered that the provision of a Busway on the bridge as favourable in principle the study concluded that the facility could not be justified. Although few details are given by Atkins to support this conclusion, there is indication that it was based on the assumption of designing the crossing as a free flow link using design parameters and standards for urban roads with 30mph speed limits. 7.14 DTA together with their structural design consultants Gifford Ltd reviewed the proposals and considered that the basis of the Atkins design assessment was inappropriate and unrealistic for the circumstances of a dedicated single lane bus way crossing controlled at each end of the bridge by traffic signals. In such circumstances it was concluded that buses would of necessity travel more slowly across the bridge and that as a consequence much lower geometric design standards could be safely accommodated. 7.15 DTA and Gifford in response to requests for more information about the bridge and more justification about its feasibility submitted a report on these maters to the HAg and CCC. This report, which is included in Appendix DAT H, provided elevations and long section alignments of a new bow spring steel bridge that matched the aesthetic theme of the existing footbridge. Subsequently both authorities requested further technical clarification which was dealt with in a second report by DTA /Gifford which is also included in Appendix DAT H. 7.16 One important aspect of the current Gifford design is that it does not place any abutments or piers within the trunk road boundaries. This has been done to make generous allowance for the future widening of the A14, details of which have yet to be prepared by the HAg. 7.17 The proposed bus way will be a 3.5 metres wide carriageway kerbed on both sides with 600mm wide verges to provide clearance to the adjacent parapets. This will allow standard width buses and coaches to cross the bridge conveniently, with a suitable

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT margin to allow passengers to disembark safely in the rare event of a vehicle breakdown on the bridge. 7.18 The proposed 3.5 metre width of the combined cycle/footpath matches the standard provided over the existing Jane Coston Bridge. This is considered adequate for the operational capacity requirements and safety of the pedestrians and cyclists who use this route. It is intended that the path should be divided by road marking and contrasting coloured surfacing to delineate a 1.5 metre wide footpath alongside a 2 metres wide cycle path. 7.19 The existing Jane Coston Bridge has humps made from asphalt material placed at 20 metres interval along the length of the footway ramps to allow resting spaces for wheelchair users ascending and descending the approach ramps on both sides of the bridge. If the highway authority deems this to have been a successful innovation, similar arrangements will be incorporated into detailed design of the new structure. 7.20 The proposed 7% gradients of the ramps match those of the existing footbridge. These gradients exceed the usual desirable maximum 5% gradients for pedestrian bridges. However, given that the highway authorities have not published any reported difficulties in using the existing bridge since it opened to traffic in May 2004, and given that the original proposals were the subject of detailed scrutiny by HAg and consultations with CCC before the HAg at London approved the use of 7 % gradients DTA consider that the use of 7% in the design of the new proposals is acceptable. 7.21 Since the preparation of the bus bridge proposals CCC have provided DTA with survey data compiled by the Council into the usage of the Jane Coston Bridge and user comments about the gradients. There is nothing in those data to suggest that most people have difficulty with the gradients or that they find them unsafe. DTA has also been given details of the approval issued to the HAg to the use of these gradients on the Jane Coston Bridge. These documents are given in Appendix DAT I and DAT J respectively. 7.22 The benefit of the bus bridge in terms of vehicle travel time is clear. Based on the appraisals requested by the highway authorities, the travel time saving for a bus

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT routing via the new bridge compared with routing through Milton Interchange will be some 15 minutes. 7.23 At the time of writing this evidence there are still two outstanding matters with the HAg. Both relate to construction issues. Firstly they have requested further details about the potential impacts upon trunk road traffic during construction and secondly they have requested more details about the temporary diversion of pedestrians and cyclists during the 6 months that will be needed to remove the old bridge and replace it. 7.24 In respect of the first issue Gifford have already provided the HAg with outline details of the proposals to lift the new bridge into place more or less in the same manner as was done for the original bridge. Nevertheless the HAg have asked for more precise details which DTA and Gifford regard as an aspect of detailed design which is not appropriate at this stage of the scheme’s development. Furthermore this is an aspect, which can be covered in the conditions attaching to the S278 agreement that will deal with all aspects of the design and construction of the bridge in conformity with HAg requirements. 7.25 As regards the second issue, for the relatively short duration of construction, pedestrians and cyclists will have to revert to the A14/A10 junction crossing as they did for many years prior to the opening of the Jane Coston Bridge. DTA is presently reexamining this aspect of the temporary diversion and will seek to reach agreement with the CCC to ensure that the proper levels of safety are maintained throughout this period. 7.26 In March 2007 the HAg notified DTA that it considered the bridge to be “visually sensitive” and that therefore a referral to the Commission for Architecture and the Build environment (CABE) should be made. Subsequently the HAg agreed to undertake such consultation but at the time of preparing this evidence no formal response has been received. A10 Improvements 7.27 As part of the review of the transport strategy for a new settlement near Wilburton in

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT the light of changing policy criteria, DTA established at an early stage that to accommodate the travel demands from the proposals, and to provide adequately for a reliable high quality bus service along the A10 between Cambridge and the new community, the appropriate solution for the A10 would be to modernise the route to current standards. Based on the design capacity standards as set out in Departmental Advice TA46/97 and TA79/99 (DRMB Vol. 5) it was established that this would generally involve widening the existing carriageway to a 10 metre single carriageway, with the conversion of some of the existing junctions along the route to traffic signal control. Improvements of the A10 to this standard would create a transport corridor that was fully in accordance with current transport policy. 7.28 In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s there had been plans to update the A10 Trunk Road over its whole length from Cambridge to Kings Lynn. Indeed in 1989 outline plans were put forward to create a dual carriageway over much of the route. Details of whether the adjoining highway junction would be grade separated, and how local accesses onto the highway would be dealt with were not decided at the time. However the dualling plans were withdrawn in the early 1990’s and in the 1999 Roads White Paper the whole route was proposed for detrunking. Subsequently all improvement plans were abandoned and replaced with Cambridgeshire’s current policy of creating a High Quality Public Transport link along the A10 with appropriate local efficiency and safety improvements. 7.29 In reality the only advantage of the previously proposed environmentally intrusive dualling proposals would have been to create a strategic link to Kings Lynn (subsequently abandoned) and provide extra peak hour capacity, contrary to both current Local and Government policy. It would have done nothing to encourage the use of public transport. Furthermore any tangible safety and operational benefits of dualling the A10 could only be achieved by limiting access and replacing at grade junctions with a reduced number of grade separated interchanges. This is not realistic within the confines of the existing route and in practice would require an entirely new route running parallel to and separate from the existing road. which would clearly be contrary to current transport policies. However such improvement would represent a considerable over provision of new road building,

