Oxford to Cambridge expresswayRecently updated

The Oxford to Cambridge expressway will secure the future of three of the most successful and productive cities in the country, creating an environment where communities and business can thrive with economic growth and better journeys.

Region:  East
Start date:  TBC
Cost:  TBC
Status:  PLANNED
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  TBC
Programme:  

Progress report

We are bringing together representatives across the region to discuss the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway and how it will enable sustainable development and economic growth. We understand that there are significant regional and local considerations that can influence how we develop the new road.

We will be exploring how we can balance better journeys, access to jobs, and a more connected country with the need to protect our environment and the places we love. We will be talking to MPs, local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, environmental bodies and businesses at this early stage.

Our first step is to establish the best potential corridor before looking at routes and locations for the new expressway. We expect to announce the decision on the corridor in Summer 2018.

What's next?

Once we know the potential corridor we will provide everyone with the opportunity to get involved and help shape the final project. We will consult widely before making any decisions on the route’s location. We will then consult again, asking for your feedback on more detailed plans before we submit the planning application to build the scheme.

Timeline

Date Event
Autumn 2017 Commitment by the Chancellor for construction to commence on the missing link before the end of the Road Investment Strategy (RIS2) in 2025
Summer 2018 Corridor announcement
2030 Road opens to the public

Why we need this scheme

Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge are growing fast in a region renowned for innovation where there are plans for a substantial increase in jobs and housing. Yet, the east-west transport connections between these areas are notoriously poor with no single route to travel the 80 miles. Indeed, it is easier to travel into London from the three cities than go from one to the other with the shortest road route currently at least 108 miles. This creates a huge barrier and risk to future growth, while a housing shortfall is stifling further investment and is a major concern for the region.

The benefits of a new expressway

A new expressway would complement east-west rail and support the continued growth and attractiveness of the region as a place to live and work. This will support growth nationally as well as locally, providing better access to some of the world’s most important business and research institutions.

The expressway would create more job opportunities for those living locally while stimulating housing growth and reducing costs for businesses. It would also unlock new areas of growth in areas including Aylesbury Vale, Milton Keynes, Bedford, St Neots, Cambourne and Bourne Airfield as well as around the A428.

The case for a new expressway

Annual output along the Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford corridor could be £163 billion higher than in 2014 (twice the rate of growth than otherwise predicted). An additional 384,000 people are predicted to be brought within a 45-minute drive of Milton Keynes and 470,000 more within the Oxford Science Park, meaning greater job opportunities and business growth.

The Expressway will help tackle a 40% increase in travel demand, predicted for the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge corridor by 2035.

Once complete, the new road is expected to take 45 minutes off journeys between the south of Oxford and Cambridge and bring both cities to within a 45-minute drive of Milton Keynes.

Aims

The key objectives for the expressway are:

  • Connectivity: provide an east-west strategic road link between Milton Keynes and Oxford that delivers enhanced connectivity through faster, safer and more reliable connections across the corridor in the broad arc from Oxford to Cambridge via Milton Keynes
  • Strategic Transformation: support the creation of an integrated corridor between Oxford and Cambridge, reflecting and advancing plans for infrastructure, housing, business investment and development
  • Economic Growth: unlock the economic potential in the corridor by facilitating strategic growth to the benefit of the UK economy through increased productivity, employment and housing, and maximising synergies with potential growth associated with east-west rail.
  • Skills and Accessibility: promote accessibility and wider socio-economic benefits by improving access to job opportunities at key employment centres, developments, and at education, leisure, health, and retail facilities whilst creating wider employment opportunities
  • Planning for the future: reduce the impact of new housing on local roads for communities and contribute to better safety, security and health whilst promoting sustainable transport modes
  • Environment: to provide a healthy, natural environment, reducing congestion and supporting sustainable travel modes and promoting equality and opportunity
  • Innovation: apply innovative technology wherever possible to support the sustainable planning, construction and operation of transport measures

The scheme in detail

The Oxford to Cambridge expressway project was one of six strategic studies which were commissioned as part of the Government’s first Road Investment Strategy (RIS 1) in 2015, for delivery in 2020-25.

