WHY I WILL NOT SUPPORT MAYOR PALMER's CAM METRO PROJECT

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WHY I WILL NOT SUPPORT MAYOR PALMER's CAM METRO PROJECT

Labour and Cooperative party mayoral candidate Dr Nik Johnson will call an immediate halt to

the £4bn CAM Metro project if elected on May 6.

He dismissed the project as being a “white elephant” and “a fools folly” for current mayor James

Palmer.

Dr Nik said: ”If elected on May 6 I will call an immediate halt to the Mayor Palmer’s CAM

project..

I just don’t believe it offers value for money or benefits all residents of Cambridgeshire and

Peterborough.

“I want to start my term as mayor with a clean sheet and consider all transport options with a

fresh eye.

“We need to ensure that those in the north, Peterborough, March, Wisbech are better served. I

just don’t believe this project will deliver for the Combined authority as a whole.

“This project has all the hallmarks of being an expensive folly and a potential blackhole for

national and local government finances.

“As we come out of the Covid pandemic public money will be tight and we need to focus on an

economic and public health recovery for all"

“We need to be concentrating on the most pressing problems of today and instead focus on

better, more connected public transport now - not in 10 to 15 years time.

We need to ensure that those in the north, Peterborough, March, Wisbech are better served. I

just don’t believe this project will deliver for the Combined authority as a whole.”

Though, in principle not totally opposed to a rapid system, Dr Nik said too much time and

money had already been spent on Mayor Palmer’s project - up to £4m on business plans,

consultants and setting up a company to drive the project.

He believed the CAM project doesn’t give value for money for ALL residents of the

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Area - with the many paying for a

project that benefits relatively few.

Dr Johnson also expressed concerns at the cost of building the complicated network, which

includes tunnels under Cambridge city centre.


“At €92m per single track kilometre the CAM costs will be greater than Crossrail and HS2 -

which costs €78m/STK

“It is three times more expensive than the cost per single track kilometre than the Edinburgh

system and €18m PSM than Manchester.”

“I want to concentrate on making more immediate positive changes for the betterment of

residents across Cambridgeshire.

“Better transport and more social and affordable homes. These will be my priorities - not trying

to deliver a hugely expensive legacy burden left by Mayor Palmer.

“I believe in being honest and upfront with voters and therefore I have to say it straight out - I will

not support this project. I see no benefit in proceeding with the project as it stands - but lots of

negatives.”

Dr Johnson, who was speaking to Labour members in Peterborough and NE Cambs via a

zoom meeting, said he was concerned about how the project would be funded with a mixture of

central government, cash, private investors, local contributors and “land capture.”

He claimed the idea of paying for a system by needing to build 60,000 extra homes along the

route - including 7,000 new houses on land east of Linton in South Cambs just announced by

Mayor Palmer, just didn’t make sense .

“This is being sold as a project to make the county greener, to get people off the roads but in

effect it will be adding 60,000 more house in garden villages and towns , more cars, and more

concrete on our green fields.

“This is more about opening up land for developers to profit than providing a vital service for

residents.”

Dr Nik Johnson Labour’s mayoral candidate has had several meetings with Greater Manchester

mayor Andy Burnham who is leading the way on bus franchising and innovative bus transport.

Dr Nik Johnson said: “Manchester’s buses being brought back into public control is simply the

best news.

“I am campaigning all the way for similar plans for the Combined Authority of Cambridgeshire

and Peterborough- it is top of the tree for my Mayoral pledges.

“As mayor I will provide a service that is reliable, affordable, sustainable, accessible and

accountable.”


Dr Nik, who is standing on a platform of the three C’s - Compassion, Cooperation and

Community - said the CAM project seemed to highlight the three other C’s more associated with

Mayor Palmer’s four years in charge: Cronyism, Consultants and Confrontation.

Dr Nik Johnson

Labour and Cooperative Party Candidate

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