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT 7.30 Whilst it was clear from the early assessments that an upgrading of the existing corridor as now proposed was the optimum solution, it was decided that this decision should be validated by carrying out a ‘NATA’ assessment in accordance with current DfT guidance. In this process the separate and often competing objectives of environment, safety, economy, accessibility, and integration are systematically considered in order to assist in the choice between different options for solving problem. The results of the NATA assessment, which are set out in Appendix 5 of the submitted TA, confirm that the improvement of the existing A10 to a wide single carriageway is the optimum solution. 7.31 The essential feature of the proposed improvements to the A10 from Milton to Stretham is generally to widen the existing carriageway from an existing width of between about 6.8metres and 7.5 m to a consistent 10m with one metre wide hard strips within a 2.5m wide verge on either side. Additionally the proposals provide improved junction access to side roads and frontage development along the A10. 7.32 Existing footways will be retained and the combined footway/cycleway between Waterbeach and Milton will be widened and improved. All existing highways, footpaths and private accesses onto the A10 are retained. With only very minor alterations to improve the cross falls and smooth out the longitudinal alignment the new road levels and its cross sectional profile will match those of the existing road. In accordance with existing conditions along the A10 there are no proposals to install road lighting along the A10. 7.33 All of the new road works will be designed and constructed in accordance with the standards and Specifications set out in the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, published by the HAg, (Volumes 6 and 13 of which are given in Core Doc 49) modified as necessary for the local road network by the standards applied by CCC. 7.34 Plan details of the proposed improvements to the A10 are given on DTA drawing numbers 5057-10 to 5057-23. For presentational convenience only, these fourteen A1 plans at 1/1250 scale have been electronically reduced to 1/2500 scale so that they may be seen at A3 size. These A3 1/2500 scale plans referenced 5057-10R-505723R are given in the submitted TA for Mereham.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT 7.35 The detailed design of the scheme will, in accordance with Environment Agency recommendations, incorporate measures to reduce potential contamination from oil and other harmful spillages from the highway. The discharge of rainwater runoff from the carriageway into adjacent watercourses will also be regulated in a controlled manner to agreed rates of flow. This will provide a method for limiting runoff from the road at times of heavy rainfall with the purpose of reducing any surge effects from the runoff thereby avoiding creating new flooding problems downstream. 7.36 The proposed improvements are designed to be accommodated within existing highway boundaries either side of the A10, or within land controlled by the Appellant. 7.37 The original road proposals submitted with the planning application in October 2005 intended major improvements to the A10 A14 Milton interchange. However since then CCC have completed an improvement scheme to the junction to enhance its operational capacity. The DTA proposals for this junction have therefore reduced in scale but still comprise widening of the A14 eastbound off slip and the introduction of traffic signals at the Milton Road entrance to the Interchange. 7.38 In 2006 CCC completed a scheme to signalise the A10 /Denny End Road junction in Waterbeach. CCC had identified a cluster of accidents at this junction, which it sought to deal with by signalising the junction and removing the previous give way priorities out of the minor road. Their scheme in principle is the same as the DTA Mereham proposals, but the CCC scheme relies on substandard lane widths on the A10 and does not comply with other standards of DMRB. The DTA proposals at this junction have therefore been retained to ensure that the junction will be brought up to standard when the road approaches are widened to 10m. 7.39 More recently still, as noted in Section 6 of this evidence, CCC have obtained planning permission for a new park and ride facility that will require major changes to the Butt Lane junction at Milton. Details of the road proposals have not yet been published at a scale or in an electronic format that enables DTA to incorporate these potential changes into the A10 Mereham scheme. However from the planning information that is available the widening proposals are not prejudicial to the County’s proposals.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT 7.40 For completeness it should be noted that a major road maintenance scheme by CCC commenced in mid August 2007 to resurface the A10 junction with Car Dyke Road and Waterbeach Road. My understanding is that these works will retain the existing layout of the junction, which would have also been retained as part of the Mereham proposals. 7.41 The A10 widening works will tie in with only minor alterations on the main road approaches with the two recently constructed roundabouts at the Cambridge Science Park and the Waste Management Centre 1km to the north. Road Safety 7.42 This section of evidence deals with the safety of the proposals to widen the A10 carriageway. As detailed in section 11 of this evidence concerning the planning objections to the Mereham proposals the local authorities’ safety objections are clearly based on the view that widening the existing carriageway to a wide single would lead to unsafe overtaking and a general increase in accidents along the route. However, as evidenced in the following paragraphs, such perceptions are unjustified, and are contrary to all UK and international evidence indicating that such roads are in fact safer than standard width carriageways. 7.43 Wide single carriageways were originally introduced into the UK in the late 1950s/early 1960s, and were then commonly marked in three lanes but without indication of directional priority along the central lane, which was expected to serve as an overtaking lane for both directions of travel. Such layouts were however quickly found to be unsafe and were dropped from national standards by the 1970s. Most of the old style wide single carriageways were remarked into two 5 metres wide lanes, and are now known by the abbreviation ‘WS2’. Where it remained desirable, notably on steep gradients, to retain three running lanes the central lane was re-marked with mandatory non-overtaking continuous white lining either to confine one direction of traffic to a single lane or to delineate clearly the priority in the middle lane to one particular direction of travel. 7.44 Nevertheless, despite the changes in the road marking of wide carriageways the

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT perception of the unsafe nature of such roads has persisted. Many of the objectors to the A10 proposals who assert that the scheme will be unsafe have quoted personal experience or other anecdotal evidence to support their views. None of the objections including those received from CCC and the HAg Regional Office have quoted supporting data and none have referred to current research evidence on the subject of the safety of wide single carriageways. 7.45 Present HAg guidance (TD9 DMRB Vol 6 – Core Doc 49) includes WS2s as a permitted standard of single carriageway, and recent proposals by the HAg for trunk road improvements have included schemes for three lane WS2s where the central lane has alternating directional priority for overtaking traffic. These types of road have become known as wide single 2+1 roads, and although they are being actively promoted for trunk roads in both England and Scotland, no DMRB standard presently exists for this type of road. 7.46 Pending the publication of a specific standard for WS2+1 the A10 proposals have not included WS2+1 carriageway markings. However, there is no physical difference in the carriageway widening requirements between WS2 and WS2+1 layouts, so the latter remains an option for consideration as part of the detailed design of the scheme, as and when suitable standards are published. 7.47 In September 2006 DTA prepared a report, attached as Appendix DAT K, summarising a detailed study of all the published and unpublished literature DTA were able to find relevant to the safety of wide single carriageways. 7.48 The literature review summarised the research data available on the safety of wide single carriageways in the UK. It reported on several research papers including two major studies into this matter, one undertaken for the County Surveyors Society (CSS) representing all the local highway authorities in the UK, the other by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) under commission for the HAg. The finding of both studies was that wide single carriageways are significantly safer than standard width single carriageways. Other work reported in the DTA review corroborated those findings. 7.49 The CSS report concluded that wide single two lane carriageways have a good overall

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT safety record with most having as good a record as an average dual carriageway. 7.50 The more detailed TRL study published as TRL Report 334 also found that accident rates on wide single carriageways were consistently lower than those on standardwidth single carriageways. Even without adjustment for the fact that wider roads in the study were generally busier than narrower roads the TRL reported that with all other things being equal, wide single-carriageway roads have about 22 per cent fewer accidents than ones of standard width. 7.51 Study by the TRL into overtaking on single carriageways concluded that overtaking behaviour on wide single carriageways is fundamentally different from that which occurs on standard width roads. Overtaking on the latter type of road is reliant upon overtaking drivers finding, and judging correctly, safe gaps in oncoming traffic. Finding such gaps safely is dependant on road geometry and traffic volumes as well being reliant upon driver ability and confidence. 7.52 Wide single carriageway overtaking manoeuvres on the other hand are not reliant upon such judgements of gap acceptance and have been found by the research quoted in Appendix DAT K to be safer manoeuvres often carried out in the face of oncoming traffic streams. The widened road provides ample room for such overtaking manoeuvres to take place without the risk on head on collisions. 7.53 It is also evident from common experience that the ability to overtake more readily and more safely avoids the frustrations that can occur when oncoming traffic flows prevents drivers from overtaking much slower moving vehicles. After a while such frustrations can lead to rash overtaking decisions that can often be dangerous. 7.54 The HAg has completed unpublished research to explore the potential for increased use of wide single carriageway roads on the trunk road network in England. The research confirmed the potential safety and environmental benefits in the use of wide single roads. As a result the HAg is now actively promoting the use of such roads for its own trunk road network, and production of a new national standard for wide single roads in the UK is proceeding. 7.55 A summary comparison between the personal injury accident rates found by the CSS

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT and the TRL Studies reported in Appendix DAT K, set against local A10 and national COBA 10 data is given in Table 7.1 below: Table 7.1 Accidents per million vehicle kilometres
TRL Report 334 Road Type Link Only All Single Carriageways S2 WS2 All Dual Carriageways Link and Junction CSS Study Link Only Link and Junction Existing A10 Link Only Link and Junction COBA 10 Link Only Link and Junction

0125

0.231

-

-

0.165

0.288

0.131 0.095

0.239 0.189 0.080 0.170

0.129

0.337 0.180*

0.104

0.143

-

-

*year 2002

7.56

Based on these statistical data the table attached in Appendix DAT L shows that the A10 improvements, with the addition of the full Mereham development traffic, would be expected to have fewer accidents than would occur without the improvements and the Mereham proposals.

7.57

In early discussions with CCC, officers commented to DTA that the Council has had local experience of the safety of 10m wide single carriageways that had lead them to reject such roads on the grounds of them being unsafe. DTA have asked for their evidence on this but none has yet been provided, and the only example of an allegedly problematic wide road “A” class road given to us was found to be a standard 7.3 m wide carriageway road.

7.58

The DTA report (Appendix DAT K) has been provided to both the HAg and CCC. Neither has responded formally to DTA to agree or take issue with the report findings. However, DTA has been told by officers of CCC that whilst they no longer maintain an in principle objection to wide single carriageway schemes, they regard the A10 improvements as being untypical of such roads. The thrust of this view is expressed in

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT the Safety Audit (January 2007) prepared by CCC in accordance with CCC and HAg standard procedures. The audit is included as Appendix DAT M. 7.59 The Audit does not find the wide single carriageway concept as being unacceptable but recommends that in view of the multiplicity of junctions and accesses along the A10 that it would be “difficult to achieve an optimum design for wide single carriageways”. Ideally, as suggested in the audit recommendations, it would be desirable on grounds of safety to reduce the numbers of existing accesses and junctions onto the A10. That much is true of all roads including dual carriageways, and applies as much to the layout of the existing A10 as it does to the widening proposals. 7.60 However there is no evidence in either the CSS report or the TRL Report 334 to suggest that the analysis in those reports of safety on wide single roads was confined to one particular class of WS2, ie those devoid of frontage access, which the CCC safety auditors describe as “true WS2”. The TRL report analysed a total of 108 single carriageways built in England between 1968 and 1989. Of this number 15 were classified as wide single schemes designed to the full 10-metre carriageway width standard. 7.61 The CSS list of WS2 schemes to be analysed was taken from the full sample of sites provided to the author of the report by member authorities of the CSS (which includes all of the County Council local highway authorities in England). 7.62 On the basis of this random selection procedure adopted in both reports it is not reasonable to conclude that the safety of the A10 widening proposals will be any different from the general finding of appreciably improved safety with widened carriageways. 7.63 On the A10 the widening will serve two purposes. On sections where there are no frontage accesses the road will be marked in two lanes giving ample width for safe overtaking. 7.64 On other sections where there are existing frontage accesses the proposals clearly show the new road markings hatched out to allow for right turning lanes so the right turning vehicles are able to wait safely for on coming traffic to clear before completing

