Cambridge explores ‘revolutionary’ new public transport system

A new driverless public transport system in and around Cambridge could bring a “transport revolution”, allowing people to travel rapidly into, across and under the city in a matter of minutes.

That’s according to the Greater Cambridge City Deal, which – along with Cambridge Ahead, a local business and academic member group – is supporting research into an “Advanced Very Rapid Transit” (AVRT) system for the Greater Cambridge area.

The feasibility study is exploring the possibility of launching a rapid mass transit system using segregated track with a mix of above-ground and underground segregated routes with high-speed driverless vehicles.

Led by Professor John Miles, an expert on transport systems at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering, the study brings together technical and engineering expertise to provide an evidence-based view of the costs, technologies and the viability of such a system.

The City Deal says that the study will help future-proof ongoing investments and find cost-effective solutions to the city’s transport issues.

Councillor Francis Burkitt, vice-chair of the Greater Cambridge City Deal, commented: “The City Deal and Cambridge Ahead have co-funded this feasibility study as part of ongoing work to examine some radical transport options for Cambridge with the aspiration for something truly transformative for the Greater Cambridge area.

“We look forward to receiving the detailed findings from Professor Miles when the study is complete, which will help us to understand more about the impact that such a system could have on the future success of the city, and how it could be delivered.

“The City Deal is reviewing its plans post-2020 during 2017 and studies like this will inform choices on major investments, setting out radical but deliverable alternatives to car travel.”

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