Chamber condemns City Deal consultation as being a whitewash

Monday 15 August 2016

Hear why we believe, following a meeting with the City Deal executive board last week, they're not planning to take any notice of the ongoing consultation.

Business representatives from Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce have labelled the City Deal’s consultation a whitewash following a meeting with the Executive Board where concerns were raised from the business community over the negative economic impact of the organisation’s transport proposals.

John Bridge OBE DL, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, said:
“It’s clear from our conversations with the City Deal Executive Board last week that they have already made up their minds over their intentions to implement their proposed interventions in full. The consultation is a sham; they show no intention of listening to the individuals and businesses that are going to be adversely affected by their short-sightedness. Indeed, none of the more pioneering ideas, submitted by third parties as part of the organisation’s call for evidence, have been included in the proposals.

"We believe that next January we will start to see the City Deal’s proposals being implemented in full, as they are set out in the consultation document, with the many concerns raised by business and the public during the consultation process having made no impact or changes to the detail and shape of the plans.

"What Cambridge requires and deserves is a plan to tackle congestion that is radical and innovative, and sadly simply making it more difficult to travel into the city by car in the short-term does not equate to an innovative, long-term strategy that is essential to unlock the further funding that creating one would secure.

"We are very concerned that the lack of real vision and implementation of interventions with significant economic benefit will result in the loss of the next £400 million of potential funding. Should this catastrophic position occur, the blame will lie solely with the City Deal Executive Board.

"We maintain our position that the City Deal should be drawing on the expertise of independent, world-renowned infrastructure experts who take these inadequate plans back to the drawing board and design a purposeful, sustainable transport network for all modes of transport that will meet the future demands of the city.”

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