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT their manoeuvre. At the moment such vehicles risk the possibility of rear shunt accidents. The hatching and road markings will deter general overtaking in these areas, but in circumstances where vehicles seek to overtake exceptionally slow vehicles such as agricultural tractors and trailers, and where no right turners are present, the increased road width will allow the overtaking manoeuvres to be completed safely without conflict with oncoming traffic. 7.67 Dealing specifically with the A10, data of the existing personal injury accident record along the A10 from Milton to Stretham is set out at Appendix DAT N. This includes details of the various link and the junction accidents for the most recent 5 years for which records are available. It also provides a summary of the reported personal injury accidents on discrete sections of the A10 between Stretham and Milton and the calculated personal injury accident rates for those sections. 7.68 These data show that, compared to the national average rate of 0.288 for this type of road, the existing A10 has a significantly higher accident rate. The published data of each accident is insufficient to allow a complete analysis of the accidents that have occurred on this road. However, it is worth noting that the proposed safety enhancements for right turning vehicles discussed in para 7.64 cannot be achieved within the present width of the existing carriageway. Nor does the present road provide adequate opportunities for safe overtaking. Both these limitations are likely contributory causes to the present poor accident record of this road. Unfortunately unless improvements are carried out to the A10 these existing accident rates will be expected to deteriorate still further as a consequence of natural traffic growth along the corridor. 7.69 Through routine monitoring of accident data on the local road network CCC have identified a number of sites along the A10 with clusters of accidents. The worst of these cluster sites on the A10 was at the Butt Lane junction prior to its signalisation in 2005/6. The present accident record indicates that this signalisation although substandard in relation to current design standards has dealt with the accident problem at this location. 7.70 Less significant clusters, which have been insufficient to warrant CCC intervention,

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have been identified at other junctions along the A10 notably at Landbeach. The Mereham proposals afford CCC the opportunity to deal with these sites but at the present time CCC’s in principle objections to the Mereham proposals have prevented any meaningful dialogue with DTA on these matters. The DTA design proposals accord fully with HAg design standards but it would be possible as part of the detailed design of the road scheme to adapt the proposals to accord with CCC preferences particularly in relation to the layout and road markings at junctions along the route.

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8.0

DELIVERING THE MEREHAM PROPOSALS – ON-SITE TRANSPORTATION

8.1

An essential element to meet sustainable transport policy objectives and minimise a community’s car travel dependency is to create a design which closely integrates complementary land uses, maximises the opportunity to walk and cycle and provides ready access to public transport for those who need to travel further a field.

8.2

Experience also shows that the development and implementation of a realistic and comprehensive Travel Plan covering all uses from the commencement of development will help to reduce overall travel demand. The Travel Plan proposals for the Mereham development are addressed separately in the next section.

Mereham Layout
8.3 The Appellant’s Master Planning consultant Barton Willmore has produced a masterplan for the internal layout. This has been refined from the plans originally shown within the Environmental Statement to those now included within the Design and Access Statement, but its principles remain strongly focused on the original sustainability vision for the site to encourage alternative modes of travel to car usage. 8.4 The masterplan has been designed to enable permeability of movement therefore linking the different elements of the Mereham development particularly, through the provision of direct, convenient and secure cycle and pedestrian routes. 8.5 The detailed design of the streets and other public footpaths and cycle paths plan will adhere to the principle of the recently published guidance by the Department for Transport in its publication “Manual for Streets” (Core Doc 61) which replaces Design Bulletin 32 and its companion guide “Places Streets and Movement”. 8.6 The main pedestrian and cycle routes have been planned around the existing public rights of way across the site namely Red Hill Drove, Cut Bank and Mill Field Lane. The condition of these routes will be enhanced and upgraded to enable them to be used by the general public in all weathers.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT 8.7 Cycling will provide one of the main modes of travel within the development and to destinations that include the villages of Wilburton, Stretham, Haddenham and of Ely to the north. There is a tradition of bicycling in the Cambridge area. The Mereham development will seek to further improve the popularity of cycling and foster its use for a range of journeys. Use of the bicycle on the site, which is flat or gently sloping, will be a convenient and attractive method of travel. Similarly, cycling journeys by day will be a convenient and attractive mode of transport for local journeys to locations such as Ely, Haddenham, Wilburton and Stretham. 8.8 The footpath network will make a critical contribution to sustainable transportation within the development and provide a valuable means of providing links with the nearby settlements including Wilburton and Stretham. Pedestrians are given priority within the development through the following measures: • • • • • • • Maximum traffic speeds of 20mph within the development will help to ensure safe conditions for pedestrians; In addition, parts of the development will have traffic speeds of 10mph or less, to encourage the safe mixing of traffic and pedestrians; A network of footpath routes will be provided throughout the development with a number of sections which are pedestrian only; On more heavily trafficked routes separation in the form of a tree planted verge will be created between the footway and carriageway; All new footways within the development area will be a minimum of 2m wide and lit; Direct links will be provided with Wilburton and Stretham via existing public rights of way and new footpaths; A network of recreation footpaths will be created within the site through the new wetland areas to link with the existing public rights of way, including those along the River Great Ouse.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT

Multi Modal Transport Interchange
8.9 As part of the overall public transport strategy a Multi Modal Transport Interchange will be provided on the south eastern edge of Mereham close to the main A10 access roundabout. This will provide both a Park and Ride facility to allow for convenient transfer to and from public transport routed along the A10 and access between all modes serving the development. 8.10 The site is within easy walking distance of the employment mixed use areas of Mereham and a substantial part of the eastern village. Residents in other parts of Mereham will be able to travel to the site either by a local bus service to be established within the settlement, or by bicycle. 8.11 The location of the site alongside the A10 is also convenient to attract patronage from the wider community around Mereham for their journeys into Cambridge and Ely, as well as those who live and work within it.

Primary Access
8.12 The main access into the site for vehicular traffic will be from a new roundabout constructed on the A10 to the south of Stretham. This junction is located on the south eastern side of Mereham, and as well as forming the access into the main part of Mereham, including the residential employment and the Village centre, it will also be the principle access to the park and ride site to be located along side the A10. Plans of this access roundabout are given in Figure 8.36 of the Design and Access statement (Core Doc 8). 8.13 The roundabout is designed to provide sufficient capacity to serve the development without introducing unacceptable delays to other traffic on the A10. All of the works are within existing highway land or land controlled by the developer. 8.14 It is proposed that this roundabout will be constructed at the commencement of the development to provide access for the earliest occupants of Mereham as well as access for all site construction traffic.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT 8.15 As a result of changes to the Masterplan that have taken place since the planning application was first made in 2005 plans for this junction have been modified slightly. The location of the roundabout has been repositioned 50-75metres further southwards but otherwise no material changes have been made. These changes lie within the original “red line” application boundaries, and do not affect the overall traffic assessment of the development. For completeness however the original junction assessments have been recalculated to reflect the minor changes to the geometry of the roundabout brought about by its repositioning. As summary of these results are given in the Table 8.1 below: Table 8.1 Arcady results for Primary Access onto A10
AM Peak (08:00 – 09:00) demand/capacity End queue (vehicles) A10 North A10 South P&R Access Primary Access 0.893 0.445 0.073 0.436 7.7 0.8 0.1 0.8 0.458 0.952 0.247 0.461 PM Peak (17:00 – 18:00) demand/capacity End queue (vehicles) 0.8 15.2 0.3 0.8

Secondary Access into the Site
8.16 Secondary access into the site will be from the A1123 that runs across the north of the site. The form of this junction will alter as the development progresses. Initially it is proposed to construct the access as a T- junction onto the main road. This form of junction will provide sufficient capacity for the early stages of development. Thereafter the final layout of the junction will comprises a 45 m diameter three armed roundabout as shown in Figure 8.36 of the Design and Access Statement.. The roundabout will feed into the existing footway and cycleway link between Willburton and Stretham. This junction has been relocated 215 metres to the west of the location originally shown on

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT the planning application documents. This change was made to allow a more balanced masterplan layout to be developed and has no bearing on the operation or safety of the access proposals. 8.17 The primary and secondary accesses will connect with one another through the road network within Mereham. This has been designed to be sufficiently restrictive to discourage extraneous traffic between the A1223 and A10 from using Mereham to bypass the Stretham roundabout. DTA’s assessment of the capacity of this roundabout indicates that with minor improvements there little likelihood that diverting through Mereham will be attractive in reducing journey times between the A10 and A1123.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT

9.0

COMMUNITY TRAVEL STRATEGY Introduction

9.1

The Mereham vision, as expressed in the Design and Access Statement for the proposals is to create a Community which fully addresses the climate change agenda with the ultimate aim of achieving carbon neutrality. The transport strategy for Mereham supports this objective by establishing the necessary infrastructure to enable and encourage travel by sustainable means both within the settlement and to and from the wider area, minimising reliance on the private car.

