Simon Lebus, Group Chief Executive of Cambridge Assessment says:
“Cambridge Assessment is a highly ethical, not-for-profit organisation which is committed to being a responsible neighbour; we have always taken any local community issues about this development very seriously.
“We always knew that with a significant development, in a thriving city, transport would be our biggest challenge but we have not shied away from this. We met a number of local residents to understand their concerns and held exhaustive discussions with the County’s Highways team. We are happy that following intensive scrutiny, the County is now satisfied that any potential impacts of the development are being addressed.
“Through cultural change, supported by investment in local and wider infrastructure improvements, we are striving to be both a considerate neighbour and an exemplar, sustainable workforce within the City.”
Cambridge Assessment has been working on changing habits for the last three years to make these cultural shifts before occupying the building. The building will not be fully occupied until 2025.
Most of the travel habit changes needed are minimal as many staff already travel by bicycle (30%), train (20%) or public, guided bus or park & ride bus (13%). The latest staff travel survey shows that those travelling alone in their cars has fallen from about 30% to 17%. This needs to be reduced to about 7% and will require commitment in order to meet these targets, but Cambridge Assessment and the County Council Transport Officers believe that it is entirely achievable.
Activities to assist the cultural shift include:
A large number of Cambridge Assessment staff already travel on the wider Cambridge infrastructure network but the potential impacts of the new development will naturally be wider than just the immediate area. On this basis, this development will deliver:
In addition to the above, it is also expected that, either through this development or independently, a residents’ parking scheme will be implemented for both the Accordia development and in streets east of Hills Road.
As an existing commercial site, The Triangle and the wider Cambridge University Press site already generates a steady flow of people and traffic in and out of the site. A detailed Transport Assessment (TA) was carried out for the proposals and submitted with the planning application.
Naturally, with a significant development such as this, there were some concerns raised during the consultation process in relation to the number of staff coming and going every day. Cambridge Assessment has worked hard with its transport consultants to address this. It is committed to working with its staff to ensure that this is a sustainable development and a Travel Plan has been worked up to ensure targets for cycle, bus and train use along with walking, instead of car use, are met. The targets were set following an intensive survey of staff.
The Travel Plan was submitted with, and approved alongside, the outline planning application. It outlines a long-term strategy for how staff journeys in and out of work will be managed to minimise car journeys. It also mentioned the appointment of a Travel Plan Coordinator to support individuals with changing travel habits over the next couple of years in preparation; this role was filled at Cambridge Assessment in August 2014 and work is now well underway. Progress on targets will be measured and reported back to Cambridge City Council on an ongoing basis to ensure these are met.
Vehicular access to the site will continue to be via the Shaftesbury Road entrance; this entrance also serves Cambridge University Press and other buildings in the wider site area.
In addition to the main entrance there is the potential for cyclists and pedestrians to be able to access the site from the east. It is proposed to enhance the existing access points from the Guided Busway route into the site to make it as easily accessible as possible.
Click on the Access plan below to enlarge:
The proposals include provision for both staff and visitor car parking. In line with existing provision on the site, the proposals include around 189 car parking spaces.
There will be secure cycle parking for 1325 cycles (this was increased following public consultation). Car parking will be covered and located underneath the podium landscape courtyards and therefore the visual impact of parked cars will be mitigated. Cycle parking will be provided to allow easy access to the Guided Busway and Cambridge Assessment’s shower and locker facilities.
One of the key benefits of The Triangle site is that it is located close to the railway station and the CB1 development. It enjoys, therefore, good access for both cycling and public transport, encouraging a greener way of travelling. The map below highlights the proximity of public transport services to the site, and cycling accessibility.