The City Deal and way forward for Cambridge
What do you think of the Greater Cambridge City Deal? This is one of the most contentious issues facing – and dividing – residents, politicians, and businesses in Cambridge in many years. Unless you have been living the life of a hermit you will no doubt be aware of proposed changes to tackle peak-time congestion in Cambridge and the resulting dialogue it is generating.
Democracy in progress was very evident last Saturday when I attended a specially arranged local public exhibition to discuss how the proposals will affect the area that I live in. Unsurprisingly the meeting was well attended. Walking into the packed room full of familiar faces, it initially appeared friendly. But as I settled into space and tuned into the discussion, it was apparent that the atmosphere was peppered with frustration and anxiety. The floor had just been opened up for questions and passions were running high as the debate escalated and people became increasingly determined to get their points across in the shortening time available. Members of the City Deal project, as well as local councilors, were on hand to take the numerous challenging questions, address the serious concerns and listen to the opinions, and some proposed alternative solutions, of the well-prepared audience.
Tackling congestion in Cambridge is vital. Our historic compact city and roads were not designed to take the high volumes of traffic that come in or out every day. And as the fastest growing city in Europe, it is vital that people can move about freely within its boundaries if this growth is to continue sustainably. But finding a solution that will make everyone happy will be a challenging task. There could be losers as well as winners. People having their say remains a priority to seeking an acceptable solution.
The City Deal for tradespeople in Cambridge
Coming out of the meeting, with many issues unresolved (or at least clarified), I left thinking about one particular question that was raised by a concerned resident: What about tradespeople coming into the city to carry out vital jobs? To me the solution is blatantly obvious: we have to rely much more on local services. A business like Scuseme is built on the premise that we connect you with fantastic and recommended local services right here in our community. By working with these services you not only support local businesses but also help protect the environment by reducing the carbon footprint associated with travel and limit the air pollution that is almost entirely due to motor vehicles. By default, you also save money and time.
We have wonderful local businesses that have excellent reputations, some even operate from bicycles – no traffic jams, always punctual and excellent value because of low overheads. The City Deal will indeed be difficult for trade people coming into the city, but finding those that have the shortest journey to you is the place to start.
Dawn Giesler is the founder of Scuseme Cambridge, a recommendation website developed to provide an essential resource to help your family run smoothly.