9.2

The Community aims to be self-sufficient in terms of GP health care, primary and secondary education, leisure and food retail, seeking to minimise the need to travel away from Mereham in order to access local services. Employment opportunities are also to be provided within the Community with the aim of confining, i.e. internalising, a significant proportion of commuting trips to within the Mereham settlement.

9.3

The provision of an integrated development to reduce the need to travel outside of the settlement for these trips will be complimented by the creation of an environment within which walking and cycling will be the natural mode choices for local journeys both in terms of distance and amenity.

9.4

In parallel with this, the public transport strategy for Mereham as set out in section 7 of this evidence has been developed so as to maximise accessibility to the wider area with the creation of a public transport interchange with high quality public transport connecting Mereham with Ely and Cambridge and the interchange of existing public transport services.

9.5

For those who will live and work within Mereham, a Community Travel Strategy has been developed to encourage and promote sustainable travel throughout the new settlement.

9.6

This strategy will provide an over-arching framework for the implementation of sustainable travel initiatives, the monitoring of travel patterns and the interaction of individual travel plans which are to be put into action by organisations within the Community.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT 9.7 The Strategy establishes a framework within which specific initiatives can be developed in response to developing travel patterns. of resources available. 9.8 The Strategy is given considerable credibility by the provision of targets for reducing car journeys with penalties payable by the developer should agreed targets not be met. The developer’s willingness to sign up to these targets demonstrates confidence that Mereham can be developed so as to create an environment within which those who live and work within Mereham are offered convenient and feasible alternatives to travel by non-car modes. 9.9 The Community Travel Strategy draws upon Government guidance on developing travel plans with particular reference being made to ‘Making Residential Travel Plans Work: It also enables co-ordination between individual travel plans and the residential travel plan in order to maximise the potential

Good Practice Guidelines’ published by the Department for Transport in September
2005 (Core Doc 62). 9.10 The Mereham Community Travel Strategy adopts the concept of the ‘travel plan pyramid’ in those guidelines by considering the role of practical initiatives determined at the design stage as forming the foundations for the Strategy. The management of the plan forms the next tier of the Strategy enabling travel patterns to be monitored and the strategy initiatives to be modified or refined in response to specific issues that arise. The next tier is formed by the specific initiatives identified from the outset of development with allowance for these to be extended with other measures, such as the car-share database, which will come into being as the settlement develops. The final tier of this pyramid approach will the on-going marketing of sustainable travel within the Community. In this regard it is proposed that each household within Mereham will receive information about the Travel Strategy through receipt of a citizens pack with advice on a range of sustainability issues from recycling and energy conservation to travel plan details. 9.11 The draft Community Travel Strategy is attached as Appendix DAT O.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT

Design Measures – Walking and Cycling 9.12 Section 8.0 details the practical design measures to be applied to create an environment within which walking and cycling represent the natural mode of choice for journeys made within the Community. 9.13 By providing a range of community based facilities within the new settlement the proposals seek to minimise the need to travel away from Mereham for local services. These facilities are to be located to minimise travel distances between dwellings, employment areas and the public transport interchange therefore maximising the potential for walking and cycling. 9.14 The majority of dwellings will be within 400m of local shopping facilities with no dwelling being in excess of 800m of these facilities. At least two thirds of the Community will be within 1km of the Multi Modal Transport Interchange with the remainder being no more than 2km from the facility. 9.15 The shuttle bus service to be provided for travel within Mereham will mean that most residents will live within 300 m of a bus stop and no one should live further than 400m away from a service connecting them with the local and district centres and the Park and Ride Interchange. 9.16 Three primary schools are to be provided within the Community. These are to be

located to ensure that no household is in excess of one kilometre from a primary school. The Community’s secondary school is to be located within the District Centre and as such will be within 1km of approximately 70% of households with no household being in excess of 2km from the school. 9.17 Short and long term bike hire will be available throughout the Community with dropoff/pick up points available at local centres, the transport interchange, within the District centre and in the employment areas set along side secure and covered bicycle parking.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT

Design Measures - Public Transport 9.18 Section 7.0 of this proof details the public transport strategy for Mereham New Community. The creation of the Public Transport Interchange is central to this strategy and the first phase of this facility is to be put into place at the onset of development after the 50th dwelling is occupied. The second and final stage of the Interchange development will provide a maximum of 1000 spaces for park and ride travel. 9.19 Twenty-five parking spaces dedicated for the use of car-sharers are to be included within the Interchange from the onset. These will enable the Interchange to act as a meeting point for shared onward travel, and will be promoted through the Community car share scheme. 9.20 The Interchange will enable easy modal change between public transport and walking and cycling. Secure covered cycle parking is to be provided within the Interchange along side short-term bicycle hire facilities integrating with further drop off and pick up facilities at key locations within the Community. A strategic cycle route will connect the Interchange with the District Centre, and other dedicated walking and cycling routes around Mereham. 9.21 The Interchange will provide access to and from an extensive range of destinations by acting as a hub for existing public transport services along side the high quality public transport service between Ely and Cambridge which is to be implemented as part of the proposals. 9.22 Table 9.1 below summarises the main external destinations and the number of trips generated as detailed within the Transport Assessment alongside their accessibility by public transport from Mereham following the implementation of the public transport strategy. This table demonstrates that it will be possible to undertake the large majority of external trips generated by Mereham using public transport.

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Table DAT 9.1 External Destination Central Cambridge North Cambridge South Cambridge Willingham and Over Soham Cottenham Littleport Haddenham Stretham Waterbeach Ely St Ives Huntingdon March Newmarket Sawston

Accessibility to External Destinations by Public Transport
12 hour % trips 3594 2423 1755 400 807 788 299 1500 916 658 1701 993 987 578 673 280 18352 20% 13% 10% 2% 4% 4% 2% 8% 5% 4% 9% 5% 5% 3% 4% 2% 100% Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 4% 4% 2% 8% 5% 4% 9% Accessible by HQPT Yes Yes Yes Accessible by other public transport from Interchange % Accessible by public transport 20% 13% 10%

Yes

3%

-

-

82%

9.23

However it is acknowledged that it is not practical for all journeys to be undertaken by public transport. Therefore, to continue to reduce reliance upon the private car a Community car club is to be implemented with car club vehicles being made available throughout the Community. The car club will provide those living and working in the Community with flexible and affordable car use without the associated costs.

9.24

Research published in ‘Making Car Sharing and Car Clubs Work: A Good Practice Guide’

(Core Doc 63) estimates that every car club car has the potential to replace five
privately-owned cars and that car club members who give up their car are likely to reduce their mileage by around 60-70%. 9.25 The implementation of the Community car club will not only act to enhance the public transport strategy but will also contribute to reducing car ownership and mileage within the Community.

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Design Measures - Parking Restraint 9.26 The provision of an integrated development within which the need to travel outside of the Community is minimised and the high level of accessibility by non-car modes afforded by public transport to destinations outside of the Community, alongside the implementation of the Community car club, create the opportunity to significantly reduce reliance on the private car. 9.27 As such residential parking provision is to be restrained with an average of one space per dwelling throughout the development. For dwellings within mixed use centres, employment areas and higher density areas on-plot parking will be limited to less than 0.5 spaces per dwelling. In addition 25% of dwellings will be marketed as ‘low-car’. 9.28

‘Making Car Sharing and Car Clubs Work: A Good Practice Guide’ considers that:
“Parking standards are likely to be a critical factor in the success of the travel plan in achieving low-car use. Where there are more generous parking allowances it is likely to be more difficult to make the car club and public transport sustainable in the long-term.” Furthermore: “The optimal parking ratio for a development supporting a car club is reported to be 0.8 or less”

9.29

The proposed residential parking strategy will support public transport services and the car club. In turn the comprehensive public transport strategy will enable the provision of reduced levels of parking and the development of low-car housing. Design Measures - Working from Home

9.30

Working from home is to be supported and encouraged within the Community with the provision of meeting rooms, remote office facilities and remote conferencing facilities. A proportion of dwellings will be designed as live-work units with standard dwellings to include adaptable space for home-working. Further Strategy Initiatives

9.31

The Practical design measures set out above represent the foundations for encouraging sustainable travel both within the Community and to and from external destinations. These are to be enhanced by ‘softer’ measures including the creation of a Community

