Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tunnels Under Cambridge

Yesterday Councillors and Senior Officials were given a presentation by some members of the University Engineering department who have been investigating the possibility of using tunnels under Cambridge to help solve our transport problems.

Apparantly there is favourable geology in Cambridge for building tunnels - the Clay underneath us is easy to tunnel through, and there is new technology in tunnelling involving boring machines (which may be dull or interesting depending on your point of view) and spray concrete to line tunnel walls.

The basic idea is to build bus tunnels from the top of Castle Hill to Drummer Street, with possible extensions to the Station and potential development in East Cambridge, with underground bus stations at Park Street, Drummer Street and the Grafton Centre. A similar scheme was built in Seattle around 1987-1990.

It sounded like there was potential to solve some but clearly not all of Cambridge's transport problems - removing some buses from congested routes like Bridge Street and Drummer Street. As part of a package of measures, it could also go a small way to reducing my concerns about the current plans for East Cambridge - if existing Cambridge residents can see significant improvements in transport links, and high quality development, housing on the airport becomes more acceptable.

The estimated cost of the tunnels - more than the new Guided Busway, but significantly less than a new A14... If you have any thoughts, let me know!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Instead of an underground road for buses, why not an underground rail (tube) from the P&R car parks to Cambridge centre and rail station. A rail system has the advantage of more frequent, longer and automatic opertation.