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Expressway campaigners call for Sajid Javid to prioritise the environment

They're urging for the project to be cancelled.

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 5:46am 15th January 2020. 3-minute read.

Expressway campaigners call for Sajid Javid to prioritise the environment

A group fighting a new road through Buckinghamshire have written to the Chancellor.

The No Expressway Group have written to Sajid Javid ahead of his budget.

The Oxford-Cambridge route and associated one million new homes is still going ahead despite calls for its cancellation. 

Often referred to as 'The Arc' the project has been criticised for its cost and whether it is needed. 

It would see a new road built between the two cities as well as 1 million houses built in the areas around it.

Professor David Rogers, from NEG, believes there are alternative to the new road:

"There are already reopening the Oxford-Cambridge railway. If that railway is electrified, there isn't confirmation it will be, you'll be able to journey between on a low carbon solution. 

It doesn't involve cars, it doesn't involved congestion and it doesn't involve pollution."

If the plans go ahead it would see an increase of housing stock in Buckinghamshire by 66% by 2050.

The new homes present a danger to local environment, as well as taking over local land. 

David explained:

"The environment cannot support the plans. Those houses and people need schools, clinics, hospitals, they need sewage collection and waste disposal.

All of this infrastructure has to be provide and that would reek havoc on our very fragile environment."

In their letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer NEG has asked him to officially cancel the plans and redistribute the funds.

The letter reads:

I am writing to you on behalf of the No Expressway Group, the largest group campaigning against the Oxford - Cambridge Expressway and its associated housing targets to urge you to announce cancellation of the project, widely referred to as ‘the Arc’, in your forthcoming Budget.

Such a move would give you the opportunity to spend the money currently allocated to the project on electrification of East West Rail and in other regions of the UK which have a greater need for economic stimulus. I believe that increasing infrastructure investment in such regions is a central plank of the Government’s vision.

...

The area around and along the Arc is already prosperous and congested. The area does not need the Expressway and the housing targets associated with it. Investment in transport infrastructure in this area should be focussed on the electrification of East West Rail to create a low-carbon link between the two University cities and beyond.

...

Your March 2020 budget is a once in a lifetime opportunity to confirm the Government’s commitment to net zero carbon, to net environmental gain and to reducing the social and economic inequalities across our nation. We urge you to seize this unique opportunity and cancel the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway and aspirational target of one million houses.

Yours sincerely
Olivia Field

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