EXPRESSWAY THREAT TO SOUTH OXFORDSHIRE
Highways England are considering three “corridors” across Oxfordshire for a new Oxford-Cambridge Expressway (Motorway in all but name).
One option would be to upgrade the existing A34 corridor West of Oxford.
Both the others would be a brand new road across the countryside leaving the A34 near Abingdon and slicing through the Green Belt South of Oxford then either going North via Bicester or East via Aylesbury to Milton Keynes and Cambridge.
There is a very real chance of the Green Belt route being chosen because of the development opportunities local authorities say it would unlock.
But the Green Belt is too precious to us all to lose. Once it has gone it is gone forever.
The decision is due to be made in only six weeks, in mid-July.
Help us protect our Green Belt.
There is still time to write to Chris Grayling Transport Minister at Department for Transport Great Minster House 33 Horseferry Road London SW1P 4DR and your MP and County and District Councillor.
IF YOU DON’T WANT AN EXPRESSWAY AT YOUR BACK DOOR, DEVASTATING SOUTH OXFORDSHIRE – YOU NEED TO ACT NOW!
The Oxford to Cambridge Expressway/Motorway and plans for a million houses along its route poses a huge threat to our communities, wildlife and our environment. Our demands for a public enquiry are going unheard. We now know there will no proper public consultation until after the corridor is selected in July 2018.
Highways England are considering three “corridors” across Oxfordshire for a new Oxford-Cambridge Expressway (Motorway in all but name).
If we must have an Expressway at all, then we want the least harmful for the environment and most beneficial for Oxford’s economy. We believe that the least worst option would be to properly upgrade the existing A34 corridor West of Oxford - following the existing dual carriageway road. This is called the Northern Route and would complement the benefits of the East West Rail line. It would also be cheaper, quicker and deliver benefits more speedily.
The Southern and Central corridor options would cost £400m more, do more harm, be further from the hi-tech Oxford - Cambridge Arc than a Northern Corridor option, and miss a unique opportunity to ‘unload’ a strategic road, add affordable housing, and link the Arc to the M4 and the West, via Swindon, and to East-West Rail.
Both the Central and Southern options would mean a brand-new road across the countryside leaving the A34 near Abingdon and slicing through the Green Belt South of Oxford then either going North via Bicester or East via Aylesbury to Milton Keynes and Cambridge.
We’re especially concerned that these two corridors running along Oxford’s Green Belt and across really important wildlife areas and flood plain – would do enormous damage to the countryside used and enjoyed by thousands of Oxfordshire residents, never mind its floodplains and wildlife. The Green Belt and South Oxfordshire countryside is what makes our environment a special place to live and a haven for rare species of plant and animal life. It really is too precious to lose. Once it’s gone it’s gone forever.
We now genuinely fear there is a very real chance of the Green Belt route being chosen because of the development opportunities local authorities say it would unlock.
The decision is due to be made in only six weeks, in mid-July. When they decide in July along which corridor the Expressway will go – they will then start mapping out the actual route.
So, we need you to act now and help us protect our Green Belt.
There is still time to write to Chris Grayling Transport Minister at Department for Transport Great Minster House 33 Horseferry Road London SW1P 4DR and your MP and your County and District Councillors.
Demand to be heard!
We are not getting a fair say on where the route should go?
Our local councils and their officers have failed to consult Oxfordshire’s residents, and have not released any information on routes or on the 300,000 extra houses, far in excess of local need, that this project would impose on the county. Expressway Action Group (EAG) has been pressing for a proper debate on all this, and OCC Councillors have voted by 49 to 5 to call for a Public Inquiry into the Expressway project so people can have their say. But we are told there will be no public consultation until after the final route has been chosen.
WHAT CAN I DO?
It will definitely help if you write especially to Chris Grayling, Secretary of State, MP’s and councillors.
1. Ask what they are doing to prevent the damage and destruction of over ten miles of un spoilt Green Belt if a Southern route were chosen.
2. Point out the benefits of using and upgrading existing roads as part of the corridor.
3. Point out that using existing roads would save £400m of tax payers money vs a new road.
4. Ask Why they can’t adopt and adapt the Northern A34 route which is already, in all but name, an Expressway.
(A sample letter is available on the EAG website – www.expresswayactiongroup.com)
Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport – is the person who will be making the final decision in July. His address is: Department for Transport, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR
and/or pocorrespondence@dft.gsi.gov.uk Tel: 0300 330 3000
A full list of Oxford county councillors can be found here:
http://mycouncil.oxfordshire.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?VW=TABLE&PIC=1&FN
John Howell, MP for Henley - howelljm@parliament.uk
A full list of South Oxfordshire District Councillors can be found here:
http://democratic.southoxon.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?FN=WARD&VW=LIST&PIC=0
A full list of Buckinghamshire County Councillors can be found here:
https://democracy.buckscc.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?bcr=1
The local papers – Oxford Times and Mail have active Letters pages
http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/contactus/letters/
Highways England are gathering the evidence to present to government:
The email address we have for them is info@highwaysengland.gov.uk
Tell all your friends and contacts in other villages and ask them to write.
Put up a display if you are having a local fete.
Check out the EAG Website and Facebook Pages for more information, posters to download, petitions to sign.