The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority is to take forward plans for the regional arms of the planned Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM).
The authority's Transport Committee has approved £100,000 to progress business cases.
The combined authority said the CAM will provide a high-quality, fast and reliable transport network that will help connect people and businesses ‘across Greater Cambridgeshire and beyond’.
The CAM regional arms will include routes from St Ives to Alconbury, Cambourne to St Neots, Newmarket Park and Ride to Mildenhall and Granta Park to Haverhill.
The authority said plans for the regional routes will be focused on how the new routes will promote economic growth by linking communities, bringing forward housing projects and creating jobs.
Metro mayor James Palmer said: ‘I’m pleased to see real action being taken to set out our plans for the route of the CAM outside of Cambridge. The CAM will offer us a platform for growth across the county, bringing forward new employment, housing and business opportunities through the provision of world-class public transport.
‘The regional routes will serve a critical function, connecting our communities and major employment areas, and helping us achieve our ambition of reducing reliance on the private car.’
The authority said the plans will set out how the regional routes will feed into the wider Cambridgeshire and Peterborough public transport network, building on work already undertaken on the core city centre tunnelled section of the CAM.
The plans will be required to detail the integration of the CAM regional routes with segregated transport corridors – Cambridge to Camborne, Cambridge to Granta Park, Cambridge East Access and Cambridge A10 to Waterbeach and the CAM core city centre tunnel network – with proposed transport nodes.
The board also approved a public consultation on the CAM to begin in the early part of the New Year.