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT website through which all aspects of sustainable living will be encouraged. database. 9.32 This website also will play an essential role in providing a forum for transport and travel issues whilst disseminating travel information as well as feedback for the Community on its level of success with regards to working towards overall sustainability objectives. Strategy Management 9.33 The Community Travel Strategy is to be managed by a ‘Community Sustainability Officer’ who will perform a wider role within the Community. implementation of the practical initiatives outlined above. 9.34 The Community Sustainability Officer will also implement a package of more detailed measures to be identified within the residential travel plan. This will include a marketing campaign which will begin before potential residents begin to move in, initially working with the sales teams for the respective housing developers to ensure that the sustainable travel options available to the Community are promoted as being of substantial benefit to new residents. 9.35 Detailed promotional and marketing initiatives are to be set out within the residential travel plan which will ultimately be appended within the Community Travel Strategy. The implementation of these initiatives will be the responsibility of the Community Sustainability Officer. 9.36 A key role of the Officer will be the monitoring of travel patterns throughout the Community. The Officer will periodically undertake travel surveys as part of the residential travel plan as well as collating travel information gathered by individual travel plan co-ordinators at schools and businesses etc. This will be in addition to information on public transport patronage, car club usage, use of short-term bike hire facilities and the number of registrations and matches within the car share database. This information will be disseminated to the local Community via the Community website. Targets and Monitoring This officer is to be appointed from day one of the development and as such will oversee the The

website will provide access to car club booking facilities and a community car share

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT 9.37 The Community Travel Strategy will include targets for limiting the total traffic generation of the Community which if not met will result in a penalty being paid by the developer, providing additional funds for further improvements to public transport. 9.38 A mechanism for introducing these targets is to be set out within the Community Travel Strategy following agreement with CCC and HAg. 9.39 Traffic generated by the development will be continuously monitored by automatic traffic counters positioned at the eastern and northern vehicular access points. The information collected will be fed directly into the Community website making this information widely accessible to all.

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10.0

TRANSPORT IMPACT OF THE MEREHAM PROPOSALS Introduction

10.1

The traffic capacity appraisal of the Mereham New Community proposals is set out in detail within Chapter 6 of the submitted Transport Assessment (TA) Report. This related to a highway network agreed with the local highway authority by way of the Scoping Note included at Appendix 1 of the TA.

10.2

The TA is based upon a number of input parameters, the derivation of which are which are explained in the following sections of the TA: • • • • • residential trip generation (Section 6.3), including justification for those trips which will remain internal to the site at paragraph 6.3.6.; employment trip generation (Section 6.4); external trip distribution (Section 6.6); modal split, (Section 6.7) including the application of a logit model to estimate the use of the High Quality Public Transport Service; external trip assignment (Section 6.8).

10.3

The TA does not reflect the extensive Community Travel Strategy measures to minimise car based travel. Neither does it reflect the penalties identified for targets for not reducing car journeys. Nonetheless the TA and the assessments contained therein, suggest that of the 4000-4500 peak hour trips, only just over 60% may be made by car.

10.4

Of those daily trips made to destinations beyond Mereham New Community, approximately 42% have an origin or destination in Cambridge. This emphasises the benefit of the HQPT bus service in providing a genuine alternative for such a significant proportion of trips.

10.5

The TA concludes that around 12% of all external trips generated by the site might use the enhanced service. Cambridge. This increases to 20-25% for trips between Mereham and

10.6

Since the preparation of the TA there have been extensive discussions and meetings

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with the highway authorities dealing with the technical parameters and methodologies employed by DTA. These discussions have given rise to additional justification and explanation of the approach taken within the TA. They have also led to sensitivity tests being undertaken by DTA to provide confidence in the robustness of the original conclusions. 10.7 This additional justification has been set out in a series of Technical Notes presented to the highway authorities on the following subjects. These are enclosed in Appendix DAT C, and include the following topics: • • • • • • 10.8 Trip Generation Trip Distribution Trip Assignment Scheme Phasing/Assessment Years Impact on the A14 Food Retail Trip Generation

The TA presents an appraisal of the impact of the proposals on the local and trunk road network based upon the guidance for the preparation of TA’s relevant at the time of the application. The assessment also included a NATA style appraisal of the potential improvements on the A10. This approach is consistent with guidance in the March 2007 Guidance on Transport Assessments (Core Doc 50).

10.9

The TA prepared originally in 2005 presents a series of link and junction assessments, which still remain valid. The time horizons employed within this network assessment are more onerous than is required under the 2007 guidance. year of 2024. As described below, some of the assessments have been updated to reflect the revised scheme completion

10.10

Following discussion with the highway authorities, DTA agreed to the commissioning of an area-wide computerised traffic model to assign Mereham generated traffic to the surrounding road network. DTA have always considered this unnecessary for the particular network around Mereham, and an exercise unlikely to provide more reliable assignments than those that could be calculated manually.

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10.11

Nevertheless DTA agreed to undertake this work, which has since vindicated the conclusions of the original TA and confirmed the TA conclusions to be robust. Details of this sensitivity appraisal, which uses the A14 Ellington to Fen Ditton AM peak SATURN computer model prepared on behalf of the HAg and CCC by the County’s term consultants Atkins, are set out in DTA Discussion Note dated 27th April 2007. This note is included as part of Appendix DAT C of this evidence.

10.12

At the request of CCC, Atkins were also appointed by DTA to undertake the sensitivity testing for the Mereham proposals. The sensitivity assignment model utilised a series of matrices based on the TA and were provided to the highway authorities in the form of a Technical Note included as part of Appendix DAT C of this evidence. Atkins produced the required outputs from the model. These outputs have been provided to the authorities. Atkins summary report, excluding the technical appendices is included as Appendix DAT P of this evidence.

10.13

As expected this model produces an alternative set of AM peak network flows to those produced in the TA, but the conclusions to be drawn from both sets of forecasts are identical.

10.14

It should be emphasised that both appraisal techniques were conservative in their assumptions and therefore should be interpreted as representing the worst-case scenario.

10.15

Firstly, no allowance has been made for any trips to be made off-site on foot or by bicycle. The modal share of each may well be modest, but significant investment is identified for cycle facility enhancement, and as such, Mereham to Ely in particular is viewed as a viable journey by bicycle. No reduction of the trip rate has been made to reflect this.

10.16

Secondly, and more significantly no allowance is made in either appraisal to take account of the traffic reduction targets proposed in the Community Travel Strategy for Mereham. Furthermore, the targeted reduction in existing car travel through the provision of the Park and Ride interchange has, for the purposes of assessment only been disregarded.

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10.17

This has been done notwithstanding the fact that there are incentives for the developers to ensure Travel Strategy targets are met in order to avoid a series of penalty costs if for any reason they fail to be achieved. This together with other measures proposed in the Travel Strategy are intended to ensure the Strategy is used effectively to influence travel behaviour and reduce car journeys from Mereham.

10.18

Finally in order to seek agreement with the highway authorities the assessments all consider forecast years well beyond the horizon stipulated by current guidelines that require assessments to be made only ten years after a planning application is made. The assessments in the TA extend to 2021 and the sensitivity SATURN model test to 2025. No allowances are made however in any of the DTA assessments to adjust future traffic on the local networks in accordance with CCC traffic reduction targets.

10.19

Although the different assessment procedures have produced different forecasts of traffic flows these differences are academic in as much as the resulting conclusions by DTA about impacts from Mereham on the highway network remain unchanged from those set out in the original TA.

10.20

To explain these conclusions in greater detail the following paragraphs of this section consider the Mereham impacts on the A14 trunk road, the A10, and finally other local roads in the vicinity of Mereham. In each case base conditions i.e. existing and future traffic conditions without Mereham are considered first before moving on to discuss the effect of traffic generation from Mereham. A14 Trunk Road – Base

10.21

There is common agreement that the strategically important A14 trunk road around Cambridge operates close to its capacity and is frequently subject to heavy congestion. This is the main reason why the HAg proposes major improvements to the A14 between Ellington and Fen Ditton. As described in paragraphs 6.22 of this evidence the HAg anticipate completion of this proposal by 2015. The scheme will widen the existing A14 either side of the Milton Interchange to a three-lane dual carriageway. There are currently no published details of what changes if any the HAg will make to the Milton Interchange as part of the main line improvement scheme.

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10.22

The HAg proposals are supported by a number of technical reports and assessments, including the documents summarising the input and output of the A14 traffic model, which has been utilised in the sensitivity analysis for the Mereham proposals. A10 Link – Base

10.23

Clearly the A10 forms a key link for the Mereham New Community by providing the means for all modes of travel available to future residents, on foot, by cycle, by bus and by car. The section between A142 Angel Drive roundabout, south of Ely and the A14 Milton Interchange, north of Cambridge has therefore been assessed in detail by DTA. Tables within Appendix 10 of the submitted TA set out how base traffic flows in 2021 on the A10 compared with its theoretical capacity derived from calculation of congestion reference flows (CRF) as defined in HAg Advice Note TA46/97. assessment year and are included at Appendix DAT Q of this evidence. These original tables have now been updated to the revised 2024 (site completion)

10.24

A similar appraisal has been carried out for current traffic levels, and this is also set out in Appendix DAT Q. In these data the ratio of forecast or existing flows to CRF gives a figure known as the reference flow capacity (RFC). Clearly RFCs above a value 1.0 indicate a congested link.

10.25

The RFCs in these figures demonstrate that for most of its length the present A10 operates below its theoretical capacity during both the morning and evening peak hours.

