The Oxfordshire Growth Board has called for the government to provide more clarity on its proposals for the route of the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway in Oxfordshire.
The chair of the Growth Board, Cllr Jane Murphy, has written to the Minister for Transport and the project’s director at Highways England explaining how the lack of certainty will affect work the board is doing to help plan for effective and sustainable growth that enhances the quality of life in Oxfordshire.
“you can read copies of the letters here”
On 12 September the government announced its preference for a corridor that would take the new key road past Bicester and on to Cambridge via Milton Keynes. The road will begin somewhere along the A34 to the south of Oxford, but the government has not yet announced if it would prefer the road to route around the west of the city or to the east.
As part of the Oxfordshire Growth Deal, the growth board is preparing a plan to identify strategic growth areas for the whole county, known as the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan (JSSP). The lack of certainty over the route of the expressway through the county will make it more difficult to identify local transport needs and the most appropriate areas of growth.
In her letter, Cllr Murphy also explains that the Growth Board has agreed a set of principles saying that any decisions on the expressway should help to secure more sustainable public transport links for the county, minimise its environmental damage, support growth as set out in the JSSP and be future-proofed to enable forthcoming and future innovations like the rise of autonomous vehicles.
Cllr Jane Murphy “The expressway will have an impact on every resident and business in every area of Oxfordshire and the board is united in its belief that the government’s announcement in September has raised as many questions for Oxfordshire as it has answered.
“Much of the work the growth board is doing, in particular in relation to the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal, will be directly or indirectly affected by the expressway, and we need more certainty if we’re to deliver the work required of us effectively.”