It’s the sound of the underground (or monorail)

As the deadline for a £100 million decision looms, City Councillors vow to keep ideas of tunneling under the city and building monorails firmly on the table – but we’re not convinced. 

This week, Cambridge City Council is holding a meeting to decide how to spend £100 million – and the money has got Councillor Tim Bick thinking subterranean.

Over the last five years, a Professor of Engineering has been pushing the idea of tunneling under the City to take the buses off the streets, and a local tycoon has even argued for a monorail.

 

Map of  potential Cambridge underground

Map of potential Cambridge underground

As crazy as this all sounds, Oxford has also jumped on the bandwagon, and will be consulting on the idea of underground bus tunnels this Spring.

The idea was branded “blue sky thinking” in the other place, but here, Robert Mair, Professor of Geotechnical Engineering and tunneling expert, insists that it can be done.

He said to the Cambridge News: “There is absolutely no question that a series of relatively short tunnels right under the city centre could be constructed.”

Artist's impression of Cambridge's cityscape in 2016

Artist’s impression of Cambridge’s cityscape in 2016

While Councillor Bick said: “It absolutely is my hope that we do get to consider some of the more radical solutions that people have talked about over the past few years.”

However, reactions amongst students have been primarily sceptical.

Corey Keegan, a third year Linguist from Girton, said: “Much bigger cities, I’m thinking Sydney, tried the Monorail, and it just didn’t work.

“Plenty can be done to improve existing systems. Better provisions for cyclists, and cheap, easily accessible parking and park-and-ride would really hit the nail on the head.”

Cambridge: the new Springfield?

Cambridge: the new Springfield?

“We Girtonians are very conscious of transport development. #bullettrainforgirton”

The students of Pembroke were more dismissive of the idea of subterranean development.

Joseph, a third year historian said: “Ridiculous. They can’t. Think about the wine cellars.”

Whilst third year mathmo, Michael, simply said: “No.”

Monorail or no-no-rail? Have your say.

  • Lyle

    More of a Shelbyville idea.

  • Engineer

    Should build us a Hyperloop for that cross-city lecture commute