10.26

This level of performance is borne out by a series of journey time surveys, which were undertaken for DTA in October 2006 included as Appendix DAT R of this evidence. These showed that for the section between Stretham roundabout and Milton Interchange average speeds of just below 40 mph were maintained during both peak periods and in both directions and just above 40 mph off-peak. These speeds included delays incurred at junctions along the route.

10.27

Taken in combination, these capacity calculations and the travel speeds show the route to be busy, but not at the point where unacceptable levels of congestion currently

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occur. 10.28 This situation will deteriorate over time as traffic growth continues. Reference to the 2024 tables in Appendix DAT Q demonstrate that without improvements to the operational capacity of the A10 traffic flows on the A10 would be to the level where congestion will occur. A10/A14 Milton Interchange – Base 10.29 The base junction assessment set out within the submitted TA for the A10/A14 junction has been superseded by the major improvement works undertaken in 2006 by CCC. CCC has made its 2021 assessment of this improved junction available to DTA. This shows that although capacity at the junction has been considerably improved it has not been designed to meet peak hour demands. Therefore queuing on the A10 to the south and north occurs of the junction will be still expected to occur in the future. 10.30 CCC published assessments of the junction have not included appraisal of the merges and diverges with the trunk road; and the HAg have not provided this data either. Nevertheless both authorities have requested assessments of these connections with the addition of Mereham traffic. A review of merge and diverge flows at the junction with and without Mereham has been prepared by DTA and is attached as Appendix DAT S. It can be seen from these figures that there are only minor changes in flow A review of these figures in patterns as a result of the Mereham development.

accordance with the appropriate technical guidance shows that there will no requirement to modify the existing merge/diverge arrangements at this junction purely as a result of additional traffic from the Mereham development. Other A10 Junctions – Base 10.31 Within the TA, a series of local junction assessments were undertaken on the A10. Three junctions, namely Stretham roundabout, Landbeach/Humphries Road ghost island junction, and the Butt Lane junction were forecast to experience some measure of queuing within the 2021 assessments.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT A14 Trunk Road – With Mereham Development 10.32 In order to provide the HAg with additional clarification on the information set out in the submitted TA regarding traffic impacts from Mereham on the A14 trunk road DTA prepared a Technical Note in December 2006. This is included at Appendix DAT C. This explained that only at the Milton Interchange were additional peak hour traffic flows joining the A14 forecast to be in excess of 20-25 vehicles per hour during peak periods. 10.33 Even at Milton, the total Mereham generated flow changes were estimated to be only 120 two-way trips in the peak hour. In the context of future main line flows on the A14 in excess of 4,000 – 5,000 vehicles per hour it is evident from this that the Mereham impacts on the A14 will be negligible. 10.34 A similar conclusion can be drawn from the SATURN model sensitivity test data. Predicted flow increases to the west of Milton Interchange are slightly lower than those identified within the DTA Technical Note (DAT C), whilst the 2025 AM peak forecast eastbound flow change immediately to the east of the Milton is higher but still only amounting to 249 trips in the morning peak hour. This particular flow runs against the predominant westbound flow in the morning peak and is not considered to have any practical impact on the operation of the A14. A summary of the flow differences on the A14 in 2025 with and without Mereham development traffic is included in Appendix DAT T. 10.35 Therefore the very clear conclusion to be drawn from these data is that the A14 link is not materially affected by the Mereham proposals. detrimental to the operation of its strategic network. Impacts on the trunk road are negligible and warrant no concern by HAg that the Mereham proposals will be

A10 Link – With Development 10.36 The table in Appendix DAT Q show the relationships between forecast flows on the A10 with Mereham, and the CRFs of the road widened to 10 metres. This indicates

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that with these improvements and the Mereham development the A10 will operate satisfactorily within its link capacity. 10.37 By contrast, without the development and therefore without the carriageway improvement, the link capacity of the A10 will be exceeded in the 2024 assessment year at a number of locations, particularly in the PM peak period. Having noted that point it is important to emphasise that the road improvements have not been designed to cater for peak hour movement, but instead are intended primarily to provide additional safety and sufficient capacity to secure a more reliable public transport corridor between Cambridge and Ely. A10/A14 Milton Interchange – With Development 10.38 As a consequence of the recent CCC improvements to the A14/A10 junction only two changes to the junction are now warranted in conjunction with the Mereham proposals. These are the widening of the A14 eastbound off-slip approach to the junction from two to three lanes and the introduction of an additional set of signals at the north-east corner of the junction at the Milton village arm of the junction. 10.39 A revised junction assessment based on these two changes to the present junction layout has now been prepared. It uses as a base the TRANSYT computer model prepared by CCC for their recently implemented scheme. The assessment has been based on the DTA development traffic forecasts set out in the original TA and the design flows for 2024 adopted by CCC in their assessment of the recent improvements. 10.40 This revised assessment shows that with the above forecasts the junction will continue to operate with satisfactory levels of operational capacity in 2021 with the Mereham development. However the assessment indicates that peak hour queuing on the approaches will occur. Examination of these queues indicates that queuing even at peak times on the off slips from the trunk road will not be expected to extend back to the main carriageways of the A14 and so will not interfere with mainline through traffic. This is an important consideration for highway safety. 10.41 Congestion on the A10 in the peak hour will continue to occur even with the additional

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improvements associated with Mereham. This is predominantly a result of commuting by car into and out of Cambridge, a condition which the authorities are endeavouring to control through their transport policies. Whilst congestion on access into Cambridge is an inconvenience to commuter traffic it will of course be possible to bypass this congestion safely and conveniently by using public transport or walking or cycling across the new A14 bus bridge. This clearly has major advantages as part of a policy to minimize car use. Other A10 Junctions – With Development 10.42 The updated traffic capacity assessments of the primary access to Mereham from the A10 are summarised in Section 8 of this evidence. The results demonstrate that the design provides convenient access to the Mereham settlement whilst at the same time providing sufficient capacity so as not to introduce inappropriate delay to A10 through traffic. 10.43 Junction improvements by way of signalisation and layout improvements are proposed along the A10 primarily to enhance road safety but also to provide adequate operational capacity to cope with future traffic flows with the Mereham development. Assessments of these junction changes all indicate that this operational capacity objective has been met. Other Local Roads – With Development 10.44 As set out in Section 8 of this evidence, the secondary access into the development will be via a new roundabout on the A1123. The relevant assessments demonstrate that the design provides sufficient operational capacity at the junction without causing unreasonable delay to A1123 through traffic. 10.45 In their objection the local authorities refer to concerns about the impact of Mereham related traffic on local roads other than the A10. In particular they refer to the use of Twenty Pence Road between Willburton and Histon. 10.46 The original submitted TA deals with these matters and identifies those areas where some mitigation in the form of traffic management may be appropriate. In overall

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terms the TA assessment finds no particular roads where Mereham generated traffic is likely to be problematical or intrusive. This conclusion is borne out by the SATURN sensitivity modelling. 10.47 Specifically none of the appraisals indicate significant likelihood of Mereham traffic using Twenty Pence Road. For example the SATURN model shows only an additional two vehicles per minute in the peak hour using Twenty Pence Road as a consequence of the Mereham development.

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11.0

REASONS FOR REFUSAL

11.1

This section of evidence deals firstly with the formal reasons for refusal related to transportation matters given by ECDC and SCDC to the Mereham planning applications. It then covers the objections to the applications made by CCC and the HAg at the time when those applications were first considered by the planning authorities. Those later objections have subsequently been amended as discussions about transport matters with the highway authorities have progressed.

East Cambridge District Council Reason 1: The proposed development is in an unsustainable location

contrary to national and strategic planning policy, and would lead to a significant loss of countryside and would therefore be contrary to the concept of sustainable communities. 11.2 Mereham is located alongside the A10 and the A1123 and as a result is well connected to the highway network of the region. 11.3 As explained previously throughout this evidence the development proposals will be served by a new fast efficient and frequent public transport service along the A10 between Ely and Cambridge to allow inter urban journeys to be made conveniently and sustainably along this corridor. 11.4 The Mereham site is therefore not only sustainably located in its own right but also affords the opportunity to improve the sustainability of the communities around Mereham extending as far north as Ely and as far as Milton to the south Reason 5: The proposed carriageway width increase to 10 metres poses an unacceptable highway safety risk, resulting in long stretches of wide single carriageway which will induce higher speeds and encourage injudicious overtaking. The proposal would therefore be contrary to Policy P8/1 of the Cambridge and Peterborough Structure Plan 2003 which requires new

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development to provide appropriate access from the highway network and does not compromise safety and Policy 9/9 that seeks to improve the A10 between Cambridge and Ely. 11.5 Apart from the omission of reference to Policy 9/9 this objection is identical to the Reason for Refusal No 1 by SCDC 11.6 On the matter of safety, section 7 of this evidence explains the detailed research that has been carried out into the safety of wide single carriageways throughout the UK. This evidence shows consistently that such roads are safer than conventional single carriageways and therefore that the perceptions of detriment to safety are misplaced. 11.7 Although CCC originally suggested to DTA that the had such evidence CCC have not produced accident data from any wide single roads in Cambridgeshire or the east of England generally to support the views they expressed in their recommendations for refusal to both district councils on the safety of wide single carriageways. South Cambridge District Council Reason 2: A safety audit is required for any works on the public highway. It has not been submitted to the Local Highway Authority, who is unable to comment on detailed design. 11.8 It is a policy of CCC to conduct all safety audits in house through its Accident Investigation Team. An audit of the proposal has now been prepared by that team in December 2006, and is included in Appendix DAT M 11.9 The audit raises no issues relating to safety that cannot be dealt with in the detailed design of the Mereham proposals Reason 3: The Local Highway Authority has not agreed the methodology used within the Transport Assessment. The method of assessing internal and external trips is not agreed, and the method by which external trips are assigned to the highway network is also not agreed. The assessment of traffic impacts is over simplistic and overlooks some traffic sensitive areas.

