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Oxford to Cambridge expressway

Oxford to Cambridge – road improvement projects

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Project update, 12 March 2020
May 26th, 2020

Project update, 12 March 2020

The Oxford-Cambridge Arc is already home to some of the most productive towns and cities in the country. The Government’s ambition is for further growth within the Arc that will help make it a world class economic hub, and delivering the right infrastructure is vital to support this.
The Government has investigated the potential for a new high-quality link road between the M1 and M40 which could support this growth and examined the costs and benefits of a range of options, taking account of the views of local authorities and residents in the Arc.
We are now pausing further development of the scheme while we undertake further work on other potential road projects that could support the Government’s ambition for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, and benefit people who live and work there, including exploring opportunities to alleviate congestion around the Arc’s major economic centres such as Milton Keynes.
We will work with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and local partners on the proposed Spatial Framework to identify the role transport can play alongside the proposed economic and housing growth ambitions for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.

We want to enhance your communities and your environment
October 11th, 2019

We want to enhance your communities and your environment

Barn owl in flight

Highways England is committed to minimising the impact of developing new roads and maintaining the existing roads on the local community and the environment. We do this through careful routing, considered design and well-planned construction.

The government has made funds available via Highways England to help develop infrastructure within local communities – these are known as Designated Funds. These funds allow for development beyond “business as usual”, near our strategic road networks, maximising opportunities to deliver additional improvements and better protect the environment.

We’re proud to be a part of the wider government effort to create lasting places to live and work that are safe, enjoyable and contain the infrastructure needed to ensure the area can thrive. However, we recognise there is a need to go further to ensure that not only the direct benefits, but also the additional created value is recognised in local communities and not just by road users.

In spring 2019 we held workshops, attended by a number of organisations and local groups, to identify opportunities and stimulate new ideas that could potentially be developed as part of the Oxford to Cambridge expressway. By engaging with groups at this early stage of the project, we were able to gain a better understanding of the different opportunities available and ensure we can incorporate them into our proposals.

We’d love to hear your ideas and recommendations for this project. We’ll be asking key stakeholders and the public about their ideas in the coming stages of engagement and consultation. As soon as we’re able, we’ll share the timeline for our non-statutory consultation.

Read more about Highways England’s Designated Funds and where they have enhanced different projects.

Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme boosted by £10 million investment from Highways England
October 11th, 2019

Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme boosted by £10 million investment from Highways England

Highways England has invested £10 million into the Oxford Flood Alleviation scheme, a project that will enhance flood defences around the city to better protect homes, businesses and infrastructure for the next 100 years. Our involvement in the scheme is key to ensure the proposed link between Oxford and Milton Keynes is as protected as it can be. Once complete, the risk of flooding will be reduced for at least 1,000 homes and businesses.

Oxford has had a number of major floods in past decades. These have affected homes, businesses and local infrastructure, including closing the railway and major roads bringing the city to a standstill.

We’re one of eight partners working with the Environment Agency to make much-needed improvements to Oxford’s flood defences. Protecting the environment and the places people love is central to our work. The scheme will enhance the local environment, which is important to all partners involved.

The scheme will see the existing flood plain lowered, a new watercourse created, and flood walls and embankments built. It will ensure important infrastructure such as the A34, the main railway line, sewage services and other key utilities are protected.

The money we’re contributing is from our Designated Funds programme, which aims to improve the places around our road network. As well as providing vital funding, we’re also part of the scheme’s steering group, offering our advice and expertise to help guide how the Environment Agency delivers the project.

Find out more about Highways England’s Designated Funds.

Find out more about the scheme and its progress.

Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust judicial review
October 10th, 2019

Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust judicial review

Old oak forest background.

Our hard work to consider the environment in developing the Oxford to Cambridge expressway has been recognised in the outcome of the judicial review against the Department for Transport. We’ve been working closely with Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust and many other stakeholders to listen to their views. We hope that the court’s decision gives them the confidence that we’re committed to thorough environmental assessments at every stage of the project.

We’ll consult on potential route options in corridors B1 and B3. We’ll be looking for peoples’ views on key design elements including where junctions could be located, environmental considerations and buildability, among other factors and alternatives.

This will be an opportunity for communities to influence how the project is developed. We’re looking forward to talking with local people, hearing what they have to say, and working with them to shape the future of this project.