Smart St Neots

St Neots has an exciting opportunity to become one of the UK’s first ‘smart’ market towns and lead the way for other market towns in Cambridgeshire.

Our St Neots Smart Places Initiative is exploring ‘smart’ solutions to help to tackle some of the key issues the town faces, in areas such as transport, environment, connectivity and information.

We’re aiming to help to address some of the challenges identified in the St Neots Master Plan and the Neighbourhood Plan by working in collaboration with local authorities, town councils and community groups.

Since 2018 we’ve been working with local people to discover how data, emerging technology and digital connectivity can be used to support the continuing growth of this busy town.

How the people of St Neots were involved

We wanted to hear from the people who know St Neots well and had ideas and suggestions to help us to find smart solutions to help to tackle some of the key issues in the town.

There was a range of ways for residents to get involved, which involved a series of engagement events and an interactive map for people to give feedback on – whether they used digital technology or not.

We had a great response to our first Smart St Neots Meetup on Saturday 10 November 2018 and were delighted with the number of people who came to the Future Takeover event in January 2019 – both held at the Art & Soul Café in St Neots. More than 150 people came along with lots of suggestions for using data and technology to improve the town.

Go to the interactive map to view the ideas and suggestions we received on data and technology and read the comments (please note the map consultation has now concluded, so you will no longer be able to add further comments).

Read the Future Takeover news release here.

The Future Takeover event (video below) was supported by CollusionThe NeotistsArts Council England and the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority.

It was held to support the ambitions outlined in the Local Plan and Masterplan for St Neots and seeks to identify ambitious new thinking in the delivery of a creative place where people want to live, work and play, both now and 20-30 years in the future. 

What happened next

In August 2019 the Smart St Neots ‘Discovery Phase Report and Recommendations’ document was published on the St Neots Masterplan website.

The report represents the final milestone of the discovery phase of the project and provides an overview of the work that the Smart Places team has carried out.

It contains explanations of the goals and outcomes, the methodologies used and analysis of the data collected. The document also offers proposals for future projects that could be implemented in the town to answer some of the issues that have been raised.

The St Neots MasterPlan Steering Group will now discuss the proposals to decide which, if any, of the projects they would like to take forward to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to request funding for.

CambWifi

Free, public access CambWifi has been live in St Neots since late 2020, bringing users safe internet access when they are out and about.

The secure public access Wifi network continues to be rolled out as part of the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme through the collaboration and investment of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, recognising the importance of digital connectivity for everyone.

In St Neots, free CambWifi can now be accessed in the Market Square, along the High Street, on New Street (up to the Museum) and is also available at St Neots Library. It’s safe and simple to join in a few short steps via CambWiFi_Public.

Travel Information Screens

On behalf of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme is rolling out travel information screens to market towns around the county to provide public access to real-time bus and train times

Offering live and timetabled travel data they can be customised to each location to show live bus and train times, road traffic maps and weather reports. The screens use a combination of real-time and static data to provide more accurate predictions of travel times and encourage the use of sustainable transport options, and one has been installed at the Priory Centre in St Neots.

LoRa Network

With funding from the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme is delivering a long-range (LoRa) wireless network, which will enable sensors to support services, businesses and communities, and has started with St Neots.

LoRa networks support long-range communications between low-powered connected devices, which have a long battery life, such as sensors. They are therefore ideal for Internet of Things applications as the network allows secure data and information to be transmitted from these connected devices about things like air quality or flood warning indicators.

Get in touch

If you’d like to get in touch with us to find out more about Smart Places, email us on smart.places@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.