The study explores the potential to connect the three cities by developing a fast, high quality route, along a single corridor, including filling a 30-mile gap in the network between the M1 and M40 (‘missing strategic link’).

The Oxford to Cambridge study identified three broad corridors for the ‘missing link’:

  • Option A – southern, via Aylesbury, linking to the M1 south of Milton Keynes
  • Option B – central, following the east-west rail corridor
  • Option C – northern, roughly following the existing A421 to the south of Bicester and via Buckingham to the east of Milton Keynes

View map of potential corridors

With the help of a number of experts and representatives from local communities, environmental and heritage bodies, and technical specialists, we are currently exploring three potential geographical corridors and their suitability for the new expressway.

Project media files and documents

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Project timeline

Planned roadworks

Roadworks and Events for England

The latest incident information for England's motorway and trunk routes provided by Highways England

Location : The M1 southbound between junctions J14 and J13 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 05:00 from 20 July 2018 to 8 August 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed.
Posted: July 20, 2018, 4:01 am
Location : The M1 northbound between junctions J13 and J14 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 05:00 from 20 July 2018 to 8 August 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed.
Posted: July 20, 2018, 4:01 am
Location : The M1 northbound between junctions J14 and J15 . Reason : Roadworks scheme. Status : Currently Active. Period : from 16:31 on 13 July 2018 to 06:00 on 8 August 2018.
Posted: July 20, 2018, 3:46 am
Location : The A5 southbound between the junctions with the A508 and the A422 . Lane Closures : Lane one is closed. Reason : Emergency barrier repairs. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 20 July 2018. Lanes Closed : There is one of two lanes closed.
Posted: July 19, 2018, 7:01 pm
Location : The A5 northbound between the junctions with the A422 and the A508 . Lane Closures : Lane one is closed. Reason : Emergency barrier repairs. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 20 July 2018. Lanes Closed : There is one of two lanes closed.
Posted: July 19, 2018, 7:01 pm
Location : The M1 northbound between junctions J14 and J15 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder is closed. Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 8 August 2018.
Posted: July 19, 2018, 4:51 pm
Location : The M1 northbound between junctions J14 and J15 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder is closed. Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 8 August 2018.
Posted: July 19, 2018, 4:51 pm
Location : The M1 northbound between junctions J13 and J14 . Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 07:00 and 17:00 from 20 July 2018 to 8 August 2018.
Posted: July 19, 2018, 1:01 pm
Location : The M1 southbound between junctions J14 and J13 . Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 07:00 and 17:00 from 20 July 2018 to 8 August 2018.
Posted: July 19, 2018, 1:01 pm
Location : The M1 northbound exit slip at Newport Pagnell Services. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 22:00 and 05:00 from 25 July 2018 to 28 July 2018. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: July 19, 2018, 12:30 pm
Location : The M1 southbound between junctions J15 and J14 . Reason : Roadworks scheme. Status : Currently Active. Period : from 16:31 on 13 July 2018 to 06:00 on 8 August 2018.
Posted: July 19, 2018, 7:19 am
Location : The M1 southbound between junctions J15 and J14 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder is closed. Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 8 August 2018.
Posted: July 19, 2018, 7:19 am
Location : The M1 southbound between junctions J15 and J14 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder is closed. Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 8 August 2018.
Posted: July 19, 2018, 7:10 am
Location : The M1 northbound between junctions J10 and J11 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder will be closed. Reason : Emergency roadside drains works are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 09:30 on 20 July 2018 to 15:30 on 20 July 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be one of four lanes closed.
Posted: July 18, 2018, 2:00 pm
Location : The M1 northbound between junctions J10 and J11 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 22:00 on 24 July 2018 to 05:00 on 25 July 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be one of four lanes closed.
Posted: July 18, 2018, 1:41 pm

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The M11 northbound is closed between junctions J8 and J10 due to a HGV fire.
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am

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