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The Transport Assessment is, therefore, not a reliable basis for the suggested transport improvements. 11.10 As explained earlier in this evidence the submitted TA was prepared in accordance with a scoping report approved by CCC. 11.11 As discussed in section 10 of this evidence the manual assignment method selected by DTA in the original TA has since been supplemented by SATURN modelling of the road network around Mereham. DTA have always considered this modelling unnecessary for the particular network around Mereham, and an exercise unlikely to provide more reliable assignments than those that could be calculated manually. 11.12 This view has been vindicated by the model outputs, which have merely confirmed the original conclusions on traffic impacts arising from the Mereham development. 11.13 It is accepted that a number of issues to do with external and internal trip rates have still to be agreed between the highway authorities and DTA. Discussions on these matters are still continuing with the aim of reaching agreement before the start of the Inquiry. Reason 4: The Highways Agency direct the Planning Authority shall not

grant permission for this application because: There is insufficient information presently available to the Secretary of State to determine whether the proposed development would generate traffic on the trunk road to an extent that would be incompatible with the use of the trunk road as part of the national system of routes for through traffic in accordance with Section 10(2) of the Highways Act 1980, and with safety of traffic on the trunk road. 11.14 11.15 Para 11.10 to 11.12 are relevant to this objection. An essential conclusion to be made from the copious assessment work carried out for the TA and subsequently as a result of discussions with both highway authorities is that the only significant trunk road impacts occur potentially at the Milton A10/A14 junction.

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Mereham generated traffic has minimal impact on all other trunk road junctions on the A14 to the east and west of Milton including that at Histon. 11.16 Even at Milton the predominant changes to the turning movements at the A10/A14 junction affect the local road network and have minimal impact on the trunk road itself. 11.17 The evidence all indicates that Mereham has no material impact on the operational capacity of the trunk road or any of its junctions along the A14 with the local road network. Reason 5: The proposed replacement of the Butt Lane pedestrian/cycle

bridge with a surface crossing will increase the danger experienced by users, particularly pupils travelling between Milton and Impington to attend Impington Village College. 11.18 The present proposals at Butt Lane are subject to change due to the proposed alterations to the junction in connection with the new park and ride site. The present bridge is a substandard pedestrian bridge with low parapets that do not meet present standards. The original Mereham proposals were to replace this bridge with a shorter more convenient surface level crossing that would be incorporated into the signalisation of the new junction. 11.19 DTA still regard this proposal as a safe facility for pedestrians and cyclists alike, and it is noted that no comment on the matter is made in the Council’s safety audit. 11.20 There has been a strong demand from cyclists who propose to use the park and ride site to have the bridge crossing replaced with a new and safer bridge. So far CCC has resisted such proposals but I understand that the County has agreed to monitor the demand for cycle parking (an initial 50 covered stands will be provided) and to reconsider upgrading the footbridge if usage is higher than predicted. Reason 6: The proposed replacement of the A14 pedestrian/cycle bridge with a larger bus/pedestrian/cycle bridge is not technically feasible on the current site. 11.21 Detailed evidence about the A14 bridge proposals is given in section 7 of this evidence.

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As a result of the technical submissions made by DTA and their structural consultants Gifford Consulting Engineers both authorities are now understood to accept the feasibility of the bridge proposals. Reason 7: (Item 6) Insufficient evidence to judge impact of road widening on “The safety of the 4 public footpaths that adjoin this section of the A10. 11.22 The widening proposals have no detrimental impact on any of the four footpaths that adjoin the A10 along its route from Milton to Stretham. On the contrary the proposal allow for the improvement of access to some of these paths from the A10 over verges that are presently overgrown or obstructed by safety fencing.

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12.0

RULE SIX STATEMENTS

12.1

This section deals with the transport related issues raised in the Statements of Case made by the HAg, the local planning authorities the EA, and Boyer Planning on behalf of RLW Estates who are the promoters of development at Waterbeach.

Highways Agency
12.2 The revised Statement of Case for the HAg dated 03 August 2007 sets out from Paragraph 22 onwards the case at that time for the Highways Agency. As stated previously, discussions are still ongoing with the highway authorities with a view to resolving as many technical differences as possible. This section deals with and comments on those matters that still have to be agreed. 12.3 HAg maintain (para22) that the TA undertaken by DTA has been inadequate. This assertion has been consistently and strongly contested by DTA. There have been many differences in the approaches taken by DTA and HAg towards the Mereham TA, but as set out previous sections of this evidence DTA have continually sought to provide explanation and further assessment data in support of their original work, and it is not reasonable to conclude, as the HAg have done, that whenever DTA methodology has not been conceded to that preferred by the HAgs consultants FM, that DTAs work is inadequate. 12.4 In many instances, as evidenced previously in sections 10 and 11, the HAg /FM are unable to show material differences in the overall conclusions to be drawn from their approach to the assessment work against that of DTA. Much of the debate between HAg /FM and DTA over differing traffic parameters and alternative methodologies has proven to be academic so far as impact on the trunk road network is concerned. 12.5 Specific issues related to the calculation of generated traffic from Mereham are given in paragraphs 25 to 29 of the HAg Statement of Case. In most instances, DTAs position on these matters, as explained in paras 10.2 to 10.5 above has been given in the TA together with further explanation and clarification in the technical documents attached

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at Appendix DAT C. 12.6 In respect of the number of dwellings proposed at Mereham, DTA sough to clarify for the highway authorities in June 2007 that the figure given in the Design and Access Statement is 5,100 dwellings, which is reflected in all DTA’s recent assessment work. However in the context of traffic impact assessment generally and certainly for the particular assessment of impact on the trunk road network some 12.75 km (8 miles) to the south of Mereham, previous reference in the original TA to 5,000 dwellings is immaterial. 12.7 In para 30 of the Statement of Case the HAg refer to the DTA trip assignment methodology for Mereham as “a simple all or nothing” assignment along the A10 between Mereham and Cambridge, which by implication they have regarded as an inferior assignment process to computerised techniques. 12.8 DTA frequently use computerised modelling processes, and I personally have been involved in traffic modelling assessments stretching back over several decades. SATURN traffic modelling is a well-established technique for forecasting traffic flows on complex networks that would otherwise be impossible or too laborious to carry out manually. Whilst the iterative processing power of a SATURN model may be impressive, the assignment methodology on which the program is based is relatively unsophisticated. It is inevitable therefore that SATURN models even when carefully validated often gives a spurious impression of precision in forecast results, particularly when forecasting over long time horizons. 12.9 In the case of the relatively simple and straightforward road network surrounding Mereham a carefully considered judgement was made at the outset of the TA work that SATURN modelling in this instances would not produce results any more reliable than the manual process which DTA adopted. DTA has explained this view point consistently to HAg and CCC and eventually as has been explained previously, agreed to commission a SATURN model for sensitivity testing from Atkins, the independent consultants who had already set up an A14 SATURN model for HAg 12.10 As noted in section 10 of this evidence this original decision to adopt manual

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assignment techniques has now been vindicated by that SATURN modelling work, which shows no significant differences from the assignments calculated manually by DTA. In this context the forecast differences are such that they would not lead to different conclusions from those made by DTA regarding the impact of Mereham on the trunk road network. 12.11 The HAg (para 28) regard the modal split assumed by DTA in its Logit modelling of public transport patronage as being unreasonably optimistic. DTAs assessment in this regard has been assisted by specialist consultants ITP, and both consultants are confident that the assumptions made are realistic and robust. The targets are built into the Community Travel Strategy (Appendix DAT O) but as already noted in section 10 of this evidence they have not been used in DTAs TA assessments of impact on the highway network. The TA assessment is therefore based on worst-case assumptions about public transport usage. In any event, it is self evident that journeys to and from Mereham that could be taken by public transport are unlikely to involve material numbers of trips along the A14 trunk road. For these reasons The HAg /FM concerns about this matter are considered to be either unfounded or to have little or no bearing on trunk road impacts. 12.12 Operational assessments of the Milton Interchange have, with the knowledge of the HAg, been held over until the results of the SATURN modelling work were completed. The assessments were also held in abeyance pending agreement, which has yet to be achieved on traffic generation forecasts from Mereham. 12.13 Details of the most recent assessments of this junction are now explained in paragraphs 10.38-10.41 of this evidence. The assessment uses CCC own computerised model of the junction, which it used most recently in 2007 at the time of seeking planning permission for the relocation of the Cowley Road Park and Ride site to one adjacent to the A10 at Butt Lane. Forecast data for the A14 has been taken from the SATURN model and two assessments prepared based on traffic flows generated from Mereham derived, firstly from the original TA and secondly from the SATURN model. The outcome of this assessment work shows that the Mereham development has no material detriment to the trunk road network.

