Buckinghamshire County Council declares opposition to Oxford-Cambridge expressway

Angela raised the motion at council last week
Angela raised the motion at council last week

BCC have joined the growing chorus opposing the £3.5 million Oxford-Cambridge Expressway.

The new road will bring around a million new homes all projected to be built within a 'growth corridor' surrounding the road.

Last week, councillors voted for a motion against the plan.

Aylesbury Vale District Council have already passed a motion to oppose the new road.

It was brought forward by the leader of Aylesbury Vale District Council, Cllr Angela Macpherson.

Angela said: "I am extremely concerned about the significant environmental damage the proposed Expressway could inflict on north Buckinghamshire.

"This includes not just the physical damage to rural areas and villages, areas of ancient woodland and other established sites of ecological interest as a direct result of the construction, but also the long term impact of air and noise pollution.

"Building this unwanted and unnecessary infrastructure would seem to be directly contradictory to the government’s stated aspiration of making the country carbon neutral by 2050.

"We recognise the pressing need to improve east west connections between Oxford and Cambridge and believe that this is best served by moving ahead quickly with the proposed east-west rail link which is supported by local councils.

"I believe that this line should be fully electrified , using the c.£5bn allocated to the Expressway, and distribution companies should be actively encouraged to use this facility to move freight off local roads.

"The high-handed approach Highways England has taken in local engagement is really poor, only discussing their initial proposals with councils prepared to sign non-disclosure agreements , which as leader of the district council I refused to do believing it would be wrong to keep such information from our residents.

"Frankly this project feels like another HS2 - all I can see is the prospect of significant disruption and environmental damage with little or no compensation by way of local economic advantages so I am writing to ministers to ask that the need for this project is reconsidered with a focus on east west rail connectivity, high speed broadband and 5G connectivity and consideration of much needed improvements to our existing road network to ease congestion.

"Also I will request that Highways England engages in effective dialogue with communities in the proposed Expressway corridor sooner rather than later to prevent further speculation and ensure residents are given ample opportunity to comment."

The Expressway will go from Oxford, via Milton Keynes, and end up in Cambridge.

The impact on the environment is one of the major concerns, and the local Wildlife Trust even mounted a legal challenge against the plans earlier this year, which was ultimately unsuccessful.