No Expressway Campaign Group express 'delight' at Oxford Cambridge Expressway cancellation

The Government scrapped the controversial road network yesterday.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 9:36 am
Updated Friday, 19th March 2021, 9:38 am
The road was likely to have passed through Aylesbury

They cited 'the lack of value for money' as one of the main reasons for its termination.

In the official announcement, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said “Our analysis shows the expressway cannot deliver such links in a way that provides value

for money for the taxpayer, so I have taken the decision to cancel the project.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The No Expressway Group have been campaigning for 'at least the last two years' to have the project kicked into the long grass, and they have finally got their wish.

They said: "Our own economic analysis revealed that the business case for the Expressway was even worse that the Government claimed.

"The official analysis failed to take into account optimism bias (the unfailing tendency of Government Departments to underestimate the cost of major schemes) and the modal shift of travellers from road to rail when given the choice.

"The first factor here underestimated the real costs and the second over-estimated the actual benefits of the Ox-Cam Expressway.

"The Expressway as planned would have been a tremendous waste of taxpayers’ money."

However, the group have said their work is not over.

They will now focus their energies on the problem of 'overloading of the Ox-Cam Arc'.

Ox-Cam Arc housing proposals involve growth of between four and six times the projected national average increase in household numbers to 2050 – in Oxfordshire’s case

doubling the housing stock of the entire county - and these will threaten the ways of life and natural environment of all the communities presently living in the Arc.

Welcoming this announcement David Rogers, Secretary of the No Expressway Group, said: "The other half of the Ox-Cam Arc proposals is the one million houses that have always been

part of the Governments ambition to increase the Arc’s economic output by £163 billion each year.

"Large though this increase is, investing in areas of the country away from the over-crowded South East would bring even greater economic benefits, without the need to build a million new houses and ‘import’ the workers from elsewhere in the country, or from abroad.

"Investment elsewhere would also reduce the inequality between the different regions of the UK; inequality which is greater than in all other countries in Europe.”