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Banbury MP comments on expressway announcement

A new expressway is going to be built through Oxfordshire.

The Government have announced the corridor of land that the road from Oxford to Cambridge will pass through, which includes Bicester.

It's going to go close to the east west rail link that's in the works - connecting our area to East Anglia.

Roads Minister Jesse Norman said:

"The government is taking the big decisions on infrastructure, working to maximise growth and productivity across the UK.

"England’s economic heartland, as it has been called, already plays a crucial role in powering the UK’s growth, science and innovation, but there is no single route to connect Oxford and Cambridge.

"This expressway will enhance both transport connectivity and growth across the region for the benefit of the UK as a whole."

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick, said:

"The Oxford to Cambridge arc is one of the greatest opportunities for economic growth in Europe. We want to realise that potential by investing in the new infrastructure the area needs and the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway is an important part of our plan.

"The Expressway will provide a link between 2 of the country’s intellectual powerhouses and open up vital jobs, skills and housing opportunities to transform the region’s economy.

"We are investing record amounts in the UK’s infrastructure, including funding the largest road-building programme since the 1970s.

"A full public consultation will be held next year, in which residents and businesses in and around the corridor will have their say on more detailed designs for the route."

North Oxfordshire MP, Victoria Prentis, has commented on today’s Oxford to Cambridge Expressway preferred corridor announcement. She said:

“The corridor announcement does not come as a surprise given that broad alignment with East West Rail makes strategic sense.

“It is still early days for the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway project. Now that the corridor announcement has been made there will be an extensive period of consultation as route options are considered. Highways England has made it very clear from the outset that the project will build and enhance existing road networks. It will not see the construction of a brand new road from start to finish. I feel very strongly that we should see this as an opportunity to get the investment in our local infrastructure which is long overdue and which is so essential given the pace of housing growth in and around Bicester.

“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, so I am very aware of the impact major infrastructure projects like the Expressway can have on residents living in the surrounding area. I intend to work closely with all affected communities to ensure that we have a strong voice as plans develop and can reap the rewards from the project."

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