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12.14

In particular the assessments all show consistently that Mereham generates trivial changes on the A14 mainline. In fact the SATURN model forecasts show some small net reductions in morning peak hour flows on sections of the A14 as a consequence of the Mereham development. DTA place little weight on this fact, other than to note it as an example of the inexactness of computer generated forecasts.

12.15

In light of the lack of impact on the A14 mainline and the lack of impact on any trunk road junction other than at Milton it has been difficult to understand the HAg request for accident traffic data at a number of other remote junctions. Nevertheless this information, which has always been readily available to the HAg as the highway authority for the A14 will be passed to the HAg before the Inquiry. The delay has been brought about by difficulty in acquiring data from Suffolk County Council where one of the junctions is located.

12.16

The HAg Statement of Case in respect of the Bus Bridge now raises three points of detailed concern about the proposal. Although these points are more directly related to traffic impacts on the local road network than upon the trunk road this information is being supplied to the highway authorities.

12.17

Details of the Draft Community Travel Strategy (Appendix DAT O) referred to in paragraph 33 of the Statement of Case have been supplied to HAg and FM. At the time of preparing this evidence no feed back or comments have been received from the HAg.

12.18

The general unspecific criticism of sustainability of Mereham made by the HAg in paragraph 41 of its Statement of Case is strongly contested. The evidence in Section 4, and Sections 6 to 10, as well as the information on transport matters given in the Design and Access Statement, most of which has been available to the HAg for some time, all demonstrates that the transport proposals for Mereham have been developed with transport sustainability as an essential overriding objective.

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The Local Planning Authorities
12.19 The case for the local planning authorities is based on three strands of objection. They believe that the proposed development will have an adverse impact not just on the A10 but also other roads such as Twenty Pence Road, which will not have capacity, even with improvement, to cope with the additional traffic. They also consider that the A10 widening proposals will present a risk to road safety by encouraging injudicious high speed overtaking. 12.20 The authorities also intend to present evidence doubting the technical feasibility of the A14/A10 bus bridge proposals at Milton. 12.21 The issue of road capacity is dealt with in the submitted TA and in section 10 of this evidence. So far as impact on Twenty Pence Road is concerned the TA considered that traffic generated by Mereham would be unlikely to travel along this road unless it had a particular trip origin or destination in Cottenham or Histon. The numbers of such trips was considered to be very low. This has been subsequently borne out by the sensitivity testing of the SATURN model. 12.22 The safety of the A10 widening proposals has been a paramount consideration from the outset. As noted in detail in section 7 of this evidence the sweeping conclusions made by the local planning authorities and CCC about the safety of widening this road are not supported by research conducted by the County Surveyors Society or the TRL on behalf of the HAg. That research shows consistently that widening roads such as the A10 increases the safety of the route appreciably. 12.23 Specifically, the A10 road widening will allow for safer overtaking where conditions permit, and elsewhere will allow for safer right turning into and out of frontage development adjoining the A10. Both of these features will also result in increased capacity along the route. 12.24 On the matter of the A14 bus bridge at Milton, Appendix DAT H records the considerable effort that has been made to demonstrate the feasibility of this proposal. As evidenced in the amended Statement of Case for the HAg (para23) this has

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culminated in agreement with the HAg about the practical feasibility of building the bus bridge as designed. The discussions about this matter have included bridge engineers from CCC who have yet to confirm a formal view on the matter. Those engineers have however not raised any further technical concerns about the proposals since DTA responded to their comments made earlier this year (see Appendix DAT H page 27).

The Environment Agency
12.25 Chapter 5 of the Statement of Case for the EA deals with the concerns of the EA about the drainage and flooding implications of the A10 widening proposals. Much of this will be dealt with by Mr Capel Davies of PBA in his evidence on drainage matters. At the time of preparing this evidence discussions are ongoing with the EA to agree the Flood Risk Assessment for the A10 proposals. 12.26 I am confident that the detailed road design can deal satisfactorily within existing highway limits with surface water drainage from the carriageway, and, as already noted in para 7.35, this will incorporate measures to reduce potential contamination from oil and other harmful spillages from the highway. The overall effect of these measures will be one of positive benefit to the adjoin land and its watercourses.

Boyer Planning
12.27 The Statement of Case by Boyer Planning for the promoters of future development at Waterbeach fails to acknowledge that nothing in the transport proposals for Mereham is prejudicial to development at Waterbeach. Road improvements to the A10 coupled with high quality bus provision along this route and a new dedicated bus bridge across the A14 are all complementary to development at Waterbeach. 12.28 Boyer planning also show tendency to exaggerate the differences between Waterbeach and Mereham in terms of their respective transport sustainability. Waterbeach is 11.5 km from Cambridge city centre whilst Mereham is 17 km. In this context the more important consideration is the availability of a high quality public transport service, which Mereham will provide to the benefit of Waterbeach. 12.29 It is also worth noting that the location of Mereham has enabled the public transport

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proposals to provide a high quality and convenient connection along the whole of the A10 between Cambridge and Ely. As no planning application has yet been made for Waterbeach it is not possible to comment on its transport proposal, but it is doubtful that a high quality public transport linkage between these centres will be a feature of the Waterbeach proposals when they come forward. 12.30 Much emphasis is given by the promoters of Waterbeach to the option of rail based transport. This tends to exaggerate the convenience and feasibility of using the railway from Ely to Cambridge via Waterbeach for commuting and local trips. Not only is Cambridge Rail Station well “off centre” to Cambridge and the main areas of employment and shopping but Waterbeach Station is also located to the east of the existing village and well to the east of the potential Waterbeach development areas. 12.31 Apart from the problems of achieving the rail improvements needed to provide a local rail service to Cambridge, as noted in para 9.43 of the EIP Panel report to the Cambridge and Peterborough Structure Plan, the facilities at Waterbeach including its parking provision will have to be upgraded considerably to cope with a major new settlement nearby. 12.32 For all these reasons a rail based public transport provision along the A10 corridor is unlikely to be convenient to its potential users. By contrast a bus based provision, like that proposed for Mereham, that is integrated into the guide bus system within Cambridge should prove a viable and an attractive alternative to commuting by car.

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13.0 13.1

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS This evidence has addressed all aspects of the transportation proposals associated with the Mereham development. In particular this evidence evaluates the proposals for access to the site and the various measures proposed by the Appellants to create a sustainable development with sustainable modes of travel to, from and within the new community.

13.2

The evidence establishes that the Mereham proposals have been developed to be fully in accordance with National, Regional and Local policies which aim to create sustainable communities which reduce the need to travel especially by the private car. In particular the evidence demonstrates that the proposals are fully in accordance with both Regional and Cambridgeshire’s own transport policy objectives for the Cambridge Sub-Region.

13.3

The evidence looks in detail at the transport strategy and establishes that the proposed initiatives and transport improvements will not only mitigate all the potential impact of the proposed development but will also assist in the delivery of Cambridgeshire’s own objective to improve accessibility particularly by Public Transport throughout the Cambridge sub region and particularly in the A10 corridor.

13.4

In particular, the evidence establishes that the proposed public transport improvements along the A10 corridor will be fully consistent with Cambridgeshire’s public transport strategy and will considerably improve public transport accessibility for all along the corridor, reducing the need for car based travel. The evidence also establishes that the proposed improvements to the A10 will significantly improve both capacity and safety to the benefit of all users of the corridor.

13.5

The evidence addresses the transport related reasons for refusal and the issues raised in both the Highways Agency’s and the Authorities’ Rule 6 Statements and establishes that all the issues raised by the Authorities are unfounded and, in many cases, have been drafted without a full understanding of the transport proposals, their compliance with policy or the overall benefits which will accrue to the community as a result of the proposals.

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Mereham New Community Proof of Evidence of David A Tucker MSc, CEng, MICE, MIHT 13.6 The evidence reports on the ongoing technical discussions with both the Highways Agency and Cambridgeshire County Council and demonstrates that no technical issues have been raised which undermine the assessments carried out and conclusions reached in the Transport Assessment which was submitted with the application. Indeed, the evidence establishes that the Authorities have not identified any technical reasons for rejecting these proposals. 13.7 Finally, the evidence establishes that with the proposed form and scale of the development and the proposed transport improvements, a new community at Mereham will create a development which is highly sustainable in transport terms without material detrimental impact on the surrounding transport network.

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