Oxford-Cambridge Expressway: Response from Victoria Prentis, MP

Dear Sarah,

Many thanks for getting in touch about the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway. While I am conscious that Horton-cum-Studley Parish Council isn't in my constituency (as you point out), I have had a number of constituents contact me about the possible impact on Otmoor.

I have been following the project's progress closely given the implications for our area. I met the Secretary of State towards the end of last year to discuss plans, and a couple of days later the National Infrastructure Commission published its "Partnering for Prosperity" report which included a number of recommendations. Specifically on the Expressway, the NIC has suggested "accelerating development work to deliver a clearly-defined and agreed route by 2025, enabling construction to begin as part of the next Road Investment Strategy (RIS 2) and be complete by 2030." My understanding is that the preferred route of the three options will be announced in the summer.

Of course, projects of this size require considerable planning, feasibility assessments and modelling. I am old enough to remember the upheaval caused by the construction of the M40 and have been consistent in my opposition of HS2, not least because of the huge cost. We shouldn't commit to transport projects unless there is a strong business case in support. As the NIC's report makes clear, there does seem to be considerable growth potential for the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge arc; infrastructure and interconnectedness are important in realising that potential.

I appreciate concerns about the level of public involvement so far and the proposed route options. Highways England are coming to Westminster next week so I will raise this with them then. Needless to say, I will also continue to follow developments closely. It isn't clear to me whether you have taken this up with John Howell as your local MP. If you haven't, I would strongly encourage you to do so. 

Best wishes,

Victoria

 Victoria Prentis MP
Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA | 020 7219 8756
Heyford Park House, Upper Heyford, Bicester, OX25 5HD | 01869 233 685

victoria.prentis.mp@parliament.uk | www.victoriaprentis.com
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