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Oxford-Cambridge Arc

According to the Government, the arching sweep of land between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge (Oxford-Cambridge Arc) has a unique opportunity to become an economic asset of international standing – yet without urgent action, a chronic undersupply of homes could jeopardise growth, limit access to labour and put the booming economies of the UK’s science and technology hub at risk.
The National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC) central finding is that rates of house building will need to double if the Arc is to achieve its economic potential. This requires a new deal between central and local government – one which aligns public and private interests behind the delivery of significant east-west infrastructure and major new settlements, and which seeks commitment to faster growth through a joined-up plan for jobs, homes and infrastructure.
Up to 1,000,000 new homes could be built along the Oxford, Milton Keynes, Northampton and Cambridge Arc, together with a new expressway and East-West rail link to shorten journey times from East to West.

Growth Plans

EAST-WEST INFRASTRUCTURE ENABLING NEW SETTLEMENTS
East West Rail and the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway could provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity to unlock land for new settlements. According to the NIC, local and national government must work together, with developers and investors, to align the delivery of infrastructure and major new settlements – including the first new towns to be built in over a generation.
EQUIPPING LOCAL AREAS WITH THE TOOLS TO DELIVER GROWTH
They say that new settlements are only part of the solution. Meeting the Arc’s future housing needs will require development in and around existing towns and cities. Local areas must be equipped to meet this challenge and to remove the barriers that frustrate privately-led development. Government should ensure local areas have the powers and resources to shape high quality, well-connected places that respect the environment, and enhance quality of life for new and existing residents.

Oxford-Cambridge Expressway

The Oxford to Cambridge Expressway is a proposed grade-separated dual carriageway between the A34 near Oxford and the A14 near Cambridge, via (or near) Milton Keynes. The proposal aims to establish this route by linking existing roads and building new ones. The case for its creation is examined in a Strategic Study for the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor, published by National Infrastructure Commission in November 2016. The NIC sees the road as being of national strategic importance by providing an outer orbital route around London, linking Southampton, the M3, M4, A34, M40, M1, A1, A14/M11 and Felixstowe.
The route for the expressway is not agreed but to the south of Oxford it will have to go through the green belt, bringing a large amount of additional traffic to an already congested Oxford ring road and the A34 south of Oxford. That stretch of the A34 is already at capacity and has regular gridlocks. Any incident on the A34, however minor, leads to a rapid build-up of traffic, and long tailbacks result in commuters using local towns and villages as rat runs just to get out.
We have written to Ed Vaizey MP asking him to intervene on our behalf:

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