Trees to be chopped down for electric buses in Cambridge

The decision has faced backlash for its damage to biodiversity

Big Zero Report 2023

Councillors have approved a decision to cut down hundreds of trees to build a new busway for electric and hybrid buses in Cambridge.

The decision has been made to tackle climate change, the county council has said – but people have began petitioning against the decision, which will see the fall of trees in the Coton Orchard.

The £160 million bus route plan would serve 6,000 new homes between Cambridge to Cambourne.

Anna Gazeley’s family owns the Coton Orchard, which is currently home to around 1,000 trees – offering various fruits including apples and pears. She’s leading the Coton Busway Action Group, which is standing against the council’s decision.

“Traditional orchards are hotspots of biodiversity in the countryside, supporting a wide range of wildlife as well as an array of nationally rare and nationally scarce species. They are designated habitats of primary importance and [are] rightly accorded protections,” she said.

She added that the proposed bus route would without doubt cause “loss to the environment.”

Deputy leader of the council, Lucy Nethsingha, responded: “Quality public transport links are a key part of decarbonisation. Moving to a net zero economy cannot be done without changing the way we travel.”

The council has affirmed its desire to include biodiversity net gain in the plan, which is set to be submitted to the government for approval.

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